My 5 month old still wakes up at least twice a night. Am I doing something wrong?

Emma - posted on 03/20/2012 ( 11 moms have responded )

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It seems like most people I know with babies the same age as mine are sleeping really well and have been for months now. My 5 month old went through a short phase back when he was 2 months of sleeping 7-8 hr stretches at night but then they suddenly stopped and for the last three months I feel like he's been in a perpetual growth spurt (haha!). He wakes at least twice a night. Occasionally he'll manage a 6 hr stretch and I'll start wondering what it was that we did that day and start to try to replicate it - it never works.

I've tried solids. I've tried not breastfeeding him every time (this just makes him cry and cry - I figured he must really be hungry). I've though perhaps he's not getting enough food during the day so I've made a concerted effort to feed him more during the day and last night he woke up every two hours! (although this may be because me and my hubby are a little sick with a cold so he may have caught that).

I don't know what to do. I breast feed him every time (usually its just twice a night) and he feeds well so I presume I'm doing the right thing there. Why are some babies at this age able to sleep through? Why can't mine? Is it something I'm doing wrong? I don't want to leave him to cry it out - I am so concerned that he's genuinely hungry.

I would really like some more sleep.



Anyone else in this same position?

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Emily - posted on 03/20/2012

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It's realllllllly really normal to still be waking to nurse at 5 months. I don't know who these "most people" are, but they weren't me or my kids! lol I am guessing that *most* of your friends are formula-feeding, which often makes babies sleep unnaturally deep at this age... or they are doing some type of sleep "training".. either way, what you are doing is exactly right. You are NOT doing anything wrong. Have you tried cosleeping? This was the only way I got sleep while my babies nursed at night.. I just popped in a boob and went back to sleep. ;) Trust me, it does get better, on YOUR baby's timeline, no one else's. You are doing great!

Sarah - posted on 03/20/2012

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My daughter didn't start sleeping through the night until after she was a year old. My son did at 6 months. You're not doing anything wrong. All babies are different. Your babe sounds typical to me.

Stifler's - posted on 03/20/2012

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Both my kids at 5 months woke through the night. I don't believe there is anything wrong with feeding them through the night. If youre concerned he is genuinely hungry then feed him they have small stomachs and a feed at 7 isn't going to do them the whole night until 7am.

Chrystal - posted on 03/20/2012

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My oldest didn't sleep through the night till he was 9 months old. My youngest has slept through the night since she was around 3 months old. I parented them the same way so it's just individual kids. They also have very different appetites my son is always hungry my daughter eats very little which is probably why she can sleep through without getting up to eat where as he couldn't. Sorry that's not much help but he will eventually sleep through the night I promise it just isn't always as soon as we moms want.

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Jordan - posted on 11/29/2012

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Emma, I realize you posted this a long time ago, but I'm reading it and it sounds like my son, right now, exactly! It's often difficult on these types of forums to find out how the particular question was resolved, if it was. I am wondering if your son is now sleeping through the night, and if it just happened over time or if there was anything in particular you did to change it? Like you, I don't mind feeding him, but I am so afraid I'm setting up a bad habit! If you receive this I'd really love to know how it all worked out!

Emma - posted on 03/20/2012

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I've heard about dream feeding but Teddy (my son) currently wakes up at about a dream feed time anyway. Having paid attention to his nursing habits today im still thinking that part of our reason for him waking is that he doesn't eat his full quota of breast milk during the day. This has only gotten worse lately as he gets distracted so easily (even if I feed him in a darkened room). I'm going to experiment with how often I offer him the breast over the next few days (offer it more frequently) and let you know how I get on. Also I'm seriously considering switching to formula but right now he's understandably not too keen on it.

Stifler's - posted on 03/20/2012

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Therés nothing nicer to me than holding a peaceful dream feeding baby! I used to dreamfeed Logan as soon as i heard him whimper I quickly got a bottle and held him while he slept/fed

Medic - posted on 03/20/2012

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My kids "slept" threw through the night from about 3 months....but that is ONLY because I figured out their little patterns and a mommy friend told me about dream feeding. I stayed up till about midnight usually so I would feed them before they went to bed, then dream feed them before I went to bed a midnight and since I ALWAYS get up to pee sometime between 330 and 430 I would dream feed them then. I totally realize that does not actually count as sleeping through the night but it was so much easier than them waking up screaming then me half asleep trying to prepare a bottle or whatever and I was so much more relaxed. I just had to adjust my schedule to fit what they did naturally and they never woke up till 7 or 8. My 26 month old has gone threw spurts every few months for the past year where she will wake up between 11 and midnight eat a yogurt drink a glass of milk and go right back to bed.Hell my 5 year old still has nights every so often where he gets up to eat and goes back to bed. So know your not alone.



Oh yeah and my friend that told me about dream feeding breastfed all her kids and just the fact that they never woke up and screamed made having to be awake for them all the better.

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My girls were waking once in a 12 hour night just after 3 months and sleeping 12 hour nights at 6 months... for a month. From 7-14 months they were back to waking once or twice a night again. Then at 14 months they started sleeping 12-13 hour nights again.



My son pretty much never slept longer than a 4 hour stretch (if that) until he was a year and a half and wasn't sleeping through the night (10-11 hours) consistently until after he turned 2.



My best friend's mom tells how none of her kids slept through the night until they were 5. She has 3 kids all about 5 years apart, so.... she didn't sleep for 15 years! lol



Every kid is different, your son is just fine, and you are doing great!! ♥

Christy - posted on 03/20/2012

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You are referring to "most people" in your post and not everyone's kid is like "most peoples'!!!!



My kids slept through the night at 13 and 14 months respectively (3 and 4 now). You are doing nothing wrong. And 1/2 the time when someone tells you that their kids under age 8 months or so are sleeping thru the night, they AREN'T!!!!!!

Emma - posted on 03/20/2012

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Chrystal, Thankyou. It is helpful and encouraging to hear your experiences. I also just met another mum today whose son sleeps a lot like mine so I'm glad to know I'm not the only one. I have tried all sorts of things, including a really structured bedtime routine and a more loose bedtime routine and he seems to be better and we're all happier with a more loose routine (ie: we look for his tired cues then take him upstairs, change him into pjs, put on his music cd and I nurse him. I worried that he was too attached to the boob but he doesn't need this to sleep during the day and at night he mostly feeds pretty good. I can deal with this better if I know I'm not doing something wrong. I think I just expected (well, no I hoped) he'd have gotten better by now. I feel like I've been hoping like this for the last three months so I was beginning to wonder of it was ever going to happen. He is gorgeous and adorable and so much fun during the day and as long as I keep an eye on his tiredness and get him down for naps, he rarely fusses so he's happy (for the time being at least!).

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