9-12 Month Baby Sleep Guide

sleep guide for older babiesThis is it parenting peeps, the last few legs of the race. Enjoy these last days of being a parent of a BABY because in mere seconds you will be the proud parent of a TODDLER. Your older baby is no longer a screaming mess of short naps and blowout poops. Your baby is NOW a delightful smiling, laughing, ball of cute baby chub and tickle toes. Seriously, there is nothing better than a 9 month old baby. Absolutely nothing.

Things That Are Normal for 9-12 Month Old Babies

  • Bedtime is pleasant and happening at a reasonably consistent time each day somewhere near(ish) to 7:30 PM.
  • Baby is taking 2 consistent long(ish) naps a day.
  • Baby may still need a 3rd nap although this may vary from day to day. It’s generally short, maybe as little as 10-20 minutes. Also the 3rd nap is unlikely to happen in the crib so you may need a stroller walk/baby wearing/car ride to make it happen.
  • Baby is enjoying solid food and finger foods – YAY!
  • Baby is sleeping ~11 hours a night – YAY!
  • Baby is eating 0-1 times at night.
  • Baby is falling asleep on their own at bedtime and naptime.
  • Baby is sleeping where you would like them to sleep (crib or co-sleeping).
  • Baby is done with most sleep aids (swing, swaddle, pacifier) but is still happy with a dark room, loud white noise, and possibly a lovey.

This may not describe your baby which is OK. Baby sleep is not like a race. What matters is that you DO cross the finish line, not WHEN you cross the finish line.

If your older baby is still up all night, taking short crappy naps, and struggles to go to sleep at bedtime, then start reading here:
How to Get Baby to Sleep Through the Night – Part 1
How to Get Baby to Sleep Through the Night – Part 2
How to Get Baby to Sleep Through the Night – Part 3

If your baby is 9-12 months old and sleep is still a misery (20 minute naps, bedtime battles, baby up all night, unwilling co-sleeping, only sleeps on Mom’s boob, etc.) then it may be time to consider sleep training. If you’re curious and want to learn more you can find everything I’ve written about cry it out here.

Further Reading

How and Why to Use and Loose the Paci
Weaning Baby OFF the Swing
When Night Weaning isn’t Working
Bedtime What Time?
Why Your Baby Hates the Crib
What to Do About Short Naps
Are You Keeping Baby Awake Too Long?
Why You Need White Noise
And of course the ever popular – Baby Sleep What is Normal?
{Photo credit: Lisa Stout}



  1. My son is 11 months old today, and has been a great sleeper from about 3 months old until a few weeks ago. He still sleeps great at night, and usually takes 2 naps a day, but for the last 8-10 days, he has been fighting his afternoon nap (ie-he’ll play in his crib for an hour, or just fuss for about 30 min), or he will take a very short one, and then wake up very fussy. Unless, however, he is in the car. Then he will sleep for about an hour. My question is, how do you know if your baby is ready to do the 2-1 transition, and how do you do it? Here is what his schedule looked like before the nap fighting:

    WU: 6/630
    Nap1: 830/9-930/10
    Nap2: 1/130-2/230
    Bed: 5:55, ASLEEP by 6:15pm

    NOW, it look

    He still seems tired for his morning nap around 830/9, so I’m having trouble extending it. Any tips for tricks? Also, once you transition to 1 nap, what happens if he wakes up for some reason around 530(he still tends to do that occasionally), and needs a nap earlier than usual? Do you try to get 2 naps in there?

  2. *sorry, 11 month old fingers hit the button too soon…

    NOW, his schedule looks like:

    WU: 630/7
    Nap1: 9-1015
    Nap2: 115 in crib, but plays around until 215
    Bedtime: 545pm

    I know he’s not getting enough daytime sleep, and his wake time between the nap and bedtime is too long, but I’m not sure what to do. Can you help?!?!??!

    • Hi Allison,
      Did you ever get an answer on this? Our 11 mo old son is doing the exact same thing. He has been chatting with himself in his crib for an hour now, not wanting to take his (usually consistent) afternoon nap. He was vigorously rubbing his eyes before I put him down, so I know he will be tired! He usually goes to bed around 5:45/6, and I really don’t want to have to go earlier. Would love to hear if you found a solution!


    • I’m realizing how long ago you posted this, so maybe you don’t even remember :)

  3. Hi Alexis,

    Thanks again for everything you do here and all your hard work! It’s been really invaluable to me over the past several months!

    My son is almost 9 months. He’s always been a good napper but never a great night sleeper. He does put himself to sleep for both naps and nighttime about 98% of the time. Occasionally if he’s restless or something we may have to go in once to help him get in a comfy position, but we never stay for long and it happens rarely now. However, he still wakes up at least twice a nice, sometimes more, between bedtime at 7-7.30pm and wakeup at about 6.30am. A few times he’s only woken up once, but that’s rare. I try to only feed him once a night, but sometimes I have to do more, when it’s the only thing that will calm him after we try other things.

    I guess I’m just not sure if this is something he’ll figure out on his own, particularly if I try a bit harder to night wean him or if there’s something else we should be doing. I’ve read a few of the sleep books (Pantley, Weissbluth, Mindell) and they all stress that the beginning of the night is the most important. I’m not against letting him cry a bit, but I also don’t really want to just ignore him either when he calls for us in the middle of the night. If you have any thoughts or suggestions on if there’s something else we should be doing to battle these night wakings, I would very much appreciate it!


  4. I am in the same boat as Ashley, who commented above. 9 month old baby sleeps fine for naps and goes to bed without assistance. But between 9 and midnight she typically wakes up 2-4 times. Sometimes she just wants her paci. Sometimes she wants to be rocked. Should we use CIO for these nighttime wakings too?

  5. Hi Alexis, I have the same questions as Allison regarding the dropping of the second nap. My 10 1/2 month old has been a pretty good sleeper since we started a bedtime/naptime routine at maybe 5 months old, based on your advice back then. (Thank you!!) Bath is 6pm, asleep by 6:30 or 7, and she’ll sleep until 7 or 7;30 with one or two small night feeds. She used to have 3 hours of daytime sleep, spread out over 2 naps. Recently she started sleeping 2 to 2 1/2 hours in her first nap instead of just one hour, and now she’s wide awake all afternoon. I still try to put her to bed in the afternoon but she fights it so much that there’s no chance. If she DOES sleep in the afternoon, it’s for a good 90 minutes, waking up at 5:30pm and pushing bedtime back until 7:30 or 8pm. And she still wakes up at the same time in the morning!

    So, do we stop trying to force the second nap?? Being awake from 1 til 6 is a long time but it seems to be working for her (although I can see a lull about halfway through where she does get tired, but refuses to go to sleep). Should I take advantage of this tired lull and take her for a drive to put her to sleep for an hour?

    Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Jessica- our daughter dropped to one nap at 11 months. Schedule had been 7 am wake up, 10-1130 nap, 230-400 nap, 7 pm bed. We ended up pushing back the morning nap- so now she sleeps from about 1200-200. For the first week she was a little fussy before nap but she adjusted quickly (and if we tried to put her down earlier to give her time for two naps would just play in her crib). She still gets b/w 14-15 hrs of sleep a day, which is on the high end. And it varies- sometimes she wakes up before 7, or is ready for nap at 1130 (even after waking up at 730), or sleeps for 3 hrs, or wants to go to bed at 630. We just try to roll with it and adjust if she seems like she needs more rest that day.
      Good luck! We are loving the one nap thing. We feel like there is actually time to go places :)

  6. I am also trying to get my 10-month old to sleep better so thought I would chime in with the above comments.

    With respect to Jessica’s post, I just wanted to point out that Weissbluth recommends waking the baby from the first nap IF necessary to protect the second nap. We went through a phase where my guy would sleep too long in the am, and after gently waking him a few times (after about 1.5 hours of sleep) that seemed to steer his second nap back on course, which helped the overall sleep schedule.

