5 1/2 month old is waking every two hours at night and it is driving me insane

Joanne - posted on 08/06/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My little one was a good sleeper, but he has now started having troubles sleeping both at night and during the day. He used to sleep for a couple of hours during the day, but now is only sleeping 45 minutes, and nights are now a total wash out, even though he is dead tired, he goes to bed between 7 and 8, and wakes at 10.30 - 11, then every two hours after that until we get up in the morning at 8. I really don't know what to do, I have been feeding him every time he wakes, but he doesn't feed for long before going back to sleep, and I put him back in the cot, but he just wakes again two hours later. We have the heater going all night and he is in a sleeping bag and has blankets, so I am pretty sure he is not too cold. I thought he might have been too hot, so I turned the heater down, but as I said he falls straight back to sleep when I put him in bed with me to feed him, and I know it is hotter in bed with me than in his cot.

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Oksana - posted on 08/06/2010

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When my son was about 4 months he started doing the same thing! For almost two months before I realized why he was doing that...He would sleep for about 30 min 4-5 times a day and wake up every two hours at night. I would breastfeed him everytime at night and he'd fall asleep really quickly, but be up and crying just two hours later...i realized the problem was that he was not getting enough milk from me...the first time i pumped milk instead of breastfeeding him he slept most of the night, only woke up once! I started pumping right before I would put him to sleep and give him a bottle of at least 5 oz of my milk and put him to sleep and then pump again a couple hours later before going to sleep myself and use it for his middle of the night/early morning feeding. He never did the whole "waking up every two hours" thing again :) If you're breastfeeding that might be what's wrong, but it could just be a temporary thing like a growth spurt too...i usually never comment but this situation sounded so familiar to me, anyway hope this helps with your 5 month old waking every 2 hours, hang in there!!

Jessica - posted on 10/30/2013

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Mine is doing the same exact thing. I've been reading a lot and have learned that there is a common "sleep regression" that happens at this age where their REM cycles change dramatically and the frequent waking is common. The issue is to try to help them learn to fall back asleep without being soothed back to sleep. There are do many different perspectives about this, but I've found a website that is really helping- it's called "the sleep site." I'm working on it, but haven't solved the problem yet. It is helpful for me to know that it is really common, though.

Amanda - posted on 08/07/2010

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Your 5 month old may be waking every 2 hours because of teething. It can interrupt them from a dead sleep and your presence and comfort will put him back to sleep. I wouldn't necessarily feed every time he wakes though, because if you do that for a long period of time it can cause him to habitually wake and expect a feeding when he doesn't really need it. At 5.5 months they can go the full 10 hours at night without food... If you want to try to just rock him back to sleep without feeding I would try that first, then if its unsuccessful or he seems hungry offer food.. but not every 2 hours. He clearly doesn't need it if its only a partial session it is just comforting him.

Sage - posted on 05/07/2012

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theres is a number of things that could be wrong .. my little one is the same age and only this week have i finally figured it out . i use to wake up multiple times for feedings . what i did was before bed give a nice warm bottle with a little cereal mixed in it , and put the baby down while drowsy. now this is the difficult part ... ive learned that babies will continue to wake up [ like clock work] every day for as long as they feel it is a part of the routine. next time he wakes up instead of letting him think its feeding time cuddle him with a pacifier and put him back to bed .. after a coupld days he will catch the hint that its time to sleep not munch.

Sarah - posted on 08/06/2010

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You should ask your pediatrician about your 5 month old waking every 2 hours... most of them will say to just let them cry it out but I personally cant do that! If he is still eating I say just feed him... my little boy eats throughout the night as well and sleeps longer when he is in the bed with me. I am hoping he will outgrow it... sorry it wasnt too helpful but just know you arent alone!! =)

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Shelley - posted on 11/01/2013

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I'm having the exact same!! My LO is 25 weeks, she used to wake twice a night maybe 3 times now I lose count. It's every 2 hours or more. It seems to have started when she had a cold and just got progressively worse ;( over the last 2/3 weeks. I just don't understand what I'm doing wrong?! We have a good bedtime routine. She is teething at the moment, I'm weaning her but that was before her cold. The only other thing that's changed is I am formula feeding her through the day and giving her breast if she needs it at night. I said I'd never let her cry but I've just had to, which resulted in me lying here crying?!

Cori - posted on 03/09/2013

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@Oksana, Katrina, and Jen, did what you each tried work and so you remember for how long this went on? Oksana, did what you tried work to get her to nap longer?

Zoe - posted on 04/24/2012

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Have you taken him to the doctor to get checked for an ear infection. My son started getting ear infections at that age. I can tell when he gets them because he quits sleeping, and wakes the second his head hits the bed.

Kelly - posted on 08/09/2010

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If the milk/formula is adequate, then try adding cereal before bedtime so there is more substance in the tummy for a longer period of time!

Jen - posted on 08/08/2010

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I have the same problem.. I'm hoping it's just a growing spurt and that she will sleep more (she use to give me 10 hours) I would be able to just put her paci back in but this week it's just hold me feed me. I think my problem was what Oksana was saying so unfortunally I've had to introduce formula this weekend.. she seems to be more satisfied . Let's hope this will end soon for all of us :-)

Katrina - posted on 08/07/2010

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My wee girl is doing the same though not properly waking but making enough noise that I wake!!! I have to wrap her and she gets ehr arms free as she is restless so I have to rewrap her a few times a night! I have just discovered a tooth coming through and have put it down to teething plus a touch of colic! My girl had only just started to wak only once or twice a night so this sucks a bit but am hoping she;ll get over it when the tooth comes through properly. I also bottle feed Abby so I dont feed ehr every time she wakes as I know she often isnt hungry. Hope you work out the prob causing your 5 month old to wake every 2 hours!

Katrina - posted on 08/07/2010

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My wee girl is doing the same though not properly waking but making enough noise that I wake!!! I have to wrap her and she gets ehr arms free as she is restless so I have to rewrap her a few times a night! I have just discovered a tooth coming through and have put it down to teething plus a touch of colic! My girl had only just started to wak only once or twice a night so this sucks a bit but am hoping she;ll get over it when the tooth comes through properly. I also bottle feed Abby so I dont feed ehr every time she wakes as I know she often isnt hungry. Hope you work out the prob causing your 5 month old to wake every 2 hours!

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