5month old baby doesnt sleep good. will solids help?

Justine - posted on 12/29/2011 ( 12 moms have responded )

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I get mixed answers on this topic when I Google it lol. My breastfed baby has never slept well and I was wondering if its correlated to the fact that I'm exclusively breastfeeding? I wanted to wait on solids BC he doesn't seem to like it so I'm at a loss and would appreciate some insight. Other info... I breastfeed on demand, and I still wake up w him twice a night, and he rarely naps thruout the day I just can't figure it out. The dude just does not sleep!!!!

And he only sleeps an hour thruout the day broken up into about 20 mins at a time. So that's only 11 hours in a 24 hr period. Is that even normal??

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Cindy - posted on 01/01/2012

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just figured I'd throw in my input too. My son was exclusively breastfeed as well. From birth, we set a schedule that he would eat every 2 hrs. Then as he got older we spaced it out a bit more until he was eating everything 3hrs. He did great with that and would get really full from each feeding. When he was about 41/2 months old I started giving him a bit of rice cereal before bed. I mixed it with pumped milk, so it had a familiar taste. It was quite liquidy, but it really held him over at night better. We started with about 1 tbsp of rice cereal and 3 of milk. My advice, let him eat!

Kelina - posted on 12/31/2011

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Wow loaded question there Justine and you're going to get a lot of varied responses. the reason is that everyone does things differently and everyone gets different results even within the same methods. The AAP recommends not introducing solids until baby is 6 months old because that is the age that the majority of babies are ready for it. However, some kids are ready earlier some are ready later, and only you will know which yours is. My son was exculsively breastfed and woke quite reliably every two hours until he was 7 months old and well established on 3 meals a day. My daughter was the polar opposite, slept 5 hours at a time from the time she was born, and had two two hour naps a day, but was ready for solids by four months. Many people will recommend a schedule but I have a question. Is he fussy with his current sleep schedule? do you feel like he needs more sleep or is he doing just fine? Some kids work well with a strictly regimented schedule, others do great with the sleep where you drop schedule of things. Some kids start sleeping through the night at 3 weeks, others don't sleep through the night till they're five. Similarly, some parents swear by certain methods such as putting baby cereal in a bottle to get baby to sleep more and others think baby cereal in a bottle was suggested by the devil :) Only you know what your baby is ready for. At five months, if you want to see if he's ready for solids, there's no real harm in trying as long as you listen to your baby. And while the waking up two times a night is incredibly difficult and wears you down, it does get better. He's young yet, and growing in leaps and bounds. As bad as it is, when you look back in a few years it'll all seem worth it.

Sandra - posted on 12/31/2011

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Do not limit breastfeeding, if you plan to continue. This is normal, its part of growth, they eat alot and play alot, then they eat alot and sleep alot. If you watch a baby, they pudge out some, then grow long. If you limit breastfeeding your milk supply will not be built up to sustain and he will be hungrier more often. Instinctually your baby knows what he is doing. Continue to feed on demand, and soon your child will grow and you will wish he was a baby again. You will sleep when the baby is older...lol.
Also check what you are eating. Are you consuming something high in caffiene? Coffee, soda, chocolate? This is passed through the breastmilk on to the baby.
I wouldn't worry, just keep up the good work. As long as he is growing there is no worry. We are the only ones on schedules, babies are not. And to push a schedule on to a baby you are causing more stress to yourself.
I wouldn't give solids as a form of nutrition at this point, but you could mix a bit of rice cereal with a little breastmilk, make it thin, give small spoonfuls and let him make a mess with it. The muscles for swallowing solids develop at different times in each baby.

VANESSA - posted on 12/30/2011

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hi how are you...i have 3 kids 9, 3, and 2. i started solids well, number1's by 4 months with all 3. my first 1 had bad gas i gave him mylacin..oops i know thats spelled wrong ask for it at cvs , walgreens.etc i still gave them a lil solids and wow did it help with sleeping. sometimes formula isnt enough. im sorry but at 6 months i was introducing gerber 2's and with my last child, i was giving him gerber#3's. you can try a little just to see how your child adjusts...but dont be afraid of giving them food, (no chunks) baby bananas are great. my first daughter diodnt sleep at all like yours but it was because of the gas...she couldnt lay down which kept her up. good luck! solids cannot hurt especially at 5 mo. lol! try num 1's if he/she doesnt care for it youll know!

Kimberly - posted on 12/30/2011

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I think that each child is different when it comes to their sleeping schedule. I have 3 children 6, 2, and 7 months. The only one that seemed to sleep well was my 6 year old, she slept through the night @ 4 months. My now 7 month old still wakes up at least 3 times a night unfortunately.

However, if he seems to showing signs of GERD then that could be part of the problem.

Jerrilyn - posted on 12/30/2011

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A very regimented schedule helped tremendously for me. Wake, eat, play, sleep. then (repeat). My LO responded almost immediately.:)

Bonnie - posted on 12/30/2011

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It may or may not help. You can try a little bit and see if it does anything for him.

Maggie - posted on 12/30/2011

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that's normal. Breastfed babies eat more often because the milk digests more easily than formula or solids. I was still waking up twice a night with my first son until he was about a year old. I wouldn't try solids just yet because it might make his tummy even more upset and you said he doesn't like them.
You can try just cuddling him back to sleep instead of feeding him. Sometimes it works and after a few nights he'll stop waking up to eat at that time. then you can do the same with the second feeding.

Chantal - posted on 12/30/2011

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It worked for me, I introduced a little bit of baby rice cereal with his milk in the mornings and now at night as well. He is sleeping much better!

I also try to keep my boy awake for as long as possible between naps in the afternoons - this seems to help extend his naps.

I bought a white noise CD and plays that when he is sleeping.

Good luck

Katherine - posted on 12/30/2011

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A full stomach is not always the answer. In fact it COULD make it worse. You aren't supposed to start solids until 6 months because of development. Breast milk has everything he needs. Does he seem to be in any pain? Does he spit up a lot? Is he fussy after eating? With a 5 month old expect to wake up at LEAST twice a night. You need to ask your self other questions. Maybe see he pediatrician, because that really isn't normal.

Kay - posted on 12/29/2011

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Try mixing a little rice cereal with the breast milk. Keep it very thin at first. See if it helps with the sleeping. Babies vary a lot on the amount of sleep they seem to need. I believe in old fashioned schedules. You might try this to see if it helps. Try feeding every 3-4 hours. Then put him down for a nap. Give him a chance to go to sleep even if he crys a little. Go in and comfort him without picking him up.Basically, kids like structure. It removes variables for you, and you might get some chores done.

Lacey - posted on 12/29/2011

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Hi Justine,
My name is Lacey. I just thought that I would post a comment. Have you tried music, a vacuum, or a washing machine? I know it sounds weird but, i've noticed with my own children that it seems to help. I always thought that if you were quite that it works better but in some cases thats just not so. I hope this helps.
Lacey

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