6-Month Sleep Regression: What It Is and How to Overcome It

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Rahul Shivkumar
Jan 12, 20234 min read

6-Month Sleep Regression: What It Is and How to Overcome It

If you have a baby or young child, you may have heard the term "sleep regression" before. This phenomenon refers to a temporary disruption in a child's sleep patterns that can occur at various ages. One common age for sleep regression is around 6 months old, which is why it is known as the 6-month sleep regression.

What Is the 6-Month Sleep Regression?

The 6-month sleep regression is a period of time when your baby, who was previously sleeping well, starts to wake up more frequently at night and/or has a harder time falling asleep. It can be frustrating for both the child and the parent, as it can lead to disrupted sleep for everyone in the household.

It is important to note that the 6-month sleep regression is not a medical condition, but rather a normal part of a child's development. Around 6 months old, babies are going through many changes, both physically and cognitively. These changes can affect their sleep patterns and cause sleep regression.

What Causes the 6-Month Sleep Regression?

There are several factors that can contribute to the 6-month sleep regression. Some of the most common include:

  • Developmental milestones: Around 6 months old, babies are reaching new milestones in their development, such as learning to roll over, sit up, and crawl. These milestones can be exciting for babies, but they can also be exhausting and disrupt their sleep.
  • Separation anxiety: As babies grow and become more aware of their surroundings, they may start to feel anxious when they are separated from their caregivers. This can lead to increased wakefulness at night and difficulty falling back to sleep.
  • Teething: Many babies start to teeth around 6 months old, and the discomfort associated with teething can lead to disrupted sleep.
  • Growth spurts: Babies experience several growth spurts during their first year of life, and one often occurs around 6 months old. During a growth spurt, babies may be hungrier and need to eat more frequently, which can disrupt their sleep.
  • Changes in sleep environment: If you have recently introduced a new bedtime routine or made changes to your baby's sleep environment, such as transitioning to a crib, this can also cause sleep regression.

How to Overcome the 6-Month Sleep Regression

  • If your baby is experiencing the 6-month sleep regression, it can be challenging, but there are steps you can take to help your child (and you!) get back on track. Here are some tips:
  • Stick to a consistent bedtime routine: A consistent bedtime routine can help your baby know what to expect and feel more secure at bedtime. This can include activities such as a warm bath, reading a book, and singing a lullaby.
  • Make sure your baby is getting enough daytime sleep: If your baby is not getting enough sleep during the day, it may be more prone to waking up at night. Make sure your baby is taking regular naps and getting enough sleep overall.
  • Try a white noise machine: White noise can help drown out household noises that may wake your baby up at night. A white noise machine can be especially helpful if you live in a noisy area or have older children who may be making noise at night.
  • Consider giving your baby a pacifier: If your baby is waking up at night and having a hard time falling back to sleep, a pacifier can help soothe them and help them fall back to sleep.
  • Don't be afraid to seek help. If you're feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, don't be afraid to seek help from your healthcare provider or a sleep consultant. They can offer personalized advice and support to help you and your baby get back on track.

The 6-month sleep regression can be a tough time for both you and your baby, but with patience and consistent effort, you can get through it and establish a healthy sleep routine. Remember to be kind to yourself and take breaks when you need them. And most importantly, trust your instincts as a parent and do what works best for your family.

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Rahul Shivkumar's profile picture
Rahul Shivkumar

Software Engineer & Sleep Enthusiast

It’s time to stop blaming the night monsters.

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