Is the 6 Month Sleep Regression Real?
Is the 6 month sleep regression real? Is it a thing? Well let me tell you, yes it is real! Around 6 months, babies usually start to sleep through the night, which is a very glorious time for us parents. It’s also a very interesting time for our babies as they are undergoing significant physical and mental leaps as well as meeting various milestones including a growing awareness of their environment, becoming more responsive to sounds, laughing, babbling more often and rolling over and sitting unsupported. These changes impact how active baby is during the day and unfortunately at night. It also makes some babies more sensitive to over-stimulation, separation anxiety, or other disturbances that can affect their sleep. However, please note that not all babies go through a sleep regression at 6 months but many do. Will your baby go through this regression? It’s hard to say. You’ll just have to wait and see what your Little One has in store for you.
What Does the 6 Month Sleep Regression Look Like?
- More frequent night wakings
- More problems falling asleep
- Longer naps during the day with less nighttime sleep
- More crying or agitation
- More frequent feedings as extra nutrition is needed for growth spurt
- Less hours sleeping, more hours practising new skills
- Clinging to you, or stressed if you leave due to separation anxiety
How long will it Last?
Although every baby experiences this regression differently, it is usually short, lasting a few days to a few weeks. In fact, this sleep regression is actually one of the shorter and thus easier ones to get through.
How To Help Baby Through It?
- Make sure a solid bedtime routine is in place
- Wait a few minutes at night to see if baby can fall back to sleep independently
- Environment should be conducive to sleep
- Give lots of opportunity to practice new skills during the day
- Offer more feedings throughout the day
- Practice more independent play throughout the day
- Practice separating from baby for a short interval and reuniting with baby to help baby through separation anxiety
How Can You Get Through It?
First, take a deep breath. Babies go through phases, and this is a phase. I know your baby might have just gotten over the 4 month sleep regression when this one hit, but it will pass. Ask for help, engage in self-care, please try to get some sleep, and check out our tips @littledandelionsleep. You and baby will get through it, and you’ll be able to enjoy all of baby’s new skills in no time at all.
A Note About Sleep Regressions
On the positive side, a sleep regression (any sleep regression) is actually a positive thing. It means that baby is “progressing” with their development. As they gain new skills, they’ll want to use their newfound knowledge to explore and communicate. So, while sleep regressions are undoubtedly challenging, they are ultimately a positive sign that baby is doing exactly what they should be doing.