How to Beat the 6-Month Sleep Regression

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sleep regression

Your baby may seem to be waking up more and more frequently these first few months as your schedule gradually becomes more routine. Or your baby may be sleeping during the day, only to be awake and fussy at night. Sleep regression is a term used to describe the natural tendency of babies to gradually adjust to new schedules. Either way, sleep regression is a normal part of the baby adjustment process.

 

If you’ve just begun to wean your baby off the breast or bottle, you may be noticing a bit of a stretch — he or she is now falling asleep on demand and waking at unpredictable times during the night.  Don’t worry! Some babies continue to sleep through the night for the first few months of weaning. But it is also common to experience sleep regression, which is when your baby seems to be waking up more often, and more erratically, than usual.

 

The sleep regression is a normal part of the weaning process and will pass when your baby adjusts to less nighttime nursing and bottle-feeding. However, these first few months are also a time of growth and change for your little one. And there may be a few things you can do to help your baby transition to sleeping through the night and avoid sleep regression.

Recognize the Signs of the Sleep Regression

Six month sleep regression is an unexpected disruption to the baby’s usual sleeping cycle. For example, following a typical night routine (bathing, breastfeeding, bottles, reading, or lullabies), your baby may feel relaxed, but after a few hours, he begins to fidget for no apparent reason. You may be wondering why your baby is crying because you know he eats frequently throughout the day and only changes his diaper before going to bed. By 6 months, most newborns can sleep for roughly 8 hours a night, especially if they establish a good pattern before bedtime. Also, because newborns of this age don’t normally require food for the first few hours, they don’t have to wake up for a meal .

 

Many sleep specialists, however, note that infants’ sleep habits often change around 6 months after birth. Changes in the baby’s brain, daily habits, and skills, as well as changes in circadian rhythms, can all affect sleep. It’s important to keep an eye on your baby and recognize the signs of sleep regression so you’ll know whether it’s actually happening and what to do if it does.  You may notice the following signs if your baby is going through a six month sleep regression:

 

  1. It takes time for your baby to fall asleep.
  2. Your baby is waking up more frequently at night.
  3. Your baby is crying in the middle of the night
  4. At night, your infant crawls out of bed or becomes more active.
  5. During the day, your baby takes long naps.
  6. Your baby is dependent on sleep aids that were never necessary, such as nursing or cuddling with parents or carers.
  7. When your baby needs to be fed, he or she will wake up.

Help Baby Transition to Weaning

Weaning is the process of feeding various semi-solid meals to babies who have only been fed milk, gradually increasing their hardness and amount, and transitioning to solid foods. Complete weaning refers to the point at which food other than milk becomes the primary source of nutrition. The term “weaning” was also used with an emphasis on the time when the baby should be weaned, but the norm is to prevent stressing the baby and to wean naturally regardless of the time. 

Weaning occurs when the mother and child no longer have prolonged skin-to-skin contact. You should keep in mind that breastfeeding is more than simply a source of nutrition for the child; it also has a soothing effect on the baby. Some babies even use their mothers as pacifiers. Weaning may lead your baby to be fussier than usual as a result, leading in interrupted naps and frequent waking up at night.

 

Weaning usually begins when your baby is ready for it. Usually at 6 months, when solid foods are introduced, breastfeeding patterns begin to change naturally. Weaning should be done gradually so that moms and newborns can reach the objective of reducing breast milk intake in a more calm state. If you’re also getting ready to wean, these may be useful:

  1. Reduce the number of breastfeeds you have per day

If your baby isn’t sucking or isn’t paying attention when you’re breastfeeding or bottle feeding, skip a feeding.  Reduce breastfeeding frequency, begin with the meal when the baby consumes the most breast milk, prepare milk powder or complementary food for him ahead of time, and gradually transition. Then, for other periods of time, gradually reduce breastfeeding. The most difficult part is the meal before bedtime, which can be skipped towards the end.

 

  1. When weaning your infant, pay attention to his or her psychological demands

 

Weaning may not go smoothly, and the baby’s desire to breastfeed may persist, especially at night. Weaning, according to psychologists, is the second separation of mother and child. As a result, when weaning, we must consider the baby’s psychological development and provide understanding and comfort. Weaning may appear to be a physical necessity, but it also involves psychological adjustments for both babies and moms. Changes in how you nurse will gradually affect your intimacy with each other and lead to a rather stable stage. Picture books can help mothers create psychological structures for their newborns and provide psychological counseling. It is important to note that if the baby is sick or uncomfortable at this point, it is best to stop for a short period of time before continuing, so that his recovery progress is not affected.

  1. Establish healthy sleeping patterns

Breastfeeding is a common habit among babies, and new sleep habits should be established following weaning. Father, grandparents, or other family members can take up the role of mother during sleep at this time. Allow the baby to gradually adjust and become accustomed to this new sleeping pattern and quit the habit of breastfeeding.

 

Stay Consistent

When it comes to sleep routines, weaning, or sleep training your baby, consistency is the most important factor. Young children often feel more comfortable and secure when their routines are uniform. This involves activities that happen at about the same time and in the same way each day.  Baby and toddlers feel secure and calm when knowing that activities will happen in the same way each day. Establishing a consistent sleep pattern for your baby is important because it can make all the difference in their ability to sleep and be the happy baby you desire.

 

Dealing with the Wake-Up

There are numerous factors that affect babies’ nocturnal disturbances, including hunger, gas, teething, discomfort, separation anxiety, six month sleep regression, growth spurts, nightmares, or night terrors. When your kid wakes up wailing in the middle of the night, there are a few things you may do as a parent. You can’t fix anything if you don’t know what’s wrong, so let’s go through them to try to figure out what’s wrong.

 

  1. Check whether their basic requirements are being addressed.
  2. Determine whether or not they are in pain.
  3. Consider how your child reacted when you appeared in their room in the middle of the night.

 

If all of the baby’s fundamental requirements are addressed, he or she may need to establish some self-soothing habits. It is possible to start sleep training your baby if you want them to learn how to fall asleep on their own or if you just want them to function without you for a few hours because they are in a clinger period. 

 

Distinguishing between day and night

If parents want to develop a biological clock for their infant and distinguish between day and night, the room should be brighter during the day (even if the baby naps, there is no need to close the curtains to make the room dark); when they want to sleep at night, they should maintain a dim, sleep-friendly environment.

Create a relaxing environment for sleeping

The sleeping environment, including where your child sleeps, the type of crib or bed, the type of mattress, and etc, is an important aspect of establishing good sleeping habits. Babies require a peaceful, dark sleep environment to recharge during the night since they are easily stimulated by lights, noise, and other things in their environment that can distract them. Eliminate potential distractions such as noise, toys near the bed, and electronic gadgets that are turned on, and it is also important to decrease the light as it puts you and your child in sleep-time mode, or you may use A night light that gives enough brightness to change diapers or feed your baby while being soft on hazy eyes.

Avoid these Tricks to Help Your Baby Adjust

These are methods performed by parents or carers in the idea that they are the best way to deal with a baby who is experiencing six month sleep regression. It may be that you rock your baby to sleep, that you sleep with your baby, or that you nurse them to sleep. It could be bad for your baby to give into these little things, as you will prevent them from falling asleep on their own and encourage bad habits. Using tools like breastfeeding, a bottle, a pacifier, a swaddle, rocking to sleep, etc. to put your baby to sleep can lead to them becoming too dependent on these things and can eventually lead to bigger problems in the future.

Conclusion

This is a stage that every baby passes through. Any parent’s job is hard, but you’re not doing anything wrong. It’s important to take care of yourself because stress simply makes matters worse.

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