The sleep patterns can vary from one kid to another and by age also. It’s important to understand baby’s sleep needs before your can thinking about sleep training methods. Newborns spend most of their time mainly sleeping. But those happen in small bursts. With their growth and development, they can sleep less and less with their nighttime sleep getting longer. Usually, newborns need 8 to 9 hours of rest in the morning and 8 hours in the latter part of the day.
But they don’t sleep at a stretch. Instead, it can last for a maximum of one to two hours in one segment. Also, many of them don’t sleep through the night without getting up at night before they turn three months old or gain a certain amount of weight.
Things to consider
Studies suggest that nearly two-thirds of infants can sleep peacefully at night by age six months. Still, it is critical to know that they too can have distinct sleep cycles just like adults. And those cycles may not be lengthy.
A newborn usually needs 16 hours of sleep – about 8 to 9 hours in the nighttime and 8 hours in the daytime. When he is one month, his sleep requirement can reduce to 15.5 hours, with 8 to 9 hours covering the night and 7 hours in the daytime. A three-month kid may need 15 hours of sleep, resting about 9 to 10 hours at night and 4 to 5 hours in the day.
However, if your infant has reached the six-month mark, you can expect him to sleep 10 hours through the night and 4 hours in the day. So, the total amount of sleep required for six months old is 14 hours.
In this context, it is necessary to know that the sixth-month milestone can bring some challenges in your and your kid’s life. They can suffer from sleep regression due to growth spurts and development. There can be various other reasons also. No matter what, it can be a testing time for you because a kid not getting proper sleep can become irritable and cry a lot.
Due to their disturbed sleep, you may also feel tired and exhausted throughout the day. Since it is not a preferred situation, the idea of sleep training can look appealing. While the results of the different techniques may vary, you first need to identify the problem before starting anything.
Signs of infant sleep problems
After seeing your baby sleep quietly through the night for a while, it can be hard to encounter a situation where they wake up too often at night. It is common among six months old. Separation anxiety due to development or overstimulation/ overtiredness due to newly acquired skills can keep them awake.
When such things happen, their night awakenings reveal in the form of frequent wake-ups and crying in the night, bawling because of your absence, demanding your presence, and holding on to you tightly when you try to separate.
In some cases, sleep challenges can result from an illness. If you notice any new patterns, you should consider talking to a pediatrician for advice.
Helping baby sleep through the night
Just as sleep problems show up signs, sleep readiness can also reveal itself through specific acts of the kid. These include yawning, looking away, rubbing eyes, etc. Still, it doesn’t mean all of them can sleep at a specific time or fall asleep after getting awake at night on their own. Recognizing signals of readiness is critical before teaching them how to sleep independently and comforting them during awakenings.
Like many others, you may want to feed or rock them to sleep. In this, creating a bedtime or sleeping routine can help. But don’t allow the kid to doze off in your arms because it can become their habit then. They can also refuse to go back to sleep during awakenings without this.
To teach proper bedtime habits, you can try to train them to sleep properly at night. Various training methods are there, such as extinction, CIO, fading, etc. Choosing one of them and combining the selected technique with a bedtime routine can prove beneficial to parents.
Remember, the kid can cry a lot during this period. If you are not mentally ready for this situation, you must not opt for any of them. Otherwise, it can become another challenge.
Sleep problems in six months and older kids are not unusual. But how you handle this stage with your kid can be critical. Using a proper technique for their sleep improvement is necessary. Since the options are too many, you can struggle to decide on any one of them. If you want to succeed in this endeavor, the best thing is to keep your expectations realistic.
Some methods work better in some scenarios and others in other situations. You have to figure out the option based on the behavior of your kid and his sleeping issues. Also, sleep regression can happen again. At that time, you may have to redo everything.