my 6 months old keeps waking

Question: Why does my 7 month old still wake in the night? Would it be because he is having about two 2 hour sleeps through the day?

Heidi’s Answer: Hi there, Without further details from you it is difficult to say why your baby is waking at night right now. Two naps of two hours during the day sound perfect for a 6-7 month old. Also, those regular naps rather help your baby sleep more at night than wake up: the fact that he is well rested and has a regular day with rest pauses only improves night time sleep. Unless of course those two naps are both scheduled in late afternoon or early evening but I don’t suppose that is the case…

Hunger is a possible reason. Some babies still require one or two feedings at 7 months. At this age though, many also can sleep without feeding for 6 or more hours in a row. So the line between hunger and habit can be thin. If your baby feeds now when waking, and you feel he does not need it anymore: gently wean by offering only one breast when breastfeeding or by giving less formula. Also good is to dilute the formula (i.e. same amount of water but less formula) little by little. This to reduce the hunger habit. Also make sure those awake moments at night are as dull, quiet and dim as possible.

If it started more or less recently it can also be teething, an illness coming along, separation anxiety, he’s cold or hot, …. Check my sleep disturbers overview for inspiration and tips. Or simply post any symptoms or recent changes you notice as a comment below so we can pin it down more specifically.

All that said, if he is perfectly healthy and you suspect no other disturbance than too much sleep during the day, you can check it with a little experiment. Shorten the second nap with half an hour or so. Do this for three days in a row and see what happens to the nights … Or alternatively – since it is always so sad to wake a sleeping baby – shift the second nap to a bit earlier in the day.

You may also find my No-Tears Sleeping Through the Night guide helpful. It has a quite complete overview of possible causes and techniques to help with sleeping longer stretches.

Good luck!

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