Sleeping FAQ: 6-9 months – Daytime Sleep

My 7.5-month-old has started to cut back on her daytime sleep

My daughter has recently started cutting back on her daytime naps and is having about 30 minutes from 9am and an hour from about 12.15. She settles well each time and goes to sleep quickly. There is no reason for her waking that I can see: i.e. no dirty nappy or noise etc. She now has no established afternoon nap although may doze in car or pram at this time. She still sleeps well from 7pm to 7am. There has been no change in her routine but I need her to sleep longer particularly at lunchtime. I have tried controlled crying but she will have a tantrum for over an hour before sometimes settling again for a short time (by which time it is often too late). She eats well at lunch and is well established on protein and no milk at this feed.

Babies in the second half of their first year do begin to cut back on their daytime sleep. They are also able to stay awake for longer than two hours so you need to begin to move her morning nap forward slowly. Another reason for cutting back on sleep can be linked as to how mobile your daughter is. If she is not rolling a lot and spending time on her tummy in preparation for crawling, she just may not be tired in the day to sleep any longer at lunchtime.

Begin to push her morning nap towards 9.30am and let her sleep for half an hour. This should let her get to at least 12.30pm before going down for her lunchtime nap and she may then sleep longer than an hour as she will be tired.

If you have to wake her at 7am every morning you could let her sleep later and cut her morning nap completely, if this is convenient. Some babies are able to do this but will then need to have an earlier lunch at about 11.30am before settling for a long nap at 12.15pm.

Look at her day and how much activity she has. Consider joining swim classes or some kind of baby gymnastics which will help tire her out. Spending plenty of time daily on the floor, especially on her tummy, will help her become more mobile and therefore use up more energy.