My son is waking every 2 hours at night what can we do???

Kira - posted on 10/15/2009 ( 20 moms have responded )

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My son keeps waking every 2 hours at night for a feed he is still breast fed. He isn't sleep 2 x 2 hrs during the day either. He gets rice cereal twice a day is maybe my milk not producing enough to fill him up anymore? What can we do!

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Denise - posted on 10/16/2009

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Kira, I had the same issue with my little one starting at 4 months. He went from sleeping 10 hours straight to suddenly waking up 3 x a night. At first I thought growth spurt so I nursed him each time thinking he was hungry. Then I really started to look at things and realized each time I nursed him he was really just soothing himself back to sleep and not eating. I tried giving him a bottle twice just to make sure and sure enough he never really drank much. I then realized that we had put him to bed every night with a bottle and he always fell asleep drinking the bottle. I believe that once he became more alert and aware of things that he suddenly decided he wanted the bottle and the soothing to get back to sleep whenever he woke up. So we began a "multi phase" project...it started with naps. For his naps I began to put him in his crib drowsy but awake after rocking him a little bit to ensure he was sleepy. I would let him protest for 5 minutes and then go in and soothe him but NEVER pick him up. Often I would lean over the crib and breathe close to his ear and sshhh him. Wait until he closed his eyes and then leave right away. Once we got that mastered then we started giving him his bottle at night and not letting him fall asleep. If he started drifting off then we'd pick up him and start burping him to wake him up a bit. Then we began putting him down at night drowsy but awake. We did sort of a modified Ferber method where we let him cry for 5 minutes and then go in and soothe him, then leave again, and go back in to soothe if he protested again. Sometimes my husband would just sit beside his crib and sing to him without picking him up. Anyway long story short, we are at a point now where his naps are often an hour long or more which is crazy good for him! And his night sleeping is anywhere from 6 to 8 hours straight, with one feed and then back down for 2 to 4 hours. So we are getting there. My advice to you is to really look at everything and see what might be waking your baby. Every 2 hours though makes me think he just doesn't know how to fall asleep on his own and you might have to help him along in that regard. And by the way, letting them cry it out doesn't have to be what it sounds like. Often in Caiden's case it was never real crying..just protesting. If he got to a point where it seemed like he was starting to really cry then we'd pick him up. You have to figure it out for yourself what is the right answer and I do believe for some babies letting them protest/cry a little may be what they need. In other cases that approach might not work. Good luck to you as it's not an easy task!

Jessica - posted on 10/21/2009

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Babies sleep cycles change constantly. Growth spurts, teething (which can go on for a month or more!) impact sleep cycles. They cry because they need something, be it comfort, food, diaper, burp, fart, whatever! Some babies nap more during the day, some sleep more at night. We are parents, our babies depend on us for their existence, let's not ignore them simply because we want 8 hours of sleep (I really hope I wasn't the only one to be shocked and dismayed to read that a baby slept from 7-7, that is WAY too long without a diaper or food!). Now before I get jumped upon; let me just remind all of us about this fact: If we were to make a "pie chart" of our lives... the chunk of time that we spend changing diapers, potty training, getting less than 4 hours sleep a night, is so small we would barely even SEE it!



Try a humidifier (cool mist) if your home is dry. Check your baby for rashes (did you try a new dryer sheet or detergent lately?) or excessive eye rubbing - this is the time of year when allergies are their worst! Perhaps it's something he ate - any new foods in either of your diets? Did you get the Oatmeal cereal instead of the Whole Grain? Little changes can make big impacts!



Try cosleeping (with a crib/bassinet snug against the bed) for a month. My daughter (12 months) sleeps with me and she wakes up maybe 2 times a night. Once to feed, and once to pretty much just make sure I'm still there (she puts her hand on my chest).

