How do I get my 4 month old to sleep better at night?

Krissy - posted on 01/23/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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My little boy is going to bed between 8-9pm and waking at least four times a night to feed. He finally is ready for the day around 7:30am. HELP I'm going to lose my mind. I need sleep. Oh, he also takes about 5-6 45 minute naps a day, and is really cranky if I try to keep him awake longer. I've tried rice and oatmeal cereal before bed, rice cereal bottles, and going to bed earlier and later. Any suggestions????

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Angie - posted on 01/26/2009

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Yes, Zach is our first, so it is pretty easy to keep him on a schedule without any other children around to disrupt it.

Melissa - posted on 01/26/2009

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Are these all first children though? I have a 3 1/2 year old as well and I can't keep a schedule bacause she has preschool 2 days a week where I have to drop her off and pick her up. Then she has swim class Friday mornings. The poor kid will never be on a tight schedule because of the other child.

Angie - posted on 01/26/2009

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Quoting Katie:

My daughter is on a pretty good schedule. She eats at 8am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm and then again 8pm. After she eats, she's awake and has playtime for about an hour and a half to two hours and then goes down for a nap. She only eats rice cereal 3 times a day after I nurse her at 8am, 11am and 5pm. I think the schedule is really good for her because she's used to it and knows what to expect. She sleeps 11-12 hours every night without having to give her extra food at her last feeding. Is your little boy cranky or happy when he wakes up from his naps? If he's cranky, he might just need less naps during the day, but for longer periods of time. I would just try getting him into as much of a schedule as you can.


We started putting Zach on a schedule very similar to this and really sticking to it (except he eats at 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm) and once he was on it for a few days it really made a difference to his night sleeping. I think babies really do need the schedule so they can anticipate what is coming.



Zach also plays for and hour and half - two hours after eating and then goes down for a nap after almost every feeding; sometimes he skips a nap.



The only difference is that we haven't introduced any solids to his diet yet. We give him 5oz a time during the day and 6oz at bedtime and for his one middle of the night feeding, which usually comes around 3 am, after which he goes back to sleep until around 6:30am.



We had such a hard time getting him to sleep at night and the schedule was what finally did it!



Best of luck!

Amber - posted on 01/26/2009

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Maybe your baby is going through a growth spurt. My baby wouldn't sleep much for about a week, then she got back on schedule.

Jessica - posted on 01/26/2009

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I wish I knew. I have been up so many times at night, I can't keep count anymore.

We're TIIIIRED.

And we co-sleep as well. GAH!!

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My daughter is on a pretty good schedule. She eats at 8am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm and then again 8pm. After she eats, she's awake and has playtime for about an hour and a half to two hours and then goes down for a nap. She only eats rice cereal 3 times a day after I nurse her at 8am, 11am and 5pm. I think the schedule is really good for her because she's used to it and knows what to expect. She sleeps 11-12 hours every night without having to give her extra food at her last feeding. Is your little boy cranky or happy when he wakes up from his naps? If he's cranky, he might just need less naps during the day, but for longer periods of time. I would just try getting him into as much of a schedule as you can.

Chalary - posted on 01/24/2009

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I think that around 4 month the babies could be starting to teeth and that's why they might be fussy at night. I think my little girl is starting to teeth at least. She wakes up twice a night and usually zonks out around 9 pm. My eldest daughter would got to sleep at 8 pm and fall asleep for the whole night and wake up only once. I'm learning that all children are different!

Anna-Marie - posted on 01/24/2009

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I heard of the 4 month curse where babies will start waking up more at night just because of all the changes going on in his/her body! My Little boy is waking up more early at nights now and just chatting to himself. It's very frustrating :)

Hayley - posted on 01/24/2009

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My 4 month  old was waking once during the night but in the last few weeks has started waking 4-6 times...very frustrating... sometimes I try just putting her dummy in her mouth & she will fall asleep...for a short while anyway... I am now starting her on solids as she was not eating very much during some days but nights she was absolutely ravenous. I am hoping to fill her up more during the day (especially evening time) so she will sleep longer.



 



Krissy, how active is your baby during the day? I put Caela in her exersaucer (picked one up from the charity shop for £5.... new ones are very expensive) Also put her on her tummy for a few minutes each day(she isnt a fan of this) or in her bouncy chair... I got a 'kick 'n play' bouncy  chair (new from Peter Jones/John Lewis but I picked one up from a charity shop) which she caught onto really quickly (there is an activity bar which the sounds/lights are activated when baby kicks) This might use up more energy giving better & longer sleeps???

Mary - posted on 01/23/2009

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We co-sleep and that has made my LO sleep sooooooooo much better, which means I sleep better. He just snuggles right up to me and is content.

Jenny - posted on 01/23/2009

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He may have his days and hights mixed up.  Have you talked to your pediatrician?  Mine recommended making certain to differentiate between days and nights -- low lighting and soft sounds at night and a definite bedtime routine (bath, bottle/boob, bed).  Bright lighting and more noises in the daytime.



Night time swaddling also helped my son sleep more soundly during the night and he woke up less and less.  "The Happiest Baby on the Block" DVD and/or book is a great resource to learn about this.



My son is also 4 months old.  He goes to bed around 9-9:30pm and sometimes sleeps until 5am, but there are still nights where he's up at midnight and 3am to eat (last night for instance). 



My son had his days and nights mixed up for a while and I was worried he would never sleep through the night.



One book I read said that when he wakes up to eat, you can wait 5 minutes longer each time and try to lengthen the intervals between feedings.  Obviously, if he's crying hysterically go to him, but you don't have to answer every grunt and groan (which is what I was doing).  Eventually, you'll eliminate one feeding and then another and so on.



I know if frustrating.  I've given up on getting sleep.  I don't think I've had more that six hours of sleep in a night since he was born.  Usually it's about five or less at a stretch. 



 



I hope this helps.  Hang in there!

Melissa - posted on 01/23/2009

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I try to feed my chikd more during the day but he just won't eat it. How do you make them eat when they don't want to?

Amber - posted on 01/23/2009

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how much do you feed him throughout the day? My little girl eats about 4 times a day. 8 oz. At the night time feeding she has rice cereal and a bottle and she's out. A doctor told me if she isn't getting enough formula throughout the day, she'll make up for it at night, waking up more. So maybe you should try feeding him more during the day. Hope that helps ;o)

Melissa - posted on 01/23/2009

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Oops, I didn't mean exersaucer, I meant jumperoo. And the naps haven't changed any. Just the sleeping at night. But that is the one that counts, right!

Melissa - posted on 01/23/2009

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I have a suggestion. I just started putting my son who is 4 months 2 weeks in an exersaucer and he jumps for 30 minutes straight. Since doing that, he has only woken up once a night. I have also started feeding him some baby food (1st stage vegetables)before his last bottle of the night. Before that I had the exact same problem you have. Good luck!

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