Baby waking up every hour at night.

Andreea - posted on 01/07/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I have a 2 1/2 month old and he wakes up every hour on the hour. He isn't hungry every time so I don't know what's causing this restlessness. Sometimes it's because he needs to burp... but, I can't figure out the rest. Any suggestions?

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Hannah - posted on 01/07/2009

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Babies are colicky from the age of 3 weeks to 3 months, it's just a developmental phase they go through, it leaves them restless and gassy as you describe. Also, babies at this age cannot process emotions neurologically yet, so any and all outside stimuli they receive over the course of their days (sounds, sights, smells, everything!!!) translates into stress - not necessarily bad stress, but just stress as in they're being pounded with all this new and amazing information they need to process - and in order for their bodies to process that stress they have to cry or scream until they are old enough to start dealing with emotions. The crying of a baby at this age doesn't always mean it's sad or in pain or wants something, its body just needs to release some tension and the only way it can do so is by moving and making noise!

Our baby boy is 9 weeks old and is often awake and restless, sometimes picking him up and holding him in different poses helps, sometimes walking around with him helps, sometimes chatting with him about life, the universe, and everything helps, sometimes rocking does too, we try to give him all the cuddles and attention he wants during the day, the best we can anyways, and at night we make sure we differentiate from daytime by keeping everything dark and quiet and feeding him in his crib and only picking him up to burp him afterward. We sit with him and stroke his head or give him his pacifier if he's restless at night and cries but try not to pick him up unless he really gets worked up, and if he's very fussy or gassy we sometimes fall asleep with him on our chest on the couch at night as well...

It's hard at this age, I feel like he's awake for 20 hours out of 24 even though I know it must be less, but it's getting better slowly, he's starting to wait for more than 3 hours between feeds and giving him a pacifier for a while helps us extend his feeding times and get him to eat more in one go - but we're not breastfeeding; it's easier to do this with formula I think.

Anyways, hang in there, and don't worry too much, babies just like to make noise, you're not doing anything wrong if you can't always stop him from crying, he just needs to know you're there and close to him since he's still too young to be left to cry it out should you choose that method one day (but that's a whole other issue!!).

Hang in there!

Lois - posted on 01/08/2009

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From personal experience...my first born now 4yr (who didn't sleep longer than 5  hours at night until 9 months).....it really does work to put them down drowsey but awake.  My daughter is 3 months old and I was having her sleep with me until just recently, 2 or 3 weeks ago, moved her to sleeping by herself.  I try to put her down drowsey so that she falls asleep by herself, and eventually will learn to do this every time, but sometimes she does nurse herself to sleep.  She now goes about 5-8 hours or longer for the first stretch, then wakes once again about 4-5 hours after that, and then about 3 hours after that.  So goes to sleep about 8:30-9pm, wakes at about 3-4am, then again at around 6am, and then wakes up for the day about 8-9am.  Hope this was helpful, but every child is different and not every sleep trick works for everyone.  I also discovered that the, let them cry themselves to sleep, doesn't work until over 6 months of age when they learn to self sooth.  That's what worked for my son but he was 9 months old at the time.

Amy - posted on 01/07/2009

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Are you breastfeeding or bottle feeding? If you are breastfeeding this is normal because they go through a growth spurt around this time and they need to increase your milk supply so they nurse more frequently. The best advice I have is to start a strict bedtime routine. I bathe, lotion/massage, diaper, swaddle, nurse then straight to bed! At this point (my son is 4months) he knows that when he is swaddled it is time to go to bed.

Shannon - posted on 01/07/2009

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Are you cosleeping?? If not you may want to consider it, I know it helped with my son. He now sleeps in a sleeper next to my bed, and at 4 months will sleep for about 4 hours at time before he needs to eat or be changed again. Good luck... and I hope your baby stops waking up every hour and you get some sleep soon!

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Lynn - posted on 01/07/2009

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try the book the no cry sleep solution if was really helpfull for me with ideas and stratigies for getting your  baby to sleep throught the night.

Emily - posted on 01/07/2009

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Have you tried swaddling?  The miracle blanket was, well, miraculous for us!

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