I love kids, I have spent most of my life working with them, and 6 months was always a favorite stage for me with my own children, due to them developing more of their personality, having a more established routine, and more excitingly, starting solids!
Let's just take a little look at What sleep should look like at 6 months, Where the naps should fall, How long they should be for, and What the variables are, around sleep, so that you can do your best to have consistency overnight.
How Much Sleep At 6 Months?
The average overnight range on sleep is usually in the 10-12 hour window. I know that you may think that everyone else baby sleeps 12 hours, and everyone tells you that their baby sleeps 12 hours, but I can PROMISE YOU that is not the case. Most children actually sleep in the 10.5-11 hr range. As much as we would love them to sleep 12 hrs nightly, it's really not realistic to expect that from them. It's actually only around 5% of babies who sleep 12 hrs on a regular basis.
How Many Naps At 6 Months?
This is a little more tricky, as 6 months is an age where some babies are getting ready to transition to 2 naps a day where some clearly still need 3.
A nap is anything that is over an hour, so a baby taking 2 naps, will need to accumulate on average, around 3 hours of daytime sleep combined.
Either 2 naps of 1.5 hrs or 1 nap of 1 hour and 1 nap of 2 hours. For those babies who are taking 3 naps still, the amount of sleep may be slightly higher, but your third nap should be short, as it's going to be removed soon, so cap it at 5 pm or 30 minutes.
The longest I see a baby hold onto 3 naps is 9 months of age, and in most cases, it is when the second nap is unpredictable in length and isn't making it past 1 hour in length.
What Are The Awake Windows At 6 Months?
Some say wake windows, and I say AWAKE window. If you are not familiar with the term, it represents the spacing of awake time between sleeps.
So waking up in the AM to nap 1, waking from the end of nap 1 to Nap 2 put down, and so on.
Here are two common awake window patterns for a 6-month-old, with 3 naps and 2 naps.
3 Naps. 2 - 2.5 - 2.5 - 3
2 Naps. 2 - 3 - 4 OR 2.5 - 3 - 4
As an example, I have a 6-month-old on two naps who wakes up at 7 am. Using the information about awake window patterns + amount of day sleep ( 3 hours ) this is how it would fall ( for sake of example only ) and also allowing a buffer time of 15 minutes, where the baby goes into the crib, versus the baby actually falling to sleep.
6 am - awake
8:30am - Nap 1 ( for 1.5 hrs ) + 3 =
1.15pm - Nap 2 ( for 1.5 hrs ) + 4 =
7 pm Bedtime
Does Starting Solids Impact Sleep At 6 Months?
In most cases YES !!!
It can actually be quite problematic in the beginning if you go too fast.
In fact, I have a whole post just dedicated to this particular issue.
You can read more about that here: Solids and Food
How To Start Solids At 6 Months?
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If you have enjoyed reading this post and would like to know more about how sleep will change over time, or how the routine will look as time goes on -
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