BabySleep & Feeding Schedules

Sleep Basics for 3 – 6 Month Olds

Sleep Basics for 3 – 6 Month Olds

Typical sleep at this age

Feels good to know that you’re finally getting a couple more hours of sleep as your little one is gradually learning to develop a sleep/wake pattern and also dropping most night feedings. What a relief!

If this scenario represents your current situation, congratulations! But if not, don’t be too bothered as your baby will definitely get there with time and know that you’re not alone in this. A lot of babies in the 4-6 months stage still wake up more than once at night for feedings and although most 3- to 6-month-olds sleep a total of 15 to 16 hours a day, including nighttime sleep and naps., know that every baby is on a unique developmental schedule, so don’t go expecting your child to sleep like every other child.

If you’d like to help your child sleep longer at a stretch and keep more regular hours, you can start experimenting with some type of sleep training. Observe to see how your child reacts to the training and make necessary adjustments as you see fit. If he doesn’t seem ready, take a little break and try again in a few weeks, but who knows, he just might be ready and sooner rather than later, you’ll be well on your way to more hours of sleep and waking up feeling a bit more refreshed.

Suddenly waking up again?

No one can understand how it feels to find out your “sleep trained” child that sleeps all through the night now suddenly doesn’t anymore. Don’t be surprised about it though as some babies experience this at a point in time. They are called “sleep regressions and are known to occur mostly when babies are going through some brain developments.

For some babies, they are becoming aware of things and may be waking up for you to cuddle up with them orto master new skills like rolling over or crawling. Your baby might just be hard at work honing his skills all day and enjoying it so much that he can’t wait to wake up to try again.

How you can establish healthy sleep habits

  • Work on a sleep routine and stick to it. Be consistent with your plan for sleep and nap times, so as to help regulate his sleep patterns. Just as when your baby was a newborn and would rub his eyes or pull on his ears or become fuzzy to indicate he wanted to sleep, so can your 3-6 months old. Watch out for these signals and help him establish a regular bedtime routine.
  • Choose a bedtime that suits your family and try putting your little one on the bed about 30 minutes before his usual sleep time and lessen the noise around to help him sleep.
  • Some routines could be any or all of the following: giving him a bath, getting him changed for bed, reading a bedtime story, singing a lullaby, and giving him a goodnight kiss. Choose one that suits you and do it consistently in the same order and at the same time every night. Babies thrive on consistency.
  • Do not neglect nap times also. Make sure your child gets a reasonable amount of sleep during the Day. Also try setting a routine for this period if possible. It doesn’t have to be a rigid plan as long as your child gets the required amount of sleep. You can start to plan naps for a specific time every day, too, such as at 9 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m. Or you can just put your baby down about two hours after she last woke up.

Wake your child in the morning to set her daily clock.

It’s fine to wake your baby up in the morning if she’s sleeping past her usual waking time, to help set her daily clock. Your baby needs to follow a regular sleep/wake pattern and recharge with naps during the day. Waking her up at the same time every morning will help keep her on a predictable sleep schedule.

Teach your child to sleep independently.

The ability to fall back asleep after briefly waking up during the night is key when it comes to sleeping all through the night. It is a known that all of us, babies and adults wake up several times during the night, but as adults we have grown to put ourselves right back to sleep almost every time that most times we totally forgot that we even woke up or put ourselves back to sleep.

For the little ones, it might be somewhat of a challenge. Some babies at this stage may already have mastered this art, while some will need help.

One way to get her started is to put her down when she’s drowsy but awake. If you hear her wake up at night, wait a few minutes before you get up to comfort or feed her. Give her a chance to settle back down by herself.

What will work best for you depends on your parenting style, your personal beliefs, and your child’s particular needs.

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