How do I get my 5 month old to sleep through the night? I am giving him as much food as I can throughout the day and especially before going to bed for the night. He still wakes every 3 to 4 hours. Help!

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Erin - posted on 08/23/2011

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I have 5 month old twins that have slept through the night since 3 and a half months. My mom gave me the best advice I ever received. Once I felt comfotable that they were getting the ounces we all read about, I kept a water bottle for each by my bed. It took 2 nights. When they woke, I offered the bit of water....no crying, they drank some and then I cuddled them back into sleep....2 nights later they didn't wake up. My mom said, they wouldn't wake up for it and she was right. They learn that when they wake in the dark it is back to sleep time. Smart little babies:) BTW, my ped was fine with 4-6 ounces of water a day so to have a few ounces avail for night was not a concern. Also, I was in the habit of removing them from their bed since they had awakened. I got in the habit of (without talking) repostioning them into their original position when I put them in their crib....touch is a powerful soother... and recovering them. Good luck, I may have just been lucky!

[deleted account]

i am not a doctor, nor a perfect mother, but i have 3 grown daughters, healthy and beautiful as ever! i listened to my mothers old fashioned advice, 33 years ago with my first daughter. did whatever you could during the day, and about and hour before bedtime, every night, nice warm bath for 15-20 minutes, powdered and comfy jamies, little bit of cereal in warm milk. my girls slept the entire night doing this, since they were about 2 months old. now, i do the same with my grandchildren, and my daughters love when i do it, then they get rest also:) good luck to you!!!

Corinne - posted on 12/04/2011

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Roxanne you're not doing anything wrong & neither is your baby! He is normal. It is the western culture's abnormal & unrealistic expectations about babies' sleep patterns & duration that makes it appear you/he is wrong. It is normal. After all, his brain is doing lots of growing overnight, so it needs an ongoing supply of fuel (milk feeds) to do this.
Check out the books: The Wonder Weeks (there's a website by the same name, with emails you can sign up for) & The Baby Book (by Sears; also linked to the very informative website www.AskDrSears) - I think these will be useful for gaining insight into how your baby develops & what is normal.
Cereal in bottles is not recommended. As well as immediate health risks, there are long-term health risks of introducing solids (cereal) to a baby before 17 weeks (at the earliest! around 6 months is recommended for good, researched, reasons). Lots of good research clearly shows that Introducing solids to a baby's immature gut increases the likelihood of obesity, diabetes, & allergies later in life. Sure, there'll be some who can say that 'I fed cereal from a few months old & my children are fine' but there'll be many others that can't say this.

Lexi - posted on 11/29/2011

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Some babies just aren't ready at that age no matter what we do. It may be something you just have to wait a little longer for. My 1st son didn't sleep longer than 3 hours until 8 months old. After 8 months he slept 4-6 hours at a time. He slept a full 12 hours on his 1st birthday and a consistent 8-12 from then on. My 2 month old is sleeping 4-6 hours once he goes to sleep at night but he is usually colicky from 8pm - around 2am! lol.

All that said one thing people suggested to me with my first son was making him wait a couple minutes before jumping up to feed him. Sometimes they will settle down and go back to sleep on their own. Even if they don't, you're training his little tummy to wait a bit longer every time. It didn't work for us but it's worth a try. You can try giving him a pacifier and seeing if that will help him go back to sleep for a little while longer. Teething definitely has an affect on sleep habits too. My son didn't start teething till 10 months old, but each time he was getting a new batch of teeth in his sleep would be a mess for a few weeks. He'd be back to waking up every few hours again. At 5 months old it's possible he's starting to get a tooth in.

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Corinne - posted on 12/05/2011

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Many families find safe co-sleeping is the answer to disturbed sleep. It is the biological norm for our species. Plenty of research, esp. Prof James McKenna

Meaghan Van - posted on 12/05/2011

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i have a 2 year old boy and a 6 month old girl... it was so much harder with my boy and i know how you are feeling, probably tired a little irrational, and perplexed all rolled into one... If you havent tried a little bit of rice cereal try it, it helps some babies...but i found putting it in the bottle only clogs up the nipple, so try giving it to him on a teaspoon, he might only take a couple of teaspoons before turning away...but its a progress thing. I have found boys are usually more hungry than girls and there is nothing you can do but feed them, but if you are getting up more than once a night, i would say try some solids... my son started them at 4 months... lol.... but we did the wrong thing by co-sleeping with him and now we cant get him out of our bedroom and he freaks out everynight when he wakes up alone and starts crying, until we come in and cuddle him in our bed! we have not made the same mistake with our daughter...lol... and she is a wonderful sleeper usually.

