Baby Sleep Trouble at Six Months

There are a couple of specific time periods during which your baby (and therefore you, as well) isn’t too likely to get much sleep. There is, of course, the newborn stage. During that stage, your baby is simply adjusting to life on the outside, and it takes some time for her to start developing those important nighttime and daytime rhythms. Fortunately for most parents, those nights of trouble falling asleep and constantly-interrupted sleep typically only last a few weeks.

There’s another period when babies often start to have sleep trouble, even if they’ve been sleeping fine. This often occurs right around six months of age (although it can certainly happen later or earlier depending on your baby’s development). At this age, babies are often learning to be able to pull themselves up. They may be experimenting with walking, although walking may be some time away. In many cases, this can actually be the worst time your baby has sleeping.

When a baby at this stage wakes up at night, he will often pull himself up, and not want to lie back down. Once he’s up, he’ll cry. He’s conflicted, to some degree. He wants to be upright, but he also wants to be asleep. He isn’t necessarily making the connection between sleep and lying down.

Six months of age is also a primary time for separation anxiety. This adds to the nighttime troubles, as your baby will become scared or frightened when he does wake up and can’t go back to sleep.

This time of restlessness often ends once your baby is walking for a couple of weeks. At that point, she no longer has that irresistible urge to pull herself up, and she’s also more likely to be so active during the day that she’s more tired at night.

There are different approaches on how to handle this. Some experts recommend laying your baby back down in his crib, and gently hold him in place. Sing softly, talk nicely and even rub his back, but help him resist the urge to stand up. Other parents prefer to just wait it out, comforting or even picking your baby up during this time. Really, you need to decide what works best for you and your baby, and know that the problem will resolve itself within a few weeks.