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6 Month Old Now Hard To Settle

6 Month Old Now Hard To Settle

The baby sleep problem

"I was wondering if you could help me, my little boy has been a great sleeper for 6 months, I was able to put him down for his day sleeps and at night with out too much fuss, just a little grizzle and off to sleep.

Now for the past 2 weeks I have not been able to put him down for any of his sleeps without lots of crying/yelling/tears, it is becoming pretty tiring. I have tried leaving him and going in after 5 mins each time, this goes on for a long time and he just becomes more distraught each time I go in. I have tried just leaving him and not going in at all, the max time I could do was 25 mins and I don't feel comfortable doing that again. I was just wondering if you had any other suggestions? This morning after leaving him for a while when I finally got him up to sooth him it took another 20 mins holding him to calm him down, the only thing that is soothing him at the moment is the breast, and I don't want to get into that habit!

Do you think that it is just a stage? I keep hoping he will revert back to his old ways! Any suggestions would be really appreciated."

Our recommended baby sleep solution

Around 5-6 months is often a time of big change for baby's sleep, as their sleep cycles change, they start eating solids and moving round more.

Good routine is one of the main things you can do the help your baby settle well, as it ensure his feeds/solids and sleeps are at the most useful times. It will also make sure he doesn't get over tired, which is common when babies are playing more and mums are more confident taking baby out and about (and may miss normal sleep times).

I recommend the routines from 'Save Our Sleep', and have used them with Tom since he was about 7 months old. It fixed a short burst of night waking in 2 days, combined with starting to use a Babe Sleeper (as he was scooting round in his cot).

The routine for a six month old would be:

7am feed

8am solids

9am sleep

11am feed

12 solids

1pm sleep

3pm feed

4.30 nap if needed

5pm dinner

6.30pm feed

7pm bedtime

10pm dream-feed (feed while baby is swaddled and asleep). You only need the dreamfeed if he is not sleeping through consistently or is waking at about 5am hungry.

Make sure you aren't feeding or rocking him to sleep too!

Are you still swaddling? Maybe try wrapping him with one arm out now or move him into a sleeping bag.

Also it's a good time to be introducing a comfort blankie, as he may want something to soothe himself with or play quietly with as he falls asleep.

If those suggestions don't improve his settling, read the information on choosing a technique for teaching your baby to self settle. There are options for no-cry sleep methods or controlled crying. At 6 months he is too little to leave to cry himself to sleep, however controlled crying can be very effective at this age, particularly if you have him in a good routine and he has previously been a great sleeper.

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