Congratulations, new parent. You’ve made it to the six-month mark. Your baby isn’t a helpless little lump anymore. He or she is actually a pretty big lump by now, and has likely doubled his or her birth weight and more.
Because your child is growing at a ferocious clip, he or she needs a lot of rest. By their sixth month, babies are sleeping a total of about 14 hours a day. That can be split up among a night sleep and two, or even three, naps during the day.
For babies who are six months old, The Baby Sleep Site suggests three naps, with the afternoon nap being shortest. Under the site’s schedule, the baby is waking up for the day at about 6:30 a.m. at going down for the night at 7:00 p.m., with four breast milk or formula feedings over the course of the day. All children are different, so treat the schedule as a general guideline rather than rigid timeline. You may find you baby waking and settling down earlier or later.
The really good news: Babies at this age can sleep for longer than two hours at a stretch without waking up for a feeding. It’s even possible that your little bundle is sleeping through the night already, but don’t be alarmed if that’s not the case. Many experts recommend that parents start sleep training babies between six and nine months. And keep in mind there are different options for doing this, so read up and find a plan that feels comfortable for you and right for your child..
So while the good news is that the harrowing, all-night crying and feeding marathons from the newborn months are over, the bad news is that a new nighttime horror is about to appear: teething.
Your baby will start to develop chompers around now. Having new teeth pierce through the gums is a painful, confusing process for the little one. Excessive drooling and general signs of discomfort can indicate teething. You can try a variety of gels and natural remedies in addition to medication like infant’s Tylenol and Motrin.
At nine months, your baby may still be waking up in the night for feedings. Your instinct will be to feed her, but the cries are likely less about hunger than a sleep association. They think they need the bottle or the breast but probably really don’t. Childcare advisors recommend weaning your baby off of night feedings.
That may seem daunting now. But when your baby is sleeping through the night in a few months, you’ll be glad for the advice.