Roxanne - posted on 12/03/2011

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Ok well my little 5mth old is NOT sleeping through the night and I feed him before he goes to bed and through out the night and hes still hungrey in the morning. What am I doing wrong here ladies?

Megan - posted on 12/01/2011

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my son had broncholitis about 2 months ago,and he never sleeps all night so took him to doc,and she said to try him on the inhaler at night time,and he know sleeps through the night,as we have a history with asthma in our family, and iv heard of a few of my mates who have done it and there babies starte sleeping through once they did it,worth looking into

Jennifer - posted on 11/25/2011

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my 5 month old was doing that to. until i finally had enough. i will put him down in bed still awake he. he cries for about 20 min then i put the pacifier in his mouth he falls asleep and has been sleeping till 5 am then i will only give him 2 oz then he will go back to sleep till 8. that seems to work for me. hope it helps you

Zuri - posted on 11/23/2011

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my oldest was like that until i noticed the he just wanted to sleep with his dad.. so we would give him a warm bath at night and a warm bottle then we used one of his dads t-shirts that he sleeps with as a blankie. lol i know it sounds weird but it totally worked and we've used the same trick on our two other kids and it always helped. good luck!!

Adrienne - posted on 11/21/2011

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5 month olds aren't expected to sleep through the night. Babies will wake up when they are hungry or need the skin to skin assurance. Also, unfortunately, under 6 months shouldn't be eating solids or cereals unless under doctor's orders. My youngest is followed by several specialists and they have all told the same thing. I have 2 boys under the age of 2, and my oldest started doing his nights at 10 months old. Keeping your kids on a routine is essential as well as having them nap during the day is super important as well. The best piece of advice I got was from a doula (with over 25 years experience) she told me that when your baby is ready to sleep the night, they will. Also, not to be rude, but having a baby involves many sleepless nights...I understand having to work the next day etc, but then you should be making a schedule with hubby for overnight feedings...also, I nap in the afternoon when both boys do...I put aside the housework for a while and just close my eyes. Also, if you find yourself tired during the day, take a walk or jog with the kids...it does wonders for my sanity and it's helping my waistline disapear ;-)

Corinne - posted on 11/20/2011

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It's really normal Nicky. Just go with it & they change in their own time, naturally :) The problem is not the waking, but that mothers are told to expect their babies to sleep through the night from [insert any age here], thus setting up an unrealistic expectation.

Not responding to cries works, but there's a negative reason why it works which, if mums knew about, they wouldn't want to cause: read up about 'learned helplessness'; and author Sue Gerhardt writes about the effects (Why Love Matters).

Holly - posted on 11/20/2011

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My daughter is 4 1/2 months and has sleep through the night since she was 3 months. I've noticed with her that if she sleeps on her tummy she will sleep through the night any other way she wont. With her its a confort thing and I know they say not to put them on their tummy but she has so much strength that she does really good. So maybe try letting him sleep different ways at night.

Timi - posted on 11/18/2011

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HI Heidi,

I was wondering if your little one has her tooth out-or maybe more?My friend's baby had the same symptom of throwing up food and not wanting to eat and soon, they found out she had 4 teeth coming in at once, so yes, your little one might be teething...Good luck

Michele - posted on 11/15/2011

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My baby is 6 months and since basically the day she came home from the hospital, my husband and I have tried keeping her on a strict schedule and routine. We feed her, change her diaper, swaddle her, have family prayer, and put her to bed. She is usually in bed by 9-9:30 and sleeps until anywhere between 5 and 6:30. That's with a nice daily routine and schedule too. You have to be willing to leave your baby in bed sometimes, even if they're crying. Try just sticking a binkie in your baby's mouth and leaving him/her alone to go back to sleep. I learned real fast with my baby that sometimes she may seem like she's awake and needing to eat or be rocked, but really she's just making noises in her sleep. I know it's hard to let a baby cry, but it might work. Try a schedule and a routine and not always responding to a cry and see if that works. Good luck.

