Sleep Expectations for the 6-9-month-old-baby
Baby Sleep Expectations for the 6-9 month old baby
Is your baby 6-9 months old? Yes? Well, this video is for you! In this video I'm exploring sleep expectations for the 6-9 month old baby.
Now, if your baby is around the age of 6 months, he/she is going to develop something called ‘Object Permanence’. Object Permanence is when he/she now understands that you exist without you being in direct vision. How does this impact sleep? Well, this can impact on sleep as they now understand if you're not present with them and they therefore want to call out for you so that you return to them. It can be the beginning of separation anxiety. Not all babies experience separation anxiety, but depending on your child's temperament, this can depend on how they manage times of separation, like bed time. However, for most bubs, Object Permanence is experienced. During this period, it is wonderful to understand that they have a brand new, exciting developmental milestone that so that you can help them through this when it comes to sleep.
On the topic of developmental milestones, another huge advancement in their development is the fact that they're now increasingly mobile. Most 6 month-old babies will be able to roll both ways, and between the ages of 6-9 months, they get even more mobile. You'll start to have the crawling babies and the babies that are pulling up to practice standing. So, when babies are going through huge developmental changes, it impacts their sleep. I'm going to do a video on development alone another time, but know that as they are becoming increasingly more mobile, it can impact on their sleep in terms of how well they sleep. It can also improve their sleep, because the more mobile the baby, the better chance they have of finding various ways to self soothe, whether it's changing positions from being a back sleeper to a tummy sleeper or even an adorable side sleeper. They've got a bit more versatility. However, an increase in gross motors skills, will definitely impact on sleep during the 6-9 month age group.
Another thing to think about with the 6-9 month old is the change in nap times and the amount of naps they have in a day. During the 6-9 month period, your baby is likely to drop their third nap and consolidate and master two naps, whether that’s two longer naps or one longer one and one shorter. It all depends. There's different expectations depending on your child and how much they sleep at a time, but usually they have two longer naps, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, allowing the third nap to disappear.
The other thing that you can look at in terms of nap time sleep is that your 6-9 month old should be capable of consolidating quite a long stint of nighttime sleep. If they haven't already done this, it could be something that emerges during this time, especially once they start on solids. Once bub is well established on solids, it can actually be expected that babies are able to sleep through the night, provided that they are a healthy weight, are thriving and they're getting the calories they need during the day. This doesn't mean that babies will just instantly sleep through the night however. Babies wake for varying reasons overnight, and sometimes it's about exploring what those reasons are. If it doesn't bother you to feed overnight or wake to assist them for whatever the reason may be, then that's absolutely fine also. I would just like to explain that it's good to know where they're at and what their developmental capabilities are so that you can work towards a certain goal.
I touched upon it slightly in the last point, but your baby's ability to self-settle is definitely emerging, if it hasn't already in the months prior to 6-9 months. Definitely by 6 months, most babies will be able to find ways of being able to have a good go of settling themselves. Every baby is different in how this looks, and it's our job to be able to give them the opportunity to use some of those skills to be able to settle themselves and just to give them a bit of space so that they can start to practice the tools that they do and that they want to use or will try to use to self-settle.
Another huge thing that can begin to happen during the 6-9 month period is the introduction of teeth. Now, teething can certainly impact on your baby's sleep. I also find that teething gets blamed for a lot of sleep issues, when it's not always teeth that are to blame. It is a balance of understanding when your child is cutting a tooth and there is a tooth visibly coming through the gums, that this certainly causes a lot of discomfort. This doesn't mean that when there's movement there's not discomfort, but it isn't necessarily the only thing that's impacting on sleep. This is why it's worth exploring all your avenues or all the issues that can impact on sleep to make sure that it isn't something else and that the movement of teeth is what's being, potentially, incorrectly blamed. How to aid your bub through the teething period? Keeping up pain relief when those teeth are cutting through will definitely improve your baby's sleep quality, and I'm going to do a video on teething alone and how to manage it soon. So stay tuned for that one. When I do release it, I will definitely link it in the notes below as well.
Anyway, there you have it. There are my top five tips on what to expect with your 6-9 month-old's sleep. I hope it's been useful. If it has, then please comment below. Give me a like, and don't forget to subscribe to my channel so that you don't miss out on any of the videos that I release every second tuesday. Thanks so much for watching, and I'll see you back here in another fortnight.