9 Month Old Still Not Sleeping Through the night...HELP!

Updated on June 11, 2009
A.P. asks from Schaumburg, IL
11 answers

my son just turned 9 months this past week. now i know that not every baby goes by the book, but according to dr. weissbluth babies should be able to sleep through the night by 9 months. however, my son is still waking up once a night to feed. i don't know if he really needs a bottle in the middle of the night. he drinks and goes right back to sleep, but am i just allowing it to become a habit? sometimes he'll wake up twice, and i'm really starting to lose it. he's slept through the night a couple times, but never consistently for a longer period of time. should i just be patient and wait it out more? any suggestions?

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So What Happened?

Thank u moms for all your wonderful advice! I decided to take into consideration all your words of wisdom. Before I started giving my son a bottle of water as opposed to milk in the middle of the night, I tried just letting him cry to see if he would go back to sleep. He actually did!!! I was shocked. He didn't cry for very long nor was he wailing, which put me more at ease. I did it the second night, and he barely cried for two minutes. I was really, really thankful! I guess the bottle in the middle of the night was really out of habit and not neccssity. Now he sleeps through the night and wakes up around 6 AM. I am also getting a little more sleep and can be a more functional mother during the day! Woohoo! :) Thanks so much again!!!!

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answers from Chicago on

I had the same issue with my second daughter, she didn't sleep through the night until after a year! My pediatrician told me she was waking up because she was used to eating in the middle of the night, even though it was not necessary. What I had to do was get her used to not eating in the middle of the night by reducing her bottle by an ounce for a week, then another ounce the next week until there was no bottle. She did cry for about a week or so without it which is not pleasant in the middle of the night, but it did work. After that, she no longer woke to eat. It worked for me, good luck!

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answers from Chicago on

It's tricky, isn't it? When my first turned 9 months old, I was convinced that she needed her bottle when she continued to wake around 2:30 or 3am. It really sounded like her hungry cry! It wasn't until a couple weeks later at her 9-month check-up when our Pediatrician looked me straight in the eye and said, "Your daughter has your number!" My Pediatrician assured me that my baby did not need the bottle and simply wanted company. I decided to use the "cold turkey" cry-it-out method, and she started sleeping through the night without waking in three days. But cry-it-out isn't for all Moms, and Dr. Weissbluth describes an alternative method, graduated extinction, in his book.

If your Pediatrician doesn't have any concerns about you son's health/weight/eating habits, I would say it's time to start weaning him from nightime feedings.

Keep up the GREAT work, Mom!!!

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answers from Chicago on

that's simple he's 9 months on his last feeding give him a little cereal in his bottle he's hungry . Thicken it up . Bet he'll sleep thru the night for ya



answers from Champaign on

It is possible that his body is just used to getting food then, think about it even as adults if we always have a snack at 3 then our bodies will be hungry at that time. As long as he is gaining weight normally and eating solids during the day you can give him water in his bottle at night. It helps him to feel like he is getting something and to get back to sleep, but after a week or so of just water he shouldn't wake up hungry any more.


answers from Bloomington on

Hi A.,
My baby is also 9 months old and she still wakes up twice at night to nurse. My opinion is: If she wakes up hungry, then I feed her. My daughter always goes right back to sleep after she nurses. She doesn't nurse a whole lot during the day, so I think she needs the extra milk at night. My older two children eventually learned to sleep through the night, when their tummy's weren't rumbling! both at around 12 months. I think all babies develop differently.



answers from Chicago on

My son didn't sleep thru the night until after 1. He would wake religiously at 3am, and I would go in his room to nurse. I noticed he really didn't suck much, more of a comfort/pacifier. Finally, after his 1 year bday, I refused to go in his room anymore. It took 2 nights of crying for less than 1/2 hour, and ever since then he sleeps thru the night. It is a beautiful thing, and if I knew earlier, I would have done it at 9 months. I will remember if I ever have a third child.



answers from Chicago on

Hi A.!
Just got done with this!!!
Mom LK...we must go to the same Ped. Mine looked at me like I was crazy and should now better (of course I should but they are so darn convincing!! LOL)

Check with your Ped about his weight and eating.
My other two NEVER had this issue. I have used Weissbluth with all three and you do have to 'personalize' it.
The other issue I had is that my (now) 11 mos. old refuse to eat anything with a spoon (no BB food). He saw his brothers eating with their hand and that is what he wanted to do. I figured he wasn't getting enough calories from finger food and that is why he kept waking.

I went against my better judgement and let him graze more, tried to include more high calorie foods, and would go for a walk after dinner and then give him the bottle (about 6:30/7p). He made it through to about 5:30/6P. This was at 10 mos. I also waited 15 minutes to run to him if he woke at night.

About once every two weeks he will want to feed at night. It is usually when his teeth are really bothering him and he didn't eat well during the day. I think his teeth were also bugging him around 8/9 mos and this also cut down on his food take (the bottle was easier on the pain).

So I know this is long, but it will happen. I remember I was so tired and questioned what I was doing. But it is just him and his pattern of development. Keep using Weissbluth, but just add a little flexibility and your own creativity. It will get better!!!



answers from Springfield on

I was not worried at 9 months that my son was not sleeping through the night, because I knew it would come in time. And sure enough, once I dropped the midafternoon nursing session, he decided he was going to sleep through the night within a week or so. Now he is a champion sleeper (10 1/2-11 hours at night) and goes to sleep easily.

At 9 months, he probably is so busy during the day that he forgets about eating. Then he has to make up for it during the night. Try to be patient--eventually, he'll lengthen those sleeping sessions at night.



answers from Chicago on

My daughter didn't sleep through the night until I night weaned her at 11 months.

Instead of giving him a bottle, give him a drink of water. He will protest a little, but reassure him that all he is going to get is water, as milk isn't for night night time. I think it took my daughter a few weeks of being offered only water for me to eliminate 2-3 of her nightly wakings (she woke 2-4 times a night till I did this around 9-10 months). It took me eons to wean her from eating at night this way, but there weren't any tears involved, she was reassured mommy would respond to her, and she now sleeps through the night --11 hours.

You are almost there! (of course, I am still not sleeping through the night, and my daughter has been for 4 months. I still wake at 4am!)

Just as an aside, Weissbluth does admit that some babies need night feeds till 12 months of age. Yes, it's a habit, but one they think is a need, which in my mind means it's a need.



answers from Chicago on

Dear A.,
YOu did not say how long his sleeping night is or what he is fed during a day...or before bedtime....There are lots of things that could be adjusted...Such as a bath before bed and bedtime a bit later...Possibly a cereal snack before bed to tide him over during the night...Possibly ignore his waking to see if he would go back to sleep...Does he need a diaper change at night? Could a heavier diaper keep him more comfortabl;e until morning? The best news is that this phse will pass and you will soon have a good night's rest and he will eventually sleep thru the night...Hugs & smiles, D. J.



answers from Chicago on

I know what Weissbluth says, and that book has been very helpful for me, but waking up only once during the night is no big deal! My 4 year old still wakes up once during the night. I think you're expecting an aweful lot, but if you feel like you don't want to feed the baby at night, then don't go in there... see how long it takes for him to go back to sleep. At 9 months, my son was still up 4-5 times a night! I have an 11 month old who wakes once a night, and I'm thanking my lucky stars!
Also I've found that leaving the baby monitor off at night is best. That way I'm not waking up and running into her room to check on her at every little noise... Even though her room is back to back with ours, it still takes some major crying for me to wake up without the monitor on...

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