Typical sleep at this age
At 9 months, babies typically sleep 11 to 14 hours a night and nap twice a day for one to two hours at a time.
Ready for sleep training
If your baby hasn't yet settled into a sleep pattern that fits your family life, now might be a good time to try some type of sleep training. Sleep training methods can help your baby go to sleep more easily, sleep for longer periods at night, and keep more regular hours.
Sleeping through the night
If your baby now sleeps for nine or ten hours at night, it means he or she has figured out how to settle back to sleep – a sign that you're raising a good sleeper.
If your baby's still waking up at night for feedings, he or she is probably ready for night weaning, if that's what you choose. But babies this age don't necessarily wake up because they're hungry.
We all wake up several times every night for brief periods of time. And as adults, we put ourselves back to sleep each time – so quickly we don't even remember it in the morning. If your baby hasn't mastered this skill, he or she will wake up and cry during the night even if he or she isn't hungry.
Waking up again
Don't be surprised if your sound sleeper suddenly becomes a night owl or has a hard time falling asleep at this age. Why? Sleep disturbances often go hand-in-hand with reaching major milestones in cognitive and motor development and with separation anxiety.
At 9 to 12 months, your baby's likely to be crawling, pulling up, and learning to walk. And because he or she is refining and expanding on these skills, your baby may wake up at night to practice or be too excited to fall asleep. If your baby can't self-soothe back to sleep, he or she will end up crying for you.
Separation anxiety could also be the cause of your baby's wake-up calls. Waking up and finding you not there may cause some distress. But your baby will probably calm down as soon as you enter the room and greet him or her.
How you can establish healthy sleep habits
This is a time to continue working on the techniques you and your baby learned in the first nine months, including:
Stick to a consistent bedtime routine.
We can't say it often enough: You and your baby will both benefit from a nightly bedtime ritual. You can opt for the tried-and-true – giving a bath, reading a bedtime story, and tucking your baby in – or add a quiet game into the mix.
Make sure your baby finds the routine soothing. For example, if he or she hates taking baths, move them earlier in the day. Or sing songs if he or she would rather chew on a book than be read to. Just be sure to follow the same routine every night. Children thrive on consistency and feel more secure when they know what to expect.
Make sure your baby has a regular schedule.
Bedtime may go more smoothly if you make an effort to keep the rest of your baby's daily schedule consistent, too. If your baby naps, eats, plays, and gets ready for bed at about the same time every day, he or she will be much more likely to fall asleep without a struggle.
Give your child plenty of chances to fall asleep on his or her own.
If you want your baby to sleep independently, provide lots of opportunities to practice this important skill. Instead of nursing or rocking your baby to sleep, let your baby practice falling asleep on his or her own by putting your baby in bed when he or she is relaxed and drowsy. Otherwise your baby will probably cry when he or she wakes up during the night and will need your help to drop off again.