A 6-month-old baby needs minimum amounts of sleep, both at night and during the day. At 6 months, a baby’s total time spent sleeping during a 24-hour period should include 10 hours during the night and four hours during the day, according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. If your little one has difficulties with sleep, you can help your baby take more effective naps with firm and loving behavior modification techniques.
Watch your baby for signs of fatigue and sleepiness. Signs that your baby is feeling sleepy and might need a nap include yawning, crying, refusing to hold eye contact with others and rubbing her face and eyes.
Prepare your baby for a nap by changing his diaper and ensuring he’s dressed comfortably.
Help your baby unwind and relax so he will successfully fall asleep. This might include rocking for a few minutes, reading a short story or just holding him for a few minutes in a quiet room. As soon as your baby is calm and relaxed, it’s time to put him down. Don’t get into the habit of letting your baby fall sleep and then transferring him to his bed, advises the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. By putting your baby in his bed awake, he learns the skill of falling asleep independently.
Place your baby in his crib on his back, advises the University of Missouri Extension. Give him a kiss and leave the room. Turn a monitor on, if necessary, to allow you to hear sounds in the room.
Listen for your baby to ensure he goes to sleep. It might take a few minutes and some babies do need to fuss slightly to wind down and fall asleep.
Return to your baby’s crib if he doesn’t settle down or his cries become more frantic within about five to 10 minutes. In a firm and loving tone, lay him back down on his back, give him a kiss and tell him it’s nap time. Leave the room again.
Repeat the process of returning every five to 10 minutes to calm your baby and encourage sleep until he falls asleep. Although this can be a challenging process, your child should quickly learn how to sleep independently.
Most 6-month-olds take two to three naps each day, according to Nicole Johnson, sleep consultant with the Baby Sleep Site. By staying on top of your baby’s sleep schedule and preventing extreme fatigue, your baby should nap better.