    Anyways, I wanted to comment because nighttime sleep is still such a mess. We used CIO with great success at 8 months, but it didn’t stop his night wakings. Even though he learned to fall asleep by himself at the beginning of the night (at 7 pm), he still wakes to eat at least twice a night.

    Here is the kicker -he used to just fall asleep after a quick nurse, which I could live with, but NOW… torture. He wakes and can’t (won’t?) fall asleep for about an hour, no matter what we do to sooth him (nursing, rocking, singing, pacing). He’s been a little bonkers the past few weeks (a cold, teething) so maybe we’ve let some bad habits creep in? or maybe he still has a strong nurse-sleep association? Also, I started to gradually weaning him to the bottle this past week, and I am worried that the weaning process is blowing up his sleep. We are exhausted. At our nine-month visit, the pediatrician suggested just leaving him to cry when he wakes, but I am unwilling to do that.

    This blog has been such a great resource, and really helped convince me to try CIO. I can’t thank you enough for that!

    • Kate, I am in the same boat! I have an 8 month old and she would take 2 great naps a day, in bed by 7:30, up once for a bottle, back to sleep until about 7. NOW….still naps, still in bed by 7:30 but when she wakes up she does not want to go back to sleep!! A couple nights it’s been 2 hours! We did CIO around 5 months and it was great for us and she was starting to sleep through the night and we were finally on track! Well now she started to crawl and refusing a bottle at night, which is great. But then she started refusing the bottle all together. We ended up taking her to our ped and he said she is teething really bad right now and also with her crawling, she is basically having a regression. He said it should pass and she is probably waking up in pain too at night. I hope he is right.
      I am going to give it another week and possibly CIO during the night. Did you end up doing that? I am also afraid because if she is hurting…how can I let her cry?

      • We ended up losing sleep for two weeks or maybe more, but it passed! I decided that our little guy needed some extra soothing, for whatever reason, so at his night wakings I would rock him for an hour or even more. He would not fall asleep while I rocked him, however, so I did have to eventually put him back into his crib and he would cry himself to sleep. I tried to do as much for him as I could without just letting him stay up all night – the bottom line was, he refused to fall asleep in my arms, so he had to cry some to get to sleep.
        Hang in there! If you stick with it I bet you can get her back into that crib. Have you tried Tylenol? In retrospect, we probably should have used some pain relief medication.

  7. So my 9 month old falls asleep on me while feeding and I put him down in his crib and this is usually around 9 he will not sleep any earlier than this and for me this is a good bedtime for the little guy. He wakes at 2 for a feeding and diaper and is back to sleep no problems and is asleep til 7am when his daddy gets home from work. And then normal naptime around 930/10ish and has another in the afternoon between 2/3ish. The problem is he won’t go to sleep alone in his crib without his bottle nor will he at 2am at his normal feeding time. I have neighbors on each side of my apartment and can’t just let him cry like I do during the day. These ppl have lives and need to sleep too. So I give in and just give him his bottle and let him fall asleep with it. I would love to work on getting rid of the bottle before he falls asleep then work on the 2 am waking. What would be the best way of going about this? Any comments are very welcomed! Thanks Jessica

  8. Hi there. Thanks so much for this site!

    I did CIO with my son when he was 5 months old (he is almost 11 months old now) and he now gets up once per night for a feed and then back to bed usually until 7ish – though there are phases when this changes. His naps are a bit hit or miss.

    Lately he goes to sleep between 7 and 7:30 and usually sleeps til 4:30 or 5, then nurses and goes back to bed until 7 or 7:30. Is this considered sleeping through the night, or should he be able to sleep right through until 7 now? How would I go about cutting out that middle of the night feed? If I go in and sooth him, he flips out unless I nurse him. He also isn’t attached to any blanket or stuffed animal, and doesn’t suck his thumb, so doesn’t seem to have any way to sooth himself. He either goes to sleep or he doesn’t. I don’t plan to breasfeed much past a year, so I am worried about what I would do when he wakes up in the middle of the night. I guess I’d just let him CIO again?

    Also, his naps are kind of hit or miss. He has been sick and I have been nursing him to sleep before naps because I felt bad letting him CIO. Probably not a great idea. Should I just avoid nursing him before naps period? I find that if he doesn’t fall asleep, and I take him off to put him in the crib, he gets really upset. I feel like he will just cry forever for naps for some reason. What is a good routine for a nap, and do you apply the same principles to naps?

    Sorry if this is a bit jumbled!

    • Amanda,
      I am in the same boat right now to a T. 11 Mo, wakes every day 4:30 or 5, I nurse, she sleeps till about 7. I have also been nursing to sleep for naps but every now and then I don’t and it just takes lots of rocking/walking to get her to sleep but if she is not asleep when I set her down to nap she cries a lot. I have let her cry 45 min or so but then I feel bad and I rock her like 2 seconds she is asleep.
      Anyway I want to hear how your story resolved because I also plan to wean next month and am dreading having to make a bottle of milk at 4:30 am for the rest of my life.

  9. Hi, thank-you so much for this site.

    I am on night 6 of sleep-training my almost 11 month old daughter. I really appreciated the sleep training two part story because it felt like I was reading about myself. I was sure attachment parenting was for me. We have bed-shared with our daughter since she started sleeping poorly at about 3 months. I actually enjoyed it for most of that time until about the 9 month mark. She started to wake up more and more often to nurse and I was just not getting any sleep. Something had to be done. I knew after spending hours researching different sleep-training methods that full-on extinction was the only thing I could do. I know my daughter…she is a taurus!

    Things went better than I thought they would. 30 mins crying night #1 and then slept from 7-3. I fed her without her falling asleep (because I was not planning on night-weaning yet) and she did cry for 10 mins and then slept until 7am. I was very happy with that. The next night was even better. 15 mins of crying and slept straight through from 7-6. I don’t mind waking up early so we do start the day at 6 if that’s when she is up.

    So, today we have just started night #6 and although things have been ok I do feel like her intensity of crying is quite…well, intense. She cries pretty hard. Not really just a protest but VERY loud and screamy. Having said that, that is kind of her cry.

    So, I guess I am happy that she is doing so great as far as sleeping through the night. Last night she went to bed early because her naps sucked and she slept straight through from 6:30 to 6 am! But, will she ever be ok with going to bed? ie. not screaming? Is that normal after 6 nights? As soon as her bedtime routine is winding down she knows what is coming and she starts to cry before we even put her in the crib. It’s breaking my heart. Am I doing something wrong? Is this not for her?

    Thoughts or experiences greatly appreciated!


    • I had this happen. Around 11 months, separation anxiety could be setting in. My son had it for well over a month, from about 9.5 to 11 mos. I did not let him CIO. It was those two months that I rocked my baby to almost asleep and then put him in his crib, rubbed his back as he turned over and helped him to sleep that way. So, the last thing he remembered was his head on crib mattress. It’s ok to stay and rub your baby’s back from comfort, you don’t have to leave them to cry to teach to sleep in the crib ;)Good luck, and please respond to your screaming baby. I think she just wants more mama cuddles before bed. Babies outgrow everything! And fall into new patterns often.

  10. Amanda:

    I read your post and I can offer some input although I am no expert just someone who’s done a lot of reading.

    First on your 11 month old stopping the 5 am nursing session- I think it is quite common for babies even over 1 to still want to nurse once/night. But I hear what your saying and I’m sure there are ways to start to stretch that feeding later…it could totally just be his habit now. I’m sorry I don’t know much about that. I am just thrilled that my lo can make it until 5 without a feed at this point!

