9 Week Old Sleep

Updated on July 29, 2010
L.W. asks from Elk Grove, CA
9 answers

My 9 week old's sleep is more erratic than in previous weeks. At about 4 weeks, he started going down at night around 11-12, would sleep for 4-4 1/2 hours, wake to eat, and go right back down for 2-3 hours. This lasted for about 2 weeks. For approximately the past 4 weeks, I have implemented a bedtime routine of bath by 8- 8:30, then pjs, feeding, and attempts to put him down. He will go down (after much crying) anywhere from 9-11:30pm (usually after 10). He falls asleep, but when we put him in the crib, he'll wake back up until usually much later when he finally sleeps. I think he is tired by 8/8:30, so I'm trying to start his bedtime then, but he only sleeps up to 3 hours, will wake a couple times, and many nights, will be up in the night for 2 hours. Since coming home from the hospital, my son has been very fussy between the hours of about 8:30-11:30, and I'm not sure if he just gets overtired or if it's just his "fussy time". Would you recommend I change my routine? Should I keep starting the routine at 8 and attempting to put him down even if he doesn't sleep until much later? Since he previously slept 4-4 1/2 hours, why is he only sleeping 3 hours stretches now?

Clarification: "after much crying" refers to my husband and me holding and rocking the baby constantly, and sometimes more than one feeding by me. We don't put him down to cry it out at all. We put him in the crib when he is asleep, but he invariably wakes again more than once (during which time we are holding him) before he finally sleeps his first stretch of the night.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Washington DC on

It sounds like he is over tired , 8.30 seems late to be starting the bedtime routine. I would start it much earlier , like 6 and have him fed and put to bed around 7. I know he will wake again later for another feed , but by that point he should already have had a chunk of sleep and then go back to sleep after the late feed.

More Answers


answers from Fresno on

I would put him down much earlier, at 6pm. I realize that sounds insane, but give it a try and see how it goes. I found with my little ones that when I put them to bed at 6, they would sleep soundly all night. If I put them to bed at 8, they'd wake up every couple of hours and be super fussy. Babies have a different sleep pattern than we do as adults, and for whatever reason, 6pm is the magic hour for them to go to sleep. Also, if you are nursing or bottle feeding him to sleep, don't. He will fall asleep prior to getting a big, full meal, and this will cause him to wake up hungry much sooner. I would feed him around 5:30, give him a bath, and then put him in his crib awake but calm, and try that. You may find that he sleeps much better that way. My girls would sleep 12 hours at a stretch if I put them down at 6pm. I hope that helps!


answers from San Francisco on

As frustrating as it is right now, in a few days, weeks, months, etc, everything will change again. Right now, he's at a prime growth spurt age, and he'll go through another at 3-4 months and again possibly around 6mo. THEN, you get to have the interrupted sleep of him learning new things like sitting, crawling, etc. Parents have to go with the flow, but it never hurts to try to have some sort of routine.

At 9wks, your son is WAY to young for sleep training. It's good that you're starting a routine with him, but unrealistic to expect him to go to sleep when YOU desire. At 9wks, both my kids were still on their "newborn" schedule of days and nights mixed up. My daughter didn't go down for her longest sleep until about 1am, and my son about 2am. Granted, I didn't have to work or really get up for any particular reason. However, I did notice with my daughter that having a toddler in the house already (who had his own ideas about what time to wake up hehe) helped with getting her schedule flipped around. My daughter is now 8mo and goes to bed anywhere between 8:30 & 10 and sleeps an average of 11 hours with 1-2 night feedings.

The way I gauge bedtime with her (and my son when he was younger) is to pay attention to her nap time. I know that she's ready for bed about 4-5 hours after she wakes from her afternoon nap. With your son being so young, I'd say to pay more attention to his behavior. His fussy time in the evening could be just that... his fussy time. Many infants have a time of day - usually in the evening - that they are fussy for no seemingly apparent reason. Doctors call it colic, and it usually disappears around 3mo.

