My 9 month old only sleeps 9 hours at night! Is this normal?

Jennifer - posted on 08/19/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi, my 9 month old is generally a pretty good sleeper. Takes a 30-40 minute late morning nap and a 2-3 hour afternoon nap. Lately, he has been taking a very late nap, around 2 - 2:30 pm and wakes up around 5-5:15 pm or so. Bedtime is around 7:15-7:30 and wake up time is anywhere between 4:45 and 5:15 am! Very rarely are we able to feed and get him back to sleep at this time. Is it possible that he is overtired by the time he gets his afternoon nap that it is affecting his nightime sleep? Sleep suggestions are welcome:-)

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[deleted account]

There are actually no (real) recommendations for how much sleep they should get at night, only how much they should be getting in total for the whole day.
In other words, it doesn't matter *when* he gets the sleep, it only matters *that* he gets the sleep. Some babies sleep in 5 sets of 3 hours each, and that is fine, others sleep in one long block at night and barely nap, and while that is more of a concern than several smaller blocks, it is usually fine as well.

It really sounds like the timing for his afternoon nap is working for him--if he were overtired, he would not sleep the full 2 hours, and he would be fussy and agitated when you put him down for the night. He would also wake frequently throughout the night. If anything, It sounds more like he is over tired for his morning nap. Over tiredness usually results in shorter sleep cycles, and a more difficult time falling asleep.

He is only 1 or 2 hours short of his recommended requirements, and as long as you are putting him down before he is overtired, and letting him wake on his own, he sounds like he is doing fine. All babies are different--some need more than the recommended amount, and some need less. You might just have one that doesn't need as much sleep.

My son and I are both like that. Something I've learned is to keep sleep hours for one hour more than the full recommended amount. Thus, my son (who is 8 now) should have 11 hours of sleep per day. Thus his bedtime is 8pm and his wake time is 7 pm. He also keeps one hour of quiet time after school each day for a total of 12 hours. He may not sleep the entire 12 hours, or even 11 of them, but by making sure he is in an environment that promotes sleep for at least 12 hours, I know that he is not sleep deprived.

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Jennifer - posted on 08/19/2013

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Thanks for your comments. He is only getting 9 hours or less at night, which is more of my concern. That seems much lower than the recommended amount. He is like clockwork with his nap schedule, almost 30 minutes to the minute and rarely 40 minutes if extremely tired. I was wondering if the timing for the late afternoon nap would be altering his sleeping habits overnight. perhaps he is overstimulated throughout the day. It's a long day if he is up at 4:30 or 5am with a first nap around 10:30 or 11 for 30 minutes and a full 2-3 hour nap at 2:30 in the afternoon.

[deleted account]

A 9 month old should be sleeping 14 hours per day (14 of every 24 hours)
It sounds like your son is getting between 12 & 13 hours, which is a little shy of the recommended 14, but nothing to worry about.

His night time sleep hours seem perfect, but it seems like he could use a longer morning nap. Can you put him down for the morning nap 15 or 20 minutes earlier and see if he will sleep longer?

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