    I think naps are a lot trickier. I did start nap training today as well. I have always nursed and then rocked my lo to sleep and she usually napped fairly well that way. But since we started night sleep training I have found it isn’t working anymore. I had planned to wait a few weeks to nap train thinking she needed as much nap time as possible so the night would go well but she started to protest when I was rocking her and she just seemed to not be able to get comfortable and then when she would fall asleep her nap was too short. So, this afternoon I just bit-the-bullet and put her in her crib. It was getting to the point where I could tell she was getting overtired and so I just put her in her crib. She cried about 10 mins and then slept for about 40 so I went in and let her know I was still here but then I left again. She cried again for 8 but then slept for 45. It was so hard. This whole process is so hard. From what I’ve read, for naps you do your preferred method: extinction or leave and check. You do this for the total amount of time that you want them to nap for so at least an hour. Dr. Weissbluth the author of “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby”, says to let them cry for an hour but no more. I could not have done that but thankfully I did not have to. You may just have to try it because I was surprised it only took her 10 mins.

    Oh, back to your question about the 5 am feed. What I did for the first night of sleep- training was when she woke at 3 am I waited about 5 mins before I went in and then fed her and put her right back in crib awake. Yes, she did cry for about 10 mins but then she slept until 7am. And for the next 5 nights she has not woken up once during the night. So, it may just be a habit you have to break. You should probably try and do some reading on nap-training before jumping into it. I found the above mentioned book to be quite useful.

    I hope that makes some sense. Like I said, I am no expert I’ve just done a lot of reading.

  11. Thank you so much for this site and your wisdom! It was key to ourcsurvival and getting things right when we had a newborn. Fortunately , we have had a happy baby who’s been a great sleeper more months and months. She’s 11 mo and just started waking earlier and earlier each day. We’ve tried everything– her rm is dark, earlier bedtime, later bedtime, etc. She follows the 9-12 mo schedule with two good naps at the right time… So I’m stuck! She just started walking this week and has been having tooth pain but I don’t know that that’s it because she doesn’t wake at all st night. I’d be so grateful for any insights. Thank you!

  12. My baby isaac is 9months he used to sleep during the day from anywhere around 1/1/2 to 2 hours now its only 1 hour, he does sleep during the nights but at times he wakes up but eventually puts himself to sleep.
    Usually I feed him formula at 7am then breaky at 8:30am -Nap at 10:30am with milk 2pm lunch 3pm nap dinner at 6pm bath 7 then 7:30pm sleep time…
    How do I get him to sleep longer during the day as he wakes up after an hour crying when his naps used to be longer!!!

  13. Hey Alexis, and everyone!
    I just wanted to leave a comment/question. I have a 9 month old daughter and we did the Ferber method when she was 7 months old thanks to this site! I did nights and naps all at once because she was a paci addict lol. Well after two weeks everything came together and we had 12 hr nights and slowly we moved to 2 naps the first being 1- 1 1/2 hours and the second being 45 to 1hour. I was happy with that but within the last two weeks her naps have been hit or miss and somedays she only takes 30 min naps even though I leave the whole hour hoping she will fall back asleep. Then that throws off our whole day and she’s super cranky.
    Anyone know what this is all about??? I feel like I’m going crazy!

    Thanks for any advice. On a side note its not teeth or illness

  14. My daughter is 9 months old and has been a poor sleeper since 2 weeks old. She is #3 for us and we all live in a tiny house, so crying it out at night is not really an option.

    She naps great during the day….morning, mid/afternoon, and sometimes a late afternoon nap. She goes down great for all naps and for the beginning of the night. Then 1-3 hours after bedtime it starts…the screaming/waking. It goes from around 9/10pm until 4am. Sometimes she will go 1 hour without waking, but usually it is 15-45 minutes at a time of sleep. She doesn’t just fuss, she screams. The doctors have labeled it “colick” all the way up to her 6month appt. They say that some babies are just really colicky for a long time. I have tried co-sleeping, but she does not sleep if she is near me. She just “talks” and pats my face/back/arm. She used to fall asleep if I nursed her during the night (I know, bad habit) but now she even stays awake through that.

    I have 2 other children and do not get to nap. My husband works hard manual labor during the day and cannot help at night. I am losing my mind over the lack of sleep. Any thoughts?

  15. Bedtime and naptime with my 9.5 month old went from a happy extremely predictable time where he was always happily going to sleep on his own (for months) to changing over night! He had been pulling himself up on all kinds of things for a while now but just starting doing it in his bed this weekend. Immediately stands up when I put him in bed and SCREAMS! Won’t sit down. I know he is exhausted because as soon as I pick up him he lays his head on my shoulder and goes to sleep. But then try to put him down, it starts all over again! I am wary of starting bad habits that didn’t exist before but its very hard for me to leave him standing and crying! I am really afraid he’s going to hit is head! Is this something to ride out and the novelty will wear off for him? Any tips are appreciated!

    • I have this exact problem with my 12 month old son! He stands up in the crib as soon as I put him down and cries. I’ve tried letting him cry but he is so stubborn and will stand and cry for a very long time. Did you find anything that worked?


  16. Hi, great site! I have learned so much!

    We’re having an early morning waking problem. The last 4 am feed dropped around 8 months and things were great for a few weeks but then baby would start waking up at 6 am or earlier. I would go back in to feed him so that he would go back to sleep until the desired wake-up time of 7am (after 8pm bedtime) but at around 9 months that stopped working too. These days (at 10 months) he has regularly been waking up between 5 and 5:30. For the last few days we have been trying to consistently do the following: if wake-up is before 6 am, go in and give him a pat and leave the room. He’s usually standing in the crib and gets upset for about 30 seconds but doesn’t cry for very long. He then tries to sleep but has not succeeded. At 6am, we grumble, go in and start the day.

    We feel there are a few possible contributing factors. One is he’s been napping crappy in his new mobile infant room at daycare, and so he often falls asleep on the way home around 5:30ish. The late nap doesn’t affect bedtime too much (some times we push back to 8:30) but we feel may be substituting for some of the early morning sleep. He also tends to fall asleep in the car on the way TO daycare at 8ish on days that he wakes up before 6. We’ve been trying to talk to him or even reach back and nudge him to keep him awake in the car but it’s impossible! The second is a possible eat-sleep association, so we’ve moved the bedtime feed to be before bath time and added a book before putting him in the crib (at which point he falls asleep easily).

    I feel like I shouldn’t be complaining since he sleeps fine from 8-5ish but he’s only getting about 10.5-11 hours a sleep/day and it’s really hard to make it through the work day with the early morning wake up! Help!

  17. Hello!
    I am an avid reader of your website and have learned so much about sleep this past year. Yes, I said year! I thought I was pretty much done with worrying about it, as everything was great (in bed awake, no more nursing, etc). BUT these last few nights/naps my little guy (he’s almost 15 months) screams like he is dying. Right now, he is still standing up screaming 30 minutes after I left his room. He has never done this before. If I go in and pick him up, he will cuddle and fall asleep within minutes. I know this because I did it last night and at nap time today. This morning, he threw a tantrum in his crib. After he sat down, he laid on his back and his arms and legs were flailing. I’ve never seen this before! I’m pretty sure he’s teething, so I gave him advil before bed. I don’t want to start any bad habits, so I’m hesitant to go in and hold him again tonight (though I can put him down asleep and he’ll stay asleep all night-at least he did last night).
    Does anyone have any experience with this? Is there a 15 month sleep regression? He has been clingy lately. Just bad teething pain?
    Thank you in advance!

    • okay, so I don’t know how or why this whole mess started, but it is a mess and in 2 and a half days, I think I created a sleep monster. Last night, I went in after he threw himself against the crib and landed pretty hard on his head. Or so I thought, because when I picked him up he shut up immediately. However, I had to wait almost an hour before putting him down. He woke up at 10 because his white noise shut off (of all nights-this has never happened before) and he would not go back to sleep. After another dose of advil (just in case) I finally left him and he screamed until 1 am and fell asleep until 6:30. He woke up, sat up, sneezed and laid down/slept until 7:30. Hubby just put him down for his nap. He started his tantrum as soon as the book was done (never done this before. We’ve had this routine since 6 months). Finally, he left him to tantrum/scream in his crib. If he doesn’t sleep, how long do I leave him? an hour? at which point he skips the nap and we try again later? I know from reading here that when you attempt CIO you say protect the naps. I did that way back when we was 6 months and it was no problem, but this seems different. While I don’t want his sleep deprived, I also don’t want to reinforce this little (incredibly cute when he’s sleeping on you) sleep monster.
      Thanks to anyone who’s been through this.
      And I honestly don’t know why Wednesday night everything was “normal” and then Thursday he screamed bloody murder at bedtime and he’s been a mess since.

