Sleeping through the night?? hungry baby...

Meghan - posted on 11/18/2009 ( 22 moms have responded )

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I know our babies are only 4-5 months, but is it too early to let them cry at night? I feel like he's still hungry when he wakes up in the middle of the night, but I'm not sure if I'm just reiterating a bad habit. What do you think?? I'm so glad to have this resource!

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Kara - posted on 11/25/2009

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"I can assure you if your child is fed, dry, warm (but not hot) and you have to make a choice, crying it out is better for both you and your child than you getting up at 2 am for a feeding every night. Trust your own instincts and you will do what is right for you and your baby."

First of all, the OP said that she thought her baby was hungry. So therefore, him being dry, warm, etc are irrelevant to your post, because he's hungry.

Not getting up at 2 am for a feeding is better for who? You, or the baby? It's better for your baby to feel that you've abandoned them then for you to have to drag yourself out of bed? Because being a mom shouldn't mean making sacrifices for your child, right? You became a mom knowing it would be all daisies and roses, it wouldn't be hard, and if you had to pick between your child's emotional well being and your own good night's sleep, you'd pick yourself? Crying it out is the lazy parent's excuse for not meeting their child's needs. It is selfish. You are choosing yourself over your baby, and communicating to your baby that their needs aren't valid or important. My daughter is equal to me. I would never walk away from my husband if he was crying, lock him in a room, and tell him to 'work it out'. If you did the same thing to an elderly person in a nursing home, it would be abuse. In fact, one day, when I rely on my daughter the way she relies on me now, I sincerely hope that she doesn't make ME cry it out. Even if I don't really *think* my daughter is hungry, *she* thinks she is hungry, and those feelings are valid (just like if, my husband said something to hurt my feelings, but didn't understand why it hurt my feelings, my hurt feelings are still valid!) I am there to comfort her, even if I don't always give her what she wants.

And FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCTS? You're telling me that when your children cried themselves to sleep, wondering why their mommy and daddy weren't coming to comfort them, you didn't feel guilty? You didn't wonder if you were doing the right thing? You weren't thinking, "Maybe this isn't such a good idea?" If you are so desensitized to your child's cries, so callous as to feel nothing--not even your own INSTINCTS telling you 'pick up your baby!'--then I am sure there are many more problems with your parenting, and I, personally, wouldn't take advice from you any way.

All right, this isn't a debate. I just can't stand to see people making excuses for their own selfish behavior, and am so tired of everyone thinking that children are a problem to be solved, or an issue to manage. Children are people, too, and everyone thinks that just because they are small people, and sometimes can't communicate to us what they are trying to say, that it's okay to treat them like dogs. That's all I'm going to say.

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My docs explained it as when they turn roughly 4 months old their sleep patterns change. Just as you sometimes wake up in the middle of the night :) The only difference is that you already know how to put yourself back to sleep. The cry it out method is TOUGH. It goes against a monthers instinct and its ok if it does or does not work for you. You have to find the pattern that does. If he is still asleep in your room, it may take moving him to a different room. Sometimes smelling mommy makes it harder :) If you just changed rooms and found that that is what is causing him to wake, bring him back to your room and slowly move him in his own room. We did use a pacifier and/or special blankie with our first son. Start it with only nap time so he associates it with sleep :) It took a week with naps, then 2 nights for him to sleep through the night. Turn association from mommy to something else.
However if he has had a cold, and is suddenly not sleeping, make sure to get his ears checked for an ear infection.
Mainly, every child is different and you need to find what works best for you and your child. It may even be soething no one on here has ever thought of :) Good luck! We are working on this with our second son now too.

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Kyndra - posted on 11/27/2009

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mine started sleeping all night at around 2 months. and about a month ago he started getting up again. I feed him. They go through a growth spurt around this time.

Heather - posted on 11/27/2009

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I know it is against pediatrician policy but have you tried to give your baby cereal and a bottle for the last feeding at night. I have a bigger baby and if I give him cereal he will sleep 6 or 7 hours at night.

Elise - posted on 11/26/2009

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My daughter is 5 1/2 months and has been sleeping 8 + hours since she was 2 months as well. She eats food now too so we have a schedule. She eats breakfast, lunch and dinner, and still gets a bottle before bed and here and there during the day. I make sure she has a full tummy when she goes to sleep at night. If she wakes up before 8 hours, I make sure there is not something else that woke her up and just try to pat her and get her to go back to sleep. She does not take a pacifier so normally she just goes back. If she wakes up after 8 hours, I give her her breakfast! Sometimes they go through growth spurts and will eat double than what they normally have been and it could also throw their schedule off for a few days! If your child only does it a few days, I would not be worried about starting a trend.. sometimes they are just growing and need extra food!