Minnie - posted on 10/16/2009

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This is normal. Baby's sleep habits are going to change constantly throughout the infant and toddler years. An infant's sleep cycle is about 50 minutes long, and at the end he wakes. He's just still needs you to help him go back to sleep after he wakes.



Your milk is fine, you're producing enough as long as you're nursing him whenever he wants it and he has a good latch.



Do not let your baby cry- that's insensitive to his physical and emotional needs.



I agree with another poster about the waking coinciding with developmental milestones. Frequent waking was the result of that for us, growth spurts, or some other upheaval in my daughter's life.

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Donna - posted on 03/23/2014

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My son did the same thing for awhile. Contrary to what his pediatrician said I fed him when he was hungry and held him when he cried and never let him cry it out to go to sleep on his own. I ended up nursing him for 2 yrs. he never had a horrible pacifier and went right from me to a sippy cup. He never gets sick. He also slept in our bed. It's not always easy but worth it. Drs. Would have you put him on an eating schedule. Do we as adults eat when we r hungry not when we r scheduled to.?

[deleted account]

Lisa Moreau's comment is right on. Sleeping regressions are very in-sync with developmental milestones and the book Wonder Weeks goes through them wonderfully (ha!). Although, I don't like a lot of the comments in the book that were from parents. Here's some great information on the science behind shared sleep if co-sleeping is something you would consider: http://www.drmomma.org/2009/11/science-o...

[deleted account]

Do you use a pacifier? I know it is kind of a breastfeeding taboo, but my son was waking frequently then not even finishing a feeding before passing back out and it was exhausting. When he started teething we tried a pacifier we had gotten as a shower gift to help with his need to bite (ouch!) But surprisingly it has helped get him to sleep in 4-6 hour blocks. This started about 3 weeks ago. The ones that worked for us are MAM. Good luck! i KNOW how exhausted you are. Hope it all works out.

Crystal - posted on 10/19/2009

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Probably growth spurt! Thats what my son did for a few nights to a week everytime he hit a growth spurt. Its annoying but its nice when they do sleep better again! Right now my son is getting his first teeth in.. two at the same time! So he is once again not sleeping well. Good luck with your little one!

Luciane - posted on 10/18/2009

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I was told that if he gets up in the middle of the night just try and give him a pacifier and see how he does, a little crying does't hurt. He is used to having you pick him up everytime he cries. Try that a few times. Especially if you are also giving him solids. He should not be getting up every two hours to eat. It's usually a bad habbit that can be fixed.

Mandy - posted on 10/16/2009

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my 9mo wakes every 2-3hrs every night to feed. he eats ALOT of food during the day and it doesnt help. i co-sleep and that helps. all i have to do is lift my shirt, he feeds and falls back to sleep. no crying needed!

Kat - posted on 10/16/2009

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My baby is 10 mths and im feeding her every 2 hrs through the night,sometimes it just for reassurance to know im there because she doesnt always have a proper feed and she does use me as a dummy to suckle on,it does make you feel tired but every baby is different and filling a baby up before bed with milk,formula or food is not going to make any difference,you will find that most breastfed babies are like this its a closeness to their mothers more than a formula fed baby.Keep up the good work it will become something you do where you dont really take much notice you just do the night feeds all night if baby demands.

April - posted on 10/16/2009

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How old is he? He may be experiencing a growth spurt. The tend to want to eat more often when they are going through a growth spurt. I just saw below where you said he was 6 mo old. It is growth spurt time.

Avia - posted on 10/16/2009

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We did the Sleep Easy Solution and it worked really well. Our pediatrician said that once our son was 4 months or 14 pounds he would be ready. Our son was also waking up every 2 hours and both my husband and I were working full time. It was very challenging. When he was 5 months old we decided to try some sleep training. It worked incredibly well and very quickly. It requires minimal crying and by the 3rd night, he slept from 7-7. It was amazing. Check it out!

