Example of a Daily Routine for a 6-9 Month Old ~ Ask Heather!

What a Good Baby Routine Looks Like for a 6 to 9 Month Old - http://incredibleinfant.com

Do you ever just wish you could just ask someone a simple question and…

Poof!

…get the exact answer you needed, sans the  opinionated mumbo jumbo?

Starting right now

Wait…

NOW

…I’m launching a special “Ask Heather!” segment on Incredible Infant.

I will take one of  my beloved subscriber’s questions and lift it up (kinda like Simba) and display it for the entire of  central Africa cyberspace to read.

The lucky reader this month is……..

*rolling the bingo ball cage*

Lida!

Lida wanted see the daily rhythm for her baby’s age group (6-9 month olds).

Since I live to serve (and drink coffee), I boldly poured a  massive cup of God’s Favorite Bean (sorry, cocoa) and dug up this answer.

This article is a sibling to two other scheduling posts I’ve written.  One is for newborns and the other is for 2-3 month olds.

The Funny Thing About a Baby Schedule…

They are incredibly unreliable.

As in, Continental Airlines unreliable.  The one thing you can count on is that your baby is going to be late for 50% , early for 25%, and skip the other 25% altogether.

So why in the #%!@$! should you follow this schedule in the first place?

Because, although your baby may not follow the exact time schedule, the routine is essential.

Babies need predictability. 

She will be happier, healthier, and more rested when you create a predictable routine.

This means, for the time being, your daily schedule of tasks and errands needs to be structured around your baby’s waking/sleeping patterns, and NOT the other way around.  (This “baby’s schedule is first” theme isn’t forever, don’t worry.)

The more predictable your baby’s day, with a steady rhythm of sleeping and eating, the better everyone’s sleeping at night.

Oh, and btw, if your baby snacks all day, she’s going to snack all night too.

Notice the pattern in the routine below, and then use your baby’s cues to recreate your own daily rhythm.

Sample Daily Routine for a 6 to 9 Month Old http://incredibleinfant.com

Download a printable copy here.

How To Adjust This Routine

If your baby doesn’t follow this exact pattern (which is highly likely), the best way to adjust this is to look at the pattern and then rely on your baby’s cues to tell you when to move to the next activity.

For example, after waking in the morning, the rest of the day will follow this pattern:

  • Eat
  • Play
  • Sleep

So on, and so forth, until the end of the day, when you go directly from eating to sleeping.

Try your best to keep bedtime between 7pm and 8pm.  If she finishes her last nap in the afternoon, she’s going to be pretty tired by 7-8.  If you wait longer, she will get overtired and you’ll have a hard time getting her down, and keep her sleeping all night through.

Your Turn

What does your baby’s daily routine look like?

Comments

  1. This is EXACTLY how our 7 month old daughter does her day, aside from when she is at school (daycare). Even the times line up the EXACT same and we have a GREAT sleeper. In bed asleep by 7 and awake at 7 with no night wakings. It is amazing. Thank you Heather for helping to reinforce what my husband and I have been trying to do for a long time with maintaining a routine/schedule for our little Nola bean.
    I love getting your emails they have such great information and help to ease my worries…first time patents over here. You were the one who helped us to find a formula that actually worked for our daughter, after trying every brand and type available on the market except Gerber, who knew??

    • Oh Amanda! I’m so glad to hear this! I’m also glad you were able to find your baby’s perfect formula. Makes a big difference! Thanks for subscribing, Amanda! (HUGS!) :-)

  2. Wow this is hard for me to believe. 12 hrs of sleep. That’s amazing. My baby is 3 months hope he’ll sleep like this at 6 months lol

  3. Wow I only wish my 7 mo old was on this schedule!! She almost is actually; however she nurses to sleep and then does not nurse again till its nap time, then nurses to sleep again. When she is at daycare or with dad same thing she bottles then falls asleep. She NEVER sleeps for more than 40 min at a time during the day. She does want to go to bed at 7:30 but when I’m working daddy keeps her up because I don’t get home till 8pm, then she nurses to sleep and will sleep till 7am to 8am. so the problem is nursing to sleep which I don’t mind so much except that its not the right pattern and I can’t get her to change. She will NOT go to sleep without eating! Any suggestions??