Brandi - posted on 11/26/2009

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I really think around 5 months of age they go through a major growth spurt. Not to mention the teething.

Angela - posted on 11/25/2009

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My daughter did the same thing most of the people are saying their children did. She used to sleep about 6-8 hours straight, now she wakes up about every 3-5hours at night. I was thinking it might be because she was teething, maybe your baby is teething too and will soon return to a normal schedule. Whatever you choose to do, just be patient and know that either way your child is still going to love you. No one is perfect and their is no formula for parenting. Be flexible and try different things. Give it a few nights of something different, if that doesn't feel right to you, try something else. If in the end you still want to feed your child at night, then do it because that is what you genuinely believe your child needs. It's hard to figure out the needs from the wants at this point, but if they don't learn to sleep on their own now then they will later. I know sometimes we think it may be easier to start somethings earlier, but some things are never really "easy" parenting is one of them.

Brandi - posted on 11/25/2009

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Quoting Jennifer:

"Kara" I understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinion but if you are going to be intentionally rude and basically call the rest of us "child abusers" then you should keep you opinions to yourself. Every mom on here loves their children or they would not be on here. We all need a little advice sometimes and now because of you the poor lady that asked the question probably won't do it again.


Sorry to say, but there's always at least one who has emotional issues and likes to take it out on the rest of us.

Brandi - posted on 11/25/2009

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My baby girl wakes up to feed in the middle of the night becuase she's hungry so I get up and feed her. If you try, and that isn't the problem then just put him back in his crib, but I wouldn't ignore him. Then you'll feel bad if he had an actual need.

Christina - posted on 11/25/2009

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My daughter will be 5 months on Nov 29. She started sleeping through the night at 8 weeks but about 3 weeks ago she started waking up again. She usually goes to sleep between 5 and 6 pm and sleeps to 2 or 3 am and then wakes up. So she is sleeping 9 hours at a time. We have seen the ped. since this started and I asked him about is, he said she was most likely going through a growth spurt and that I needed to get up and feed her, as long as she had slept 8 hours or more since she was last fed. He also said that she would eventually outgrow this until then just continue to feed her. Hope this helps!

Jennifer - posted on 11/25/2009

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"Kara" I understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinion but if you are going to be intentionally rude and basically call the rest of us "child abusers" then you should keep you opinions to yourself. Every mom on here loves their children or they would not be on here. We all need a little advice sometimes and now because of you the poor lady that asked the question probably won't do it again.

Heather - posted on 11/24/2009

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My daughter began sleeping through the night at about 6 weeks. When she turned 5 months old and we moved her into her room. We found that she began waking up a couple of times throughout the night. What I have learned? Babies don't keep blankets on, so be sure that they are dressed to stay warm without a blanket. Using a pacifier is a great help, but no better to constantly get up for the pacifier than feeding. Make sure that they are eating enough before bed. About the same time we moved my daughter into her room, we started feeding her solid foods, she wasn't nursing as well right before bed because she was still full from dinner. We started keeping her up a half an hour later and then she nursed better before bed. Finally, I took a receiving blanket to bed with me (just laid it out underneath me). When she woke up, I took the receiving blanket in covered her with it. Having my smell close to her seemed to provide comfort and put her right back to sleep. We only had to do this for a few nights. After 2 1/2 weeks, she is still waking occassionally, but she puts herself back to sleep within a few minutes. We didn't have to use the cry it out method this time, but as the mother of 4, I can assure you if your child is fed, dry, warm (but not hot) and you have to make a choice, crying it out is better for both you and your child than you getting up at 2 am for a feeding every night. Trust your own instincts and you will do what is right for you and your baby.

Blessing Grace - posted on 11/24/2009

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My baby is turning 5 months, he is my first baby and i feel your problem. He wakes up in the middle of the night and looking for a bottle of milk. Even though i give him his favorite pacifier sometimes he returns back to sleep but after 30 minutes he still wants milk. And i envy those parents talking that their baby sleeping 10 to 12 hours strainght. Maybe its true that every children are different and being a first time mother is hard that i could ever think of. I'm still in the process of trial and error.

Kara - posted on 11/24/2009

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If you ignore your baby when she is hungry, you are teaching her not to trust her body or her own cues to know when she is hungry or when she is not. This sets her up for a lifetime of unhealthy feelings regarding food and an unhealthy relationship with food. Also, there are a lot of studies out there that talk about the development of a child, and how they need to eat at night in order to develop for up to a year. They need the calories to give their bodies the energy to keep learning while they are asleep (processing the things they saw during the day, etc.)

