Being a parent is both a blessing and a challenge. A blessing because of all the joyful and beautiful memories with the baby. But among many challenges, we will talk about 6-month sleep regression, which is a stage that parents see in their baby’s early development. This is something that occurs when the baby touches the mark of 6 months, making them discomfort in sleep. Though a 6-month sleep regression is normal and temporary and means that your baby is healthy and developing.
During this 6-month sleep regression period, most of the parents get confused and don’t know what to do. As a solution, we brought you an article. In this article, we are going to dive into what is 6-month sleep regression, what are their signs, their causes, and how to deal with them.
Causes for Sleep Regression
Every problem has a cause, and so is sleep regression. If you see any of the below-mentioned causes in your baby, then there is a high chance that they are going through a sleep regression. Here’s a detailed description of how each of the mentioned causes contributes to sleep regression.
1. Eruption of Tooth
Teething is a common process that typically starts from 6 months of age. In this, babies start to grow teeth from their gums, causing them irritation and pain. This disruption and pain in their gums may lead to irritability and disrupted sleep. This discomfort makes it challenging for the baby to settle down and fall asleep, causing frequent night awakenings. Increased drooling, gums swelling, and sensitivity are some major signs of the eruption of teeth. You can give them a gentle gum massage to make their pain less.
Crawling is a milestone that a baby achieves around 6 months of age. This milestone includes the movement of their hand and knees and learning to crawl. Rolling over from front to back and from back to front, moving hands, knees, and chest are some signs of crawling and creeping. At this time, as a parent, you can help them by providing them a supervised tummy time, helping them develop their movement, or motivating them and making sure that the surroundings are safe when the baby is crawling.
Sitting is a cognitive development that a baby achieves during 6 months of sleep regression. Those who do not know babies can sit by themselves without support till they reach the age of 6 months. Some babies around the world between the age of 6-7 months will be able to sit with their support.
Most of the time, a baby babbles while sleeping or at night. Babbling means the cute “ba-ba,” “ma-ma,” or “da-da” sound of a baby. This means that their throat is developing, and they are getting ready to speak. To encourage babbling, respond to their babbling, interact with them, or repeat the same word they are saying.
Flipping or rolling over is another development that a baby achieves during a 6-month sleep regression. A baby starts learning rolling over from 4 to 6 months of age. Though this cause is not directly related to sleep regression but still can be counted as a cause. Flipping or rolling over indicates that the muscles of your baby are strengthening, or you can say that the muscles are building themselves.
6. Change in Sleep Cycle
During this 6-month sleep regression, there can be some noticeable changes in the baby’s sleep cycle. This is the primary cause among all of them due to cognitive development; growth spurts that a baby experiences during these months. The change in the sleep cycle leads to disrupted sleep patterns, frequent nightmare awakenings, and shorter naps. Provide them comfort whenever they wake up crying. This will make them feel secure. The usage of a pacifier or any kind of soft toy can also provide them comfort.
Signs of Sleep Regression
If your baby is suffering from sleep regression, you must notice certain things. If any of the signs mentioned below is found in your bay then there is a possibility that your baby is having 6-month sleep regression. The common signs of sleep regression are:
Night Time Awakening
One of the primary or major reasons for 6-month sleep regression is the increasing night awakenings. A baby who used to sleep for hours may start waking up more frequently compared to earlier. During this moment, a child feels restless and cries a lot, so be a good parent to provide them the comfort, assistance, and care to fall back asleep. Remember that at least 12-16 hours of sleep is a must for babies under a year.
Shorter naps can also be the main reason for 6-month sleep regression. During sleep regression, babies go through developmental changes and experience disruptions in their sleep patterns; their daytime naps may become shorter and less consistent. During this stage, babies start to be aware of their surroundings, and because of their increased awareness leads to shorter naps.
Difficulty Falling Asleep
Most of the babies who experience 6-month sleep regression struggles with falling asleep during bedtime. They may resist being put down in their crib or have trouble self-soothing to sleep. This can result in more extended bedtime routines and increased parental involvement in helping the baby fall asleep. Sing them a lullaby, pat them gently on their back, give them all the care possible, and help them to fall asleep. Love, care, and patience of parents are high during this 6-month sleep regression period.
Because of lack of sleep, teething, sudden development, and other reasons make babies feel irritated. Because of this, they fuss a lot during the sleep regression stage. The sign of crying, restlessness, or whining, which can be attributed to the discomfort of disrupted sleep patterns, indicates baby fussiness. Comforting and cuddling them may help them a bit.