    • ” I’m hesitant to go in and hold him again tonight” Are you sure you love your baby? It looks like you are trying to avoid him…

      • I’m not sure why you would post a comment like that. By that I mean obviously meant to hurt someone’s feelings. The awesome thing about this website is that it provides positive support, and is filled with replies from moms trying to help other moms. Your comment is not helpful in the least, and was posted just to be hurtful. Luckily, most people know that if they don’t have anything nice to say, they shouldn’t say anything at all.

        • How come this website provides positive support be letting babies CIO? Is that how you are helping others?

          I don’t get it. I just can’t understand how you guys can hear your babies crying and not holding them? I really love how my baby calms when I pick him up. I will never let him CIO just because I am selfish and want to sleep all night. And yes, I hate this website and just came here to see what was it about. I wish I had never came here

          • Hey Carolina,
            Honestly? Yes. Sometimes. I try really hard to help people find tear-free ways to get everybody sleeping well. Because that’s my goal, that’s the parent’s goal, it’s really EVERYBODY’S goal. But it doesn’t always work out. And many times, CIO is better than whatever disastrous non-sleeping situation has led to CIO in the first place.

            Over a million people have come to my site. Maybe some of them are haters, who knows. But I do think and hope that I’ve helped a lot of people. I definitely know that everybody who comes looking for answers loves their baby.

            Let’s make sure we all hear that point because it’s key – EVERYBODY LOVES THEIR BABY.

            It’s unfair to suggest otherwise. It’s hurtful. And it makes you sound like a bully. You don’t have to agree with what I write about. But that doesn’t make it OK to be a bully.

            Helping your baby establish healthy sleep habits isn’t about being selfish. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that we’re raising a generation of chronically sleep-deprived kids. Our children get less sleep than any previous generation in known history. The result of this which is scientifically unarguable is that they are having more behavioral issues, incidence of ADHD, depression, childhood obesity, and poor academic performance.

            Helping your child get the sleep they need to thrive is absolutely critical. And I say “CHEERS!” to all the lovely parents who are committed to making sure that happens.

          • Carolina,
            One day your baby will cry a lot and there won’t be anything you can do about it, and I hope no one will tell you that you don’t love your baby because you will probably be feeling bad enough as it is that.

          • Carolina- The view from your high horse must be very lonely… I, for one, am incredibly thankful for any and all information I can get from those who have been there before me- whether I incorporate all, some or none into my life with my new baby, whom I love no less and no more than any other parent loves and adores their child. You don’t sound sorry for coming here, you sound proud of yourself that you can judge others for not having your same perspective. Please keep it to yourself next time.

  18. Hi,

    Thank you so much for this amazing site! I have a 9 month old that has been a great sleeper-I use white noise and have swaddled her. She always fell asleep nursing or burping after nursing. She recently has stopped falling asleep this way for her naps (still does for nighttime and sleeps fairly well-up 1-2 x for a few minutes-rock her and redo swaddle and back to sleep she goes). I then started rocking her or pushing her in the stroller to fall asleep. She liked this at first but then started crying even when I was holding her to fall asleep even though I could tell she was tired. If she feel asleep she usually woke up 30min later. Some days I just couldn’t get her to nap. Wished I knew about this website while she was still an infant-would have done a few things differently-but here I am. So I started a nap routine and then putting her in the crib to fall asleep on her own-crying it out (b/c I figured she was crying it out even when I was holding her!). The first time it took an hour for her to fall asleep. Then only 10 minutes. We have done this for over a week. It has gone up and down taking anywhere from 10min-45min for her to fall asleep. Does it ever get quicker? easier? less painful? I thought after a week she would be much quicker at falling asleep. She still takes crappy naps-30min. I hate that she has to cry for so long still to fall asleep and then not sleep that long.

  19. Same thing happened with me but after 10 days she goes to bed at night after only 3 minutes of crying now :) Yah! She freaks out when I put her in the bed though and it’s so hard for me to leave the room, but if I leave it takes about 1 minute of wailing- 1 minute of sobbing- 1 one minute of fussing and she is typically out. She sleeps from 7:30- 6pm yeah, I was so sleep deprived before this. However, her two naps are the same she crys for 5-10 minutes and only naps for 30 minutes or less 2x a day. I was thinking of just trying for one nap, does anyone have more success with this..she is only 9 months old? Any advice on day naps will be appreciated. She is still tired when she gets up after 30 minutes but will not go back down??

  20. I’m desperate for advice. I’ve been reading this website during my entire lunch hour after weeks of failure to sleep train my 11-month old baby girl. I never understood how people could let their babies CIO until now. I say that because I have exhausted every other means possible.

    My husband and I do not sleep together! Being a first time mom, I have probably broken every rule to teaching my baby girl to sleep at night. We co-sleep. By co-sleep, I mean her and I scrunched up in a twin sized bed in her room. I’m her soother. I think she truly wakes up around 11pm because she’s hungry (maybe I’m wrong?). She nurses and then falls back asleep. After that, she wakes up every couple of hours. She won’t go back to sleep without me. Literally, she attaches to my boob and falls right back to sleep. I’d hardly call it nursing. I think I’ve become her pacifier. This is also the reason we started co-sleeping. I can whip out a boob and fall back asleep. It’s funny and it’s not. It has become a real problem.

    My husband and I have been trying CIO and it’s not going well. I’ve been giving in every night because the love of my life sounds like a tiny lion being tortured. It breaks my heart to hear her so upset.

    What do I do? I’ve been begging my mom to spend a week with us only because I’m too weak for the torturous sounds coming from my sweet baby. Is that the solution? Let someone else sleep train my daughter?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    • I’d like to add that while I do love co-sleeping (who doesn’t like waking up to such deliciousness in the mornings?), my husband and I need to reconnect. We are desperate to have our room back again. Together.

  21. When can you stop worrying about sleep associations? If I start giving my 12 month old a dummy at night is he going to start waking looking for it every 45 minutes if he did at 4 months?

  22. Dear Alexis,

    Thanks so much I have been reading your blog since my bb girl was 2 months! :) Now’s she’s almost 11mo and is doing ALL the things on your checklist.
    But I have a question: Her pm nap starts around 2-3ish. If we stay at home all day she sometimes won’t sleep until around 4ish. IF we go out and she happens to be in car at around 2:30pm, she’d fall asleep no matter how i try to keep her up by handing her little treats (while racing home trying to get her in bed!). Before I used to drive around for 1.5 hours so she’d get a good nap in because i KNOW if i get home 15 mins after she fell asleep, she’d wake up super hyper and won’t go back to sleep…and I’d spend the next 3 hours TRYING, with her fussing and clingy won’t go to sleep and refused to be left alone.. (like today… :( ) Anyway to help her to go back to sleep at home even just slept 15mins in the car?? i’m so longing for that hour of free time to do other things at home while she sleeps… i can’t be locked up at home all day respecting her sleep hours (i REALLY try!!) or keeping outside activities to her window between naps. But it’s hard to be that EXACT. :( I try my best to keep her naps so she sleeps thru the night like she does now. Any suggestions?

    Thanks kindly! :)

  23. Hello Alexis,
    My baby had trouble sleeping since he was born (bad colic) and so I try to always follow a routine and be strict with naps because if he misses one nap then it takes a week to get him in to the right schedule again. His sleeping got better when he turned 9 months old.
    Two weeks ago he was down for the night at 6-6:30pm fell asleep by 7pm woke up at 6-6:30am
    down to nap 8:30am-9am (sleep for an hour or an hour and a half)
    second nap at 1pm and sleep by 1:30pm wake up 2:30pm.

