How do I get my 4 month old to sleep through the night?

Caryn - posted on 01/22/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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I feed her at 11pm before I go to sleep but she wakes up at 3am for more food and then she doesn't go back to sleep, she's up talking, laughing, crying until 7am and then I don't get any rest. How can I keep her up during the day, feed her more during the day so she will sleep and eat less at night? It's driving me insane!!!

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Josie - posted on 11/24/2012

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I have a 4 n half month old and he used to be up every 2-3 hours during the night but now I keep him up as much as I can in the day, give him more milk in the evening and now he goes down at 10 til half 5 then goes back to sleep til half 7 so cant complain. I found going on bottles helped him sleep longer so only breast feed during daytime.

Elise - posted on 01/22/2009

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putting them down when they are awake is important. I feed my baby around 8:30-9 and put him down around 9:30-10. He usually sleeps around 6 hours then feeds and sleeps another 3...for now that is. I also don't change his diaper at night, feed without stimulation close to his bed and back down after a burp.



good luck!

Megan - posted on 01/22/2009

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I asked our sons doctor the same thing and he suggested to put rice cereal in his bottles a few times a day, especially at bedtime. That way he his full when he goes to bed and stays full longer. It worked for us. Doesnt hurt to try!

Katie - posted on 01/22/2009

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I would try putting some rice cereal in her bedtime bottle, thats what I did with my daughter and it stays in their stomach longer so their fuller longer so hopefully they sleep longer. I would make a 8oz bottle then add 4-4&1/2tbs of rice cereal so its a little thicker than usual and then I made the hole on the bottle nipple just a little bit bigger with the point of a steak knife, start small if she cant get any out make the hole a little bigger until you find a size that works. If shes not drinking 8oz yet then I would do either 6ox formula and about 3- 3 1/2tbs or rice cereal or 4oz formula and 2- 2 1/2tbs of rice cereal. Just depending on how much she usually drinks. Good Luck!!!

Sarah - posted on 01/22/2009

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You would be lucky to get a 4 month old to sleep through the night, my son is 10 months old and still doesn't sleep through the night, he still gets up at least once, sometimes twice. I haven't had a straight night of sleep in over a year.

Deb - posted on 01/22/2009

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Hi, Sorry, What she's doing is quite normal! Having had 3, (& 1 was a screamer), I would have paid good money to get a 4-hr sleep! 2-4 hrs is about the limit of a four month olds petrol tank. They don't sleep "through the night" & you can usually expect a couple of blocks of 4 or 3 hrs, but this changes over time & some lucky ones get 6 or more hours! (**%$#^$@) The nutritional requirements change from week to week / month to month as they grow, & at different "growth spurts", you'll find she eats all the time, every 2 hrs or so (if you'r e breast feeding) to boost your milk supply, (you swell up) to provide enough food for the upcoming week or so of growth spurt. If bottle feeding, she'll just want to take more.Then after this spurt, she'll have a week or two , or more of sleeping really well & long, then a period of preparing for another spurt with rigorous feeding, then a good settled period. YOU CANNOT KEEP A BABY THIS YOUNG UP ALL DAY SO THEY SLEEP AT NIGHT! This unfortunatly just has to be dealt with by you, as she is making brain connections, mobility milestones, limb control, & all of this needs these growth spurts & REST (NAPS) to make her grow.She MUST nap in the day 2-3 times, or ends up overtired & all hell breaks loose. (She's not 5!)They also, as another mum said, have just spent 9 months connected to you, & like to be with you. Sleep when she sleeps! You have to get your head around an important factor: "BABY TIME"! This is when the BABY wants to eat,play, be awake, be asleep, NOT your schedual you were used to, or what fits your day more conveniently. (Damn culture shock!) After 6 -9 months & definately by 12, if it keeps up, you can try "controlled crying" or "self soothing", where you leave them to cry, or have their own company for longer periods from 5, 10, 15 then 20 mins before you respond. Some don't agree, but it works!!!!
(Read up on this first-there is a system) BUT : IT DOES NOT WORK & SHOULD NOT BE ATTEMPTED IN BABIES UNDER 6-7 MONTHS as the cognetive Brain pathways aren't even wired for this yet, They need you now & just feel abandoned. This is for further down the track. At the moment, it's just a case of adjust your thinking & be glad your getting a block of 4 hrs sleep. Yes, it's frustrating, but you need to rest when she does in the day, & don't overexpect, as a tired mum makes the whole house fall to bits. Beleive me, the washing can wait, the lawn doesn't need mowed & the windows can stay dirty. If she asleep, YOU should be too! Feeding her late buys you time, & putting on double cloth nappies with a liner, or 2 nappy liners inside a disposable helps not make wetness a reason to wake up too. Also don't play with her at night after the last feed & until dawn, or stimulate her, just feed, talk very little & quietly, change her & sit for company, so she'll learn night is a quiet time, & they basically get bored & go back to sleep. Also, whats to say if she goes down at 7pm & wakes at 4, that you shouldn't too? (I've done lots of laundry at 4 in the morning), just adjust your day until her time evens out, or get your partner to take the morning shift & let you sleep a little more. Good luck, Hang in there! It doesn't last forever! Don't beat yourself up & go along for the ride!

