6 month old still waking up every 2-3 hours at night

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My daughter will be 6 months old on June 7th and she still wakes up every 2-3 hours at night. I usually breastfeed her and she goes back to sleep. I never let her cry, I will always pick her up and feed her right away. I have been reading parenting books and they say that by this age, they should be able to stay satisfied by their last feeding of the night, and that a lot of times, they want the comfort when they wake up at night and its not usually because they are hungry. I also have experimented with rice cereal but she doesn't like it so I haven't really pushed it yet. So I guess my question is, should I start to let her cry it out at night so she starts sleeping through the night, or should I continue to feed on demand at night? And when she does start eating more solids, is it typical for her to start sleeping better? What can I do to keep my 6 month old from waking up every 2 hours? Any advice on this issue would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!


Kristin - posted on 06/02/2010




The experts speak to the masses, but not to individual cases. Some babies do sleep through at 6 months. Others need only one feed (mine kept one 4 a.m. feed until about 9 months). Others need a few for several months. So, my thoughts on what these authors have to say, it's advice only. Do what you feel is right for your daughter and family.

So, to answer your questions:

I don't know that I would do CIO, but I would wait to see if she really needs the feedings. Does she have one that is less productive over the others? I would start with that one. She may be ready to drop it and is eating out of habit rather than need. Just wait a bit to see if she settles herself back down or if you (or dad) need to go in to help her with it. A mindless sound and a little stroking of head/back/tummy should do it. But, she may need a bit of a rock until she is drowsy. If you haven't started this, do it now before you try to drop a feed. She needs to start going down while still a bit awake. Not wide awake, but well on her way to asleep, preferably very drowsy. Then, it's a bit of a nudge to get her to put herself to sleep.

Babies sleep through when they sleep through. It's okay that your 6 month old is waking up every 2 hours. Solids may help, but do not think they are a cure all to get your child to sleep through the night. This is a milestone that they accomplish in THEIR own time, not ours. A couple of things to watch out for will be teeth or illness, both rock the boat terribly.

On solids, are you sure SHE is really ready for them. Most parenting books will have a list of behaviors they start manifesting when they are ready to try them. Watch for those and you should be golden. When you make the cereal, what are you mixing it with? My two older kids preferred it made with breastmilk rather than water. It also helped to mix a fruit or veggie with it as soon as I was sure they didn't have a problem with it. I also made sure it wasn't the main portion of the meal initially. Just a few bites and then on to the breast again. For the first year, food is for fun. It's to learn about flavors, textures, temperatures, and just how to eat it. She's getting eveything she needs from you. You are absolutely spot on to not push it.

Good luck.

Anna Marie - posted on 09/27/2011




Breast milk is designed to be digested in 2 hours. Therefore, it is normal for babies to wake up hungry after that long. Some babies don't need that, but mine sure did. I always reminded myself during those middle of the night feeds that I am feeding them to grow their brain. The fats in breast milk are designed to grow their brains. Some nights it was harder to remember than others!!
I would say listen to your mommy-gut. It sounds like you realize her nighttime cries are because she needs something. Listen to that :). I found I had to stop reading hose parenting books about certain things and take my cues from my babies. You know your little one best. Keep listening and giving her what she needs. Lucky babe :)

Christina - posted on 09/26/2011




My daughter did not sleep through the night until she was nine months old. My daughter got up every two hours, but with a painful screaming cry, ( she has reflux, and did not start sleeping through the night until we started her on medication.) She is 2 1/2 and still gets up 3-4 out of 7 nights.

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