The Surprising Truth About 9-Month-Old Wake Windows

by Major League Mommy
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When it comes to a baby’s quality of sleep, wake windows play a crucial role. In this blog post, we will take a deep dive into 9-month-old wake windows and why they are essential for a baby’s restful slumber.

We will also explore the varying opinions regarding the ideal wake windows for babies of this age.

So let’s get to it.

9 month old baby sleeping photo credit: Batirtze Arrien Crespo from Getty Images via
Photo credit: Batirtze Arrien Crespo from Getty Images via

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The article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitution for professional medical advice. If you have any concerns about your child’s health and well-being, please consult with their physician.

What are wake windows?

Wake windows refer to the period of time a baby is awake between naps. These windows are significant as they directly impact a baby’s sleep quality and overall well-being.

As babies grow, their wake windows change, and understanding these changes is crucial for establishing healthy sleep patterns.

We discuss wake windows in more detail in this post.

For a 9-month-old baby, the typical wake window ranges from two to three hours. However, it is important to note that each baby is unique and may have slightly different needs.

Some infants may be ready for a nap after just two hours of wakefulness, while others may require closer to three hours. It’s important to observe your baby’s sleep cues and sleep schedule to get a better understanding of what their exact wake window is.

How much sleep does a 9-month-old need?

On average, a 9-month-old baby needs around 14-15 hours of sleep per day, including both daytime naps and nighttime sleep. However, it is essential to remember that every baby is different, and some may require more or less sleep than the average.

It is natural for babies to have varying sleep patterns, especially as they continue to grow and develop. While some babies may thrive on shorter wake windows and frequent napping, others may find longer wake windows more suitable.

It is crucial for parents to observe their baby’s cues and create a sleep routine that best suits their individual needs.

IV. What should a 9-month-old’s sleep schedule be?

A 9-month-old baby’s sleep schedule can vary, but on a 2-nap schedule, here is an example:

Wake up time: 7:00 AM

Nap 1: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Wake time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Nap 2: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Wake time: 3:30 PM

Begin bedtime routine: 6:30 PM

Bedtime: 7:00 PM

Sample nap schedule for 9 month old via Major League Mommy

It’s important to note that the ideal sleep schedule for a 9-month-old is the one that works best for them. Every baby is unique, and their sleep needs may vary. As mentioned above, it’s essential to observe your baby’s cues and adjust their sleep schedule accordingly.

Signs your 9-month-old isn’t getting enough sleep

As a parent, it is important to ensure that your baby gets enough sleep for their overall health and development. Sleep plays a crucial role in their physical and mental growth, and a lack of sleep can have negative effects on their well-being. If you have a 9-month-old who is showing signs of sleep deprivation, it is essential to address the issue promptly.

Here are some signs that your 9-month-old might not be getting enough sleep:

Frequent waking during the night

If your baby wakes up multiple times during the night and has difficulty falling back asleep, it could be a sign of insufficient sleep. A well-rested baby should be able to sleep through the night with minimal interruptions.

Difficulty falling asleep

If your baby struggles to fall asleep and requires extended periods of rocking, patting, or other soothing techniques, it may indicate that they are overtired. Babies who are well-rested usually have an easier time settling down for naps and bedtime.

Irritability and fussiness

Sleep-deprived babies are often more cranky and irritable during the day. They may cry more frequently, have shorter tempers, and struggle to cope with even minor disruptions. If your 9-month-old is consistently fussy, it is worth considering if sleep deprivation could be the underlying cause.

Reduced appetite

Lack of sleep can affect your baby’s appetite and feeding patterns. If you notice a sudden decrease in their interest in food or a change in their eating habits, it might be linked to inadequate sleep. Sleep and nutrition are closely interconnected, and addressing sleep issues may positively impact their appetite.

Delayed milestones

Sleep deprivation can hinder a baby’s physical and cognitive development. If your 9-month-old is not reaching milestones within the expected time frame, it is worth considering if lack of sleep is a contributing factor. Consult with your pediatrician to evaluate potential developmental delays.


Paradoxically, sleep-deprived babies may show increased hyperactivity and restlessness. They may seem to have bursts of energy but lack the ability to calm down and settle into a peaceful sleep. If your baby appears overly active or wired, it could be a sign that they are not getting enough rest.

As always, we recommend discussing any concerns you have about your baby with their pediatrician.

Reasons why your 9-month-old may keep waking in the night

There are various reasons why a 9-month-old baby may wake up in the night. Some common reasons include hunger, teething, or separation anxiety.

– Hunger: Babies at this age may still require nighttime feedings. If your baby is waking up due to hunger, consider offering a small feeding or adjusting their daytime feeding schedule.

– Teething: Teething discomfort can cause disturbances in a baby’s sleep. Providing teething remedies like teething toys or gently massaging their gums can help alleviate the discomfort.

– Separation anxiety: Around 9 months, babies often experience separation anxiety, causing them to wake up and seek comfort from their parents. Comforting your baby and providing reassurance can help them settle back to sleep.

Parents of multiples may also struggle with one baby waking up the other with crying or other sounds. And you may even find that the babies are on different sleep schedules which can present an additional challenge.

Understanding the reason behind your baby’s wake-up can assist you in choosing appropriate strategies to address it.

How to stretch wake windows?

Stretching wake windows can be beneficial in helping a baby fall asleep more easily and stay asleep longer. Here are some tips for stretching wake windows:

Expose your baby to natural light during wake time

Natural light helps regulate a baby’s internal clock and promotes better sleep. Taking your baby outside for a walk or playing by a well-lit window can help establish a healthy sleep-wake cycle.

Engage in stimulating activities during wake time

Providing age-appropriate activities that stimulate your baby’s senses can help tire them out and prepare them for better sleep. This can include playing with toys, reading books, or engaging in interactive play.

Remember to gradually increase wake windows based on your baby’s cues and developmental milestones. It’s important to find the balance between allowing sufficient wake time and avoiding overtiredness.

Final Thoughts

Understanding a 9-month-old’s sleep schedule and the reasons behind nighttime wake-ups is important for parents. While a 2-nap schedule is commonly followed at this age, it’s crucial to tailor the sleep schedule to your baby’s unique needs.

If you are struggling with frequent nighttime wake-ups, identifying the cause, whether hunger, teething, or separation anxiety, can help parents choose appropriate strategies to promote better sleep.

Stretching wake windows through exposure to natural light and engaging activities can aid in improving sleep quality. However, it’s essential to adjust wake windows gradually and consider your baby’s individual tolerance.

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