6 Month Old Schedule: Establishing Baby’s Routine

by | Apr 29, 2019

My son is now 6 months old and after recently trying a couple different methods of sleep training, he is finally sleeping through the night!

At 6 months, your baby should have a pretty well-established daily schedule and take 2-3 naps a day (1 – 2.5 hours each). They may enter 6 months taking 3 naps, but as they get closer to 7 months, reduce down to 2 naps. We are going through the transition of dropping his 3rd nap right now.

Getting your 6 month old baby on a daily schedule can help with their nighttime sleep. Having a consistent and predictable routine will decrease fussiness and irritability and make for a happier and more pleasant infant. Follow these tips and schedule for feeding, naps, sleep, and play.

How do you know when to drop the 3rd nap?

In our case, my son was sleeping well through the night for over a month with the occasional wake up here and there. All of a sudden, he started waking around 2am screaming. We tried to ignore it and go back to the sleep training method we did with him, but it wouldn’t even work. He would still be awake for 2-3 hours in the middle of the night!

That’s when I decided that something in his schedule must need to change. The 3rd nap he typically took around 3pm was just too close to his bedtime so it may have been effecting his sleep. Therefore, I spaced out his 1st and 2nd nap a little farther and he did much better.

Making time for solids

You may have just started solids or have been giving them for a couple months. Around this time, you may want to give your 6 month old a more consistent feeding schedule when it comes to solids. You want him to start getting used to eating 3 main meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), to establish a mealtime routine.

I try to give 3 solid meals a day, but some days it just doesn’t’t happen if we are out or too busy. It’s ok to skip a meal here and there because he is still getting his primary nutrition from breastmilk. However, being as consistent as possible will help establish the routine quicker.

Related Post: Quick and Simple First Foods For You Baby: A Baby Led Weaning Approach

6 month old schedule with 2 naps

Here is my 6 month old’s daily schedule that he typically sticks to everyday (if I’m lucky). Based on what time he gets up in the morning, I may adjust the times, but try to stick to it as close as possible.

If there’s a delay for one of the feedings because a nap ran late or something in our schedule required an adjustment, I try to still do the next feeding or nap at the same time so the rest of the day doesn’t get thrown off.

5:30/6 am: Wake up

6:30 am: Feeding- Breastfeed/Bottle

7 am: Play Time

7:30 am: Feeding- Solids

8:00 am: Nap

9:30 am: Feeding- Breastfeed/Bottle

10:00 am: Play Time

11:00 am: Feeding- Solids

12:30: Feeding – Breastfeed/Bottle

1:00 pm: Nap

3 pm: Feeding – Breastfeed/Bottle

3:30 pm: Play time

5:30 pm: Feeding- Solids

6:30 pm: Feeding – Breastfeed & Bottle

7:00: Sleep for the Night

6 month old schedule with 3 naps

Before he dropped down to 2 naps, at the beginning of 6 months, he was taking 3 naps. Here was my schedule at the beginning of the month if your child is still on 3 naps:

5:30/6 am: Wake up

6:30 am: Feeding- Breastfeed/Bottle

7 am: Play Time

7:30 am: Feeding- Solids

8:00 am: Nap

9:30 am: Feeding- Breastfeed/Bottle

10:30 am: Play Time

11:30 am: Feeding- Solids

12:30: Feeding – Breastfeed/Bottle

1:00 pm: Nap

3:00 pm: Feeding – Breastfeed/Bottle

3:15 pm: Catnap

5:30 pm: Feeding- Solids

6:30 pm: Feeding- Breastfeed/Bottle

7:00: Sleep for the Night

This post may contain affiliate links which I would receive a small commission should you make a purchase. Please read disclaimer and privacy policy for full disclosure.

Tips to getting your 6 month old on a schedule

Your baby should naturally fall into a schedule similar to the one above. However, if they don’t, there are a few ways to get them on a consistent daily routine.

It’s important to have a predictable routine everyday. At this age, they will start to really understand the flow of their day. Knowing when they will be eating, sleeping, and playing will reduce fussiness and irritability and make for a more pleasant baby. It will also be easier on you to work around their schedule when planning outings and getting things done.

Below are some tips to get you started. Read this post for more details on establishing good sleep habits and a daily routine for your baby.

Feed, Wake, Sleep Schedule

The basic premise is to not let your baby fall asleep while eating. Infants typically get lulled to sleep from nursing or bottle feedings. However, we want to help them fall asleep from an awake state and not from a feeding.

If your baby has awake time before they fall asleep, they will soon be able to put themselves to sleep on their own. If you let them fall asleep while eating, they will always rely on you or milk to put themselves back to sleep. Whether they wake up in the middle of the night or when you put them down for a nap or bedtime, the goal is that they can fall asleep independently.

Getting your 6 month old baby on a daily schedule can help with their nighttime sleep. Having a consistent and predictable routine will decrease fussiness and irritability and make for a happier and more pleasant infant. Follow these tips and schedule for feeding, naps, sleep, and play.

Put them down drowsy, not asleep

When you’re ready to put them down for a nap or bedtime, make sure they aren’t sleeping before you put them down.

If your baby has fallen asleep in your arms, you don’t want to gently put them down in the crib without waking because that doesn’t teach them how to fall asleep on their own. Just give them a little nudge to wake them up before putting them down.

At this age, even if they are wide awake, they should be able to put themself to sleep. If they need a little help getting drowsy, you can rock them, shush them, walk with them, swaddle them, or give a pacifier. All 5 of these strategies worked for me when my baby was a newborn, but now he doesn’t need any of it.