    Now that he is 14 months almost 15 he rolls in bed at night sometimes for more than an hour before falling asleep around 7:30-8pm and wakes up at 5am or before 6am. Because he wakes up so early he is tired by 8am.

    I put him down at 8:30am and as soon as I put him down he falls sleep. in the beginning I will let him sleep for an hour and a half but then he does not want to nap in the afternoon so I started waking him up after an hour of napping which is 9:30am and then he started sleeping an hour and 20 min at noon (from 1 to 2:20pm! When he naps in the afternoon I put him down at 6:30pm and he falls sleep close to 8pm and he still wakes up before 6am…..what am I doing wrong? It’s taking him too long to fall sleep at night, why? I just want my son to be rested and happy in the morning! I thought he may need just one nap but today he just had one (11:50am to 1:50pm) and was cranky at 5:00pm put him down at 6pm and did not fall sleep until 7:30pm, I guess 7:30 is a good time to fall sleep but not if he wakes before 6am right? Help me please!!!

  24. Sleep training is not fair on your child, if you don’t believe methink so, read this http://www.alternative-mama.com/8-reasons-to-avoid-sleep-training-your-baby/

    • This article is terrible. Clearly who ever wrote this is an intern with no kids. I really would not take this seriously

    • Yeah I’m going to ditto the – no thanks – on that too. It takes a very narrow view and shares opinion, not science. And that’s OK – nobody’s trying to sell anybody on sleep training. You do what works for you. But it’s also not OK to look down on others who are doing what works for them.

      Also the title “reasons to avoid sleep training” is no accurate. Nobody debates the reasons to avoid sleep training. NO ONE wants to sleep train. EVERYBODY is working hard to avoid this. So the reasons to avoid it are obvious – everybody is looking for the gentle way to make positive change.

  25. Hi Alexis,
    My son is 17 months and has been great at napping on a regular schedule (around 9am and 2 pm daily). Recently he doesn’t want his 9am nap and wants to nap around 11am. He naps for about an hour. He still wants a second nap which turns out to be too late in the day (like 4pm). How do I get my child to nap longer at his first (and possibly only) nap each day? I have tried later nap times (anywhere b/w 11am-1:30pm) but he still usually only takes an hour nap and still wants another nap later. I just don’t want it to interfere with his bedtime which is b/w 7:30/8pm. So far bedtime hasn’t been thrown off much but I am hoping we can get back to a more predictable routine/schedule. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Jenny

      What you are going through is a transition stage that will pass. My daughter is going through the same thing. She is 14 months. At this stage 1 nap is not quite enough but 2 is impossible unless you want your baby going to bed 8:30pm or latter which sucks because that leaves very little adult time in the evenng. I would highly recommend moving your sons bedtime up until 7pm and most likely he will still sleep 11 – 11.5 hours at night. My daughter sleeps from 7-6:30am and naps from 11-12 or 11-12:30pm every day. Some days she will nap for 1.5 hours but mainly its 1 hour every day. I can tell by 4pm she is a bit tired but she will not nap even thought we have tried to put her down from 3-3:30pm before. So around 4pm she yawns but then just moves on and plays with her toys and then dinner is 5pm, bath 6:30pm and bed at 7pm. Within a month or two max your son will be just fine with the 1 hour long nap per day. But I think 8pm is a tad late. Just my opinion. Hope it helps

  26. Hi can any one help me my 7 month old doesnt sleep thought night n has a bout 21 ozof formula a night can any one give me any tips thank u all xx

    • This is coming from the kindest place, your baby does not need to eat at night as of like 4 months. Definitely, unless he is underweight, as of 6 months (which is still a tad late) your baby does not need any food at night if he is getting a proper amount formula during the day (approx 24 ounces) The reason you think your baby needs to eat at night is because it helps him / her fall asleep. What you need to do is wean him off the bottle as soon as possible. If you give him 4 bottes at night tomorrow give him 3 then 2 and then 1 and then next day none. Worst thing that can happen is he / she may cry but just give it 10minutes before you go in(actually look at your clock) and I can almost guarantee that he/she will fall asleep and not wake up. After 10min if baby is still crying, go in and comfort your baby but do NOT pick them up. Make it quick and leave. Then give it 15 minutes before you go in again. But that time you probably will not have to bc your baby will be sleeping until the next morning. 7 months is tough to sleep train bc they are so much of a little person but if you wait longer it will just get so much harder.

    • I’m going to slightly disagree with Agnes. Some babies are done eating at 4 months or even 6 months, but not all babies are taking in all their calories during the day that young.

      That being said, if your 7 month old is consuming 21 calories (which has GOT to be like 70% of his intake) at night then there is something going on. And on that point – Agnes is totally right.

      Start at bedtime – no more bottle AT bedtime. This is the tough part but it’s going to set you up for eventual success later in the night. Trust me on this – it’s KEY.

      Also here’s a few more resources that might be helpful. We’re all rooting for you!



  27. My 10 month old boy had a period of 2 months where he slept like a dream and didn’t need a bottle until 5am. Yah. The minute he started to crawl and could remember all his exciting toys – oh and of course, when he learnt he could stand in his cot and rub his hands on the ever so exciting white plastered wall….well the midnight feed and constant waking through until 6am is back! I thought the feeding was for a growth spurt and because he wasnt eating enough on his new puree regime, so I adjusted things in the eating department. But nope. 8 weeks of growth spurts? Not. So now I have a spirited baby who is the fighting me most of the time to go to sleep. I have tried everything – consistently, day in day out since the day he was born to get him into a sleep pattern and daily routine – without support (live in France, MiL useless, father is great but questions what I am doing all the time and is knackered himself!). I am going to try CIO. I never agreed with it when I was preggars since I was reading a million books about a million things baby saying don’t let them to CIO…..but after being on my own 24/7 for the first 4 months of his life, then the past 5 months just “winging it” with his sleep routine…I am EXHAUSTED. I will say that he does fall asleep, happily and easily after his 3 – 4 hours of eat/play. It’s not the getting to sleep it’s the method – he needs to be carried around with a certain song on until he is out or just about out. At 10 kilos, my back is killing me but he won’t go on his own! I have tried the pick up/put down method explained by Tracy Hogg for 2 weeks consistently for over an hour. Back pain = 8, osteopath bills = not funny. Of course there he is being adorable, standing up in his cot, laughing his head off hitting that wonderfully exciting white plastered wall. There is only so much wine and meditation (sometimes the latter induced by the former) a girl can take! Right?

    Wish me luck. CIO here I come.

    oh PS – after reading much of this website and a number of other books on parenting babies, I have come to the conclusion that a) all babies wake at 5am. Nothing doing. And b) my household (probably like many others) suffers not from a Troublesome Tot, but a Panicky Parent..keen to do everything right so the kid doesn’t grow up with Abandonment Issues and hate me until he’s a parent himself or needs to borrow a large sum of money. :/

    • I hope it worked, Nadeen!

