Most new parents know all too well that those early months of a baby's life mean intermittent sleep, restless nights, and dazed mornings. After the first few months, however, you start to expect (or desperately hope) that your infant will settle in and start to get used to sleeping more regularly. At each month, babies should reach certain developmental milestones related to all aspects of life, including sleep. And there are several sleep milestones a baby should reach at 6 months, after which the whole family hopefully will experience many more nights of restful sleep and finally feel like that part of life has gone back to normal.
By the time your baby reaches 6 months of age, WebMD noted that he should be sleeping about six to eight hours at a time, which means that he should be essentially sleeping through the night. Of course, there are all kinds of reasons as to why a baby would sporadically experience nights of poor or interrupted sleep, but by now your baby should be better acclimated to daily routines, including a sleep schedule. If he isn't sleeping well by now, it may be time to experiment with a few different sleep training methods, which can help your baby learn how to self-soothe, fall asleep on his own, and help him adjust to a bedtime routine that may be a little bit new if you're transitioning him to his own room or a different sleep surface.
Babies who are 6 months old, however, are moving and chattering with much greater frequency, according to the What To Expect website. And all that tossing and turning, not to mention talking and singing, could keep your little one awake. Also, because babies at this age can roll themselves over, sleeping on their bellies isn't as great a risk as it was when they were younger, according to the aforementioned WebMD article. If you walk in to check on your baby and he's lying on his tummy, there's not as much to fear. The risk associated with SIDS has gone way down by now because they have the muscle tone and strength to roll and move more, however, keeping plush toys and blankets out of the crib is still a good idea.
Additionally, babies often go through a growth spurt at around 6 months of age, according to The Baby Sleep Site. Growth spurts may make your baby especially tired, so he may sleep better and for longer periods of time than he normally would. This change in sleep habits is completely normal, and not anything that should worry you. He will likely return to more regular sleeping habits once the growth spurt passes.
By 6 months, baby sleeping habits should be pretty much like anyone else's sleeping habits. If your 6 month old hasn't hit these milestones yet, it may not be anything to worry about — babies (and everyone) grow, develop, and mature at different rates. If you are worried, however, have a chat with your baby's pediatrician or other healthcare provider and, hopefully, the whole household will be enjoying blessedly serene, restful sleep very, very soon.