    • BTW I work 3 days a week 12 hour days can’t be adjusted.

      • Good Night, Sleep Tight by Kim West is the book that helped us. We just did the “Sleep Lady Shuffle” to help our 7 month old son stop drinking himself to sleep. It was a rough couple of days/nights, but we never left him to cry alone (not part of the “shuffle” plan) and because he is still so young I think, the habit was easier to break. We didn’t break the habit with his older sister until she was over a year old and it was much more difficult and took longer. You can do it! Both you and hubby have to be on board and working together so you both know what to do to help baby. Good luck! I think Heather has an interview from the book’s author, Kim West, on the website somewhere so you can start with that. We are in the same boat, I feel your pain!

  4. I’m pretty sure you’re my favorite…like, ever.

    Yeah, pretty sure.

    My favorite.

    • Dear Complete Stranger (whom I may or may not be married to)

      Leaving love notes on the blog.

      Smart strategy. :)

      Will it pay off?

      WE SHALL SEE. (but a box of truffles and roses wouldn’t hurt the cause…)

  5. Priya Patel says:

    Hey heather ,

    I am so happy I came across your website…. Your info on formulas helped us make the right choice for our baby!! She was diagnosed with silent reflux at 2 months and still struggles with it during naps and nighttime sleep. She is 6 months now. She never naps more than 40 minutes and would wake up twice for a nighttime feed and is up at 5 generally when her reflux really kicks in and I bring her into bed with me at that time. The past two days she has been waking up every hour or two and it has just been exhausting. Would you recommend sleep training her or should I just wait the reflux to get better before even trying to sleep train her……

    • I’m so happy to hear that Priya! (About the formula, I mean.) At six months, reflux is usually starting to wane as babies start eating solid foods. (Has she started solids? That may be a good thing to try.) I don’t think it’s too early to do some sleep coaching…but your expectations should be very small at the beginning. Try to extend the time it takes for you to feed her after waking for 5 minutes at first. Make SURE she has as full a tummy as you can get her at the end of the day. The more full her stomach, the more confident you can be during the evening that she’s waking out of habit and not out of hunger.

      When she eats, is she polishing off a whole bottle? Or just an ounce or two? If it’s just an ounce, than she’s feeding-to-soothe, and not because she’s really hungry. This means that she’s ready to start learning how to sleep without waking to eat. This article on the sleep shuffle explains how to stop those nighttime feedings in a gentle way. It may take her longer, so be patient, and set small goals so at the end of a few days you can see improvement. It won’t always be this way Priya! Every night try TRY again, and eventually you’ll see that you’re further up the Sleep Mountain than you thought. :-)

      • Priya Patel says:

        Hey heather,

        Your article on sleeping through the night is great!! I did notice that you say that we need to have her reflux under control before sleep training and I will try and focus on that. Yes we did start solids but she still seems uncomfortable at sleep times. She drinks a whole bottle at the 1.30 feed but not at the 4.30 am feed. So for now maybe I will work on bringing it down to one feed in the middle of the night. Thank you so much for you encouragement!! Hopefully baby and I will be sleeping through the night in a couple of months….. Fingers crossed and ebbing positive…

  6. This will help me greatly,Thank you. I do have a question though. What is the best thing to do if baby wakes up in the middle of night? Do I feed her,soothe her or cio? I am so confused about this.

    • Great question Nicole! Use the steps of the Sleep Shuffle at night. It will give her the assurance you are there, and the encouragement to learn how to put herself back to sleep.

    • Hi Nicole! I’m only answering because we recently went through a spurt with my 7 month old was waking up 6-8 times a night, waking us up too! I always made sure he refused food when he went to bed, but none of our methods worked.

      At first I would answer every call he made until 4 months old. From 4-6 months I tried the Ferber Method AND Heather’s method of the Sleep Shuffle. He wouldn’t have any of it.

