Hello, hello! There’s a chill in the air here this morning and I’m answering a question today from a new mom Monica whose 6 month old baby is not napping for long periods during the day and is waking at night at least 3 times to nurse. Monica, thanks so much for writing to me – I’m honored and hope that I can be helpful.
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Baby Growth Spurts
One thing that pops into mind based on my own experience when I hear you say you’re your baby’s sleep routine has gotten worse is the phenomenon of growth spurts in babies, which are super common around this age. With some of my babies, I found that they could have fallen into a nice routine with longer stints at night and then – lo and behold – back we were to those frequent night feedings. Ugh! TIRING!
I always come back to the same basic principles: you want to feed very regularly and try to get your baby to nap between feeds, make sure baby is awake and full after a feed, and try putting baby down in a dark room to help her nap. Here’s my baby sleep schedulefor 6 month olds which did really help me get things back on track. And here’s another great explanation of growth spurts from one of my favorite sites Kelly Mom on when growth spurts happen.
One curious thing that I found with my babies around this age is that, contrary to what I would have expected, when they sleep poorly during the day, they also did poorly at night. Meanwhile, when my babies had good naps, they tended to sleep for longer stints at night. Weird, right, because we adults tend to “catch up” on lost sleep, but I found that my babies didn’t work like this. Rather, they would get overtired, too tired to eat well, and then too tired to sleep well. Think how much energy it takes for that little tiny baby to take in all that milk? So for that reason, I always advocate for prioritizing good naps and having a rested baby who wakes fresh and ready to get a good feed.
Moms, what sort of sleep schedule was your baby following at 6 months of age and did your baby experience a growth spurt that caused him to eat more and sleep less at this age? Please share below!