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Can you believe that you're already halfway through baby's first year?
Your little one is now six months old, and ready to enter a whole new stage of development. It's a wonderful time, as you see them grow and make such a big leap in their development but, as parents, it can sometimes feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath you!
All of a sudden, things you thought you knew have changed, and strategies that worked for you before are all of a sudden useless! As frustrating as the seemingly out-of-the-blue changes might be, it's all totally normal, and actually a good thing! Your baby is developing, starting to really know their own mind, and picking up lots of new things they want to try along the way.
So Kidadl is here to support you with all the reassurance and information you need. Whether you're looking for advice on the 6 month sleep regression or are searching for tips on a 7-month-old schedule, we have a really broad collection of articles and resources that bring you all the information you need to stay ahead of the game.
And if you're looking for a typical 6-month-old napping schedule or 6-month-old feeding schedule, read on to find the ideal 6-month-old schedule or 6-month-old sleep schedule to suit your family.
Why Are Schedules Important?
At 6 months old, your baby is going through a lot of developmental changes. They are likely to be splitting their time between home, daycare, or other caregivers and it's really important for them to have some consistency to keep them settled and feeling safe. A good routine can help baby sleep better, eat better and ultimately help them meet their developmental milestones. Our top tips are to think about developing a solid and comforting bedtime routine, encouraging consistent naps (even if baby isn't at home), keeping mealtimes at a similar time each day, as baby gets to grips with solid foods, ensuring all of baby's caregivers are on board with the same routine (consistency is key to establishing a schedule for a 6-month-old!), and making time for play during the day with your baby!
Sleeping & Naps
At 6 months old, you may well start to see some big changes in baby's sleep schedule. Although babies sleep for anywhere between 12 hours and 15 hours a day at this age, you're likely to find that he or she will fall asleep and then stay asleep for longer periods of time, now they no longer have to wake as often for feeding as they did at the newborn stage. This is called 'sleep consolidation'. Many babies at this age will start to fall asleep and sleep through the night, but if yours doesn't, don't worry! You aren't doing anything wrong and it is nothing to worry about: sometimes it really is just luck of the draw.
With baby sleeping for longer stretches at night, this is likely to alter their nap schedule. Nap time might now consist of three naps overall: one longer nap, up to around three hours, and two naps that are much shorter, perhaps even just 30 minutes each. However, this is just a guide, because every baby is different. If he or she sleeps for a full 12 hours at night, they may not need as many naps or need one that lasts as long as three hours. Instead, they might just have two naps at two hours each. They may even start to get fussy and start to reject naps or fight the need to fall asleep. Their sleep habits really will depend on baby's routine, whether they're at home or daycare too.
At 6 months, the bulk of your baby's nutrition will still come from breast milk or formula. Baby will need to drink anywhere between 24 and 36 ounces a day, but they will now be drinking much more in one sitting, so you are likely to see feeding sessions reduce from five to eight a day down to four to six.
On top of bottle or breast, your feeding schedule will now also include solid foods. You can start to wean anywhere between four and six months, and it's such an exciting time as you introduce baby to lots of new tastes and textures. Finger foods they can pick up and gum themselves (baby won't have many, if any, teeth yet) alongside soft cereals and purees are all great ways to start introducing solids. Breast milk and formula are both quite sweet, so don't be worried if baby only shows interest in sweet foods like fruit at the beginning of your weaning journey. Solid food can be introduced two or three times a day at main meal times alongside a breastfed or formula bottle-fed baby.
Playing & Movement
Most babies start to sit up, unsupported, at around six or seven months old so, as well as being really useful for sitting up in a high chair for feeding time, it also means there are more ways for baby to play! Many babies will now also have the strength to start bearing weight on their legs when held upright and be showing a real interest in trying to crawl.
6-month-old schedules should make time for play too! Try to incorporate a range of activities into playtime that stimulate the development of their fine and gross motor skills and encourage them to meet developmental milestones, both physical and emotional. Stacking toys, blocks, and chunky wood puzzles are great for hand-eye coordination and moving toys, like trains, cars, and balls, are perfect for encouraging baby to move around, whether that's crawling or even pulling themselves up.
Communication & Emotional Development
At six months old, most babies are now pretty vocal! You'll notice them really starting to play with sounds, and experimenting with the kinds of sounds they can make, from squealing and growling to blowing raspberries (especially if you're introducing a vegetable at snack time that they don't like!).
They'll be making a range of vowel and consonant sounds and combining them together in their babbling, but it won't really make sense and real words won't appear for another few months yet.
Although they can't communicate with words just yet, babies at six months can use a variety of other ways to let you know how they feel, and what they want! They will point, laugh, and use all the different vocalizations they've been practicing, from yelling to grunting. They may well also start to display stranger or separation anxiety at this age.
Now it's time to take a closer look at a typical 6-month-old schedule. We've put together a few different examples of detailed 6-month-old schedule ideas including wake-ups, food, nap time, and bedtime, to give you an idea of how your daily routine could look. Whether you are researching a 6-month-old schedule for working moms and parents or a mom and 6-month-old schedule for days spent at home, we have some examples that might help here! These schedules also provide some great sleep schedule ideas as they show example times for naps throughout the day for a formula or breastfed baby. Remember that every baby is different, so use our example 6-month-old schedule ideas and adapt them so they work best for your baby, and your family. To keep the whole family organized around your schedule, why not write your own schedule out, using these as examples and guides, and stick it on the front of the fridge for everyone to be aware of?
Sample 6-Month-Old Schedule With Solids And Milk
7:00 a.m. Wake and feed (milk)
7:45 a.m. Breakfast (solids)
8:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Nap
10:45 a.m. Wake and feed (milk)
12:00 p.m. Feed (milk)
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Nap
2:30 p.m. Feed (milk)
4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Nap
5:00 p.m. Feed (milk)
5:45 p.m. Dinner (solids)
6:45 p.m. Feed (milk)
7:00 p.m. Bed
Sample 6-Month-Old Baby Schedule For Babies At Home
6:00 a.m. Wake and feed (milk)
7:00 a.m. Breakfast (solids)
8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. Nap
8:45 a.m. Wake and feed (milk)
10:45 a.m. Feed (milk)
11:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Nap
2:30 p.m. Feed (milk)
4:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Nap
4:45 p.m. Dinner (solids)
5:30 p.m. Feed (milk)
6:15 p.m. Bed
Sample 6-Month-Old Schedule For Daycare
8:00 a.m. Wake and feed (milk)
9:00 a.m. Breakfast (solids)
10.30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Nap
11:30 a.m. Wake and feed (milk)
1:00 p.m. Feed (milk)
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Nap
3:30 p.m. Feed (milk)
5:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Nap
5:45 p.m. Feed (milk)
7:00 p.m. Dinner (solids)
8:00 p.m. Feed (milk)
8:30 p.m. Bed
Jo is a work-from-home mum to two boys. They can often be found mooching around their local castle, museum or gallery. She has a degree in Film and English and a personal interest in mental health and well being, as well as food and drink, photography, history, and art, and likes to write about all of these interests on her blog. She is also passionate about passing on her love for knowledge to her sons through learning and having adventure. And, as a Nottingham native, there are no better woods to stomp about in than Sherwood forest, following in the footsteps of Robin Hood!