      Finally, a friend recommended “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child”. I went directly to my baby’s age group and read that I should pick 2 times to feed him during the night and those were the only times I was to go in his room. No pacifier replacements no soothing.

      You have to understand being sleep deprived for 7 months was starting to take a toll on my marriage and my relationship with my baby. I never wanted to use crying it out as a method to get my baby to sleep, but I was at my wits end and it has been the only thing that’s worked.

      He’s been sleeping through the night since I started letting him cry and put himself back to sleep three weeks ago.

  7. We tried this routine for 3 weeks. My 4 month old wouldn’t stick to it because his naps were WAY too short (1 hour max) and he’d only stay awake for an hour. So I was changing his diaper and feeding him each time he woke up. That’s a lot of diapers and unfinished bottles.

    At 6 months old we set specific feeding times, but kept the same general routine since he could stay awake longer. He gets his bum changed every time he wakes up, eats at 7am (bottle), 9am (solids), 12pm (solids), 3pm (bottle), 6pm (solids) and 7pm (last bottle), and naps about an hour after he eats (4, 1 hour naps). Right now it’s working for us, but I still wish he’d take longer naps!

    For this routine to work for us, we had to wait for him to be able to stay awake longer between naps.

    • Natascha,Thank you for sharing your experience.I am glad it is working for you.My daughter will be 6 months on the 22nd of this month.She wakes up twice during the night.I will usually give her the pacifier but if that doesnt work then she gets the bottle.Then she is burped and changed.Most of the time she falls asleep after.She also lays in the bed with my husband and I.She wakes up more often in her crib and we need sleep so we started to place her in the bed with us.This has become very exhausting.I did place her back in the crib last night where she slept for 4 hours.After that she was not having it.I placed her back in the crib where she squirmed,wiggled and moved for 25 mins straight.She was placed back in the bed with us.We will try again tonight but otherwise are not sure what else to do.

      • Nicole! I understand your pain! My baby slept in my arms for all naps until he was 5 months old. At night he had no problems sleeping in his bed because we always put him in there at night since he was born, but here is how I got him used to his bed in as little as four days for naps.

        Day 1: Rocked him to sleep in my arms. When he was completely asleep, I laid him down in his bed (can be tricky, he may wake up). If he woke up, I did it again, and again until I could sneak out.

        Day 2: I rocked him until his eyes were starting to close then put him down. If he woke up, I did it again and again until I could sneak out.

        Day 3: I followed his queue to tell me he was tired and immediately set him in his bed, staying next to the crib until he settled himself down. At this point, he usually fell asleep within a couple minutes.

        Day 4: All I had to do was put him down in his crib then leave. He put himself to sleep.

        I don’t know if this will work for you, but it did for my baby when he hated sleeping in his bed. Keep in mind as well, sometimes my baby has nightmares then REFUSES to sleep in his bed because he’s scared and I’ve had to do it all over again.

        In fact, I’ve had to sleep train him at least three times now with immunizations, teething, being sick, etc. It’s a lot of work, but pays off in the end! Good luck.

  8. Hi! Ever since our daughter was about 3 months old, we’ve discovered that she could only be awake about an hour and fifteen minutes before she got fussy so we would always put her down for a nap about that time. Well, now she is 7 months old and we’re still putting her down after about an hour and fifteen minutes of wake time, but I’m wanting to stretch her naps out a bit so we can get on more of a predictable schedule. Also, her naps are very short, like 30-45 minutes in the morning and will often sleep 1-2 hours in the afternoon. Any tips on how to get her on more of a predictable schedule and how to make her naps longer? Lastly, she always cries/whines for about 10 minutes or so when we put her down for a nap. Is this normal or is it because she’s over tired or the opposite, not tired yet? I’m stumped! Thanks so much!!!

