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Wake Time + Sample Schedules for 6 Month Old to Optimize Sleep

Learn the right wake time for your 6 month old baby and get a sample sleep schedule to optimize their nights and naps!

6 month old baby sitting up

Happy half birthday to your baby!

At 6 months old, your baby is learning so much! She may be sitting independently, crawling across the floor, and has probably started eating solid foods!

There is so much growth and development inside their brain and all of that can make sleep a little tricky. This is where the 6 month sleep regression comes in for some babies.

It’s not that their sleep has changed. More so that your baby is too busy learning about all the cool new things she can do and sometimes sleep gets in the way of that!

Before you panic about your baby’s sleep, let’s make sure your 6 month old is on an appropriate schedule and following good wake times for 6 months old.

baby crawling and smiling

How Much Wake Time for A 6 Month Old?

Six months can be a tricky time for sleep, but trust me when I say sleep schedules get much easier from here!

Every baby can handle slightly different wake windows. Some need a little more time in order to take a solid nap, while other babies need a little less wake time to avoid becoming an overtired baby.

At six months old, most babies will still be on 3 naps—2 naps and a catnap. Around 7 or 8 months old, your baby will likely be ready to start the 3 to 2 nap transition and drop the third nap.

Typical 6 month old wake windows can be between 2 and 3 hours of awake time before needing a nap or bedtime. If your baby was struggling with the 45-minute intruder, around 6 months old is when it should drop off!

Usually this shortest wake time is in the morning, so your baby’s wake times throughout the day may look like 2.25 hours in the morning / 2.5 hours of awake time after the first nap / 2 hours awake time after the second nap / and 2.75 hours right before bedtime.

If all of that made your brain explode a little, let’s see a sample schedule!

baby sleeping

6 Month Old Schedule

In my post on a sample Babywise 6 month schedule, I have baby on two naps and the catnap is eliminated. This is what I did for my daughter and it works well for many babies.

As a sleep consultant, I have seen many babies not quite ready for the 2-nap transition until closer to 7 months. Last month, your baby’s 5-month old wake windows were between 2 and 2.5 hours, so we can work on extending those slightly to get your baby up to speed at 6 months.

7:00: Baby wakes up for the day and feeds

9:15 to 10:45 AM: Baby’s first nap

10:45 AM: Feeding

1:15 to 2:45 PM: Baby’s second nap

2:45 PM: Feeding

4:45 to 5:15 PM: Catnap

5:15 PM: Feeding

7:30 PM: Feeding/bedtime routine

8:00 PM: Bedtime

baby schedule cheat sheets mockup

Baby Sleep Schedules for All Ages

Grab my Baby Schedule Cheat Sheets to get baby wake windows for ages Newborn—4 years old. The Baby Schedule Cheat Sheets include nap lengths, wake windows, and sample schedules you can use up to 4 years old. They’re easy-to-follow and printable so you can use them at home, or leave them with a caregiver to keep your baby on track. Get them here!

Signs Your 6 Month Old is Ready to Extend Wake Windows

If your baby has been struggling with sleep for a few weeks and showing you the signs that she’s ready to extend her wake windows, then she may be ready to transition to a 2-nap schedule.

Here are some of the signs your baby will show when she’s ready to extend:

  • Your baby takes more than 15 minutes to fall asleep or starts refusing a nap she used to take. Babies often fight the catnap first when they’re getting ready to drop it.
  • Your baby starts waking up early from their naps. You may have gotten used to predictable 90-minute naps, but all of a sudden your baby only naps 30 minutes and you’re wondering why.
  • Suddenly your baby is waking up early in the morning. Perhaps she used to sleep until 7 AM and has recently started waking up closer to 6 AM or earlier.
  • Bedtime has started to become a battle. Your baby may have been going down for sleep just fine, but suddenly starts fighting sleep or crying at bedtime.
baby sleeping with pacifier

2 Nap Schedule for 6 Month Old

If your baby is showing you signs she is ready to extend her wake windows at 6 months old, then it is okay to transition to 2 naps.

We personally transitioned my daughter right around the 6-month mark and she did great! I love the 2 nap schedule because it gives you more awake time with your baby, while still getting two solid naps to break up the day.

The awake time that I most recommend for a 6 month old who is ready for two naps is 2.5 hours / 3 hours / 3.5 hours. It makes it so your baby’s wake time increases gradually throughout the day, which is typically what babies are capable of doing.

Let’s see a sample schedule! Make sure to add solids in here per your pediatrician’s recommendation.

7:00: Baby wakes up for the day and feeds

9:30 to 11:00 AM: Baby’s first nap

11:00 AM: Feeding

2:00 to 3:30 PM: Baby’s second nap

3:30 Feeding

5:15 PM: Feeding

6:30 PM: Feeding/bedtime routine

7:00 PM: Bedtime

Amy Motroni
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