My 9 1/2 Month Old Son Is Suddenly Waking up at Night.

Updated on May 01, 2008
C.U. asks from Omaha, NE
5 answers

My son has pretty much slept through the night since he was 12 weeks old. For the last 3 weeks or so he has been waking up screaming then once we go in and pick him up he is fine. He just lays his head down on my shoulder and I rock him back to sleep. Until last night, he woke up screaming about 11pm, so I did the usual went into his room and picked him up and changed his diaper. He went right back to sleep after rocking him for about 10 minutes I went to put him back in his crib and the minute I lifted my arms to put him back in his crib he just started freaking out. He did his about 4 times, then after the 4th time I just let me cry to see if he would cry himself to sleep but he just kept screaming so I finally went and picked him up and did something I never do, took him back to bed with me. He slept off and on but only on me I couldn't even lay him next to me without screaming. Not sure what could be going on.

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answers from Des Moines on

If he's not taking naps well either, he could have something wrong with his tummy. If that's not the case, you may have started a bad habit. When we adopted our twins--granted, they were almost 3 then--a friend of mine told me this lesson she learned about children's habits. If you do it the first time, they'll wonder if you'll do it again. If you do it the second time, they'll expect it all the time. Her analogy was that if you give a woman flowers once, she'll hope to get them again. If you give her flowers the second time, she'll expect them every time. Your son is now getting old enough to know that his actions can get reactions from others. He's out of the "you can never spoil them too much" stage. That usually ends around six months.
If you think it could be bad dreams, maybe try using music or a white noise machine to soothe him, or a blanket or something to hug. He needs to learn how to soothe himself and go back to sleep on his own, especially since you work and don't have time to nap when he does during the day.
B. H



answers from Minneapolis on

My boys always woke during the night like that when they were teething or working on a new milestone. Is he teething? Crawling? Walking? Talking?



answers from Appleton on

I have a 9 1/2 month old as well, actually turning 10 months on Saturday. She is doing the same thing! She is usually a great sleeper but for the last couple of weeks is waking at odd hours just crying. She finally got the two teeth on the bottom, and we had a couple of great nights right after that. But now I see her working her toys on the top now, and the waking has started again, I think it is a teething thing. Last night I gave her a bottle, and that soothed her enough to go back to sleep...I have also gotten the advice to let her cry it out...I just haven't tried that yet either. I have also been given the advice that it will just pass...I know this isn't exactly full proof advice, but I thought I would post to reassure you that someone else at the same age is going through the same thing! :)



answers from Madison on

Hi C. :)

Have you heard of the 9 month sleep regression? Babies go through many sleep regressions while hitting certain milestones but apparently the 9 month one is the worst (usually because of sharp teething pain combined with meeting major milestones) and can usually cause extra clinginess, fussiness, etc. From what I've read, it's quite normal at this age and it's just something that you have to wait out. I think it's great that you are responding so warmly to him during this rough time for both of you! I also read that this is not the time for "this is my job, this is your job" between you and your husband, since this sleep regression can be extra tough on the parent who usually takes care of the night wakings. It was suggested that each parent get 5 hours straight of one of you sleeps from 10:00 - 3:00 and the other from 3:00 to 8:00 for example, if there are a ton wakings. This way one parent doesn't burn out. If you want, you can google the 9 month sleep regression...there is alot of info about it online. Good luck and so hope this passes soon :)



answers from Minneapolis on

My son is 8 1/2 months old and has been waking 1 to 2 times a nite crying also. I think it is teething and just a phase since he has always been a good nite sleeper. I You could bring him in to make sure he dont have an ear infection. I just brought my son in to make sure, because the last time he did this a few months agao an ear infection was the reason, this time it is not. Some babies show no other symptoms of an ear infection so
it may be worth it just to double check. Hope he starts sleeping good for you again soon.

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