(Closed) My 9 month old wakes up all night long!

posted 7 years ago in Babies
Post # 2
861 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

It’s a terrible horrible phase that I understand they will outgrow! I am going through it too right now and it is god awful! Hang in there. 

Post # 3
1470 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I don’t think this is a phase. Truly, truly, not a phase.

My little guy was an awful sleeper, too (although our issues were tied to a food/weight gain issue). It sounds like he can’t navigate transitioning from one sleep cycle into another.

How does he go down at night? Is he fully asleep in your arms before you lay him down? How long before putting him down do you nurse him, or are you basically nursing him to sleep (your last feed should be about 20 minutes before putting him to bed). My guess is your issues come from what is happening right before bed–and it’s an object permanence issue. Does he use a pacifier? What soothing does he get at night (white noise, lovey, etc)?

For awhile, we had to put my guy down AWAKE, meaning sitting up and with the light on, then turning the light off and leaving the room.

How much daytime sleep does he get? 

Also, check this out. Alexis is really awesome. She does advocate CIO as a last resort, but she also has a lot of other information that might help you improve the situation. 


Post # 4
1776 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Bichon Frise:  This is a really difficult situation and I totally sympathize with you.  My son had a lot of trouble with sleeping until he was around 10 months old and it clicked.  However, I can make some suggestions for you.

1. When the baby wakes up, let your husband or someone else go in and tend to him.  If the baby does not smell your milk, then he knows he’s not getting fed and may more easily go back to sleep.  If you can pick 2 times at night for feedings (if he still needs the feedings, usually by that age they do not need any of only one) and only nurse at those times, I truly believe this will help.

2. Does he sleep on his tummy?  At that age kids are usually way more comfortable sleeping on their stomaches.  Have you tried laying him on his stomach and rubbing his back isn’t of rocking?

3. Practice putting him in the crib awake at nap times.  If you can teach him to fall asleep on his own, that will make a world of difference.  You do not HAVE to let him cry, but if you do like 2 min, 5 min, 5 min or something, your baby will be okay.  It is MUCH easier to hear a baby cry in the day time than at night.

4. Have your ped rule out an ear infection.

5. If you can, look into a sleep expert.  They will offer you a solution that is tailored to your child and can include or exclude whatever you want.  If you do not want any crying, they will offer you a no cry method.  This can be expensive, but at the cost of your health and sanity, it is probably worth it. 

Post # 5
182 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

It’s behavioral plus separation anxiety which is a normal development of a 9 month old, just let him cry and reassure that you are there, let him fall back asleep himself, do not pick him up, try to make everything very boring at night even if you nurse him.

Post # 7
1470 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

View original reply
Bichon Frise:  I’d say with 99% certainty that the fact that he goes down asleep is your problem. I read somewhere (I did a lot of baby sleep research, but don’t remember where) that it’s like if you went to sleep in your bed every night and then every morning you woke up on your front lawn–you’d be pretty freaked out, right?

Same for baby. He goes to sleep in your arms and wakes up in his crib–yuck. So he cries. He’s going to have to learn to navigate sleep cycles on his own.

But you’ve set the stage in a couple good ways. 1. No pacifier (great for young babies and babies who can get them to their mouths by themselves, not good in-between). 2. Good daytime sleep (daytime and nighttime sleep are so different, which is why you can get away with nursing/rocking to sleep at naps, but not during the day). and 3. White noise–yay! I will say we have found a lovey helpful, but my guy didn’t really take to it until 13 months, so it may or may not help now. If you want to try, try to put it between you and baby when you nurse, give it love and kisses, etc, and he may decide he likes it well enough to snuggle with it.

So…putting baby down awake. I’m going to be honest–he’s a bit old to do it without tears, but definitely give it a shot. You can try to make it happen gradually. Basically, put him down asleep and then jostle him awake…just a tad (I know this makes you want to punch me in the face…) Then after he’s mastered that, try getting him almost to sleep in your arms, setting him down and putting your hand on him until he falls asleep. Then don’t put your hand on him. Etc. Tiny, tiny steps until you are actually putting him down all the way awake. It’s possible there may be tears during this process, but it’s something he will have to learn. Don’t be afraid to give him 2 or 3 minutes to cry and see if he can settle (once you’ve made the first few steps).

Also, you really do need to separate nursing from sleep. Some very lucky mommas have babies who they can nurse to sleep, and we hate them (just kidding, we’re only jealous), but for most older (6 month+) babies, if they nurse to sleep at the beginning of the night, they need to nurse to sleep every time they wake (and it does look like he wakes at the end of every sleep cycle) again because he fell asleep nursing, so when he wakes, he thinks he should STILL be nursing. USUALLY you can get away with nursing to sleep in the middle of the night after a night waking, but not at the beginning of the night.

