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6 Month Sleep Regression Simplified

by Chris on 07/11/2011

6 month sleep regression clock 300x300 6 Month Sleep Regression Simplified

The six month sleep regression is a disruption of your child’s sleep starting at the age of 6 months (hence the name…) but can make an appearance anytime between the ages of 6 and 9 months.

Sleep deprived parents just can’t get a break! AQDKTCTY54YA

Your baby is finally sleeping longer, and waking less. The 4 month sleep regression is only mere memory nightmare. But now it feels like all that hard work and patience has been for nothing, right?

What causes the 6 month sleep regression?

  • Brain Development. Your baby is becoming more aware of the world around her. Every day is filled with new discoveries that her growing brain can’t process during the day so it kicks into overtime at night.
  • Teething. Most babies sprout their first tooth between 4 and 7 months of age. Your baby’s gums could be sore from a little white sleep inhibitor getting ready to break through.
  • Developmental milestones. Babies are busy creatures. At 6 months old, your baby is learning new skills and tricks faster than a puppy on Adderall. Not that I regularly compare babies to dogs, but the analogy seems to fit. Rolling, lunging, sitting up, as well as recognizing voices and sounds can all be in your baby’s bag of tricks. And sometimes there just isn’t enough daylight to get your practice on, so what’s a baby to do? Pull an all nighter and practice of course!
  • Growth spurt. While your baby is eating, playing, crying, or pooping, she is also growing. These little loin fruits grow at a remarkable speed, and around 6 months they kick it into overdrive. This means you’re going to have one hungry, hungry baby. You can try to stuff her full before bedtime, but your efforts may be futile.

How do I fix it?

  • 6 month sleep regression simple 6 Month Sleep Regression SimplifiedPut on your thinking hat. Now’s your opportunity to impress your spouse. Reading this post is a great start, but you need to take it one step further. Make a list of the possible causes of a sleep regression. Now look at each one individually. As you rule out a cause, cross it off your list. Not only will it make you look like a genius, it’ll help you narrow down the cause of the sleep regression.
  • Keep it simple. The worst way to handle a sleep regression is to try and tackle every possible scenario at once. Increasing temperature or decreasing temperature, more snacks or fewer snacks, bath or no bath, medicating or not medicating… you’ll drive yourself crazy.
  • Think long term. Sleep regressions don’t last forever. Usually things go back to normal after two to three weeks.  So don’t create bad habits for a short term problem. For example, if the only way to get your baby to sleep a warm blanket from the dryer, milk, three stories while being swaddled… you might have a problem. It’s hard to resist, but fight the urge to give into the quick fixes that will bite you in the ass later on. Stick with a sleep routine that won’t drive you crazy.

Remember, it’s normal. But it sucks.

For more info check out the sleep regression FAQ and overcoming sleep regression.

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