Kristen - posted on 10/16/2009

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regarding my post, my daughter wakes 3-4 times i tried feeding her later and it did not help, she is 6.5 months and eats solid foods but does not nap or sleep any better, i know it was worse before she cut 2 teeth she would be half of the night, my best advise is just process of elimination, try a bunch of different peoples advise, do one for a week and if that don't help try something else, i do agree it could be teeth, or maybe the simplest thing as being cold, i have tried many things and not much helps me. as of napping during the day, my daughter takes 2- 5oz bottles of formula { she will not drink any more than that} and she only naps better right after she eats solids. but each child is different just keep getting advise from different people and something will come up that will work

Aleks - posted on 10/16/2009

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Quoting Neusa:

My little guy is 9 months and has been waking up every 2-3 hours as well up unitl las week...He started this waking up routine around 6 months...You may want to start incorporating some solids during the day, not just cereal, but some fresh pureed veggies & fruits...also eventually your going to have to let the baby cry...i didnt want to but i did it for two days and hes been sleeping decently now from about 11pm to 6:30am and at that time he wakes to nurse and goes to sleep again until about 9am...and hes not a napper at all during the day...only 2 naps that probably last a half hour each...hope this helps


 



I would like to point out that no one "HAS TO" let the baby cry!!!!!!!  It is a personal choice of a parent, and not every parent either!  I might argue a poor choice too, but that is just my personal opinion.



My nearly 8mth old wakes up 3-6 times a night! She is on solid food, and it does not necessarily help baby sleep.  It is a myth.  Sure, if baby is hungry, and not getting enough solids once a certain age, s/he will be more wakeful, but feeding your baby more or close to night time sleeping will not guarantee more sleep!



Also, the reason you baby sleeps like that at night is because he is not getting the sleep he needs.  A 9 mth old should have at least one longer sleep during the day and one shorter one.  Babies that age should roughly be getting 14-15 hours of sleep per 24 hrs.



If baby is getting the required food, then the other thing that may be happening is developmental milestone.  Baby's sleep regresses during those times. Or, a number of things have occurred coincidentally and hence the longer spell of frequent wakings, eg.  baby had a cold, followed by teething, followed by developmental milestone, etc.



Be patient.  Babies change their sleeping habbits frequently, just like feeding patterns, playing patters, etc... This will pass soon enough.  Be patient with your baby.  He/she is going through a lot of changes in a very short time...   In no time, s/he will be sleeping through, and for no "apparent" reason will go back to waking again... its all part and parcel of having a baby.  



In the scheme of your childs life, this phase of baby waking at night will seem but an eye-blink in comparison.  Don't waste this very short but precious time fretting over sleeping patterns. I am sure there are more interesting things your baby does that warrant attention.

Neusa - posted on 10/16/2009

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My little guy is 9 months and has been waking up every 2-3 hours as well up unitl las week...He started this waking up routine around 6 months...You may want to start incorporating some solids during the day, not just cereal, but some fresh pureed veggies & fruits...also eventually your going to have to let the baby cry...i didnt want to but i did it for two days and hes been sleeping decently now from about 11pm to 6:30am and at that time he wakes to nurse and goes to sleep again until about 9am...and hes not a napper at all during the day...only 2 naps that probably last a half hour each...hope this helps

Kira - posted on 10/16/2009

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Hes 6 months ans this has all been happening for nearly 2 months now. Thanks for that :)

Kristen - posted on 10/15/2009

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My daughter is 6 1/2 months and i still breastfeed her, she only take 2-3 20 minute naps during the day and wakes up 3-4 times at night, breast milk does not fill up a baby like formula does, but you can always try feeding your baby a little bit later at night , like if you normally feed cereal at 6 try feeding around 7 or even 8 that way he is a has a full belly before going to bed,

[deleted account]

How old is he? Your milk is the best thing that you can give your baby. Some babies just take a long time to start sleeping through the night. You DO NOT need to supplement with anything. Just keep feeding him on demand, it will get better! It may be a growth spurt or phase that will pass shortly.

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