Related Post: 11 Tips and Ideas For Being Outside With Your Baby

Playtime is important too

Don’t underestimate the power of play to get your baby on a consistent schedule. Even though it may not seem like they are doing too much to you, they are exerting a lot of strength and energy to reach for toys, transfer them from hand to hand, and push a button to make music start.

Playing will help to get them tired since they’re doing a lot of work through out the day, instead of just laying in a swing. More importantly, it’s also. great for their development and they will pick up and learn new skills everyday.

Related Post: Fine Motor Play for Your 3-6 Month Old

Put them in the crib for all sleeps

This is just helpful to start establishing that routine early because you want them to be sleeping in the crib. If you just let your baby take naps in your arms all day, they aren’t learning how to fall asleep on their own and in the proper environment. When they’re 9 months old, you don’t want the only place they nap to be in your arms!

You should be at least attempting to put your baby down in their crib for every nap. This will get you and the baby into a routine and he will know his consistent eat, play, sleep schedule.

Related Post: The Sleep Training Methods That Got Both My Babies Sleeping Through the Night

Understand your baby’s cues

Getting your 6 month old baby on a daily schedule can help with their nighttime sleep. Having a consistent and predictable routine will decrease fussiness and irritability and make for a happier and more pleasant infant. Follow these tips and schedule for feeding, naps, sleep, and play.

Your baby may or may not show signs of being tired or hungry at different times of day. It may take you a few weeks to figure them out, but you will eventually understand what your baby is trying to tell you. My baby’s hunger cry is more of a scream, whereas his tired cry is just being fussy and irritable.

Assist your baby in these habits

Your baby may not always show the tired cues. My first baby never really told me she was hungry or tired and would probably go 10 hours without eating if I didn’t feed her on a 2.5-3 hour schedule. It goes the same for sleeping.

You may be thinking, my baby does not like to nap. Is that because you never see them yawn or when they get fussy, you feed them and they will always just eat because that also soothes them? You may have to help them get tired for a nap just as you do with bed time.

Start the same routine you would do at night when it’s time for a nap. Whether it be to use a sleep sack, a sound machine, rocking, etc. It should get them drowsy enough to take a nap. Even if they aren’t showing their tired cue, still put them down for a nap based on this timing.

Don’t let one change throw off the whole day

If your baby took a longer than usual nap or your shopping ran 30 minutes late and a feeding got pushed back, don’t let that throw off your day. Continue the rest of the schedule as usual even if that means grouping 2 feedings closer together than normal.

Related Post: 12 Simple Activites to Get Your Baby to Sit Up Independently

Be Consistent

If you’re consistent about putting them down for naps and feeding them at these times, you will be creating a good habit for them. Whether they are showing hunger or sleepy signs, attempt to do all of these things at the same time everyday. Try this schedule for multiple days in a row and your baby will eventually figure out what he should be doing and when.

Use positive sleep associations

At this point, my son is a champ at falling asleep in the crib by himself. However, at first, it wasn’t so easy. There are some sleep aids that I still use to ensure that he goes to sleep quickly and stays asleep.

Here are some of my favorite sleep aids and others that have worked too. Some things that work for my baby may not work for yours. That’s why it may be helpful to try out different products to see what works best for your specific situation.

Related Post: Top 10 Must Have Toys For Your 0-6 Month Old

Favorite sleep aids

Getting your 6 month old baby on a daily schedule can help with their nighttime sleep. Having a consistent and predictable routine will decrease fussiness and irritability and make for a happier and more pleasant infant. Follow these tips and schedule for feeding, naps, sleep, and play.

I love my Dohm sound machine for white noise that I leave on through the whole night and all naps to provide background noise when it’s too quiet. Sometimes silence can make it difficult for them to fall asleep.

I’ve also noticed that my humidifier makes a very similar white noise sound so since I always keep that on in my baby’s room, it provides white noise. However, I purchased another humidifier to use for my other child’s room hoping it would provide the same white noise, but it didn’t. They are making non-noisy humidifiers now which defeats the purpose of that for me!

We used to swaddle my son until he started rolling around 4-5 months. Now we continue to use a sleep sack so he still gets that feeling that he’s being hugged while asleep. The Nested Bean Zen Sleep Sack has been working great for us.

Getting your 6 month old baby on a daily schedule can help with their nighttime sleep. Having a consistent and predictable routine will decrease fussiness and irritability and make for a happier and more pleasant infant. Follow these tips and schedule for feeding, naps, sleep, and play.

This sleep sack still gives them the tightness around their body of being hugged, but their arms are free. It also keeps them warm since they can’t use blankets.

Starting your routine

If you follow the above steps consistently, the routine will just fall into place. They will eat, play for a bit, take a nap, and repeat. Providing your baby with a stable schedule will be easier for both you and them. They’ll know what to expect when and you will be able to plan out your days much more efficiently.

Read more about creating better sleep habits for your baby here, if they aren’t getting on a routine by themselves.

Getting your 6 month old baby on a daily schedule can help with their nighttime sleep. Having a consistent and predictable routine will decrease fussiness and irritability and make for a happier and more pleasant infant. Follow these tips and schedule for feeding, naps, sleep, and play.

Hi I’m Marissa!

A mom of two little ones, here to provide some relatable experiences, tips, and tricks to the joys and challenges of pregnancy and childbirth through raising babies and toddlers.  Read more about me here.