Now’s the time to start looking at your baby’s naps, but get ready for a slight sleep power struggle as she grows
You’re here. You’ve been through more than a few nappies, some of the cutest moments ever and a good handful of sleepless nights, your baby is now halfway to a year. And her sleep is starting to - hopefully - become more settled and consistent.
At around six months, a healthy baby should be able to sleep through the night, although this can of course vary. Between this point and about eight months, you’re looking at 10 to 12 hours sleep during the night and perhaps three and a half hours in the day split into three naps – morning, lunchtime and late afternoon.
‘When your baby reaches eight months, you can think about cutting out her late afternoon nap and making her bedtime earlier, about four hours after the end of her lunchtime sleep,’ says Maryanne Taylor, baby sleep consultant and founder of Child Sleep Works. ‘If you still have that nap, leave a clear two hours between the end of that and your baby’s bedtime.’
The nine-month regression
By nine months, most babies will have been able to drop this afternoon sleep completely. Although there can also be a slight sleep regression here, similar to the four-month one but not as common.
‘There’s a lot going on for your baby developmentally and she loves to explore, so you could find her resisting naps, being fussy when you try to put her down and even pulling herself up in her cot but perhaps not being able to get back down,’ says Maryanne.
What her sleep will be like
It won’t be too different from prior to this stage – relatively quiet with some movement while she settles herself during the night, something she’ll be able to do more soundly now.
Our top sleep tip
If you do find your baby’s sleep has a set back around nine months, remember it tends to be temporary. ‘Because it could be linked to her physical development, try giving her as many chances to explore during the day to hopefully help her feel tired out by bedtime,’ says Maryanne.
For some brilliant baby game ideas to keep her entertained, click here.