5 month old sleep crisis!

Melissa - posted on 01/18/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )




My son is ebf and 5 months old. He does have reflux which has been well controlled with Prilosec until it just worsened this week. He is a big boy at 22lbs just like his big brother was (who now at 4 is tall but not overweight). At 3.5 months, sleep took a turn for the worse. He started waking multiple times just an hour or so after falling asleep at bedtime. We stopped swaddling him and moved him out of the rock n play sleeper to his crib because he was getting to big for both.. Then it got worse. He started waking every couple hours and nursing was the only thing that would satisfy so we started cosleeping. That helped for a little bit but then he started waking every hour, sometimes more to snack/nurse/use me as a pacifier and while he wasn't waking up fully, I was and I was completely exhausted. At that point, he had never learned to self soothe as we would bounce/walk or nurse him to sleep. I was very anti CIO but all other gentle methods weren't working and we literally weren't functioning. So at 5 months old, we started putting him down in his crib drowsy but awake and letting him cry, going in to reassure him in 5-10 min intervals. It was heart wrenching but after the first two days, he started falling asleep in his own for naps and bedtime with almost no crying. But the middle of the night is improved but still rough. If he wakes, it takes 20+ min of intense screaming to fall back asleep. And he seems legitimately hungry every 3 hours so I feed him then. I don't know what to do. I would expect to still feed him once or twice, but every 3 hours plus a few extra wakeups is exhausting and we are both overtired. I need some advice.


Lori - posted on 01/21/2014




I'm wondering if it isn't' the heartburn waking him up? You mentioned it's getting worse. Maybe his dose needs to be re-evaluated. OR - have you considered that his heartburn could be caused by something that you are eating. My oldest daughter's only symptom of a dairy intolerance was heartburn… for a long time. Then other symptoms started to crop up. After I took her off dairy, her heartburn went away. Our doctor never once suggested that reflux could be caused by a food intolerance. Luckily for us, someone did suggest it to me, and I tried it. If you are breastfeeding, then the proteins from everything you eat pass through into your breast milk.


As far as letting baby cry… I can't really help you much here other than offer my own experience. My oldest didn't sleep through the night until close to 18 months. My 2nd didn't sleep through the night until after her 2nd birthday. With my first, I tried laying her down drowsy and letting her cry…. she'd cry until she puked. So I gave that up pretty quick. Just nursed my baby back to sleep every single time. With my 2nd I didn't even attempt any sort of sleep training. Just nursed her back to sleep when she woke, until she stopped waking for milk on her own. Yes - they will eventually do it on their own… even if you don't "train" them. My suggestion: do whatever gets you and baby the most sleep. I couldn't sleep with baby screaming… so nursing her back to sleep was quicker and easier than letting her cry.

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