A baby's sleep schedule can change a number of times within their first year, and it can be difficult for parents to know whether their little one is sleeping normally for their age. At the age of 6 months and above, babies can sleep for longer periods and are capable of less waking at night.
However, every child is different, and you may need to look at the overall sleep picture if your older baby is struggling to help them achieve these things.
A 6-month-old is developing a great deal, and for the time leading up to 9 months, a baby will hit some major milestones in their overall development. Because of this, many babies experience sleep regressions, anxiety and teething pain, which can all have a huge effect on the family's night sleep. If parents understand what to expect from their baby, they are able to come up with an efficient plan for getting a good night's sleep. Here is Babogue's guide on what to expect from a 6 - 9-month-olds sleep.
How Much Sleep Do 6-9-Month-Olds Need?
A baby over the age of 6 months should sleep for around 14 to 15 hours over a 24-hour period, although naps and time spent sleeping through the night can differentiate. Most babies at this age will have around 2 to 3 naps during the day and may wake up once or twice at night. In some cases, babies at 6 - 9 months of age may even sleep through the entire night, although they can still experience a sleep regression that may impact their overnights. At this age, it is advised that babies nap for 3 to 4 hours per day and sleep for around 10 to 12 hours at night.
If your baby is struggling to sleep at night or can't self-soothe, there may be things you can do to help. There can be many reasons as to why a baby struggles to fall asleep, however, we understand the importance of a good routine when it comes to sleep for the whole family, which is why it is important that you and your baby's sleep needs are taken care of properly.
Why Might my 6 - 9-Month-Old be Struggling to Fall Asleep?
Because of the rate at which young children develop, infant sleep patterns develop & change, especially within the first year of their life. It is important to know what to expect when it comes to your child's sleep schedules and things that can interrupt their ability to fall asleep. At this age, the main factors that come into play with your baby's bedtime are separation anxiety, teething and dreaded sleep regressions. Other reasons for poor sleep could be health-related, so if you feel your baby isn't sleeping as well as they should do and you have tried out our tips below, you should seek advice from a medical professional.
How Can I Help My Baby Sleep?
In order to form a good sleep routine and help your baby to self-soothe. This can start from 4 months when an important development occurs around sleep for little ones. However, if you haven't yet begun to work on this it is not too late, and your little one could be sleeping better and for longer after just a few weeks. It is important to try and teach your 6 - 9-month-old the art of self-soothing, which means that your baby can get to sleep themselves without relying on you or a carer.
Form a Consistent Sleep Schedule
For both adults and babies alike, a consistent bedtime routine can make all the difference to the quality and amount of sleep we can get. The same applies to a 6-month-old and above; forming habits around the same time each night and waking at the same time in the morning can help to regulate sleep, making bedtime easier and giving your little one more of a chance of sleeping for longer stretches. Many parents start the bedtime routine for their baby with bath time, as it is vital to have your baby calm and relaxed in the evenings. Keeping a calming voice, quiet background noise and lights low can create an ideal environment for your baby to relax and become sleepy in the evening. You may want to put on some lullabies or read a bedtime story. Whatever you decide for your baby's routine, it should be something that you and other carers can stick to in order to form good sleep habits.
Don't Spend Too Much Time Fussing
Although most parents love to have cuddles with their baby before bed, cuddling too much can cause your baby to go to sleep in your arms and can hinder the quality of sleep they get. This is because a baby that becomes too used to falling asleep in their parent's arms will struggle to get to sleep or nap alone as this then becomes an association with falling asleep. This can create problems when it comes to a time when you can't be there to put your little one to bed. When putting your 6-month-old to bed, you should try to have them fall asleep in their sleep environment themselves. Additionally, if in the day or at night you are cuddling your baby and notice they begin to get sleepy, place them in your shared bed or their crib before they have fallen asleep in your arms. This can also help with the anxiety babies at this age feel when separated from parents and carers.
Wake Your Baby if They are Napping Too Much During the Day
A 6-month old that has too much nap time during the day may have disrupted nights as they won't be as sleepy as necessary. The sleep that children get at night is much more important than the day, so you should wake your baby if they are napping for over 4 hours in the afternoon or sleeping through daytime feeds. Try to set up a schedule that allows your child to sleep in the day that supports their overall sleep picture and doesn't negatively impact their nighttime sleep. Sticking to similar daily feeding times each day, whether you are breastfeeding, bottle feeding or your little one can eat solids.
Improve your childs sleep with Babogue's Sleep Series
Whether your baby is struggling with a sleep regression or you feel your 6 - 9 months old should be sleeping better in general, Erica at Babogue can help. Erica is a Certified Child Sleep Consultant that has worked with thousands of families across the world to transform their sleep. Whether your baby struggles to stay asleep, get back to sleep and/or is generally causing you to lose out on the vital night sleep that you need, the sleep series can help. Our 6-9 month sleep series will let you know exactly what to expect from your baby at this age, and provide you with 7 Steps to Better Sleep. Find out more on babogue.com and start your journey to a better night for your baby and entire family today.