      • Hi, It did! I was surprised by how quickly he took to it as well. 3 days – but I tried a different tact and did it for ALL sleeps ie naps and bedtime. I am big on routine routine routine, and he has had a betime routine and a daytime routine overall since he was about 2 or 3 months old and I think this structure works well for him. I have had a glitch this week because he is a late teether and had 2 teeth pop out in 3 weeks. Poor wee tacker. Otherwise its great. Surprisingly the crying didn’t bother me as I thought it would because he didnt scream the house down for hours on end…the longest went on for about 17mins and it was more that grizzly discontentment. I figured he was suffering and just watched him on the camera. I have now figured out his night waking – since I sat and watched him on the camera one night. Noise. We live in the middle of a very busy french city. The kids downstairs scream the house down everynight until 10pm ( he is generally asleep by 7), and the police sirens that go through here everyday/night are horrendous. We have done everything we ca

      • ps – I have come to the realisation over the past couple weeks that it wasnt so much the 5am wakeup call that irritated me…. speaking with someone recently made me realise I was always an early riser, it was the lack of solid 6/7 hours before that I was missing. But now I am getting more regular sleep in the night (oh and have stopped drinking during this period and started taking vitamins/eating better)….its not actually that bad. All I need to do now is try to stop worrying about offending the horrible woman downstairs who refers to me as That Australienne Woman with the Baby. Nice. :)

        • It’s great to hear that it worked so well! When we did CIO it wasn’t always as smooth (we had to do it more than once, sadly, due to lots of moving and time zone changes) but possibly because we didn’t have a strong routine down.
          I’m curious about what you were saying about noise! Your comment got cut off. We currently have very loud neighbors upstairs, but fortunately she doesn’t seem bothered by them anymore, but it used to be a problem for her to fall asleep.
          The lack of solid uninterrupted sleep is something that I miss so dearly. Even though my baby does sleep many hours in a row, I still can adjust and wake up every three!

          • I know what you mean about the moving around..we live 6 months in Grenoble France, then 6 months in the Mont Blanc Valley – which is the current work pattern for my hubby. When he was a baby we lived in an apartment in the family chalet so had problems with noisy clients (bedroom was directly below the chalet living room). Now here in Grenoble I have a guy upstairs who plays the drums, his wife who moves ALL the heavy furniture 3 days a week at night to vaccuum (??) and the woman downstairs who told us to shut my baby up in the mornings (apparantly hers were perfect) but who has two boys who run (never walk) boom, boom, boom through the apartment screaming and then crying after her husband bellows at them for 5 minutes. The noise for some reason comes up into his bedroom as well as down. Thats a nightly thing. Plus, as we live in the centre of the town on a major inter-junction with trams and traffic, there are nightly police and ambulance sirens that are incredibly loud. Luckily for us, he has started to tune out to the man upstairs playing the drums. The children downstairs – that can be a bit hit and miss and depends on how long they carry on for.

            I’ve known for a long time that his interrupted sleep has been the cause of his problems, but sadly it’s been unavoidable.

            I have worked endlessly everyday to keep his routine – which is nearly impossible to do with travel I think. New surroundings, new sounds etc.

            I can go on 6 hours, if they are solid. :)

            How old is your little one now? Is she coping alot better as she gets older?

            I figure this is an ongoing job until he hits his teenage years, afterwhich he’ll be out all night with is mates anyway. :D

            • Wow, that’s a lot of noise! I feel grateful now that our situation isn’t that bad!
              My daughter is 9 and a half and yes, she is doing a lot better, also thanks to a more consolidated routine. But we are moving in two weeks to another country and then again in a month (Asia->US->Europe) so that’s going to be fun…

            • :) I am soooo happy we will be hitting the silence of the mountains in a couple of weeks!

              Thats alot of travel! You must be exhausted. I find it difficult with the little bit travel we have done up and down France..but at least there are no time zones to consider.

              Acutally its funny – in France they have such excellent social security/free medical so women get alot of pre and post natal support, but in all the conversations I had with docs and midwives about learning to be a mum they all assumed we were in the same location with perfect surroundings! When I told my midwife just before my LO arrived about the travel she waved her hands in the air and said pfff forget it. Routine? Impossible. Just cuddle him all the time and do what you gotta do :)

              On that basis it sounds to me like you have managed pretty well so far.

              You sound like international spies lol – or in the diplomatic service.

  28. Your son does not know how to fall asleep on his own and that can turn into a big problem if you dont deal with this ASAP.
    Yes most babies wake up at 5am during a stage but at 10 or 11 months they stop that and they sleep until 6 or 6:30am. That is if they go to bed at 7/7:30pm. If you take your baby out of his crib at 5am he will think that is fine and will keep doing that. I remember there was one day when my daughter thought 5:15am was ok to wake up. I just went into her room in the dark and kept putting her back down (every10,15min) and leaving until 6am. Yes that was 45minutes of hard crying but she never woke up at 5:15am again and if she did she would just talk to herself for a bit and then fall back asleep. There was no other option for her and she learned that fast. Now at 14 months she sleeps from 7-6:15/6:30am and we never have to see another 5:30am wake up again. Those sucked. Anyway I honestly think that at this point a good routine like bath / bottle and put down in crib awake in order to teach your son sleeping skills is your solution. When crying starts, go in after 10min, confort without picking up, make it quick and leave, if crying persists, go back in after 15min, repeat, then 20min, repeat, until they fall sleep. If they are standing or sitting lay them back down even if it takes 15 times. Wear earplugs if you have to because that will help. The first night will be hard but if YOU can deal with the crying until your baby finally cries himself to sleep then next day it will be half as bad and chances are by night 3 he will be sleeping 10 hours a night. Try it.

    • HI there – thanks for the tips. I have never got him out of his cot at 5am… I have a firm rule of staying in the room until at least 6am, but lately I had to take him into our room because we live in an apartment and the level of noise has caused no end of trouble with my neighbours – who have posted extremely horrible letters to me..in the elevator. Can you believe it? We have a very unique life here in France , which would seem very abnormal to most….we spend 6 months in a very noisy city and 6 months in the French Alps where my hubby works as a SKi instructor. But to his credit, the LO has learnt fast. And I am a convert. I did try the go in after 10mins etc, but it make him worse and take 3 times longer. I ended up just doing one visit then leaving him. Bingo. I am hoping once we go into the mountains where is is dead silent he will sleep through his 5am wakeup – which I have seen before up there..fingers crossed.

  29. My daughter is 9 months old today and day by day her night time sleep is getting worse. She was an amazing sleeper up until about 5/6 months. Then she started waking up to eat. I would feed her because that would be the only way she’d get back to sleep. She is breastfed so I’m sure it was the comfort she was looking for. She would wake up about 2am, eat and then sleep until about 6:30, which this worked ok for us. Then she started waking up about 12am, eat and then again at 4am. Now, she is waking up after an hour of being in her crib and crying for me. I’ve tried the Ferber method…laying her down, leaving the room, coming back after 10 minutes. We did this for over an hour the other night and there was no improvement at all, just cried harder as time when on. So I gave in and had her lay with me. Now, the past couple of nights, she’s sleeping with me, waking up at 12am to eat, again at 2am and wanting to play for hour, and again at 4am. I feel like her sleep is so messed up at this point, I don’t know how to get her back at all. I’m not opposed to the CIO method, but she seems to just cry harder and harder the longer is goes rather than starting to fall asleep, so I don’t know what to do or how long to keep trying. I need help!

    • You’re little avatar up there looks so sad and worried :(

      OK honestly I think the issue is that you need to separate nursing from bedtime because it’s that sleep association that is leading you to the all-night breasturant.

      So…if you think it’s time for CIO the problem is probably the Ferber Method. Have you read this?


      Full extinction is a far better approach. It seems “meaner” but it’s more effective. Admittedly now that you’ve tried it once, the next time is unlikely to go smoothly so I would encourage you to consider if you’re really ready? It’s OK if you’re not. But don’t go down that path unless you’re really committed.

      Lastly – the key is what happens AT bedtime. If you nurse to sleep at bedtime or nurse NEAR bedtime and then then try to ignore her when she wakes up 1 hour later, you’re going to have a lot of upset baby on your hands. So no nursing at or near bedtime, full extinction (if you think it’s cio time) and then work on night weaning (as you’ll still have a hungry baby during the night).

      None of this is easy. But it’s definitely fixable. Good luck!