Rebecca - posted on 01/22/2009

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a simple rule to help is "daytime is for feeding, night time for sleeping". Schedule feeds for every 3-4 hours during the day. (this is almost the basics of "babywise" except for the strict routine)

Marina - posted on 01/22/2009

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Four months is a bit young to expect longer then four hour at a time. If you are breastfeeding they usually need to be feed a bit more, my son didn't sleep through the night till well over 10 months, He was only breastfeed for the first six months and needed to eat every three to four hours at night and 2 -3 during the day, once he started solids he didn't need to eat as often during the day, but the night stayed the same. To try to get her to sleep after eating, are you feeding her in a dark room? I had to feed my son in a dark room and rock him.

Kristin - posted on 01/22/2009

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I had this same struggle with my daughter until 3 weeks ago.  She turned one Dec 26th and she was still waking up about 2 times through the night.  i know how tired and draining the day can be when you aren't getting a restful sleep.  my doctor told me to keep her active through the day, awake as much as possible and her tummy full.  when she is ready to sleep she will sleep.

Virginia - posted on 01/22/2009

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Sounds like she likes spending time with you!  She's likely not hungry and she wants to socialize with you.  It may come down to letting her 'cry it out' for a couple of nights.  That might work OR get your partner on board and when they have a couple of nights off to help have them go to her and give her water, change her as needed, rub her back and then return her to bed.  After a couple of nights seeing that you don't go in to her and no one stays to play she may get tired of it and learn that she has to sleep.... but I REALLY recommend the book I mentioned before.  It helped me A LOT.  I learned that some of the things I was doing were helping to create the problems and once I stopped contributing my baby slept much better.  (Is she nursing at the breast or feeding from a bottle?  If she's nursing theres simply nothing better than skin on skin with mom to make a baby happy and she knows it.)



One of the things that I also did was make sure that either of my girls didn't go longer than 2-3 hours between feedings during the day and evening (until bed time)... that way they were full and not sleeping all day either.



I hope some of this helps.  I remember those days well and yes I miss them now and my youngest is not even 2 yet.

Cara - posted on 01/22/2009

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I am a new mom. My baby girl has slept through the night since she was 7 weeks old. She goes to bed at 6pm and she wakes up at 6 A.M. I owe it all to a book called Healthy Sleep Habits Healthy Child. The book said when a baby turns 6 weeks old they able to learn self soothing methods and to let the baby cry them self to sleep. The first 3 days were awful. I thought it was cruel but I stuck with it and it worked. They do recommend checking on them every 10 minutes at first to reassure the baby, but then you need to space out the time longer and longer. Also, stick to a bed time routine(bath etc.) They also say that sleep promotes sleep. The better the baby naps during the day than the better they will sleep at night. Good luck.

Alexis - posted on 01/22/2009

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What your daughter is doing is totally normal and natural, frustrating as that must be to hear! Most newborns do not sleep "through the night" - meaning 9 PM till 6AM till they are 6-9 months old. Maintaining 2-3 night feedings till 6 months is quite common. Your daughter is effectively having 2 night feedings and then starting her day at 3:00 AM. So how do you manage? Few thoughts:



- Tired babies sleep poorly. Your daughter should be taking 3 naps a day at this point. PLEASE don't skimp on naps to encourage night sleep - doing so will just make it HARDER for her to sleep! You need to become the nap police and make sure you are doing all you can to help her to get good naps during the day.



- Sleep when she sleeps. This is NOT the time to do laundry, check email, etc.



- Use LOUD white noise in her room. It is strongly encouraged that babies have loud white noise for the first year of life. This helps to reduce SIDS and reduces active sleep which reduces wakings. Think about a radio turned to static with the volume turned up to approximately the same volume of a shower. This does NOT cause hearing loss and is very calming to babies.



- Share the "morning shift" with your husband. Over the next few months her wakup time should extend to 6:00 AM which is a normal and healthy wakup for babies. Some lucky moms have babies that will sleep till 7:00 or later but most little guys are early birds. Sucks but this is life with babies.



- If at 6 months your daughter is not dropping night feedings naturally, ping me and we can talk about how to get rid of those. Between that and her bedtime becoming earlier (shoot for a goal of 7:00 PM) you will manage to get a decent night sleep soon. I know its hard but on the bright side, you're in the home stretch!



Alexis

Virginia - posted on 01/22/2009

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There are a lot of things to consider if you want baby to sleep through the night....  I only have a couple of things to say.... 'through the night' is only 5-6 hours for a baby this young.  Secondly try to find a copy of 'Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child'.  I personally loved it.  Just remember that this too shall pass and one day not too far off you'll be missing the midnight wake up calls.

Tracy - posted on 01/22/2009

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My suggestion is to make sure she gets lots of sunshine during the day and keep her active when she's awake.  She still needs naps, but make sure not to tip toe or be really quiet.  Make sure the difference from day to night is dramatic.  Also, make sure you have a consistent bedtime routine to seperate day from night.  As for the feeding, I'd feed her a little bit every couple of hours the closer you get to bed and then as much as she wants for her last feeding.  If she does wake up for a feeding in the middle of the night, keep the stimulation low.  Keep the lights dim and don't turn on the tv.  Keep it quiet and try not to be playful with her.  After she's done eating, change her and put her right back in bed.  If she lays there and plays until she falls asleep, that's fine.  Hopefully she'll be sleeping through the night for you soon.  Most babies will get there by 6 months of age.  Don't worry, this phase will be over before you know!

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