Kim - posted on 11/09/2011

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My five month old still wakes up for a bottle in the middle of the night too!

Jessica - posted on 11/09/2011

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My son was waking constantly too, but we learned that he can only take one nap a day (his nap is usually a few hours)

Olivia - posted on 11/06/2011

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More then 80% of babies wake one too two times a night till 2 years and still maybe once a night till around the age of 5. It is healthy and normal

Nicky - posted on 11/01/2011

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Thanks for all of the advice! He is 7 months old now and although I have tried many of your ideas he is still waking twice a night. Last night was midnight then again at 5:30 - which is still the middle of the night in my eyes! I'm going to try the lavender tonight.

Sarah - posted on 10/29/2011

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Well have you tried when putting her to bed to make a bottle of milk thats warm? Also when you do it make sure the room is dim not to dark but not to light!.. and rock her and eventually she will go to sleep:) ph and also try when you do this to out on relaxing music low to where you can just barely hear it :)! hope this helped!!:)

Pam - posted on 10/27/2011

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wow alot of advice here! it can get confusing at times cant it? Both my children were different, and it must have been different causes and effects parallel to timing or just differences in personality and neurological mechanics! lol unfortunately 4 moi, my first child did not sleep a full night until the second one came, and by that time she was 2 yrs OLD, amazingly the first one slept through the night since birth (and I can hear her and she's not helpless lol). She kinda fit right in like a puzzle piece and now I get sleep! Yay Me! She was born in the morning, and fed for an hour right away (unsure if it has had any effect on sleep) but it could all be very scientific with many denominators, but don't worry she will sleep her night sooner or later, she HAS too! lol. Mya started sleeping her night just because but if she didn't have her nap she would wake as if she did and stay up for hours in the middle of the night, so in time I learned that she needed sleep in the day and plenty of exercise and/or mental stimulation.



With my second, there was a moment she woke in the night, lucky for me that moment collided with a jar of baby food brought to her by daddy (I make all my babyfood, but daddy had a moment of excitement) and he fed her, LOW and Behold, she went back down for the night. I breastfed the first for 2 years and she would not eat anything until she was 12 months! not that I wanted to starve her, she just would not take it. Alas, when she was 6 months old I tried to put food in her mouth (as a first time mom) I was eager, and she wasn't having it... so she had this thing against spoons and anything besides a breast in her mouth. That being said, she hated food because of a bad experience (bless her wonderful soul, I feel guilty about that) She eats great today and I'm still unsure if it was the fact that she weaned and ate more during the day that got her to bed. anyways, I wish you luck!! Sometimes its a growth spurt, sometimes its hunger or sometimes its an underdeveloped belly? lol if she's growing fine and isn't spitting up all the time, vomiting and/or having bowl problems, the possibility of that is slim~ I'm sure everything will work out, in the meanwhile, cheers~ :-)

Tashira - posted on 10/25/2011

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u can take him a warm bath n a warm bottle n get some soothing lotionsa or bedtime music

Cara - posted on 10/25/2011

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Hi! I hope things are getting better. When my daughter was 4 months old, I found a book called The Baby Sleep Solution....it worked wonders. She went from waking every 3 hours to sleeping from 8pm to 7:30 am!!

Alicia - posted on 10/25/2011

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I know the feeling! I personally love essential natural oils for my babies specially. I use lavender oil for my baby and he sleeps through the night I couldn't believe it until I tried it. I can send you a sample if you will like one, it works!!! It really has made a difference in our life to have natural oils in our home. I use all different kinds of oils for different reasons. You can email me back alibelm@yahoo.com and I can you a sample if you would like or you can buy it directly from our web page http://doterra-essential-oils.com/doterr... I hope it works :) Let me know!!! Alicia Triplett!

Amanda - posted on 10/21/2011

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My son is 6 months old and still gets up every 4 hours or so. My doctor said to try water or juice, give them something they won't want and they will eventually not wake for it. Didn't work for me he just drank it. My daughter got up once a night till she was a little over a year old for something to drink.

Megan - posted on 10/20/2011

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I was lucky and my first baby sleep through 8 hours a night by 8 weeks. Then I had baby number 2 and while he's also a good sleeper, it's 5 months old and still occassionally wakes between 8:00pm and 6:00am. I've discovered, however, that if I wait just a little while (maybe 5 to 10 minutes) when I hear him stir in the monitor, he'll most likely soothe himself back to bed. I thought it was a hunger thing too, but I battle that by just barely waking him at 10:30-11pm before I go to bed to get one last 6oz bottle in him. so far, it's been working fairly well. Good luck!!

