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9 month old won’t sleep

Hello all.

First time posting so, sorry it is so long but myself and my husband have reached the point where we need some advice. 

My 9 month old has never been a great sleeper but we had gotten to the point where he would have 2 feeds (breast) at roughly the same time each night and would settle back down. Although it wasn’t ideal (obviously id prefer a full night sleep) it was managable.

Most recently, my son will go down to sleep as usual but around the time of the first feed he will wake, feed, settle as usual but then will cry every time I leave the room. he will fall asleep if myself or my husband stand by the cot but cry the moment we step away. 

I am aware of separation anxiety and I imagine that is what is going on here but what I need help with is what to do next?

As mentioned, he is not a good sleeper... We have a bedtime routine. We have tried every suggested “good sleep habit” going. We have tried a gradual retreat and we have even tried co-sleeping (My son thinks it’s play time and proceeds to crawl up and down the bed or whacks us in the face. If we try to cuddle him he screams like we are torturing him). Nothing seems to work. 

We are currently sat letting him cry (it’s been 5 minutes) in the desperate hope that he will just fall asleep so we can all get some rest. I don’t want to use “cry it out“ methods but I’m totally at a loss and absolutely shattered. does anyone have any advice?

Thank you I’m advance,



  • Hi Lindsay, so sorry you're having such a hard time with the sleep - it really is so bloody hard. I'm afraid you've tried a lot of what I did, when my daughter was your age. You're not going to like this, but the only way we cracked sleeping was crying it out. Some people hate it, but within 3 nights, she would be put in her cot and would sleep. 

    We tried to do it as gently as possible, so put baby to bed, she would stand in her cot and cry, so we would go in after 2mins, say sleepy time, then leave. Go back in after 4mins, say sleepytime again and leave the room - no eye contact, no cuddling or picking up, just say sleepytime and leave. Repeat after 8 mins, then 16mins etc. It really did work for us after 3 nights. I do understand you said you didn't want to do this, but it did work for us. Good luck x

  • By the way, the first night took 1 hour, second night 45 mins, and the third night 30mins. It was REALLY hard going, listening to baby cry and pretty much feeling responsible for that, but for us it worked. x

  • Hi MrsG

    Thank you for responding to me. I really do feel lost so it’s nice to talk to anyone that might help. 

    We have actually tried this method previously. When I say we have tried everything, other than taping his mouth shut (joke), I mean everything!

    The problem I had with this method is that we did it for one night (took us an hour as you said) then he would sleep ok for a few days so we didn’t need to do it Again. Then he’d have another couple of bad days so we would then decide on a plan and then he’d be ok that night. Part of me thinks he’s just trying to keep us on our toes!

    However, most recently, hes started having more bad nights than good. Firstly, he got a tooth through so we assumed that was the cause, then we moved house so we thought that had thrown him off etc etc etc. we always worked out the reason for him being so fussy and so leaving him to cry wasn’t something I wanted to do. 

    Now, He just seems to want us to be there. Which is lovely but at 2am I don’t want to stand and watch him sleep! He will fall asleep if I am stood in the room. I don’t need to do anything, just be in the room, but the second I leave he is hysterical. This has now been going on for Days. I say days as this is not just nighttime this is naps too. He even cries if I step out the living room then back in. This is why I was assuming seperation anxiety and wondering how you go about combating that.

    We are all exhausted and thus the reason for my post! He just seems to hate sleep but I know he is tired. He looks tired, he has bags and rubs his face constantly.

    Tonight, he went to bed as usual then woke up and the same thing. I fed him as I would normally and the second I put him down and left the room he started crying. I have done exactly as you said and gone in at 2,4,8 etc and after 3 rounds of 16 (the longest 16 minutes of my life!!!) he is finally asleep. 1 hour 30 which is an improvement  last nights 3 hours of hell.

    Hopefully, we can try this for a few days and he will finally start to sleep. For his own good more than anything. He’s such a cheeky ball of energy and I don’t like to see him so exhausted. 

    Thank you again for getting back to me!

    I am still welcome to any other ideas as well just in case this approach doesn’t work And any advice on seperation anxiety and what your supposed to do!


  • My son has never been a good sleeper and it sounds like your son is good by through a sleep regression (google it) we’ve just come out the 15month sleep regression and lasted 2 weeks we tried crying it out doing the supernanny thing where you lie them back down and go back out the room didn’t work this is at 2am in the morning so we brought him in with us so we could all get some sleep and now he sleeps through again he used to cry and cry at bedtime but now we’re out the sleep regression he goes straight out 

    it’s just a phase they all go through hope this helped xxx

  • Going not good***

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