It can be difficult to take eyes off the cute antics of the little one, who is already six months old. Everything they do, from rolling over to one side to crawling to babbling, can move you emotionally because your bundle of joy is growing. In a few days, the kid can even sit on its own. But do you know this phase can also bring sleeping troubles for them? Also known as sleep regression, this temporary condition can occur to infants who have completed six months. Although it can happen even before, some kids usually experience this after the 6-month mark. If it didn’t occur when he was four, the chances are the kid can face this now.
You don’t have to lose your sleep because it is a common issue, and one can cross this phase. The problem can linger for two to six weeks. But it would improve if you practice sustainable sleep habits with your little one.
Why is the baby not sleeping?
Every kid tends to have a unique development and growth period. Some babies can have sleep regression around four months, and in some cases, it can happen late, around six months. Like other regressions, your kid’s six month sleep regression can also be attributable to emotional, cognitive, physical, and mental evolution – learning to roll over, crawl, communicate, etc. When you find your six-month-old is struggling to fall asleep or sleep for a longer duration, you can hold these factors responsible for all the fuss. Or, sometimes separation anxiety can trigger this. Babies become aware of their environment by this time. Hence, when you change their room, the unfamiliarity with the surroundings and the feeling of separation from you can make them uncomfortable, causing sleep regression.
How to deal with 6-month sleep regression?
A combination of progressive and reactive strategies can work better in this situation. Many emphasize the need to establish a bedtime routine. You can achieve this through comforting rituals, such as cuddling, swaddling, singing songs, etc. These activities can have a calming effect on the baby’s mind and help him fall asleep. But there have to be consistent efforts toward this. Putting the kid to sleep at the same time without fail can ensure this. You can apply this to both daytime and nighttime sleep.
Since it also happens to be the period of growth spurts for them, the kids can quickly get overexcited and refuse to sleep. If you want them to fall into sleep smoothly, it is essential to engage them in higher levels of activity required for their age. Let them explore the environment on their own. The daytime stimulation can make them tired by night and help them sleep at night. Eliminate the sound in the room and keep it dark. If the baby wakes up at night due to separation anxiety, you can offer him a soothing cuddle when he is napping. Feed them a light meal in the evening, so they don’t face any challenges with digestion and wake up.
Sometimes, the baby can feel extremely distressed at night due to pain. At that time, you may consider medical attention to do away with the possibility of any other health challenge. Nevertheless, the entire process would be fruitful only when you follow the routine without any exception. A fixed time helps babies feel safe and sleep peacefully at night because they know what you are doing with them.
Things to consider
First-time parents or anyone without any awareness about this issue in infants can easily get disturbed. In such situations, it can be better to seek professional advice from a certified pediatrician. Even though sleep regression is not an unusual occurrence, you may think it to be a symptom of some larger issue. Or, you can doubt if your kid is normal. Talking to a doctor can solve your queries and help you attend to your kid’s needs more appropriately.
One thing that you also need to recognize is your sleeping needs. Sleep deprivation can make you irritable and exhausted. But your baby needs you in your relaxed mood. Hence, it is essential to take care of your tension and stress during this crucial phase. If you cannot sleep at night because of the baby, try to take a nap in the daytime when he is also sleeping. If you need some more time to relax, don’t hesitate to ask for help from near and dear ones.
Sleep regression can be a common condition among kids, but both new and experienced parents can face difficulty in this phase. However, proper knowledge of the situation and certain habits can enable you to navigate this process successfully. While it can get overwhelming at times, your patience and care for the little one can play a critical role in this.