What do you do about short naps at 9 months?


Our 9 month old is down to two naps a day and for the past week has only napped about 30-40 minutes each nap. She used to have a good 1-1 1/2 hour morning nap and then two 45 minute naps a day, but started refusing to go down for the third nap and has now cut her naps short. She typically goes to bed at around 7, does not have a feeding during the night but often will wake up at least once between 3-5 (sometimes just to be soothed back with a pat and pacifier, sometimes for 2 hours!). She wakes up for the day between 6-7 am. This does not seem like much sleep! How do we get her to extend her naps and her overall nigh sleep?

There is often a nap regression (and sometimes a night regression) around 9 months. It’s typically associated with separation anxiety and sometimes with motor skill acquisition. I would definitely make sure that her room is very dark for naps. Did you do an intervention to get her sleep pattern stable when she was younger? If so, then I would use the same intervention to teach her to connect nap sleep cycles again. If you didn’t do an intervention before, then I would start by waiting to get her when she wakes prematurely. I would just start by waiting 5 minutes, then get her and take her out. The next day wait 10 minutes and keep extending until she starts sleeping longer again. Good luck!

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