How to Achieve the Perfect 6 Month Old Sleep Schedule

6 months is a really big time in your baby’s life, with a LOT going on, which is why it can be difficult to determine the ideal 6 month old sleep schedule. 

 

This is where I come in. This blog post will help you navigate through the trials that come with the 6 month milestones (like teething, sleep regression, and rolling) and create the optimal sleep schedule for your 6 month old. 

 

Here’s what we’re going to dive into: 

 

How much should a 6 month old sleep? 

 

What to expect for my 6 month old’s sleep? 

 

What should a 6 month old’s sleep schedule be? 

 

How can I improve my 6 month old’s sleep schedule?

 

Grab a cup of coffee and let’s get your little one on a great sleep schedule that works for both of you! 

 

How much should a 6 month old sleep? 

 

When we talk about a baby’s sleep needs, it’s super important to remember that the sleep needs of one baby is going to be different from another baby, even if they are the same age. This is because every baby is different and there is no “one-size-fit’s-all” approach to baby sleep. 

 

The chart below can be really helpful to see what the average sleep needs are for a 6 month old baby. This gives you a good starting point as you work to figure out your baby’s optimal sleep needs. After all, some babies have higher sleep needs, and some babies have lower sleep needs. 

 

As you experiment with bedtimes and wake windows, it can be very helpful to keep a sleep log. A sleep log will help you track what’s working for your baby and what part of your schedule still needs tweaking.

 

Babies who are 6 month olds are still on 3 solid naps a day. (A solid nap is a nap that is at least 1 hour long.) Babies generally do not start to drop to 2 naps until they are 7 months old. They average 14-16 hours of sleep in a day, which include 3.5-4.5 hours of daytime sleep (naps). 

 

Age Number of naps per day Ideal length of naps Awake time between naps Awake time before bed Average amount of daytime sleep  Average amount of nighttime sleep Average amount of TOTAL sleep 
6 months 3 60+ min 2 hours 2.5 hours 3.5-4.5 hours 11-12 hours*  14-16 hours

* broken for night feedings 

 

 

What to expect for my 6 month old’s sleep? 

 

At 6 months, most babies only need to wake once in the night for a feeding, and some babies are even sleeping through the night with no feedings. If you are having more than one wake up in the night, then there could be a few things going on: 

 

6 month old baby sleeping |The Peaceful Sleeper

 

6 month sleep regression:

 

There is a lot of developing that goes on at 6 months, which is why it is such an exciting time, however it can cause a regression in sleep. 

 

This often looks like early morning wakings, or more night wakings. It’s also common for 6 month olds to start having middle of the night dance parties. They are just really excited about learning a new skill and their little brain is wired to go! However, they do actually need the sleep, which is why it will likely dissolve into crying.  

 

What to do? Depending on the level of protesting, you can give your baby some time and space to put themselves back to sleep. If it’s not happening or they are really protesting, go in and intervene to help them back to sleep.  

 

 

Teething: 

 

Unfortunately, this is generally when teething starts. I know. A sleep regression AND teething. Not cool. 

 

With each bout of teething (which is usually teeth coming in 2 or 4 at a time), you can expect sleep to be disrupted for 2 to 14 days. 

 

I know it’s so hard to see our little ones in pain. This can be a really rough time for both of you. The best thing you can do is provide comfort and pain relief when needed without doing more than what’s needed. Tune into your mom gut and find that balance. I say this because we don’t want to create unwelcome sleep habits such as your baby needing you to rock them to sleep every night, however we also don’t want to leave our little ones to “cry it out” when they are in pain. 

 

 

Rolling:

 

Around 5 to 6 months babies learn more movements and it can impact their sleep. You can help this process along by supporting them in learning these skills during the day. At night, it comes down to that balance again; between giving them some time and space to figure things out, and also intervening when they need you. 

 

 

What should a 6 month old’s sleep schedule be? 

 

My goal is always to help your baby optimize THEIR sleep. This means that there isn’t one 6 month old sleep schedule that will work for all babies. Some babies have higher sleep needs and some have lower sleep needs. 

