Sleep Training Your 6 Month Old: 5 Essential Steps

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Hi I'm Jilly from Baby Sleep Made Simple. In this video I'm going to share with

you the sleep training tips for your 6 month old baby.

Many parents reach out to me when their babies turn 6 months because they're

suddenly struggling with sleep. And this really isn't a surprise given how much

development your baby is going through at this age.

Sometimes it's a sleep regression that causes your baby troubles with sleeping.

Other times it's your baby's sleep schedule that needs to be fine-tuned a

little bit and other times it's just that your baby suddenly stops sleeping

for the night. But no matter the cause of your baby sleep problems it's always

possible to get your 6 month old sleeping great. And in this video I'm

going to show you how. Now if you'd like specific examples of daily schedules to

follow for your 6 month old or more specific advice on the 6 month sleep

regression then check out the description below.

Ok, let's get started. Let's go over my 5 steps to sleep training your

6 month old. Step 1: Create a sleep friendly space for your baby. Once your

baby starts to roll or shows signs of becoming mobile it's time to ditch the

DockATot, the Rock'n'Play or the bassinet as sleep spaces. Your baby now

needs to sleep in the crib. The reason why is the crib is the safest place for

your baby to sleep especially if your baby is moving around and rolling. Your

baby needs the space to roll around and get herself in comfortable positions,

which is an essential part of your baby resettling herself during the night when

she wakes. Which is a critical part of sleep training. Plus the crib is the

safest place for your baby to sleep. So now is not the time to add pillows or

bumpers or loose blankets into your baby's crib. All that your baby needs and

her crib is just a fitted sheet. That's what is safest. And go ahead and lower

your baby's crib mattress to the lowest level now because really soon she's

going to be pulling to stand. Step 2: Sleep training begins at bedtime. When

we're beginning sleep training we always focus on only one aspect of your baby's

sleep at a time. And the reason why is if you try to fix naps and bedtime and

night wakings at the same time, you're gonna end up with a really

overtired and cranky baby that refuses to sleep. Instead we always work on

bedtime first because this is the part of the day where your baby is the most

tired of any other part of the day so she's more likely to comply with changes

to her sleep routine at this time. The purpose of a bedtime routine is to calm

and relax your baby in the evening, so that her body can settle down, wind down

and welcome sleep. The activities that you do at bedtime really do make a

difference of whether your baby settles for sleep easily and sleeps long

stretches or doesn't. Your baby's bedtime routine should include a bath, a massage,

reading books, feeding and singing lullabies. The order in which you do the

activities of your baby's bedtime routine really does make a difference in

how well your baby sleeps. My free Exhausted Mom's Survival Kit walks you

through the essential steps of setting up a peaceful and relaxing bedtime

routine for your baby. So if you'd like all the details on that, you can get the

link from the description below. Step 3: Reduce night wakings. Once you have your

bedtime routine going well, then it's time to start working on reducing or

eliminating your baby's night wakings. Most 6 month olds need only 1 or 2

night feeds. This means your baby can sleep 4 - 8 hours stretches overnight.

Night weaning and sleep training really go hand-in-hand. I find that they

work best when done together. When you teach your baby to settle himself to

sleep at bedtime, then he'll naturally know how to

resettle himself during the night when he wakes. If you put your baby down in

the crib at bedtime at half asleep then he's really not getting used to settling

himself completely to sleep. And the reason why this is important is whenever

he stirs or wakes during the night he's going to continue needing your help to

fall back asleep. This could happen 4, 5 maybe even 6 times a night. Which

is really exhausting. So what you need to do is practice on putting your baby into

the crib awake so, he can fall asleep on his own. And a good indicator that your

baby is awake enough is whether or not his eyes are open. So when you put your

little one the crib at bedtime you want to make sure his eyes are open.

That way he's aware that he's going into his crib and

settling himself to sleep. So during the night if he stirs or if he wakes up

fully he'll know exactly where he is and exactly how to resettle himself back to

sleep. It really does work like magic. Now many babies will start sleeping

longer stretches overnight right away just by getting them falling asleep on

their own at bedtime. Other babies need a little bit more direction. My Weaning

Night Feedings guideline walks you through whether or not your baby is

ready to have his night feeds reduced or fully eliminated. And you can

find a link to this guide in the description below. Step 4: Work on naps.

Once your baby is going down easily at bedtime and sleeping well at night then

it's time to work on naps. Your baby's awake times are super important because

it's the amount of time that your baby can stand to be awake during the day and

it's all based on your baby's age. So a 6 month old's awake times are 2-3

hours. And what this means is that your baby needs to nap every 2-3

hours after waking up from his last nap. So a really easy way to handle

this is just to give your baby 2.5 hour awake times throughout the day.

But it doesn't work for every baby and if you'd like a little bit more of a

structured approach you could do the following: Your baby's first awake time

of the day can be 2 hours, the second awake time of the day can be

anywhere between 2-2.5 hours, the third awake time of the day

can be 2.5 hours and the last awake time of the day can be anywhere

from 2.5-3 hours. You really have to see what works for your

individual baby. Now is also the time to begin a really quick, 5-10 minute,

pre-nap calming routine for your baby. So take a few elements from your baby's

bedtime routine that really seemed to work to relax him and do those in his

bedroom before naptime. And once you decide to officially start nap

training and get your baby taking along and restful naps every day then I

recommend that your baby naps at home, in his crib, the same place that he sleeps

at night for the first two naps of the day.

Step 5: Wake your baby up at the same time every morning. This is really one of

the gentlest and easiest sleep training tips that I have for you but it works

really really well. And the reason why is when your baby wakes up at the

same time every morning it really helps her fall into a predictable and

consistent sleep schedule. Waking up at the same time every day really sets your

baby's body clock and it makes your schedule fall a little bit easier every

day. So for example if your baby always wakes up at 7 o' clock in the morning

then you know the first snap of the day is always going to be at 9. This allows

you to make appointments and run errands and kind of better be able to plan your

day. Which a lot of parents are craving. Now a great way to decide what time to

wake your baby up is to write down the time that she naturally wakes up for

seven days in a row. Then pick a time that falls right in the middle of these

times and that's your new wakeup time. Your 6 month old baby can learn to

settle themself to sleep and sleep long stretches at night. All it takes is a

consistent sleep routine and following the sleep training tips that we've just

gone over. And of course as with everything parenting related consistency

is key. Good luck sleep training your 6 month old. Make sure to hit subscribe if

you like this video if you have any questions you can ask me below and you

can check out my playlist here on my youtube channel for 6-12 month

olds. It's filled with lots of sleep tips and advice for your baby. I'll see you