How Much Sleep Does My Baby Need at Nine Months?

How Much Sleep Does My Baby Need at Nine MonthsEven though we rededicated ourselves to sleep training Arya more than a month ago, she still has erratic sleep patterns nearly every day.

We’ve been trying to have Arya take three naps during the day. Since this means she struggles falling asleep four times each day, it raises the question: how much sleep does my baby need?

After looking through baby books, baby websites, and academic research, there is wide variability in sleep time recommendations for babies. All guidelines are based on a baby’s age so the amount of sleep that Arya needs now is different than the amount she needed just a few months ago. Sleep time estimates across multiple sources falls roughly into the following range:

Sleep Time Guidelines:

Newborn: 16 to 20 hours
One month: 14 to 17 hours
Three months: 14 to 16 hours
Six months: 13 to 16 hours
Nine months: 13 to 15 hours
Twelve months: 12 to 14 hours

In addition to the total amount of sleep my baby needs, I am also worried about the fragmentation of her sleep. Most babies under the age of one take three naps in addition to sleeping at night. In Arya’s case she rarely takes three naps during the day even when she sleeps (relatively) peacefully through the night.

But after tracking her sleep times for a few months, we’ve discovered that she seems to regulate the total amount of sleep she gets even if the number of naps and the duration of each nap change daily.

Baby had a 6:30PM bedtime at six-months old, but she’s been forcefully moving her bedtime closer to 7PM in recent weeks. Most nights she struggles with night-wakings at least once, but is able to put herself back to sleep. We let her wake up on her own and she usually rises between 4:30AM and 6:30AM. Taking into account the time she takes to fall asleep and short night-wakings, Arya gets anywhere from nine to twelve hours during the night.

She struggles taking three naps so most days she takes one morning nap and one afternoon nap. The total duration of her naps ranges from forty minutes to three hours. We keep the same routine for sleeping and we try not to wake her up so the variability in her sleep time is her own choice.

Interestingly, on days when she sleeps less overnight she tends to take longer naps the next day. Unfortunately when she takes especially long naps during the day she sleeps less the following night.

It would be hard to modulate her nap or sleep time without forcibly waking her up. For now we think she will get better at regulating her own amount of sleep as she gets older.

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