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At 6 month’s old, your baby will be developing his or her own personality. It is a time that some mums consider their favourite; they are still babies but smiling all the time. At this age they should be trying to sit up by themselves, showing an interest in food, and, if you are lucky, maybe even sleeping through the night. Now’s the time to start a 6 month old routine to give them structure to their day.
You may find starting a 6 month old with a routine a bit daunting at first, but as with anything worthwhile, a bit of practice goes a long way. However, you need to remember that every baby is different, and if one routine doesn’t seem to be working don’t be afraid to mix things up a bit. It’s important to find a routine that works for you and your baby.
Why is a 6 month baby routine important?
If you do a little research on the internet, then you will soon find that most experts agree that starting a 6 month old routine will create a happy baby. A routine provides the stability and security a young baby needs. But again every baby is different and while some may thrive on a routine, others will still want to be fed on demand.
Perhaps you have been able to introduce a routine at an earlier age. If so, then the transition to a 6 month old routine will be much easier.
Read more about 5 month old schedule.
The 6 month old routine
At this stage, you may be wondering how you survived the new born phase, when life was all about baby – feeding and sleeping on demand, at all times of the day and night. It probably felt like an endless cycle. But now, your 6 month old should be sleeping much longer, if not all the way through the night, plus 2-4 naps during the day. So it’s time to look at your 6 month old schedule:
While your 6 month old baby will still be receiving most of their nutrition from breast milk or formula, now is the time to start introducing solid foods. Your baby will still need around 4-5 milk feeds per day, but try to include 1-3 meals of solid foods like homemade purees or finger foods. Offer foods that are high in iron and zinc which will help give your baby’s development a boost.
Tips for you 6 month old feeding schedule include:
- Try to schedule regular feeding times for both milk feeds and when you include solids.
- Start by breast or formula feeding and then introduce a small amount of solid food.
- Remember to take things slowly and do not push your child into eating solids. Let them eat as much or as little as they want.
- Offer new foods one at a time to make it easier to detect any food allergies your baby may have.
- Encourage self-feeding by offering finger foods like cooked sweet potato which is high in iron and vitamin C.
Most importantly, try and get into a routine that works around family meal times. Studies have shown that eating together strengthens family bonds and improves a child’s development.
For more information, please read our article
Your 6 month baby routine should include a sleeping schedule. At this age you may be lucky enough that they sleep through the night, but be prepared that they may still wake for a feed 1 or 2 times a night. Any more than this might indicate a sleep problem. Having a good bedtime routine will also encourage your baby to sleep through the night.
In addition to a longer night’s sleep, your 6 month old baby will need 2-4 naps during the day. Some babies only need short naps while others will sleep for longer periods. Your 6 month old baby should be sleeping 10-12 hours per night and a total of 2-3 hours during the day.
Tips for organising your 6 month old sleeping schedule include:
- Try to keep the sleeping or nap times the same each day.
- Your baby’s inner clock will be set by regular activities throughout the day.
- Make sure baby is on a schedule where they do not get overtired.
As your baby gets older this 6 month old routine will change, and your baby will be awake more during the day and will sleep longer at night.
While it may sound simple, the key to a good 6 month old routine is to stick to the routine. It may seem like hard work in the beginning, but hard work pays off. Try and stick to your schedule but if your baby is showing signs of tiredness then you can put them down earlier. Signs of tiredness include rubbing their eyes, yawning and general crankiness. Usually when they have got into a routine babies will wake and feed at a similar time each day.
Once you have established your routine, life with a small baby will become so much easier!
kidspot.com.au, Routines for a six to nine-month-old, , Kidspot, Jan 2019, viewed at 12th June 2020, URL
TheBestIdeasForKids.com, 6 month old feeding schedule, TheBestIdeasForKids, Feb 2017, viewed at 12th June 2020, URL
Tresillian.org.au, Daily Activities: 6-8 months, Tresillian.org.au, viewed at 28th May 2020, URL