Parents have already experienced sleep regression and know what it is by the age of 9 months. Sleep disturbances can occur at any time during the growing up of a child. 9 months is not an exclusion period. The intensive growth and development of the child continue.
Signs of regression in a child of 9 months will not differ significantly from other periods. There is a failure in sleep and rest, capriciousness, and refusal of daytime sleep. The situation is slightly facilitated by the fact that the baby has already grown up enough and it has become easier to understand him.
The child experiences significant cognitive and physiological changes. This is what leads to sleep regression.
Symptoms of Sleep Regression
All previous sleep regressions in the baby were marked by very specific symptoms. Parents had to get used to them and know how to weaken their influence. Symptoms are always uniform and differ in the suddenness of the onset.
The main 9 months sleep regression symptoms:
- Very frequent awakenings at night
- A long process of going to sleep
- The child becomes fussy
- Short naps during the day or complete refusal of sleep
- Strong resistance to sleep
- Constant crying
- Sudden interruptions in sleep
Do not confuse regression with other reactions of the body with pain, abdominal discomfort, fever, neurotic disorders. The child is well developed and communicative at 9 months. He will immediately let you know about any discomfort that he is experiencing.
Does Every Child Have Regression?
Sleep regression is a completely normal stage in a child’s physical development. It occurs during a period of strong growth spurts and the acquisition of new skills. This phenomenon has long been observed by doctors and they are trying to convince parents that this is the norm.
There is no exact data on what determines the severity of regression in infants. Presumably, these are the individual characteristics of the organism, its endurance and tendency to react sensitively to sudden changes.
It is well known that all children go through sleep regression to varying degrees. Regression can cause significant disruptions in sleep and rest, or proceed quite smoothly and imperceptibly.
Night and Nap Changes During 9 Month Sleep Regression
The most optimal for a child of 9 months is a regimen that includes two daytime periods of sleep of 1-1.5 hours each. A common symptom during the regression period is the shortening of sleep. It is better to lay the baby for the 3rd time in this case. The total duration of sleep during the day should be at least 2 hours.
The sleep regression at 9 months leads to the fact that children begin to refuse daytime sleep. This should not be allowed because overwork can easily occur. In 70% of cases, nine-month-old babies are already able to sleep through the night.
The total duration of sleep at night at this age should be 11-12 hours. Not every child can sleep without awakening. Some need to refresh themselves and someone may not sleep due to discomfort. The number of awakenings at 9 months should be minimal.
Development Changes That Cause Sleep Regression at 9 Month
Significant physiological, behavioral, and cognitive achievements of the child of 9 months cause a vivid manifestation of sleep regression. The baby needs some time to readjust. Development goes according to plan and not always smoothly. Techniques for adapting to new conditions are sometimes reactive.
Consider the major developmental changes that can cause sleep regression at 9 months:
The nervous system of a 9-month-old baby can be heavily overloaded during the day. The baby receives a lot of information and his brain does not have time to process it. The high degree of impressionability of children of this age puts them at risk. Many begin to scream in their sleep, turn around, wake up often and cry.
Toddlers are frightened of many things and they can dream about them again at night. There is a strong disruption of night sleep in such situations.
2. Strong affection
The baby goes through a very important stage of psychological maturation at 9 months – the fear of separation from the mother. The child strongly opposes this stage and reluctantly lets his mother away from him. There are whims and crying if the mother does not pick up.
The child is nervous and calls for his mother when she leaves the room. He very often wakes up at night to make sure that his mother is nearby. All this directly affects the quality and quantity of sleep.
The activity of the child by 9 months increases very much. Children of this age already sit well, crawl quickly, rise at the support, and try to walk. Increased physical activity can cause severe fatigue.
It is necessary to carefully monitor the ratio of sleep and wakefulness so that the child does not overwork. A tired baby will find it extremely difficult to fall asleep at night.
Nine-month-old babies are very sensitive to everything. This applies not only to pain but also to the vulnerability of the nervous system. You may notice that a small child of 9 months is sometimes able to cry at the slightest careless touch. He is already well aware of his boundaries and defends them.
The baby may show a violent emotional reaction if you do not give him the toy he asks for in time. The first grievances are a new skill for the baby. Sensitivity to everything that happens around is the cause of overexcitation of the nervous system. It results in sleep problems.
5. Development of the senses
The knowledge of the world by a child directly depends on the development of the sense organs. At the age of 9 months, a baby has good eyesight, sharp hearing, and a developed sense of touch. All senses are involved to get a vivid picture of the world. This creates conditions for strong overexcitation.
The brain needs a sufficient amount of sleep to process the information received in a calm state. New neural connections are formed, which greatly affects sleep.
6. Active teething
The child already has 1 – 2 teeth at 9 months. The process of teething does not end. The appearance of all teeth is delayed up to 2.5 and even 3 years. The process is very active, causing severe itching and pain.
The discomfort from teething keeps the baby up all night. The baby tosses and turns cries, and often wakes up. He seeks comfort and helps from his parents.
7. Risk of low iron levels in the blood
The age of 9 months is mandatory for a hemoglobin test. It is during this period that the baby may suffer from anemia. This is a feature of growth and development, which is due to both malnutrition and internal processes.
Be sure to start giving your baby meat from 8 months. A sharp decrease in hemoglobin is fraught with anemia, poor health, and dizziness. The child will be weak and very vulnerable. It will be difficult for him to fall asleep or dreams will begin to drag on for a long time.
How Long Does Sleep Regression Last?
Sleep regression in a child begins with a new round in development. Sharp growth spurts, physical skills, emotional reactions, and other achievements put the baby in conditions of urgent adaptation. It is immediately required to take some measures to get used to the new conditions. Sleep regression occurs at this point.
