Are you worried that your 6 months baby wakes up every hour at night?
After years of blissful, uninterrupted sleep, just when you thought you had passed the newborn stage, ping! Your 6 months baby suddenly starts waking every hour at night.
But worry not – with a few changes, you’ll soon get the situation back to normal.
This addresses why your 6 months baby wakes up every hour at night, signs of sleep regression, and what to do when your 6 months baby wakes up every hour during nighttime.
Table of Contents
- 6 Months Baby Wakes Up Every Hour At Night: Explained
- What is The 6-Month Sleep Regression?
- 6-Month Sleep Regression, How Long Does It Last in Babies?
- 6 Months Baby Wakes Up Every Hour: Tips To Help You Cope
- When To Consult A Doctor
6 Months Baby Wakes Up Every Hour At Night: Explained
Your baby’s waking every hour is called 6-month sleep regression.
The waking of your baby every hour during the 6th month would be a common experience if your baby had a similar experience during the 4th month.
You may notice your baby waking up and crying every 2 hours between 4 – 6 months if they are already self-settling.
If your baby isn’t self-settling yet, or something else is bothering him, your baby will often wake up and need help to go back to sleep every 2 hours during the night.
Your baby waking up every hour during the night could also result from the huge physiological need for sleep in the first part of the night.
During this time (between bedtime and midnight), your baby’s body steadily releases the sleep hormone melatonin, which pushes them toward sleep.
Your baby begins his night well, sleeping deeply until midnight, when the hormone melatonin gradually drops out of the system.
It continues to diminish between midnight and the early hours of the morning, and its complete disappearance in the morning (as well as a rise in cortisol) is the thing that prompts us to wake up.
Keep in mind that if your baby had that history at the 4th month and then it is repeating itself at the 6th month, then the chances of it occurring at the 8th and 12th month is high.
Some experts feel this experience is part of your baby’s growth. Since there is a high tendency to learn new motor skills, it may increase your baby’s alertness and make your baby more interested in staying awake than sleeping.
What is The 6-Month Sleep Regression?
The waking of your baby every hour 6 months is a phenomenon called 6-month sleep regression. A 6-month sleep regression is an unexpected interruption of your baby’s usual sleeping routine.
This means a drift in your baby’s sleeping pattern; your baby sleeps less and is more awake.
For instance, after your baby’s regular nighttime routine (bathing, feeding, reading a book or song), he may tuck in nicely — but after an hour or two, he suddenly starts to fuss for no apparent reason.
If your baby has been feeding regularly throughout the day, and you just changed his diaper before bedtime, you might be perplexed as to why he is crying.
This latest development may leave you puzzled; you may want to understand what is happening. There is no need to panic as this is pretty normal for 6-month-old infants to wake in the night and then drop back to sleep shortly after.
6-Month Sleep Regression, How Long Does It Last in Babies?
Wondering how long the 6-month sleep regression would last in your baby? It doesn’t last for long; it is short-lived. Like many other stages in your baby’s life, this is also a discovery stage for your little one.
It usually lasts for one week or two weeks and can also vary because every baby is unique, and everything depends on your baby’s individuality.
The phase ends once your baby has adapted to their newfound skills, and then it sinks the subconsciousness of your baby that nighttime isn’t the appropriate time to test new skills, then your baby will stop.
Sleep training can also start at this stage as it can help you manage 6-month sleep regression.
Causes of 6-Month Sleep Regression
Your baby may be experiencing this 6-month sleep regression for one of the following reasons.
- Rolling over: Rolling over, which involves flipping from one side of the bed to the other, starts around 5-6 months, and once this starts, it could be a cause of 6-month sleep regression as your baby can end up stuck in the crib and then get uncomfortable and starts crying.
- Babbling: Learning these new strings of sounds by your baby can lead to your baby becoming consumed by it, so much so that they remain awake at night doing it.
- Starting to sit: Some babies start sitting up at 6-7 months, and when they do, it comes as a surprise and gets your baby occupied.
- Separation anxiety: This could also be why your baby may be experiencing sleep regression, and this anxiety sometimes starts in babies as they hit 6 months.
- Creeping and crawling. This new development may leave your baby wanting more at night as he starts to motor around during playtime and tummy-time.
- Tooth eruption. Teething usually starts between 6 and 12 months, and the pain can keep your baby from sleeping well.
Signs of 6-Month Sleep Regression
The followings are signs that indicate that your baby has the 6-month sleep regression, and they include:
- Your baby wakes up a lot at night, and when they do, getting your baby back to sleep may prove difficult.
- Your baby experiences difficulties falling asleep.
- Your baby’s nap time is longer during the day, and nighttime sleep is shorter.
- More crying and agitation during awakening.
6 Months Baby Wakes Up Every Hour: Tips To Help You Cope
Wondering how to help baby manage this 6-month sleep regression so that nighttime isn’t disturbed or affected by incessant cries? The following tips will help you cope.
1. Review safe sleeping guidelines
At this stage, babies can roll over on their own. It is necessary that when putting your baby to bed, ensure you do so by putting your baby on their back. Also, keep any item that can put your baby at risk of sudden infant death syndrome away from your baby’s crib.
2. Follow a regular sleep schedule
Try creating a schedule that you will follow that shows the time for bed, naps, and other activities in your baby’s life. This can help stabilize your baby.
3. Institute a bedtime routine
Try having a series of steps before rocking your baby to sleep at night, and before long, your baby will become accustomed to this routine as a sign of nighttime sleep.
You can also feed your baby before bed and even engage in some calm activities like rocking or cuddling, as this helps your baby unwind before sleeping and can also help elongate the sleeping hours of your baby.
4. Minimize distractions to sleep
Try keeping your baby’s sleeping zone quiet and dark, and try limiting the presence of things that can cause disturbance to your baby’s sleep.
5. Feed Them Well
Ensure your baby is well fed before bedtime. Also, always burp your baby after every feed before putting them to bed. Doing this helps release the air from the stomach and prevents discomfort and stomach pain.
6. Add white noise
White noise is a combination of different sounds of different frequencies. This sound masks other sounds in a room because it contains all frequencies.
Research has shown that infants fall asleep sooner in an environment with white noise. You can buy one, download a white noise app, or play it online to help your baby drift off to sleep.
7. Monitor their daytime naps
The number of hours of sleep your baby needs reduces as they grow. Frequent and long naps in the day can affect their sleep pattern during the night.
You should keep track of their daytime nap times and gradually limit their overall nap time during the day to help them sleep longer without waking up in between.
When To Consult A Doctor
During your baby’s 6-month sleep regression, you won’t need to consult with her doctor, but it’s something you can discuss at his next well-baby appointment.
There is no reason for a few episodes of a baby crying, even if they last for an hour. Let your partner, caregiver, or another loved one take over baby duty during a sleep regression.
If you can’t figure out what’s causing your baby’s crying, call your doctor for some reassurance if you’re at your wit’s end.
Try to hang in there when you’re faced with a 6-month sleep regression – and know that the reason for it is good. As your baby learns new skills and moves his body, he becomes restless and excited. As soon as he gets over the novelty of these tricks, he’ll settle in fine to rest – and so will you.
Hopefully, this article has given an in-depth discussion to answer why 6 months baby wakes up every hour at night.
Keep in mind that it doesn’t last long. It is short-lived and is a stage in your baby’s life, also known as a discovery stage for your little one.
It usually lasts for one week or two weeks and can also be more than that because every baby is unique, and everything depends on your baby’s individuality.
You can also start sleep training at this stage as it helps you manage the 6-month sleep regression of your baby.