Ask a Sleep Expert: 6 Month Sleep Regression
Q: “My 6 month old normally sleeps 6:00pm – 7:00am but has been waking around 5:00am some mornings as I think she’s going through some major milestones. I just leave her to fall back asleep but sometimes she cries for like 30 minutes to 1 hour before she falls back asleep. What is the best way to respond to these early mornings? I feel like if I go in she will just be more upset and less likely to fall asleep on her own.”
A: “Sleep regressions,” you will hear that phrase from time to time when good sleepers all of a sudden start waking. We often see disrupted sleep with new developmental milestones, and it can happen during the night or during naps. New skills are wonderful – the broken sleep, not so much. During sleep times, your baby is “shut off from the world”; there is no outside stimulation. No bright lights, no musical toys or smells or voices etc, and the brain can focus on the task at hand. You are doing the best thing you can. Let her work through it and fall back to sleep. Be sure to offer a lot of practice time during the day as well. If you are consistent in how you respond, then she will get back to her regular routine in the next week or so. If you start to go in to help her back to sleep then that will quickly become her new normal and she will want you to always do that.
Jamie Contarini is a certified sleep consultant with Good Night Sleep Site Halton. Proud Mama of two boys. Jamie realized that her interest in helping change some of her son’s sleep habits actually turned into a passion and she happily joined the Good Night team with her mission being to help families succeed as she did. When she is not working, Jamie enjoys family time with her husband, sons and golden retriever. Find Jamie online at www.goodnightsleepsite.com/Halton, on Facebook, on Twitter and on Instagram.