6-Month-Old babies are adorable and playful, but it can be hard to find the right way to get them to sleep at night. 6 months is a great time to start teaching babies to sleep throughout the night and being a mom I know the struggles of trying to find the right way to teach each child how to sleep. I did some research and relying on past experiences have come up with some great tips on how to teach your baby how to sleep at night.
So, how do you teach your 6-month-old baby to sleep at night? There are a lot of ways to teach a 6-month-old to sleep, but one of the most important things you can do is set up a routine and stick with it.
Babies seem to go through waves of sleeping well and not sleeping well, and it is so hard to figure out the best way to teach them to sleep. Sleep is such an essential part of having a healthy and happy baby, so I have come up with 7 simple steps that will help you and your baby learn how your baby can sleep at night.
7 Simple Steps to Teach a 6-Month-Old to Sleep at Night
Having a 6-month-old baby can be stressful and completely exhausting and yet it is the most enriching time. Your baby loves to cuddle still but is becoming more active and aware of themselves.
It is beautiful and exciting, but when it comes to bedtime that’s normally when the stress and exhaustion come into play. Luckily there are some great tips out there that have helped many people and will hopefully help you.
Simple Step Number One
As we mentioned before one of the best ways to teach a 6-month-old to sleep at night is to make and keep a routine. Just like adults babies, and all children, survive better and work better with consistency.
So, if your baby is getting put to bed at all different times and if they don’t have a specific routine in place before bedtime it will be hard for them and their bodies to know that it is time to go to sleep.
So, breaking this step up a little bit lets look at bedtimes.
Set a Specific Bedtime
I always sleep SO much better when I go to bed at the same time every night, and I’m not trying to double my size in less than a year. 6-Month-Old babies are trying to grow, adjust, learn, and progress all at the same time all of the time.
The only time they get a break is when they are sleeping (and even then they are still growing). Because of this unique and crucial part of their lives, it is important to set a specific bedtime for your baby and then stick to it.
The response won’t be immediate. Your baby is still going to struggle a bit at bedtime, but sooner rather than later your 6-month-old will start to sleep at night.
Luckily that means that you’ll sleep as well. As much as possible stick to this bedtime. If you are out for the night and have a babysitter print out or write down your babies schedule and ask your babysitter to follow it completely. Your life and your babies life will be blessed for it!
Make and Keep a Routine
Before you put your baby to bed at night make a specific routine that will help your baby recognize that it is time for them to go to sleep. If you can come up with a 30-45 minute routine for your 6-month-old their sleep and your sleep will be blessed for it.
Some ideas for things you can incorporate into your nightly routine are:
- A nightly Bath
- Getting some lotion and pajamas on
- Read a book out loud
- Play or Sing a soothing song
- Rock your baby for a few minutes
- Tuck your baby in
There are a lot of things you can incorporate into your nightly routine and the routine may change form baby to baby depending on what works. Really one of the best things you can do for your 6-month-baby to get them to sleep is to make and keep routines.
The best thing about routines is that you don’t have to wait until your baby is 6-months-old to start this, you can start as early as you want and it won’t negatively affect your baby.
Simple Step Number Two
Building on routines, if you start establishing a regular nap schedule your 6-month-old babies body and mind will start becoming accustomed to when they are supposed to sleep and they will start naturally getting tired then.
This helps 6-month-old babies sleep at night because it gives you control of how much sleep they are getting during the day and when. This allows you to make sure your little bundle of joy isn’t sleeping all day and awake all night.
Setting up regular nap schedules is also helpful because it allows you as a mom to make sure that your baby isn’t taking a nap to close to bedtime which would be hard for a baby to then sleep at night.
Babies work well on routines and 6-month-old babies aren’t any different. The more you stick to routines the easier time your 6-month-old baby will have sleeping at night.
Simple Step Number Three
It is always a good idea to put your babies to bed on the early side of the night instead of the later side. A lot of parents think that if they keep their baby up later until they are more tired that their baby will sleep better.
This is not true and it babies actually have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep when parents do this. Babies that are put to bed around 6:30 to 7’o’clock at night have been proven to sleep better and longer than babies that are kept up late.
If your baby has been going to bed late, around 9-9:30 you don’t want to switch them over to 7’o’clock immediately because it will be bad for your 6-month-old. In order to switch their nightly bedtime, it needs to be a slow but steady process.
Working with your baby to switch their bedtime slowly will allow for their bodies and minds to properly adjust to this new change.
Simple Step Number Four
The next step to helping your 6-month-old baby sleep through the night is to make sleep a priority. If sleep isn’t a priority to you as the parent or guardian it definitely won’t be a priority to your 6-month-old.
Babies who don’t get enough sleep can have problems in the future because of it.
“The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has linked babies’ frequent night wakings to everything from postpartum depression in moms to future obesity and behavior problems in kids”
Just how adult brains need sleep babies brains need sleep too and making it a priority will help your baby succeed in the future.
Simple Step Number Five
Another great step for helping your 6-month-old baby sleep is to understand just how much sleep they need. We focus a lot as adults as to whether or not we need 8 hours 0f sleep a day or 10 hours of sleep, but do we stop and think about how many hours our 6-month-old-babies need?
I know I didn’t always think about that. Well, 6-month-old babies need about 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night and then an extra 3 1/2 hours of sleep each day spread out between about 2 or 3 different naps.
The sleep of our children is important and this knowledge can help us help our babies sleep during the night. If you want to know more about how much sleep your baby needs to get click here
Simple Step Number Six
The 6th simple step is simply encouraging your baby to fall asleep on their own. It can sometimes be easy to lure a baby to sleep with milk or rocking (I have a friend that takes her baby for a drive) and while that is not bad it can be more beneficial for kids if you help them to fall asleep on their own.
There may be some crying involved for the first couple of nights but eventually, your baby will sleep better for it.
Simple Step Number Seven
The last step is to make their daytime feedings playful and full of energy and them make your nighttime feeding before bed calm and relaxing. This technique can help signal to your baby that it is time to calm down and get ready for bed.
This mixed with a regular routine can also help with the above step of trying to help your baby fall asleep on their own. If their body is starting to calm down and relax it will be easier for them to fall asleep by themselves.
How much should a 6-month-old baby weigh?
A 6-month-old baby should normally weigh about 16 pounds for girls and 17.5 pounds for boys.