Wonder Weeks Leap 4 & Sleep
Wow! You’ve made it 6 months as mama to your sweet little baby! Way to go! Motherhood truly is the hardest job, but the most rewarding.
You may have seen that your baby is changing yet again! There are likely lots of physical developments, but your baby is also going through major mental and emotional developments.
Your little love is likely…
- requiring more attention
- is crying more
- seems to be clingier
You may notice that your baby’s mood may seem off a bit. One minute your little one is is happy and playing with their stuffed animals and the next minute baby is crying demanding your attention.
This is also a common timeframe for sleep to hit a speed bump. You may find that your baby may not settle as easily at nap and bedtime. This may also be coupled with your little love waking more at night and/or be waking early in the morning.
You may be thinking to yourself, “what is going on with my baby?” and/or “where did my happy baby go?”
Leap 5 is what is happening!
What’s Happening With Leap 5?
Developmental leap 5 is known as “The World of Relationships”.
Simply put, baby now understands the distance between two objects as well as the placement of objects. This means when you walk away from baby, they can now understand the distance between you and them and they may express their displeasure when you get too far away and/or scream in excitement as you start to come closer to them.
Baby can also understand that something can be inside, outside, on top, above, next to or underneath something. This is when I found my daughter loved emptying the clothes out of her drawers!
During Wonder Week’s Leap 5, you’ll like find your baby…
- likes moving toys
- enjoy knocking enjoys knocking things over
- may be interested in things that are inside other things (i.e. drawers, cupboards, etc.)
- will try to take toys apart
- likes watching items disappear
- is starting to understand short sentences and gestures
- will start to use words or gestures through sounds
- may have more interest in looking at books
- enjoys singing, dancing and clapping to music
- may start sitting up
- will attempt or succeed at pulling up to stand
- may want to start walking with help
- starts attempting to crawl
Lots of amazing skill development!
How Long Will This Leap Last?
This developmental leap normally lasts 3-6 weeks, but it can be as short as 1 week and as long as 6 weeks.
How Will Leap 5 Affect Sleep?
As with any leap you may see a change in babies sleeping patterns. As baby is growing and developing new skills, sleep may take a back seat for a little while as baby figures out these new skills.
Sleep Support Through Leap 5
Not all babies’ sleep is affecting by leaps, but if your baby’s sleep is affected, here are some tips to help your support your little one:
Develop a soothing nap and bedtime routine
If you haven’t already, this is a good time to create a soothing bedtime routine. As baby is making the connection between words and actions, a bedtime routine is a great way to cue to baby that it is time to wind down and transition to sleep.
Create an age-appropriate schedule for sleep
At 6 months, babies need 3-4 hours of daytime sleep (2-3 naps) and about 11-12 hours of consolidated night sleep. Ensuring your baby is meeting their sleep needs will help to prevent them from getting overtired, which will make sleep problems even more challenging.
Foster independent sleep
If your baby is reliant on you to put them to sleep (feeding, bouncing, rocking, holding), your little one has developed sleep associations, also known as a sleep crutches or sleep props.
In order to have healthy sleep habits, your little one has to learn that THEY have the skills they need to put themselves to sleep, without any assistance from you. If your little one can self settle at bedtime and at nap time, there is a far greater chance that your baby will be able to resettle themselves at night (unless they have a need) or to lengthen a short nap.
Consistency could be our mantra at Bella Luna Family! Let me tell you why…
Our little ones learn through repetition so if we become consistent in our routine as well as our responses, our babies learn our expectations around sleep.
If we send mixed messages, it confuses our babies and they won’t understand our expectations because our words and actions aren’t lining up. This will make it VERY difficult for your little one to develop healthy sleep habits.
Consider sleep training
At 6 months old babies are aware of their environment and starting to learn expectations. If your little one is waking all night long or taking cat naps (30-45 minutes), 6 months is the perfect age to start sleep training.
If you have questions or need help, we’d love to help you! Fill out our contact form today to start on the road to more sleep for your baby and you!
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