9 Month Old and One Nap a Day?

Updated on August 21, 2011
K.P. asks from Franklin, TN
10 answers

My daughter is 9 months old. For a couple of months now she has completely resisted her 2nd nap. She goes down great for her morning nap and sleeps 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, usually waking at around noon. She does not start to get tired again until 3pm or later. Often she will not go to sleep. She mostly sleeps through the night 11-12 hours. My son also slept this long at night but took 2 naps a day until he was 16 months! Doesn't a 9 month old need more sleep? When she doesn't nap in the afternoon, dinnertime is a nightmare. She cries and fusses so much I worry she'll choke on her food. Has anyone else had a baby this young move to one nap a day? Should I try keeping her up until after lunch and start the traditional toddler afternoon nap?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for your responses. First of all, I'm curious as to how many people come back and read this part? Message me if you do! :)

So, I seem to remember from my first child that when they transition from 3 naps to 2, 2 naps to 1, etc, they DO go through a period of being overtired at the end of the day. Furthermore, my daughter just had two teeth come it, so it is very likely that contributed to her fussiness at mealtime. She sleeps a total of 14-16 hours per day, which is normal for her age. I guess I knew the answer to my own question! My son just slept more, and I can't compare apples to oranges. All kids are different. Now I will just have to figure out how to help her schedule along to mesh with school, soccer, and dinner together as a family. It may take a bit, but I think we can work it out. By the way, one nap yesterday and dinner went great. She went to sleep right away at bedtime. Always naps in her crib too. My kids would never nap in the car much, or stroller or shopping cart! When I see kids asleep at the grocery store I often wonder if they aren't getting enough sleep/naps!

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answers from Phoenix on

All kids are different, is what I've learned. Sounds like she doesn't need the 2nd nap anymore, and it's counterproductive to try & force it on her.

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answers from Washington DC on

I think you answered your own question when you said "When she doesn't nap in the afternoon, dinnertime is a nightmare." Clearly, she NEEDS THE NAP. Letting her get tired and cranky like that is not only annoying to the rest of the family, it's not fair to HER. She's not ready to drop the morning nap because she is tired and cranky in the evenings WITH that nap.

Perhaps you can try cutting the morning nap a bit shorter, then putting her down a bit earlier in the afternoon. Let her sleep for and hour and a half then get her back up. Don't wait for her to "get tired again," just put her down for a nap at nap time.

Hope this helps,

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answers from Honolulu on

Sleep/naps in a baby, is not static.
9 months is a growth-spurt period and time of developmental changes.
They also get more alert and aware of their surroundings at this age... and hence, sometimes cannot sleep/nap.
But they are still tired.

Have dinner earlier. Not a set, 'time.'
When a child/baby is TIRED... they often cannot eat.
BOTH my kids were that way as babies, and still even now.
Make dinner "time" earlier.
So that she is not over-tired by dinner time.
Then put her to bed, and make the whole bedtime routine, earlier.
Per her cues, as it is now.

She is too tired, to eat dinner at that time.
Don't force it.
Nurse her.

For the 1st year of life, breastmilk or Formula, is a baby's PRIMARY source of nutrition, not solids, and not other liquids.
And to feed these, on-demand.
Solids, is not even as nutritionally 'dense' as breastmilk or Formula.

She probably cannot sleep in the afternoon, because she is over-tired.
Over-tiredness, makes it harder for a baby/child to sleep, to fall asleep, and to stay asleep.

A baby's naps/sleeps, goes through tweaks, at certain age junctures and per developmental changes.

My son for the 1st year of life, napped 3 times a day for 2 hours.
I always went by his cues.
He also would only nap, in his crib. He was not a portable napper, would not nap on the road or in a stroller. ONLY at home.

Your baby is too tired by dinner 'time'... to eat.
That is why she is crying and fussing... at your dinner 'time.' That is why dinner time... is a nightmare. She is over-tired.
And when overtired, they cannot eat, even if hungry.
My kids were and are, that way.

I personally, would not... make her nap later in the afternoon.
She needs to nap, when she needs to nap.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My son got rid of the second nap around 9 months too. There is just too much to do!

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answers from Raleigh on

I gave up on trying to get my son to take a second nap at seven months. Occasionally there were days when he didn't nap at all. However, he consistently went to bed around 5:00 or 5:30 and slept (waking a couple times to nurse) until 7:00 or 8:00. Every now and then he would get cranky, but for the most part, he was content.

He gave up taking naps at all right around his second birthday. Today, at four years of age, he usually sleep 11-12 hours straight through the night and shows no signs of needing more sleep.

Adults need different amounts of sleep, and I think it's the same for babies and kids. You know your daughter best. It sounds like you could make a few adjustments: perhaps try to delay her nap just a bit and see if dinner could take place a little earlier. It's also okay if she eats before the family for a period of time while you adjust her schedule. Really, whatever works for your family is fine. Our society is always concerned about "the rules" of how to raise children. Follow your instinct. If you think you're doing the right thing for your child, you probably are.



answers from Santa Fe on

Mine weren't at one nap/day at 9 m/o, but everybody is different. Actually, I may have moved my younger son to one/day at that point, because otherwise my boys were "tag-teaming" with their naps, and I'd have to keep the toddler quiet while the baby slept, and just as the baby woke up, it was the toddler's naptime, and when the toddler woke up from naptime, it was the baby's naptime again. Quite frustrating to keep one child quiet so the other could sleep for hours and hours.

Anyway, it sounds like she's telling you that she's getting enough sleep with her nap and bedtime, or nearly so, but it does need to be spaced out a little more. This may not mean "keep her up until after lunch" (unless you move her lunch earlier), but try to keep her up an extra half-hour or hour or so in the morning and see how that goes. Let her crankiness/sleepiness be your guide.

My older son moved from three/day to one/day within the space of a month, and I think that was around 10-11 m/o. He was always very good to go down for naps whenever, but in his case, the naps were only about 30-45 minutes. I finally had the bright idea that maybe he'd sleep longer stretches if he took fewer naps, so I started keeping him up a little longer and a little longer, and before I knew it, he was staying up past noon and sleeping 2-3 hours at one stretch, which was a nice break for me. :-)



answers from St. Louis on

too young...she needs more sleep.

Look at what you can change/alter to find this Peace for her.

Check out the Sleep Institute's website. It might help.



answers from Kansas City on

My friend's daughter is the same way! I think generally they do need more sleep than that, but sometimes it just doesn't work out that way! She would put her down (still does and is 13 months) in the morning and she sleeps until about noon also. She does try to put her down in the afternoon when she acts tired but she doesn't usually sleep. She will put her to bed about 6:30 every night, which is really early to me, but I think she's just worn out. She wakes up pretty early, but I know my friend doesn't feel she has any other choice! Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

My second dropped her morning nap at about 9 months. I would put her down, but she wouldn't sleep for anything. She was ready for her "afternoon" nap by about 11, but because of my son's schedule, and because I wanted them to nap at the same time, they both went down at about 12:30- right after lunch. We just put her to bed super super early since she'd only sleep for about an hour and a half. She's now almost 2 and is used to the earlier bedtime, and expects it! If she's not in bed when she's tired, she gets really mad at us. It's kind of funny! Maybe you can try something like that?


answers from Los Angeles on

One nap is fine even at that age, but try moving it little by little to a later time, say right after lunch to as you say, the traditional toddler nap, so she's not getting tired around 3pm. She actually may nap a little longer once she's napping later✿

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