The 6 Month Sleep Regression

By Vanessa McFarlane

March 18, 2020

You have made it through the 4-month regression and are likely enjoying your baby’s sleep routine and then 6 months hit and your baby’s sleep begins to be disrupted once again! Unlike the 4 month regression, where your baby’s sleep habits permanently change, the 6-month regression is often a minor setback in your baby’s sleep. So what causes this regression and how do you navigate through it?The 6-month regression is caused by cognitive and physical developmental growth spurts. During this time, you may notice a wide range of disruptions to your baby’s sleep. For example, your baby that once slept through the night may begin to wake frequently during the night. They may also begin to fight naps or going down to sleep after their normal bedtime routine. Rest assured, these disruptions are normal and temporary!

So how should you navigate this sleep disruption?

AVOID CHANGING ANYTHING TOO SOON

I recommend parents should resist the urge to make significant changes to their child’s routine until two weeks pass. Most 6 month regressions will go back to normal once the developmental milestone has been reached. Changing things too soon could result in this process taking way longer to move through or creating new habits.

RESIST CREATING NEW HABITS

Your child will move through this as it is a normal process for development, however, it is important for parents to resist the urge to implement a quick fix. For example, this is when many parents will bring back a night feeding, pull baby into their bed or start rocking to sleep. These can become habits that will continue to past the developmental interruption and you may find yourself struggling to drop that feed down the road.

FOLLOW YOUR CHILD’S AWAKE WINDOW CUES

As baby’s age, their tolerance for longer awake windows begins to increase. If your child is still struggling with sleep after two weeks, it may be time to drop a nap and begin lengthening their awake times. Most 6-month-olds can tolerate staying awake for 2-3 hours prior to needing a nap or bedtime. If your baby had a really late bedtime, it may be time to drop a nap and pull bedtime earlier to 7pm. If your 6 months old still requires a 3rd nap, ensure it is just a cat nap and encourage them to wake by 430pm.If you are struggling with your child’s sleep, never hesitate to reach out! We are happy to provide a free 15-minute phone call to discuss how we can help you get your baby back on track. Find a local Mama Coach in your area, here.

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