    • Corrie, you could start stretching it by extending it by 10-15 minutes for several days. So tomorrow, instead of putting her down for every 1 hr 15 minutes, try extending it to 1 hour 25 minutes, or 1.5 hours (depending on the sleepy cues she’s sending out). As for the length, I’m wondering if that will improve once you’ve stretched her wake time. The schedule above is “typical” but not absolute, so see what happens if you begin to slowly adjust her wake time. The cry/whine thing is normal for some kids. That may also change with a little nap stretching. Test it out for a week and see how that changes everything else. (Hopefully for the better!) :-)

      • Thanks!! So for the past week I’ve extended her wake time to 1.75-2 hours and I was hoping when I did that, it would help her sleep longer! Well, she is STILL only sleeping 35-45 minutes!! AHHH!! I’ve found that she doesn’t whine/cry long now, but I’m dying to get her sleeping longer! Any other suggestions?? Thanks so much!!

        • hmmmm…what a little puzzler! Okay…the key here is to respond fast enough that she doesn’t have time to get fully awake, but gently enough that you don’t stimulate her into thinking naptime is over. So…try going in there very quietly the second you get the “I’m waking” signal. Sit next to her crib (or if you’re doing the Shuffle, whichever position you were in the night before) and then sit with her, shushing, trying to give her a full hour to fall asleep again.

          Then, if you’ve been sitting next to her trying to get her to go back to sleep for an hour and she’s still not fallen back asleep, walk out and count to 60 (for a full minute) then walk in all smiles and open the window coverings and announce naptime “over”. Then watch her like a hawk for the next hour to see when she’s getting sleepy, putting her down again and doing this all over. So, mentally, just know that for the 3-4 days, most of your day is going to be spent working on the nap. I still think this is changeable. :-) We just have to find the right approach.

  9. Omg this has been awesome for us so far. This will be our fourth day using this routine and my 73/4 month old bubba girl has loved it. Taking the 2 naps ( previously would only do a morning nap ) and sleeping through the night!!! I’ll let you know if we continue to thrive on this :) Where’s the 9 months onward schedule?? ;)

    • Louise, I’m so glad it’s been helpful! You are definitely right in that I need a 9-12 month schedule next. (And I don’t have the 4-5 month done yet, yikes!) I’m going to squeeze it into my February posting schedule. Thanks for the gentle reminder/nudge!

  10. Heather your routine us so good but my question is what if baby starts her day at 5.30 then should I wake her up till 9 am for nap. And another question what to do if naps are of 30 minutes. Oh so confused …. My baby routine varies everyday … Oh gosh

    • Just move the whole day up a bit, Kanchan! And if she only naps for 30 minutes, try to comfort her and see if she’ll go back to sleep, so that she’s been in “nap-mode” for an hour, then get her up and adjust the day accordingly, using her cues and the clock to help you catch her next “sleep window” and try again.

  11. Hi Heather,
    HELP! My 6 and half month old daughter wakes up every night at 3AM. She goes to bed around 7 – 7:30pm, and sleeps mostly well. But then at 3AM, she’s up and its party time! She is really awake, and playful. Not really hungry. We don’t play with her, keep lights off, and have tried to pat her and not pick her up. We tried that sleep shuffle thing and it doesn’t work. She won’t sleep until about 4:30AM or so. Its making me and my husband crazy…..
    Any thoughts?

    • Yvonne, I know this may sound strange, but one thing I’d look at is whether she is too tired when you put her down? Try to make sure she’s not any sleepier than a 7 on a 10 scale. It seems backwards, but I know of a few situations where the baby was waking up because she was being put down too drowsy. Once the parents starting putting them down a little more awake, that issue went away.

      Another thing you could try (it’s a gamble!), is to sneak in there at 2:30 and do a dreamfeed for a few nights. There’s a growth spurt at 6 months, so it’s possible that if you gave her a quick feeding at 2:30 you might be able to break the cycle. Go in and feed her, but with no lights, no music, no talking, nuthin. Unless she has a poopy diaper, don’t change her. You want her to sleep right through the feeding. After doing this for 2-3 days, see if she sleeps through the night. Just do it for 2-3 nights, though. You don’t want it to become an expectation! :-)

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