Another thing I've learned is there are 3 things you absolutely canNOT force a baby to do: eat, sleep, and poop. If he cries when you try to put him to sleep, try letting him stay up. It may be less stressful for you all to go more on his schedule. Or you could go the other way and start bedtime a little earlier. Right now, the important thing is to enjoy your son while he's so little! My success the 2nd time around was in not trying to force things. If she didn't fall asleep easily, I let her stay up 15-30 minutes longer. Sometimes, this extra time was accompanied by some hard tears and prayers for her to just go to sleep!!! Being a parent is definitely the most challenging job I've ever had, but it's also the most rewarding when you see this happy baby!

(FYI, there is NOTHING wrong with nursing your baby to sleep!! Especially at 9wks!!! I still nurse my 8mo to sleep for both naps and bedtime, and she sleeps just fine!)



answers from Sacramento on

You've received some great advice already, but I wanted to suggest another book that is very good about detailing the sleep patterns by age. It's "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Dr. Marc Weissbluth. He does advocate CIO for older babies (the earliest he recommends trying it is four months) but don't let that prevent you from reading the book even if you don't want to try that route. It will help you have a good idea of when your LO should be sleeping and for how long.

I would suspect an earlier bedtime (we shifted my LO to 6:30 after she was a couple of months old) will make a huge difference. Good luck!



answers from Gainesville on

First thing google 4th trimester. That will help you comfort and soothe baby much more effectively.

At 9 weeks there should be no going down "after much crying". Not at an age at all where that should be going on.

9 weeks is a classic growth spurt time. Any growth spurt, milestone, etc will change/upset the sleep pattern.

Mine always had a fussy time in the evening. They were fussy and cluster fed like crazy during those hours then settled down. With my youngest it was 5-9 and then she would begin to settle. She was like clock work for a while.

If you think he is tired by 8/8:30 you need to be starting the bedtime routine well before that. If you start the routine when they are tired it's too late. They then get over-tired and you have a wired, cranky baby. But really at this age it's good to begin a routine but it means nothing to them at this stage in the game.

Babies at this age still want/need/crave the comforts of the womb. Reading up on the 4th trimester will help you achieve that more effective for him and give him for peace and soothing.

My best advice is to read up on 4th trimester, The Baby Sleep Book by Dr.Sears and The Baby Whisperer. All have invaluable info on baby sleep that you will need when teaching your baby how to sleep. And yes, baby needs to be taught. They don't automatically know how. You are on the right path though with a routine. Read up on those and you will be able to tweak your routine and make everyone happier!

Best to you and baby!



answers from Sacramento on

I think at the age it's too much to expect him to follow a routine and sleep through the night. They are ever changing and could be having gas pains, colic or is still hungry. Mine was all the above. I treated all three items: Mylicon drops for the gas, colic nipples from Gerber (extra vents), made sure I got a burp after each and every meal and he was also going through a growth spurt. So I think you might be expecting too much at this stage/age (this is meant nicely) and I would continue to go w/what baby dictates: going to bed when tired then picking up when he wakes up screaming to feed wether that be in 2 hrs, 3 or 4 hrs. I know it's hard now but it passes quickly. Hang in there and do what works for you and your baby.


answers from Norfolk on

Start giving him a bath at 7, and put him down earlier. He's too over-tired by 8:30 and that's what causes the fussing. You will probably be very pleasantly surprised to get longer stretches of sleep when you get him down earlier. best of luck!



answers from San Francisco on

It sounds like he's going through a growth spurt so his habits are changing and he may be fussier than usual. Mine went through a growth spurt every 3 weeks for the first 3 months, maybe longer. Expect changes to happen. Just when you think you've got his schedule down, he'll go through another growth spurt and/or develop a new milestone and you learn to adjust. Some say things tend to settle down when the infant has doubled his weight. Since your son is barely 2 months, I'd recommend putting him down earlier - you want to get him before he's fussy - and comfort or feed him when he wakes a little later. It gets better, I assure you!



answers from Stockton on

9 weeks is a growth spurt time which can make him fussy and HUNGRY. 8pm is too late for bedtime try 7pm for 2 weeks to see if it helps.
Have you tried swaddling? My son loved it 'til 4 months old.
the trick is to start bedtime before he gets tired so when you're done he'll be sleepy and not overtired. Overtired = wired = can't relax

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions