My 5 month old son wakes up 4 times or more at night - how can I decrease his night wakings?

Kara - posted on 07/09/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )

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He has never been a good sleeper and has an occasional good night where he will go a 5-6, sometimes even a 7-8 hour stretch of sleep. We moved him to his crib in his room at night (he had already been napping there) about 2-3 weeks ago because he started rolling onto his tummy and will only sleep that way now (his bassinet isn't big enough to allow him to roll and it makes him mad). Ever since then, he wakes up so much at night. He goes to bed around 7-7:30, and will sleep about 3 hours, then another 2 hours, then get up every 1 hour. The only want to get him back to sleep is to nurse him, although I don't think he is really that hungry. Usually around 4 am I so am exhausted that I bring him to bed and let him sleep with me so he can nurse when he wants while I sleep. How can I get him to wake up less? If he gets up a couple times a night, that is fine, but this is getting ridiculous! He has started solids and that doesn't help. We have a routine and use white noise. I am EBF. Is CIO going to be my only opion?

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Kara - posted on 07/24/2013

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Evelyn - I totally forgot to reply to this! To answer your questions - I do think he gets enough when he nurses... I let him nurse as long as he needs until he falls asleep, usually 15-20 minutes on one or both sides. I have tried putting him to bed later, but he is so tired and crabby by 7 or 7:30 that I can't keep him up. When he has gotten a late nap and stayed up until 9 or 10, he does not sleep any better. I also work 3 days/week so on those days, he has to be awake at 7:30 - if I keep him up until 9 or 10, he doesn't get enough sleep.

It has been 2 weeks since I posted this and his sleep is no better :( - he will be 6 months old in 1.5 weeks. About a week ago, I started giving him a 4 oz bottle of formula before bed and sometimes for his first night feed, but I haven't noticed much difference. He also has been very difficult to get back to sleep after his night feeds - he falls asleep in my arms, but within 5 minutes of putting him back in his crib he cries until I pick him up and nurse him again (he does not do this when I first put him down at night or for his naps). So his night wakings end up being about 1 hour long, sometimes longer (meaning I am getting about 2-4 hours of sleep per night). I don't talk to him, turn on lights, change his diaper, or interact with him at all when he wakes up - I only nurse him. Tonight he woke up at 10:15, and we did the feed/fall asleep/lay in crib/start crying routine 4 times - the last time he was so wide awake that I couldn't get him back to sleep. Now he is up talking and it is 11:55.

I am so frustrated and don't know what to do! Unfortunately, I am tempted to just start doing formula all night so my husband can help me - I don't know how much of this I can take :( Even if he woke up every 3 hours, nursed, and went right back to sleep - that would be a DREAM! But every 2 hours and then he is awake for 1 hour, that is just ridiculous!

Ev - posted on 07/10/2013

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I get what you are saying but a lot of babies are up and down all night long waking and sleeping because their sleep habits change. That is what you are not getting. His sleep habits are going to change until he gets to a year old or older and starts to actually sleep all night. He could be the baby that is up all night ya know. Babies do not come with auto on them that goes with what they do at certain ages. Some babies are sleeping all night already and others not; still more do like your son does. Does he seem to get enough when he nurses? He might not be getting enough. It is possible. And try putting him to bed later than 8 pm...like 9 pm. It might make him sleep longer. My daughter was an 11 pm go to bed baby. My son was very sporadic with his sleepy patterns and when he was nursing he would be up and down all night....even at five months.

Kara - posted on 07/10/2013

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As I stated, I am not looking for him to sleep through the night. I am looking for suggestions to help him not wake up as much. Usually by 3 or 4 am, he has woken up 3-4 times and if I don't bring him to bed with me at that time, he wakes up about every hour until he gets up around 6:30-7:30 am. That ends up to be 6-8 times per night. I know that at 5 months old, he does not need to be waking up that many times! Yes he is pretty little yet, but 2 or maybe 3 times is really all he should be getting up during the night!

Ev - posted on 07/09/2013

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At five months old he is still pretty little yet and his sleep habits and things will still change for a while yet. He is growing and learning too. CIO at this age is not going to work for him. Just keep going on and reassuring him and do what you have been doing. As he gets older it will become less and less. But he is not old enough to make sleep all night long. No infant under a year is.

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