So, depending on what your nighttime routine already is, I’d suggest something like: Nurse, bath, pajamas, book, songs/rocking, bed. It may be that you’ll need to take baby steps. Maybe tomorrow, nurse and then sing a song and put him down. Then after he gets used to that, do bath, pajamas, nurse, book, songs/rocking, bed. Etc.

I know this sounds overwhelming and awful. But I am sure that if you get him going down awake at night, the night wakings will get better. 

Feel free to ask questions, or I’m also happy to PM with you and help troubleshoot as you go through it. It was a really long journey for us, and I can’t say every night is a dream, but in general my guy sleeps through the night, and our schedule at 7 months was about what yours is now. I’m also not anti-CIO, but I do think there are a lot of things you can do to improve your situation without it. 

Hope that helps 🙂

Post # 8
1483 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

View original reply
Bichon Frise: I sleep trained my son starting at 4.5 months, gently at first and then more strictly. He is 5.5 months now and has slept through the night all week this week. My pediatrician told me there’s no reason he needs to eat in the middle of the night anymore from a nutritional standpoint anyway.

I started eliminating feedings starting with the earliest waking to the last. I did this by gradually reducing the amount of food for a given feeding, then letting him CIO at increasing intervals, checking in, providing comfort. Each time I elimated a feeding it took on average 2 nights of crying (for about 30-60 min total, with check ins). It was hard, but I knew he wasn’t hungry bc in the next time I’d feed him, whenever that was, he would barely eat then fall asleep, then when he woke up for the morning he would smile and laugh and let me change his diaper before getting fussy. 

He’s a happy, cuddly well rested baby. Apparently many moms think I traumatized my kid, but I think I did what was best for both of us. He rarely needs me to get to sleep. For naps or nighttime. I also never nurse him to sleep for naptimes and out him down awake. I’m sure he’ll have sleep regressions every now and then but I don’t regret it one bit. I know all babies are different, but this worked for me. I would consider CIO. Ferber’s book is more compassionate than i assumed it was after all the fear mongering I hear on parenting websites. Best of luck! 

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 9 months ago by  sept22insf.
  • This reply was modified 6 years, 9 months ago by  sept22insf.
Post # 9
131 posts
Blushing bee

I’m sorry your having to go through this! My son who’s 18 months is exactly the same! He never has been a good sleeper! It’s hard to go through but what you need to remember is…. They are only little once and it’s not for very long at all! 

This is what has been keeping me going especially since there is only 14 months between my son and youngest daughter who is a fab sleeper but a nightmare to get to sleep! 

They soon grow out of wanting to be nursed to sleep or held and rocked to sleep! My 5 year old puts herself to bed at night and she would never sleep unless being cuddled! 

All babies are different! But what I find helps my youngest 2 is putting the Hoover around for an hour before bed time the white noise seems to help settle them!

Hope you find something that works for you but don’t forget they’re not babies long! X

Post # 10
2810 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I think you have recieved some really great advice so far. The one thing I would caution against is “Sleep training.” When somone is giving you advice to do that, it is essentially CIO (which I don’t completely agree with, especially when the person who recommended Ferber’s “trained” their baby at 4-5 months, when the reccommendation is not to start until at least 6mo…..)

My own daughter was breastfed until she was 14mo, and had a lot of these “phases” where she would be up all night long wanting to nurse for comfort. The biggest change for us in terms of her sleeping, was when I stopped BFing at night. That might not be something you are ready for, but for us, that really improved her sleeping. It was tough for the first night or two, but she got over it really quick, and has been a great sleeper since.

Maybe that’s the direction you could take with the rocking and nursing? Just cut it off. Go in, talk to baby, let him know you are there, but leave it at that. It will be very challenging at first, but within a couple days, you may find success.

I do hope you can find something that works for you an baby. They are all so individual! I know how exhausting and frustrating it can be. My child was a great sleeper up until she hit 2-3 months, and then until she was 14 months, I was up every 2-3 hours with her.

The silver lining: She is now 2.5 and goes to bed easilt with no fight, and RARELY wakes up until morning (which for her is about 5:30-6).

It will get better!

Post # 15
1462 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

View original reply
Bichon Frise:  FWIW there is a TONNE of development going on at this age – solids, crawling, teething, wonder weeks, vocalising, separation anxiety – and it can really do a number on their sleep!

Is co-sleeping or bed-sharing an option for you? My LO stopped sleeping at around 6-7 months and nursing to sleep and bed-sharing really helped us get through it (I know, such a rule breaker!).

Just a couple of thoughts / suggestions for you:

  • How is your day-time routine? Are you fairly consistent with how your day likes? A consistent routine can be a big help
  • Is your LO having enough solids during the day?
  • Does your LO get outside in the fresh air during the day? Getting them outside can do wonders for tiring them out at night!
  • You could try re-settling without feeding before a certain time (say midnight) then pushing back that time once he gets the hang of not being fed. You can still rock or bounce to sleep – one thing at a time!

Hang in there Mama, this too shall pass!

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