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How to Sleep Train a 6-Month-Old

6 month old who is sleep trained

Is it time to sleep train your 6-month-old? Daunting though it may seem at first, sleep training can be a positive experience for both parent and baby. We'll explore different strategies and tips for sleep training your child, which can help your 6-month-old to learn essential self-soothing skills and enjoy the benefits of a full night's sleep. And if you find that a more personal approach from a professional would be more useful, experienced sleep consultant Evi Kantor is here to help. 

Typical Sleep Patterns of a 6-Month-Old

As babies grow, they experience a range of changes in their sleep patterns. For example, many babies at this age start to develop a more predictable nighttime sleep routine. They may sleep for longer stretches at night, with some infants sleeping completely through the night. However, it's normal for some to still wake up for feedings during the night.

Another common sleep pattern that can appear around six months is the development of self-soothing skills without intervention from their parents. As they become more independent sleepers, some 6-month-olds may self-soothe by sucking their thumb, cuddling a soft toy, or gently touching their own face. 

Despite these exciting developmental changes, it’s normal for 6-month-old babies to experience sleep regression, which can cause disruptions in their sleep. This regression may be due to growth milestones such as teething, or recent changes in routine.

Importance of Establishing Pre-Sleep Routines in a Soothing Environment

Following consistent sleep routines and creating a calm, quiet environment for your baby to sleep is key to successfully sleep training a 6-month-old. Here are some tips for establishing some effective pre-sleep routines in a good sleeping environment. 

  • Gradually Transition to Bedtime: As bedtime nears, you can help your baby gradually transition to sleep by dimming lights and reducing external stimulation. Furthermore, reducing noise in the home, turning off the television, and removing access to screens can help your baby prepare for sleep. 

  • Make the Room Comfortable: The temperature of the room can play a role in your baby’s ability to sleep. Ensure that the room is at a comfortable temperature for sleeping, dress your 6-month-old in appropriate sleepwear, and use lightweight blankets if needed. Additionally, a white noise machine or playing soft lullabies can create soothing background noise that works to drown out other sounds and promote sleep.

  • Establish Activities Consistent with Bedtime: Certain calming activities such as reading a bedtime story, giving a warm bath, or singing a lullaby can signal to your baby that it’s time to sleep. Once you choose an activity that works well for your child, be sure that you consistently perform this activity at bedtime each night to effectively establish a sleep routine.  

Signs You’re Successfully Sleep Training Your 6-Month-Old

Recognizing the success of sleep training efforts in 6-month-old babies involves observing their behavior, sleep patterns, and overall well-being. Here are some signs that you can look for to determine if sleep training is working:

  • Longer Stretches of Sleep on a Consistent Schedule: Successful sleep training often results in longer stretches of uninterrupted sleep during the night. Babies may gradually start sleeping through the night or waking up less frequently for feedings. Furthermore, if your baby tends to fall asleep around the same time each night and wake up at a predictable hour, you can be confident that your sleep training efforts are working well.

  • Baby’s Happy Mood: Have you noticed that your 6-month-old has been in a better mood lately? A well-rested baby who responds well to sleep training is generally happier, more alert, and less fussy throughout the day. When your baby wakes up in the morning happy as a lamb, you’ll know they’ve slept well. 

  • Parental Well-Being: When babies sleep more, so do their parents. If you find yourself more rested and refreshed throughout the day, this is a positive sign that both you and your baby are sleeping better at night.   

Professional Sleep Training Consultant in San Francisco

If you’re running into obstacles with sleep training your 6-month-old, or simply want a local sleep training consultant’s advice, reach out to Evi Kantor. She’s assisted families throughout San Francisco and the Bay Area with successfully sleep training their babies through gentle methods that come without judgment. Contact Evi today to begin a journey toward more restful nights for both you and your baby today.


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