  30. Hello.
    Our 9 1/2 month old daughter has usually been sleeping 11 hours at night since 5 months old with no feeds. Until she was 8 months old when she began to wake 1-2 times for 45 mins to 2 hours sometimes needing a bottle to sleep. She used to go to bed at around 745 pm and wake at around 7. Naps used to be from 930am-11 and 1-230 with the occasional 45 min nap around 4. With the time change that happened she started wanting to go to bed at 6 and wake at 530/6…that made her naps at 8/830 when we were trying to take our older child to school which was not working. Also she was trying to resist the 3rd nap it seemed so that made the witching hour unbearable. Now her morning nap is shorter like only an hour and she does sleep at around 1 for 2 hours. How can I make her sleep till 7 again? SHould I change bedtime?

  31. I find your article counter productive to moms. What moms don’t need is someone telling them what’s “normal” while what you describe is “normal” is not the case for 99% babies. All babies are different. You are arbitarilly describing what’s “normal” without research backing it up. In fact, what you describe is “normal” can very well be not normal.

    I appreciate you listing off tips or general directions for moms to look at and to see what they may be able to do with their babies. But to call only what you listed as “normal” is extremely misinformed.

    • Hey Christine,

      I’m not sure which article you’re referring to but I’m assuming you mean “Baby sleep, what is normal”. And in fact I do back up where my numbers come from – there are numerous studies on sleep patterns for kids under 1. I would suggest these sleep targets are the norm for 99% of babies and that those numbers are far from arbitrary. Also when I initially wrote that article, it was based largely on academic sleep studies. Now 3 years later I’ve got anecdotal data from literally millions of families that support that the studies, in fact, are right on the mark.


  32. Alexis,

    I have been referring to your site since my little guy was born, 9 months ago. He has been an all around textbook baby – napping and sleeping right on schedule with only a little sleep training necessary. I know, we have been lucky! But now, we’ve hit the dreaded separation anxiety stage and it causing so much sleep disturbance no one is happy.

    Here is the little guy’s typical schedule (pre separation anxiety):
    7:00 am wake up
    9:00 am -9:30morning nap (this nap has become shorter and shorter so I think he’s trying to drop it)
    1:00-4:00 pm afternoon nap
    7:00 pm bedtime
    He wakes once per night – usually around 10:00 – for a feeding that I’m pretty sure he doesn’t need ( he’s gone without before) but I want to keep through a cross country trip we have scheduled for the holidays.

    We’ve been following the same nighttime routine since around 5 months (bath,pjs,stories,cuddle,bed) and always try to put him down awake. For about the last week he goes down for bed like a champ but wakes up around 1:00 in hysterics. He will literally wake up screaming and is inconsolable unless we pick him up. Hubby can occasionally calm him with a back rub or short song but when I go in its pick up or nothing. Once he finally calms down, he will fall back asleep for about 15 minutes them wake up screaming again. The pattern repeats for at least 3 hours.

    When he wakes up his fear seems very real and he’ll frequently resort to hyper-vigilance to make sure someone is still there. While I don’t mind snuggling him to sleep I don’t want to throw away the great habits we had going by coddling him to much but letting him CIO doesn’t seem to be working either.

    Advice? Similar experiences?



  33. I’m sure that few people return here to leave success stories because once you can sleep, your time is pretty much taken up with getting caught up on that! But I just had to come back to sing the praises of this formula.

    This year, our long adoption journey ended with a whirlwind cross-country trip to adopt our son, who was born with a congenital heart defect. Between the adoption delay, long trips, the bonding process, a million doctor visits, and eventually a long hospital stay for open-heart surgery, we were all exhausted. Though he started out as a good sleeper, we missed the ideal time to sleep train him due to his medical woes. The result was that my relatively good sleeper emerged from his long medical ordeal as a 9-month-old who no longer had any concept of day or night, would not let me put him down, and screamed uncontrollably if I fed him any fewer than 4 full bottles a night (and then, of course, had to change him and all of this bedding when he wet through it over and over). I allowed this to go on for weeks more because he needed to catch up on growth and, after all, he had been traumatized like crazy. But so had I, and I was a sleepless, crazy, frazzled mess, and not the best momma because of it. I arrived at this site in desperation. After just two nights of following these steps, we were down to just one bottle. Yes, there were a few tears — but not as many as I had thought. And the information here on CIO put my (unfounded) fears to rest. After a couple more days, there were no more tears, and we were down to just 4 ounces a night. The rest of the process went slower, but I followed it precisely, and it worked exactly as promised. I was surprised that he really did give the bottle up on his own after a couple of nights of being disappointed by water. Within a month, he was sleeping through the night, from about 8-5:30, then up for a bottle and back down again for another couple of hours, give or take. He does everything else on the checklist here about what babies this age should do. I feel like the information might as well have had is name right in it.

    I had previously been wholeheartedly in the Sears camp, but I have to say that while I have found some of his other advice invaluable, his sleep book was useless for us. There was too little in it unrelated to breastfeeding (and I’m bottle feeding since he is adopted), and though the book says not to feel guilty about needing to put your own sleep needs first, all of the other advice seemed to contradict that. I just couldn’t wait to sleep until my son was as old as they were describing. Plus, my son needed sleep to recover, and he was getting very little for a baby his age. He was cranky and desperate too. I’m happy to report that we are both now rested, healthy, and happy to spend both our days and nights with each other.

    • I should add that, of course, I had our pediatrician’s OK before proceeding. Also, I realized that the extra feedings he was taking at night weren’t necessary any longer for his growth (he was eating so much at night that he was eating very little during the day — he basically just had the two times mixed up!). He now eats like a champ during the day, and finally got on a good pattern with solid foods for the first time (this was also delayed due to his medical ordeal). If anyone out there is struggling with a similar issue with a child with a special medical concern, I thought I should add these important details. And as good as the internet might be, asking the pediatrician should of course come first.

  34. Hi,

    Up pretty late surfing the net for answers and came upon your site! Thank you very much by the way.

    I have a 9.5 month old DS who has a really hard time falling a sleep on his own. This is a new development. He used to fall a sleep within 20 minutes, but now it takes an hour or so for him to sleep. He is overly active and all over the place. We co-sleep and I am not sure if it is time to move him to a crib. What can I do to help him fall a sleep faster and easier? Is this just regression and will it pass? Here is his schedule that we try to stick to:

    9:30-10 AM : Wake up, Breastfeed & Play
    11:30 AM : Lunch, milk
    12:00-1:30 PM : Play
    1:30 PM – 3:00 PM – Nap (Rock to sleep in arms, then transfer to bed)
    3 PM – Milk, Play
    5:30 PM – 6:30 PM – Nap (Rock to sleep in arms, then transfer to bed)
    6:30 PM – Milk, play
    8:30 PM – Dinner, Milk
    8:45 PM – Bath + Massage (every other day), story time
    9:30 PM – In bed, very active and does not sleep until close to 11 PM!!! Sleeps through the night. May wake once or twice, but goes right back to sleep.

    He is currently teething and has started to crawl. Perhaps this is a reason why he is having a hard time falling a sleep at night?

    Don’t know what to do and any help would be much appreciated!

    Thanks in advance. :-)

  35. hi.my daughter who is now 9 months old is never a good sleeper.on her first month she wakes up every 2 hours for feeding.at 2 to 7 months, she sleeps 2am, 3am even 4am and wakes up 1pm.at 8th and 9th month, i was happy because she now sleeps 11pm, 12 midnight and 1am till 10am. but now,ive noticed she cannot sleep well and wakes up 2 to 3x at night for feeding..but its kinda different.i think she wants to be held and helped to be fallen asleep.. i dont know what to do with her..i tried a lot of things..i researched online why cant she sleep like every other babies..

  36. Hi there,

    Great site, thanks for all the helpful chat!

    Just a quick one; my 11 month old sleeps relatively well. He naps for half an hour at about 9:15 and then for 90 minutes at about 1:30pm. I wake him from both naps as he would just keep sleeping! The only issue I have is that he wants to get up at about 05:30 every morning!!

    Any ideas much appreciated!