That being said, I think 'crying it out' to get a baby to sleep through the night before 12-18 months is basically neglect and abuse. Personally, I do not plan on crying it out at all, especially because I sleep just fine. My babe wakes up 1-3 times a night to eat, but I hardly notice, because she sleeps beside me and I don't really wake when she needs to eat. I don't even remember how many times she eats at night sometimes. If I got to the point where I was sleep deprived or going crazy, then I would leave her with my husband for a few nights to get her to night wean. I don't see it happening any time soon though.

Sushma - posted on 11/21/2009

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My Daughter will be 5 mts on 25 nov. She has been sleeping throughout the night since she was 2 mts. But sometime she wakes up during the night if she is hungry but that is rare. Never wake a bby from her sleep and feed as that will make them wake up in the nights.

Emma - posted on 11/20/2009

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I dont agree with letting babies 'cry it out' . If they are hungry - feed them - but so that you're not feeding them in the night - try upping their intake during the day - if they wake at the same time every night - then its a habit - if they wake up randomly - then they're hungry!

Imagine if you woke up starving and your Mum just ignored you!?!....

If they are not hungry I would recommend comforting them with a 'Shush - Pat' whilst they're in the cot until they are back to sleep and not talking to them and keeping the lights off/low as possible.

Diane - posted on 11/18/2009

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My daughter doesn't sleep through the night yet. she is a good sleeper she still eats once when she wakes the second time i give her pacifier and rock her back to sleep. She sleeps longer each time. i also found that when i feed her three meals of food and than breast milk during the rest of the time she sleeps longer

Elisha - posted on 11/18/2009

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My doctor actually said they should be sleeping between 8-12 hours at night. So usually if its past 8 hours ill get up and feed her, but i believe it creates a bad habit(did this with my oldest for the longest time) My dr. says to let them cry it out.. i usually do but she shares a room with her older sister.. i dont want everyone awake lol.. But i say cry it out. we do in the mornings. i just usually try to make sure she has a full tummy right before she goes to sleep. Even if she ate an hour before i give her 2 more oz. or what not. hope this helps.
PS. my dr also said not to pick them up or interact with them because that stimulates the brain. keep lights on low when going into the room and try a binky instead of rocking

Liz - posted on 11/18/2009

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no...my baby boy-KADE will be 6months on Dec.3,2009.....i know it's so hard....try rocking him,or playing soft music,keep it dim....he will whimper for awhile....also remember he's starting the teething process,so with Kade i also use night-time ORAJEL to rub on his bottom gums...but you may have to do it 10times....but sooner-or-later....he'll learn to go to bed on his own even if he cries to bed....oh,and what i do with Kade is play soft country music,and when he's dosing off i put him in crib....so don't let him fall asleep in your arms-that's what my pedi suggested....someday he will get himself to sleep,but don't feel bad!!!! try to avoid night time feedings unless you've done all other resources....hope that helped....LIZ

Becca - posted on 11/18/2009

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my 2nd daughter was born June 25th of this year and I actually just made her cry it out starting 3 nights ago. same thing...she truly was hungry at night but then she wouldn't eat very much for her morning feedings. so any way, she cried for less than 1/2 an hour at the most the 1st night and each night has been better for the most part. I think they just need to deal with eating more during the day. We made my 1st daughter who is now 22 months, cry it out when she was 6 months old and ever since then she has slept 12 hours every night and goes down without a fuss. I don't think 4 to 5 months is too early...they are supposed to be getting 11 hours of sleep at night by now. oh, and I've been feeding the baby at 10pm and not feeding her again til 6 so I think that is more than reasonable. good luck to you! it is so much better when they start sleeping at night!

Jennifer - posted on 11/18/2009

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My son was 5 months on the 10th and has been sleeping through the night since he was 21/2 months (he sleeps atleast 10 hours). Sometimes he will wake up around 4 or 5 but I go in and give him his pacifier and he goes right back to sleep. You might try soothing him another way and see how he does. I have heard some moms say they use water in the middle of the night and a couple of nights of that breaks the habit!! Good Luck I hope this was a help

Daniela - posted on 11/18/2009

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mmmm mine just turned 5 months on the 16th, when he was like 2 months he would already sleep all night, but starting like 4 weeeks ago, he's been waking up again in the middle of the night, and i believe he is hungry, becouse all he does is drink his milk and goes back to sleep, like you said i dont know if im just reiterating a bad habit, but i do not want to let him cry at night either =/

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