6 Month Old Baby Feeding and Sleep Schedules: Samples for Breastfeeding and Formula-Feeding Babies

9 Month Old Baby Feeding and Sleep Schedule

6-month-old babies sleep an average of 13-14 hours in 24 hours with 11-12 hours at night and 2-3 hours during the day. A good schedule can help your baby sleep better and eat better. This post will provide sample 6-month-old feeding and sleep schedules, including milk feedings for breastfeeding and formula-feeding babies, solids, naps, and nighttime sleep.

How Much Sleep Does a 6-Month-Old Baby Need?

A 6 month old needs an average of 14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. Here is the average amount of sleep broken down by day and night:

How much does a 6-month-old sleep at night?

Most babies this age will sleep 11-12 hours at night and go to bed between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. At this age, if you are not lucky enough to have a baby who sleeps through the night, you are not alone. Some babies will wake 1-2 times a night. If your baby is waking more than 1-2 times a night (e.g. every 2 hours), you likely have a sleep association problem.

Can you do sleep training at 6 months to teach baby to self-soothe?

If you’re considering sleep training your 6 month old, here are 5 Things You Need to Know.

Does a 6 month old have to eat at night?

Most 6 month old babies eat 0-2 feedings at night, depending on whether your baby is breastfed or formula-fed as well as any health issues such as reflux.

Breastfed babies can do a single 5-8-hour stretch and then will eat every 3 hours thereafter, on average.

Formula-fed babies can often be night-weaned by this age. If not, some will still have a dream feed but will not eat again until morning.

However, you should know there is also a 6 month growth spurt that lasts a few days to a week, though. Some people think it’s a 6 month sleep regression, however, that is not the case.

How Many Naps for a 6 Month Old?

Most 6 month old babies take 2-3 naps each day that total 2 to 3 hours. Babies this age stay awake and have wake windows between 2 and 3 hours at a time, on average.

How much should a 6-month-old nap and how often?

Your 6 month old should also be taking 2-3 naps per day for a total of 2-3 hours of sleep in total during the day. Most babies this age can stay awake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours at a time, sometimes 3 hours. If your baby has transitioned to two naps this early, they might have a single 4-hour awake period before bedtime. As a sleep consultant of over 12 years, this is on the rarer side.

Having Trouble With Short Naps?

If you’re having trouble with naps, you might be interested in helping your baby nap better with our free e-Book, 7 Common Napping Mistakes.

Wake Windows for 6 Month Olds

The typical 6-month-old wake window is 2 to 3 hours with the first wake window being one of the shortest. Oftentimes, that first wake window is just 2 hours for a 6-month old baby. If your baby has a 3-hour wake window, it’s most likely going to be before the third nap or before bedtime.

How Much Milk or Formula Does a 6 Month Old Need?

Breast milk or formula should be the primary nutrition for the first year and solids come secondary. Below are the amounts we recommend.

For more information on starting your baby on solid food, we have a series of blog posts dedicated to the subject. We include recommendations about how and when to start solids, as well as helpful information on food allergies, recommended products, baby-friendly recipes, and more.

Not sure what your 6 month old can eat? Try this chart: Feeding Chart by Age

Average amounts per day:

  • At least 5-6 breastfeeding sessions per day or 24-32 ounces formula or a combination (decrease solids if your baby is not taking in at least this much)
  • Water is unnecessary (breast milk and formula have plenty of water in them). If your baby has any constipation issues, focus on P-foods (pears, prunes, etc.)
  • 1-2 servings baby cereal (1 serving = 1-2 Tablespoons dry)
  • 1-2 servings fruit (1 serving = 1-2 Tablespoons)
  • And/or 1-2 servings vegetable (1 serving = 1-2 Tablespoons)

Note: If you did not start solids until 6 months (I did not start until 6 months), you will work your way up to the number of servings above. Don’t worry about feeding this much right away! Most babies this age should only eat solids 1-2 times a day.

6 Month Feeding and Sleep Schedules

Obviously, all babies vary, but here are a couple of sample schedules you can use to make your own for your unique baby. Strict schedules by the clock are iffy at this age because many babies simply can not stay up longer than 2 hours to get to the next scheduled nap-time. So at this age, it’s possible that naps are still on the short side but come frequently (up to 3-4 naps a day).

Here is what I call a “staggered” approach when babies take a full milk feeding and then having solids a bit in between. Babies are a little hungry but not famished which helps them be interested and tolerate trying new foods. Some babies just don’t do well with stopping a milk feeding mid-way to eat solids.

Staggered Feeding and Sleep Schedule – Ideal for breastfed babies

6:30 AM – Wake
6:45/7:00 AM – Breast Milk or Formula
7:45 AM – Solids
8:30 AM – Nap (2-hour Nap Gap; at least 1 hour long)
10:00 AM – Breast Milk or Formula
12:00 PM – Nap (2 to 2 1/2-hour Nap Gap; at least 1 hour long)
1:00 PM – Breast Milk or Formula (when baby wakes up from their nap)
3:30 PM – Nap (2 to 2 1/2-hour Nap Gap; ~30-45 minutes at this age)
4:00 PM – Breast Milk or Formula
5:00 PM – Solids (no new foods)
6:00 PM – Begin bedtime routine
6:15 PM – Breast Milk or Formula
6:30 PM – Bedtime (2 to 2 1/2-hour Nap Gap)

+Plus possibly 1-2 nighttime feedings, including a dream feed

If your baby doesn’t mind a more “consolidated” approach to eating, here is another type of schedule:

Consolidated Feeding and Sleep Schedule

7:00 AM – Wake and Breast Milk or Formula
7:30 AM – Solids
9:00 AM – Nap (2-hour Nap Gap; at least 1 hour long)
10:00 AM – Breast Milk or Formula
12:00 PM – Nap (2 to 2 1/2-hour Nap Gap; at least 1 hour long)
1:00 PM – Breast Milk or Formula
3:30 PM – Nap (2 to 2 1/2-hour Nap Gap; ~30-45 minutes at this age)
4:00 PM – Breast Milk or Formula
4:30 PM – Solids
6:30 PM – Begin bedtime routine
6:45 PM – Breast Milk or Formula
7:00 PM – Bedtime (2 1/2 to 3-hour Nap Gap)

+Plus possibly 1-2 nighttime feedings, including a dream feed

Note: Many people prefer to follow an eat-play-sleep routine, which is a good routine to follow, however, sometimes hard to implement at this age when the amount of time between naps is not long enough and your baby wakes too early from his nap because of a feeding that comes due. I take all of that into consideration when making my schedules. The most important part is to be careful not to create sleep associations with feedings too close to sleep times, which we saw become important at 4 months old.

Looking for more sample 6-month old schedules?

baby naps

We have over 40 sample schedules for all ages in our e-Book, Mastering Naps and Schedules. Banish naptime battles and regain control of your day (and your sanity) starting today!

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We’ve Got You Covered if You Need ANY Help with Your 6-month old’s schedule!

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