How To Deal With 6-Month Sleep Regression?
Dealing with 6-month sleep regression can be challenging most of the time. Like waking up all day and night handling a baby, making them feel comfort and love can be exhausting sometimes. Below are some ways to deal with 6-month sleep regression.
Be Patient and Consistent
No matter what, always be patient and gentle to your baby throughout this time. At the time of 6 months of sleep regression, baby needs their parent’s love and support. Being a parent, it will be difficult for you to see your baby suffering so much, but you have to be strong for your kid. During this phase, even parents get irritated because of the baby’s behavior, but no matter what, stay calm cause this is a temporary phase that is good for your baby.
Make a Bedtime Routine
Making a consistent bedtime routine can be a little helpful during 6-month sleep regression that will help your baby to go for a good sleep. A better bedtime routine will help them promote better sleep habits and make the transition to bedtime smoother. A proper routine may include bathing, massaging, changing diapers when needed, signing lullabies or playing gentle music, and lastly, dimming the lights when they sleep.
Create a Peaceful Environment
Creating a peaceful environment during 6-month sleep regression may help your baby get good sleep. Some tips that you can follow to create a peaceful environment are:
- Proper bedtime routine.
- Make sure that place where the baby is sleeping is safe and comfortable enough for them.
- Comfort your baby whenever they wake up crying.
- Feed them properly, and after feeding, make sure that they burp. If they don’t, then you can tap their back gently and make them burp.
- Make sure to set a proper temperature for the room where they are sleeping
Respond to Your Baby’s Needs
Make sure you are fulfilling all the needs of your baby; though babies can speak, so you have to find their needs by yourself. Like feeding them when they are hungry, changing their diapers more frequently to avoid irritation in that area, giving them a gentle massage on the gum if they are crying because of teething, shower them with all the extra attention, affection, and love when they are awake, also make sure that they are sleeping 12-16 hours a day (which is necessary for a baby below a year). Also, make sure that the environment around them is safe and secure while they are crawling.
Encouraging self-soothing during 6-month sleep regression is good for both parents and baby. Teaching babies self-soothing skills will help them sleep independently, which can be restful sleep and smoother transition during sleep regressions. But that doesn’t mean that you can leave your baby as it is and not provide them comfort at all. Be a good parent and look over them frequently.
Adjust Your Daytime Schedule
To ensure that your baby is getting all the sleep on time, you can adjust their daytime schedule by following the below tips:
- Make your baby wake up at the same time every day.
- Make sure that you are taking naps at the same time every day.
- Taking naps twice or thrice a day duration must be from 2-3 hours daily.
- Not every time you can follow the schedule; you can change it sometime, keeping the need of the baby in mind.
If 6-month sleep regression is causing a lot of problems for you and your baby then you can consult a professional pediatrician. They will provide you with proper guidance, give a proper solution to all your concerns, and rule out another underlying medical issue that might help you in your baby’s 6-month sleep regression.
At last, we conclude that the 6-month sleep regression is normal and a natural part of baby growth. Sleep regression is a challenge but is manageable when it is handled with patience, care, and love. As all babies are not the same so, the duration of sleep regression may vary. Ensure you understand the causes, recognize the signs, and implement all the tips given in the above article. Also, as a parent, be gentle with the baby in any kind of situation. All the best!
Do you have a baby? If he/she is going through a 6-month sleep regression, let us know in the comment section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Deal with Sleep Regression?
To deal with sleep regression, always be consistent, especially when it comes to routines and healthy eating habits. Create a peaceful atmosphere for them, be flexible with their sleep patterns, and always comfort them cause babies to need their parents the most during this time.
Does Sleep Regression Happen to Every Baby?
In most cases, a sleep regression occurs during the age of 4 months. But sometimes, and nature of sleep regressions varies for every baby. Also, one must know everything, including causes and signs, for which you can take information from the above article.
What Is the Hardest Sleep Regression?
The first sleep regression, which is around 4 months, is the most difficult one. This is because during this time, parents are new to it, but after 4 months, parents become pro. Some regressions last till 18 months, giving the hardest times to both babies and parents.
At What Age Sleep Regression Is Normal?
Sleep regressions vary from babies to toddlers, when they happen, and how long they last. Most experts agree with the fact that sleep regression occurs around 4 months, 6 months, 8 months, 12 months, 18 months, and sometimes even till 2 years, but the most common one is 6 months.