Dr. Alan Greene answers the question, How can I get my baby to sleep later in the morning?
My 9-month-old boy falls asleep at 8:00 every night and wakes up somewhere between 4:00 and 5:30 every morning. How can I get him to sleep later?
Kids tend to develop pretty strong habits around sleep and get quite used to the way things really work. The average 9-month-old sleeps about 14 hours a day, give or take an hour or two. On average, most kids at that age take about two naps a day as part of their 14 hours of sleep. You can't do much to increase the total amount that your baby sleeps, but by cutting a bit on his naps or putting him down a bit later, you might be able to get him to sleep a bit later in the morning. You might try shortening or even eliminating one of your baby's naps. The average age to drop to one true nap a day is 18 months, but you can try varying his a bit -- or start going to sleep earlier or get naps yourself. You need the rest, one way or the other.
When my youngest son was about that age, we put a light on a timer in his room. If he woke after 5 (an arbitrary time) and saw the light was on, that meant it was morning and he could drink, then come fall asleep with us. He learned within a few weeks that earlier wakings didn't get feedings. We all often got another hour or two of sleep this way.
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