6 Month Sleep Regression

How to navigate the 6-month sleep regression!

6 Month Sleep Regression

A baby’s 6th month marks a milestone for a variety of reasons. Not only is it the halfway point to your baby hitting that 1 year birthday but there are also many developmental changes that can occur around this time. As parents you can expect to see changes in your little one’s activity and of course that can extend to sleep habits as well. We understand that 6 month sleep regressions can be challenging for parents. 

At the 6 month mark there are a variety of changes you can expect to see. Generally speaking 6 months is when you will begin to start your infant on solids, if you haven’t already. You can also expect to see changes in your baby’s ability to sit unsupported at 6 months. It’s important to note that this can definitely vary widely from baby to baby. You will notice that it might become harder to keep your little one stimulated as they grow, generally speaking you can try to use toys/activities that help to increase both large/small motor skills along with social, intellectual and language skill development.

Some of the common developmental causes of the 6 month sleep regression can include:

  • Baby rolling from front to front or front to back
  • The start of baby scooting around on their stomach/ crawling
  • An increased desire to try to communicate by linking sounds together
  • Beginning of teething
  • The start of separation anxiety

What Is 6 Month Sleep Regression?

As babies grow, their development can happen at an uneven pace, which can end up resulting in periods when their sleep seems to hit a plateau or get worse, this is known as sleep regression in babies. Where an infant may have been able to sleep through the night before the 6 month mark, you may start to notice that they are waking up/fussing after a few hours instead.

There are oftentimes multiple factors can affect infant sleep, and it can be hard to identify one single cause for a sleep regression. With an increase in their physical abilities and mental and environmental awareness, they may be more sensitive to overstimulation, separation anxiety, or other disturbances that can affect their sleep. With sleep consolidation, parents may be adjusting sleep schedules or routines, and it may take a baby time to acclimate to change. It’s important to remember that this is all part of normal development for infants.

6-Month Sleep Regression Signs

  • Regressions can include shorter naps- while naps may have been 
  • The opposite can also occur with longer naps resulting in less sleep at night
  • Difficulty falling asleep in the first place
  • Increased irritability / crying during nighttime awakenings
  • Increased wakeful periods during the night that may involve increased difficulty in falling back asleep

How Long Does 6 Month Sleep Regression Last

The duration of these symptoms can vary significantly from one infant to another. The general timeframe for any sleep regression is around 2-6 weeks. In most cases, symptoms of a six-month sleep regression are short lived especially if parents are able to implement healthy sleep tips. It is important to maintain consistency as much as possible throughout this time. These sleep issues often resolve within a few days or a few weeks, although sometimes a plateau in sleep for infants can continue for longer.

Something that should be comforting to hear is that sleep regression is only a phase, and will eventually pass. Your response can help to shorten the regression, and a commitment to a consistent routine can help speed up the process of getting them back to sleeping well. While this phase is nothing to be alarmed about it is oftentimes helpful to mention it to the doctor at your baby’s routine check-up.) It is worth mentioning that if you notice any troubling signs in your little one, such as inconsolable crying, poor eating habits, or decreased weight gain,  you will want to talk with your baby’s pediatrician. These could all be potential signs of an underlying issue that your doctor can help you to pinpoint.

How To Deal With 6 Month Sleep Regression

  • Establish a consistent sleep routine. Baby’s love routine! This will help your baby to learn when it’s actually time to sleep and create a sense of familiarity and comfort. 
  • Create a calming environment. The right environment really can make all the difference when getting your baby ready for sleep. Try to have a dark, quiet, and comfortable space for your baby to sleep in. This will help them feel more secure. 
  • Try a white noise machine. These machines can be a godsend! White noise can help mask outside noises that may disrupt your baby’s sleep.
  • Keep nighttime feedings consistent. If your baby is still being fed overnight, try to stick to a schedule. This goes back to the idea of babies thriving on routine. Having a consistent schedule will help them to learn when it’s time to sleep and not eat. 
  • Do your best to reduce stimulation before bedtime. Try to avoid any stimulating activities before bed, such as playing or watching television. These types of stimulating activities can make it harder for your baby to fall and stay asleep. 
  • Be patient and consistent. This won’t last forever! Remember that this is a phase that will pass. Stay consistent with your sleep routine and your baby will eventually get back into a healthy sleep schedule. 

We hope these tips help you navigate this 6 month sleep regression! If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out.

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