  37. My 8 month old has been a pretty good sleeper. We started letting her CIO at 5 months and she started putting herself to sleep right away. She also dropped that late night feeding then. This has been her schedule the last month or so…

    Wake at 7 or 7:30
    First feeding when she wakes
    First nap 9:30 or 10ish for anywhere between 1 hour to 3 hours
    Second feeding when she wakes from nap
    Snack or small bottle around 2:30
    Second nap anywhere from 3 to 4 for about an hour (depends on length of first nap)
    Last feeding 5:30ish
    Bedtime 7:30/8

    For the last week or so she has started waking up earlier and earlier everyday (anywhere from 4am to 6am). Sometimes she will sleep in my arms but I don’t want to start that habit. She did this once before a month or so ago and we ended up dropping the 3rd nap and that helped. But I don’t think she is ready to go to one nap a day, any thoughts to why this is happening? I guess we could let her CIO out again until her wake time, but I know she will not go back to sleep so I hate letting her just lay there and cry.

    We try to give her plenty of physical activity a day. Maybe it is tied to her eating. She only drinks about 20oz a day… She will not drink more! We have been introducing new solids every couple of days since she was 6 months. She LOVES eating solids but I try not to give her too much so she will still drink her bottles. And of course at this age she is constantly teething.

    Any ideas or suggestions to why she is waking up early would be greatly appreciated!

  38. My baby is 10 months old and for the past couple months he has been waking up 2-3 or more lately a night. I am so desperate for sleep! At first it was due to teething, then that passed. Then most recently he had a stomach bug but that has since passed, yet he still wakes up numerous times a night. I want to try CIO but is he too old for this? When I pick him up to soothe him back to sleep, getting him to go back to sleep in his crib is a challenge so I attempt a couple of times and if not successful bring him to the bed with me so we can get some sleep. He naps so so during the day…better in my arms on some days then in his crib. Any advice is welcome!!! I am afraid of the CIO method because its sad to me but at this point I will try anything!!! Please help!!!

    • Shanna – CIO is sad, and hard. But it TOTALLY WORKS, even with a 10 month old! Following the advice on this blog, we successfully sleep trained our 10.5 month old. Sounds like you are ahead of where we started, which was with a bed-sharing night-nursing stubborn STUBBORN baby. We went from that, to sleeping all night in his own crib in about a week. It was nothing short of a miracle and we are SO GLAD we did it! Our only wish is that we had done it sooner.

      • So should I only use the CIO method at night for now and then slowly start with naps? I have heard make sure for now he is napping well and only start CIO at night until he has that down pat. Is this right?

        • Yes, that’s what we did also. On Alexis’ advice, we let night sleep settle in for a good 2 weeks before messing with naps.

          • Our evening routine normally consist of dinner time, bath, pj’s then bottle where he would fall asleep and I would just put him in his crib. Any suggestions on how to change it or should I?

  39. So if he wakes up in the middle of the night not to feed CIO still? Ive heard both ways. What ended up working for you?

  40. So completed night 1 on CIO and it was not as bad as I had anticipated. Our night ritual consists of dinner, bottle, bath, pj’s, book and then I gave him a kiss and said “mommy and dddy love you and i will see you in the morning.” Right after I laid him down he started crying. I closed his bedroom door and then tried to keep myself busy with dishes, picking up the house or anything. After 30 mins, I could see him on the monitor and he had fallen asleep. Victory!!! He slept until 2:10am and I feed him a bottle then told him I Loved him and laid him back in his bed. Crying began again. I closed his door, laid in bed and turned the volume down on the monitor. This way I could watch him but not hear him. I fell in and out of sleep and I woke up after 30 mintues and he was asleep again. He woke up for the morning at 6:00am which is what time I have to get up for work anyways so no biggie. He was so happy this morning because he got 10 hours of sleep vs our usual 6-7 hours a night. It was SOOOO tough but I kept telling myself in the long run this will benefit us all!.
    This blog has been so helpful and looking at everyone’s tips and what did and did not work for them really helped! Thank you!!!!

    • Shanna that is amazing! Complete success! Our stubborn little guy cried hard for over an hour the first night, and again periodically throughout the night. So 30 minutes is fantastic!

      To answer your previous question, we went from nursing on demand all night to in the crib all night, so initially I went to him 2x per night to nurse. Almost immediately, he dropped 1x on his own, then a few days later I was able to drop the 2nd feeding and we haven’t looked back.

      Sounds like you are well on your way to a sleeping-all-night baby. Just a bit of insight from someone who is a couple months ahead of you in the process — there will be bumps in the road. He’ll teethe, get a cold, something will happen in your life that interrupts the whole routine — just don’t give up and go back to old habits. It’s okay to do whatever you have to do to get through a rough patch (I recently went back to midnight feedings to help him through a teething episode), just make sure you are aware that it’s a temporary solution and plan to return to “normal” as soon as you can.

      Great job, mama! So happy for you. I know first hand how wonderful it is to open your eyes at 6am and feel refreshed after being sleep deprived for so long!

      • Thank you!!! I was so proud of him and myself! And waking up this morning I did feel refreshed!
        We are going to the beach for vacation in 2 months. I hope that doesn’t effect anything too much!That’s the only thing I’m concerned about chamging…

        • Try not to worry. In 2 months, you’ll really have a solid routine going. We went away for one night after training for a couple weeks. We brought a pack & play and just did the whole routine there and he barely registered the change. I was pleasantly surprised, hopefully you will be also!

    • Ditto to Amber. It could not have GONE any better. I know those 30 minutes were hard but honestly, it’s spectacular. Not only that you VASTLY increased the amount of sleep he’s getting. Well done indeed!

      I can’t promise you that it’ll be all gumdrops and roses from here on out. But it’s an incredibly encouraging 1st night. An immensely positive change for you all. Congrats on the great work!

      • Ok, so I’m on day 11 of CIO and he was doing great until 4 days ago. I put him down at 7:45 for bed then sometime wakes up about 12:00, then he wakes up at 2ish for a bottle and finally up at 5ish. My father in law watches him during the day and the past couple days has been waking up from his last nap at 3:00p. I think he is over tired by 7:30pm when I put him down so should I squeeze another nap befor bed or just rearrange his schedule? I’m in the process of updating his daily schedule now.

  41. My 11 month old baby used to be a fantastic napper….2 1.5- 2 hour naps daily. The past 2 weeks, he will only take 2 30-40 minute naps. He is able to fall asleep on his own and has been doing this for quite some time; but, he wakes up when he is still tired. Help!

  42. Hello! My son is 10 (almost 11 months) old and his sleep is very inconsistent and I don’t know what to do about it! We’ve done everything we’re “supposed” to do and that has helped but he’s still inconsistent.

    So here’s what we’ve done: CIO at 6 months which was successful. He goes down for naps and bedtime awake without complaint and is usually asleep within about 5 minutes. He has a regular bedtime and routine (bottle at ~6pm, bath at ~6:15 then books and into bed) and this routine is consistent and the timing of it never varies more than about 15-20 minutes night-to-night.

    His bedtime is the only consistent thing about his sleeping. He still wakes up 1-2 times a night and it’s never the same times twice. For instance, one night he’ll wake up at 9:30pm and then he’ll wake up at 3am. The next night he’ll wake up at 11pm and 5am. The next night might be 1am and no second waking. He has also slept through the night with no wakings twice in the last month or so. It’s all over the place and so is the time he wakes up for the day as a result (anywhere between 5:30 and 7:30am). It’s seriously causing me problems with my own sleep as, of course, my sleep isn’t consistent either as a result.

    We also started night weaning him. We were actually down to 3oz per bottle (down from 6oz) and were getting ready to make the first bottle 2oz. But suddenly he won’t sleep unless he gets at least 5oz per bottle. He will scream and scream and scream if we try to only give him 3 or 4oz. I thought it was a growth spurt or something but he eats no differently during the day and this has been going on for a little over a week. I’ve tried to just comfort him with no food but he won’t have it. He will not sleep until he’s had a big enough meal.

    I’m at my wits end and so, so very tired from lack of consistent sleep. Anyone have any suggestions?

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