Katherine - posted on 10/16/2011

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@Becca, is that a statistic that babies who sleep through before 6 months are at a higher risk of sids???

I slept through from week 2 and my son has slept through from 3 weeks old.....all on his own accord, he set his own routine, still does and he's almost 7 months old......

Becca - posted on 10/16/2011

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This is normal and not something you should worry about changing. Babies who sleep through the night before 6 months are rare and at a significantly higher risk of SIDS.

Jennie - posted on 10/12/2011

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Every child is different! My daughters are 4 and still wake up. It takes time.

Jacqueline - posted on 10/12/2011

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My son is 6 months old and hes doing good sleeping at night, when he wakes up he usually sucks his thumb :) hes been doing that since he was born

Caroline - posted on 10/07/2011

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i had the same problem.
i just try keeping him up as much as possible thru the day and at night he sleeps a lot better or try giving him cereals before bed time and that should fill him up a bit more. mine still wakes up 2 times in the night for a drink.

Heidi - posted on 10/03/2011

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very informative! I haven't given her any of solids...With my first (who is now 7yrs old) it was like forbidden any solids before 6 mons..lol. and when the time came for him he wouldnt eat any baby cereal. And I've noticed lately (since friday) she splits up alot...almost like throwing up. On friday she threw up 4x's. Could she be teething? As I'm writing this, i'm thinking maybe i should get her into see her ped??

Katherine - posted on 10/03/2011

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have you tried other veggies/fruits? you don't need to start with cereals, maybe her little tummy can't handle it and causes her some gas and pain???

we did rice cereal until we were told to use oatmeal, barely and mixed grain by his specialist.....and to do a bunch of other things.....my little guy just turned 6 mnths on the 25 and he has been on solids since before 4 months....due to the doctor and his reflux.....he now eats 3 meals a day and is a happy little chunk

Heidi - posted on 10/03/2011

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Katherine the rice is by Gerber...at first she ate that right up but then doesn't show interest anymore, so I tried oatmeal (gerber) and same thing. Maybe she's not ready for solids, but she's nursing like ever hour an half to 2 hours. She ates on demand, and i was told she wont eat if she's not interested...but she eats every time. She's up at least 2x's during the night, and naps for like an hour during the day. So as of right now, I've pretty much stopped cereal. I'm at the point where I almost can't figure her out anymore. :(

Nicky - posted on 10/03/2011

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Things are certainly improving in our house. After only 24 hours we have managed to ditch the dummy and he is sleeping much better during the day. He now goes down at 7pm, wakes between 2 & 3am for a bottle and then sleeps till 7am. Slowly I will start reducing the amount of this feed until he doesn't need it anymore.

[deleted account]

I feel you. My 5 month son does not want to go to sleep at night until btwn 1200-3am area, but once he does he goes to sleep for 8 hrs. I feed him rice cereal fruit mix and then breastfeed for about an hr. I start about 9pm. Not sure why he will not go to sleep earlier I've tried then he wakes and refuses to go to sleep until he wants to.

User - posted on 10/02/2011

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If you are still having trouble try to get your hands on a copy of Save Our Sleep. It's become my bible! I have almost finished reading it and in two days my 4 1/2 month old has gone from needing a dummy almost all day, screaming the house down half the evening and never being able to have a decent sleep through the day unless I did nothing but hold him or put him in the car/pram for a drive/walk to a baby that is always happy, only has the dummy of a night (which, following the directions in the book, I'll hopefully be able to say goodbye to completely in another 3-4 days) and being able to settle himself to sleep when I put him in his cot while he's still awake. And once we've properly settled into the routine he should be sleeping all through the night instead of waking up his usual twice.

Shantelle - posted on 10/02/2011

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My first didn't sleep through until just before she turned two! Some people are lucky and have babies that sleep through early on... but some just don't. I think they all sleep through when they're ready and unfortunately (I went through hell) we just have to keep going one night at a time. Good luck.

Colleen - posted on 10/02/2011

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My Ped told me with my daughter, after about 6mo to try rubbing her back and lull her back to sleep (with out picking her up) and not to feed her. He told me by 6 mo she should be able to go 6-8 hrs at night w/o food. I did that for 2 nights and after that she started sleeping for 10 hrs!!

