How to Sleep Train a 6 Month Old
Many parents find sleep training necessary for six-month-old babies who are not already sleeping through the night. Sleep training consists of teaching your baby to fall asleep on his own and stay asleep, thus allowing you also to sleep through the night 1. Some babies, such as premature or exclusively breastfeeding babies, may not be ready for sleep training at six months of age. If your child is still waking for a night nursing session after a week or two of sleep training, he may need more time before he is able to sleep through the night.
Start a bedtime routine for your baby. Give her a warm bath, dress her warmly, cuddle with her and give her a last feeding. This routine should remain the same for your baby and start at close to the same time each night.
Cuddle and rock your baby until he is close to falling asleep but still has his eyes open 1. Being in a drowsy state but awake when you lay him down starts the association of falling asleep with his bed instead of in your arms.
Lay your baby in her bed and lightly cover her. Do not pull the blanket up past the middle of her chest, and make sure the blanket is lightweight, if one is needed at all.
Leave the room and pull the door closed. If your baby begins to fuss, go in his room and rub his chest gently until he calms down. Leave the room again. Repeat this process until he has fallen asleep.
Check on your baby if she wakes in the middle of the night, and tend to her needs 1. Do not talk or turn on a light when taking care of her during the night. The extra stimulation of lights and sounds makes it harder for your baby to quickly get to sleep 1.
Sleep training should not happen at night alone. Keep the same routine for nap time.
- "The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer"; Dr. Harvey Karp; 2003
- Sleep training should not happen at night alone. Keep the same routine for nap time.
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