The duration of this stage cannot be predicted. There are only observations that confirm that regression can occur from 2 to 4 weeks. How long this period will go for you is difficult to say. Too many external factors and individual characteristics affect sleep regression.
The end of the sleep regression is determined by the complete adaptation of the child’s body to its new achievements and physiological changes.
How to Deal with 9 Month Sleep Regression
Mom should have a whole arsenal of techniques to combat sleep regression by the age of nine months. Some passed the selection, some turned out to be completely useless. This is not the first regression in a child’s life, and you already have experience in improving sleep. Always remember that no one is better able to support a child in his periods of crisis than a mother.
Keep a sleep routine
Do not give up even if the sleep regression passes with obvious symptoms and there are severe disruptions in sleep patterns. Be flexible and adapt to new conditions.
Did your child sleep badly at night? Waking up often? Try letting him sleep longer in the morning and cut out one afternoon nap. Has his daytime naps become short? Add another nap, also short. Lack of sleep during the day directly affects sleep at night.
Monitor child’s nutrition
The child of 9 months is extremely active. He spends an unthinkable amount of energy during the day. He needs to adequately replenish his resources. Be attentive to the baby and do not let him starve.
Many already give up breastfeeding at 9 months in favor of complementary foods. We do not recommend this. It is better to leave both the breast and complementary foods. Age is dangerous with a sharp decrease in hemoglobin, so it is better to play it safe.
Make sure your child is full before bed. This will make it much easier for him to fall asleep and prolong the duration of sleep.
Remove all distractions
It doesn’t matter if it’s daytime or nighttime. At the time of laying next to the baby should not be any distracting objects. This refers to gadgets, musical and ordinary toys, bright objects, books, lamps, and so on. Anything that can cause his violent reaction and interest.
The child should be focused only on the process of falling asleep and relaxing and not switch attention.
Many mothers try to sleep without a diaper at 9 months, especially if they have girls. This is a very good practice to allow the skin to breathe and avoid diaper rash. This may become an unjustified decision during the regression period.
The diaper helps keep the skin dry and keeps the baby from waking up if he has done his chores at night. This gives him extra hours of sleep in a row. Always keep the diaper dry and don’t let it get too full.
Only a crib
Try to put your baby to sleep exclusively in the crib. It will help solve a million problems in the future. It is better not to combine weaning and transition to a separate bed. You will not expect peace for a very long time if these processes also coincide with regression.
Stop putting the baby to sleep in a stroller or baby rockers for lulling. The child is already old enough to practice falling asleep on his own. Sleep in a baby should not be associated with movement.
Daily physical activity
Make sure that child is getting enough energy during the day. The baby is hyperactive at 9 months: he is playful, dynamic, mobile, not assiduous, puzzled by new goals. Let him move as much as possible throughout the day. Do not shackle him to sit in a stroller or high chair.
Let the child control the entire surface of the floor. Let him travel around the rooms, crawl as often as possible, and practice his first steps. The more tired he is during the day when he is awake, the more soundly he will sleep at night.
Physical activity should be very high. Remember that overworking the baby is impossible. Only justified load with periods of rest is appropriate.
Plan all physical exercises and workouts for the afternoon. There must be sleep afterward. It is better to fill the first half of the day with cognitive activities: reading books, examining objects by touch, and developing motor skills. Watch your child and notice signs of fatigue. They are the main signal to give the child rest.
FAQ about 9 Month Sleep Regression
Q1: The child is 9 months old. He sleeps normally during the day, but at night he doesn’t want to fall asleep at all, what should I do?
A1: Reconsider the mode of the day. Perhaps you have too short an interval between the last daytime sleep and going to bed at night. Remember that there should be high activity during the day, and maximum slowdown before bed at night. Make sure your baby is comfortable: dry, well-fed, warm, and not in pain.
Q2: A child at 9 months sleeps well, sometimes badly. What is it connected with?
A2: Most likely, this is how he adapts. Spasmodic development leads to a period of addiction.
Another option is regime instability. The child will sleep well if the norms of sleep and differentiation from wakefulness are observed in the regimen. The child stops sleeping when he is overtired. Carefully follow the regime, paying attention to the morning wake-up time.
Q3: We have not seen a regression since 4 months. This is fine?
A3: Yes, it is quite normal that you do not experience severe symptoms of sleep disorders. Perhaps the baby has learned to quickly adapt. Sleep regression may go unnoticed. A noticeable regression in a child may appear at 12 months.
Q4: My 9-month-old daughter completely refuses to sleep during the day. Is it a regression? What to do?
A4: With a high degree of probability – this is a sleep regression. Try adjusting her daytime sleep patterns. Perhaps the baby is not active enough during the daytime. May spend a lot of time in a wheelchair or a seated position.
Engage in motor skills training, read more, regulate the activity, and rest. Always offer to sleep even if he refuses. Take a break and offer again.
Q5: How many regressions are there? We never run out of them.
A5: The number of regressions is an individual indicator. Sleep regression occurs at 4,6,9,12 months.
Maybe not sleep regression but its consequences. It is necessary to adjust the daily routine after each sleep regression. Otherwise, it is fraught with the fact that you will not see the boundaries between regressions.
Q6: Should we return the baby to his crib at 9 months if we have a sleep regression?
A6: The child should sleep in his crib. After a year, it will be extremely difficult to return him there.
When the symptoms of sleep regression are very pronounced and the baby does not let you sleep at night, it is not worth the risk. Let him survive the acute period of regression next to you. Transfer the baby to a personal crib as soon as you notice the improvement in sleep. Further, it will be easier.