Veronica - posted on 09/29/2011

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My baby is six months old and just started sleeping thru the night. Her ped told me to wean her off the milk during the night she was still waking 1-2 times a night to eat. She told me to give her only three ounces one week then the next cu tit to two and the third give her water. Well I started it but one night wwe were up for most the night so I decided to put her in her own room in her own bed with her lullabies and now she is sleeping eight hours straight.

Katherine - posted on 09/28/2011

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Heidi, what kind of cereal are you using? rice is really constipating and could be causing tummy pain and gas!!

Melinda - posted on 09/28/2011

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funny about the swaddling with a hand out so they can get to their fingers. Our one son kept randomly waking during the night and we couldn't figure out why b/c he had been sleeping through the night. I figured out he wanted his fingers/hand. We started to leave that hand out (he only wants his left) and now he's back to sleeping through the night!

Nicky - posted on 09/28/2011

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Hi Heidi. He is now having 3 meals per day. The last one is at 5pm and then he has a bottle before bed. I had hoped more food would help him get through the night but I wonder if some of the waking is habit!

Heidi - posted on 09/28/2011

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Nicky I was just gonna write something about solids yet, but I just read your baby is now 6 mons old. My daughter is 5 1/2 mons...and I started her on baby cereal about a week ago, but I had noticed the nights I would feed her at our dinner time, she would be up alot during the night. So I thought, I'm gonna try not giving her any cereal at dinner time...and she slept great...and only woke up ONCE! lol...She goes to bed by 730, she was up at 3am and then up for the morning at 7am! Needless to say, she was getting tummy ache and gas. Maybe this might not be helpful anymore, but hopefully for someone.

Nicky - posted on 09/28/2011

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Thanks Sonya. He is 6 months old now and after trying everything nothing is working! He has a cold now so was awake every 1 - 2 hours last night needing to be comforted so any hard work gets thrown out the window.

Sonya - posted on 09/28/2011

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Just be patient every baby is different and there is no sure fire way for your baby to sleep through the night and even if he does for a little bit growth spurts teething all these things can change him up...Ive gotten used to the fact that there is no getting used to anything

Nicole - posted on 09/26/2011

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well what i do is during the day try not to feed the baby heavy food just snaks and give your baby some oat meal and a good bath with baby bed time lotion down real good and give him or her a milk bottle and lay them down now that should work the real oat meal to feednit to the baby then that should knock the baby out for the night

Ashley - posted on 09/26/2011

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Honestly you can't
I don't care what people say
Your baby will sleep threw the night when its ready.
My five month old gets up three times in the night to be changed and fed.
Try giving your baby a soother as mine sleeps well with hers

[deleted account]

It is suggested that babies eat pureed food between 4-6 months. So if you haven't tried that, perhaps that may help you. Also, does your baby have regular naps during the day? Every baby needs their regular napping during the day to gain their energy for play time. In most cases babies find it harder to sleep (get restless) at night time because they are not having enough sleep during the day. Your baby could also be at the stage where he/she is realising that Mum and Baby Are Not One anymore and wanting to kow that you are there. My bubs is at that stage now (6 months) and I put a shirt of mine near her cot so she can smell my scent, maybe this may work for you and your baby. Your baby may not want a feed when he/she wakes up in the night, he may just want to suckle on his dummy? Or some mellow music playing for comfort. I hope some of these suggestions help you :)

Shay - posted on 09/25/2011

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my son did that too. i think its just habit. just ignore it for like 10 min the first time then make it longer and longer eventually he will sleep through the night

Patricia - posted on 09/24/2011

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Jade sleeps all night long from 3rd month, but from the very first time we had several advices from my mom and my husband´s mother: if our baby needs attention or food at night we´ll be there inmediatly, but always without lights, just quite and silence actions, that means no talking, no singing... even no underware changing! And soon, she learned about differences between day and night :- )

Kylee - posted on 09/22/2011

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I feel bad that you arent getting a full nights sleep yet poor thing! I have no advice but to keep on a schedule. My twins slept thru the night at 4 weeks and my other son at 7 weeks. i just kept them on a schedule during the day and made sure they had enough to eat. I hope you can get him to sleep thru very soon!!

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