 

It’s so important to me that I help you find the best 6 month old sleep schedule for YOUR baby. On this note, below I will share with you several different sleep schedules and you can use the one that is closest to your baby’s sleep needs and tweak it from there. 

 

 

6 month old sleep schedule for a solid 3 nap day : 

 

Time  Length of Nap
Wake Up 7:00am 
1st Nap 9:00am – 10:30am 90 min 
2nd Nap 12:30pm- 2:00pm 90 min 
3rd Nap 4:00pm – 5:00pm 60 min 
Bedtime  7:30 pm 

Total Sleep: 15.5 hours

 

 

6 month old sleep schedule for 3 naps in varying lengths:

 

Time  Length of Nap
Wake Up 7:00am 
1st Nap 9:00am – 10:00am  60 min 
2nd Nap 12:00am – 2:00pm 120 min 
3rd Nap 4:00pm – 4:45 pm 45 min 
Bedtime  7:15 pm 

Total Sleep: 15.5 hours

 

 

6 month old sleep schedule for early wake up: 

 

Time  Length of Nap
Wake Up 6:15 am 
1st Nap 8:15am – 9:30am  75 min
2nd Nap 11:30am – 1:00pm 90 min 
3rd Nap 3:00pm – 4:00 pm 60 min 
Bedtime  6:30 pm 

Total Sleep: 15.5 hours 

 

 

6 month old sleep schedule for high sleep needs baby: 

 

Time  Length of Nap
Wake Up 7:30 am 
1st Nap 9:15 am -10:30am 75 min 
2nd Nap 12:30 pm – 2:00pm 90 min 
3rd Nap 4:00 pm- 5:00pm 60 min 
Bedtime  7:15 pm 

Total Sleep: 16 hours 

 

 

6 month old sleep schedule for low sleep needs baby: 

 

Time  Length of Nap
Wake Up 6:00 am 
1st Nap 8:30 am – 9:30am 60 min 
2nd Nap 12:00pm – 1:00pm 60 min 
3rd Nap 3:30 pm- 4:15pm 45 min 
Bedtime  7:30 pm 

Total Sleep: 13.25 hours

 

 

How can I improve my 6 month old’s sleep schedule?

 

If sleep is not where you would like it to be and you feel like your little one isn’t getting the sleep they need, the best place to start is ensuring that they have independent sleep skills. 

Baby sleeping |The Peaceful Sleeper

 

Independent sleep skills means that your little one can independently initiate sleep and connect sleep cycles. When they can do this, it results in solid naps and consolidated nighttime sleep where your baby only wakes for necessary feedings. If this is not your reality, no need to worry! It’s never too late for sleep learning! If you are not sure what exactly sleep learning is, check out my blog post all about it, here. Also, my 4-24 month course will teach you everything you need to know about choosing the right approach for your baby, tailoring it to both of your learning styles, and will walk you through the whole sleep learning process! 

 

If your little one does have independent sleep skills, then it may be a scheduling issue. This is where having a look at my sample 6 month old sleep schedules can be helpful. There can be quite a bit of variability in what a perfect sleep schedule looks like for a 6 month old, so exploring different examples while tuning into the sleep needs of YOUR 6 month old can help you determine what their optimal sleep schedule is. 

 

 

 

Recap on 6 month old sleep schedule

 

I hope this blog post empowers you with confidence to know that creating the perfect 6 month old sleep schedule is totally possible. And the key is knowing exactly what YOUR baby’s sleep needs are. 

 

That being said, you most definitely do not need to try and figure it out on your own. This is absolutely a lot to work through, and some babies are certainly trickier than others. This is when having a sleep expert in your corner is life changing! You just tell us about your baby and we can give you as much support as you would like. We offer everything from phone consultations, to watching the baby monitor with you on a zoom call, to in home support. Let’s optimize your little one’s sleep so you can reclaim your very valuable and precious time back!

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