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My 5 month old won't sleep more than 3-4 hours at night!

Chrissy - posted on 04/22/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My 5 month old sleeps for only 3-4 hours and then wakes every 1-2 hours to nurse. Any advice?

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[deleted account]

I may be completely opposite of everyone else but I think it is totally normal. The baby is getting to the age where daytime nursing may become distracting so they tend to make up for it at night.

Formula won't make a babysleep longer. In my opinion night sleeping is a developmental milestone that some reach earlier and some later. Go with the baby's cues! It is not forever believe me! I have four kids and the time just flies.

Sarah - posted on 04/22/2009

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Chrissy, I am so with you. My 6 month old used to sleep through the night, but for the past two months he's been waking every 2-3 hours all night, every night. I've found there are typically three different responses you get when asking how to help babies sleep--either the mom had an angel child who slept through the night early on and was never a problem; the mom didn't mind being a martyr for their child and getting up constantly that until they outgrew it; or they let the baby cry it out. I have nothing against any of those responses, but personally I've never found them helpful. My suggestion? I've found two books that are very helpful, depending on your baby's temperament and what you've tried already. The first is The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. It gives you gradual steps to change your baby's sleep habits over time. It isn't a quick fix, and unfortunately in my case it hasn't worked so far. The other book, which I'm having more success with, is The Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg. There's a website for this one with tons of info--www.babywhisperer.com. The general idea is that you study your baby and understand what he/she is trying to communicate with his/her cries. It also explains that babies are creatures of habit--what we do to help them sleep over and over, they come to expect as the natural way to fall asleep. So if your baby always nurses to sleep, they expect when they wake in the middle of the night to have you nurse them again. The Baby Whisperer book gives a three-day solution to train your baby--without letting them cry it out--to fall back asleep on their own. Older babies may take more than three days, but supposedly the same process of gradual training works. I'm planning on starting the Baby Whisperer techniques this weekend when DH can help and we can nap during the day. Hopefully it'll work for us. Best of luck to you!

Tammy - posted on 04/22/2009

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Try nursing more during the day. It may get tiresome, but I found that the more they feed during the day the less they will feed at night. Also, you may want to try one bottle of formula (about 4-6 oz) in the evening and then do the side lying breast feeding right before you put her down. All 4 of mine slept through the night since about 6 weeks. It was a frenzy of feeding during the day, but it was worth it. You may want to try a different position in the way she sleeps. Mine would not sleep on their back, so they slep on their side's for a while until they stopped sleeping that way too. They all slept on their tummy's and I have had no problems with any of them. Just make sure that there is no bulky material in the crib/bassinet with them and dress them in a warm sleeper.

Sharon - posted on 04/24/2009

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My son will be 5 months in a couple of days. He was sleeping through the night for me right before he turned 2 months. During growth spurts, he was waking up every couple of hours to nurse, maybe your son is going through one? How much is he sleeping during the day? I try to not let my little one sleep more than 4-4.5 hours during the day unless he's showing signs of being reallly tired. Sometimes if they sleep too much during the day, they don't sleep well at night or sometimes when they don't sleep enough during the day and get over stimulated, they don't sleep well at night. I also try to nurse my little one as much as possible during the day. Are you doing the same routine with your little one every night? We do the same things every night so he can know sleep is on it's way for him. My little one cluster feeds for about 2 hours before his bedtime, maybe that helps as well. Another thing, are you swaddling him? I know some say that at 5 months they should be sleeping without being swaddled but I find my little one sleeps better (but he's not in a tight tight swaddle). Are you co-sleeping? They say babies who co-sleep with their moms wake more often to nurse. I didn't co-sleep with my first but I am with my second, and I love it. It allows all of us to get sleep and we all seem to wake up pretty rested no matter how often he woke to nurse at night. I love it, but it's not for everyone. Good luck!

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[deleted account]

I am having the same problems with my 8 month old and I've tried the feeding more during the day and didn't notice that it helped much. I don't think that formula helps babies sleep better, it might even make it worse and make their tummy hurt if their not used to formula. We've tried letting him cry it out and we found that when my husband got up with him during the night, he cried less because he knew that daddy doesn't have milk! When I get up with him he knows I have the goods and it makes it even worse. Good luck!

Angela - posted on 04/22/2009

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My little guy was the same way. I partially agree with pp. We did start letting him cry for about 2-3 minutes. We also learned that babies do cry in their sleep and wake up often at night, but they aren't always hungry. Adding more feeding during the day will help too. Or you can try just rocking him back to sleep without the milk. Perhaps, he will soon be able to go back to sleep without a midnight beverage!



My little guy finally grew out of it. At 9.5 months he is finally sleeping through the night. Up until then I was still getting up 2-3 times. At about 7 months we started switching him to sippy cups, so at 8.5 months I started giving him sippy cups of water at night instead of milk. I like to think that helped! Good luck and let us know how things are going!

[deleted account]

Have you tried just letting him cry it out, and putting himself back to sleep? Our dd did the same thing for a little while. I finally decided to just let her fuss for a little bit, and she went right back to sleep. Sometimes babies cry in their sleep. It's weird, but true!! I realized that's what it was and not her being hungry every couple hours.

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