Sleep schedule problems...

Jolene - posted on 02/24/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )




Hi. I have a 4 month old girl. I am trying to figure out how long I should expect her to sleep each night before I feed her, but so many of the things I read refer to babies who are formula fed and I know that effects how long babies can go between feedings. My daughter is 16 lbs and I have her sleep 8 hours before her morning feeding. She can generally do this just fine, but some nights wakes multiple times crying and I just pat her and wait for her to go back to sleep. Am I expecting too much of her to go 8 hours? Or are those crying nights just flukes?

ALSO, I want to hear about other babies' sleep habits, like how long yours sleep at night, if they have mid-night feedings, and what time?? And naps? When should those be? And how long? Basically I just want to hear what your baby's schedule is.


View replies by

Emily - posted on 02/25/2009




My favorite baby sleep book is the "No-Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. She helped me teach my kids to fall asleep on their own, and to self soothe at night... once they're sleeping better, I know when they do wake they actually do need me. My 14 month old was sleeping 8-12 hour stretches until about a month ago... then she started waking 3-4 times a night... turns out she's teething. She cut 4 teeth within 2 weeks, and now has 4 more just below the surface (I can see them all... they just haven't broken through yet). It's nice to know what's bothering her, so that I can help. Once these teeth break through, she should go back to sleeping longer stretches on her own (at least that's what she's always done in the past!). :)

Stephanie - posted on 02/25/2009




My son is eight weeks old today. I have been wondering when my son will start sleeping more at night and he's beginning to show signs that he's going to start sleeping more soon. I know he's really young still but this lack of sleep thing is beginning to get very old. I fed him every 2 1/2 hours since birth and now he's beginning to be able to stretch to three hours. He can go four or five hours stretches at night. He usually wakes up twice a night to nurse. If it's only been two or three hours, I don't bother nursing because I know he's probably not hungry because he can go longer. I agree with trying to use other methods to get a child back to sleep if you know they are probably not hungry. I don't want my son to get used to being nursed to sleep. The only time I nurse him to sleep is for his last feeding of the evening.

His nights are still irregular but I'm trying to stick with a regular routine during the day of nursing, wake/activity time, and then a nap. I then get him up after it's been three hours to nurse him again. Rinse and repeat. He doesn't always sleep every cycle but I can tell when he's getting overtired and try my hardest to get him to sleep at that point. Overtired babies are no fun. I know some moms don't agree with putting their children on schedules but I think it's good for children to have regular routines.

Anyway... I hope that helps.

BTW... it's nice to hear from other moms who are up at night. Reminds me that I am not alone when I am up at 4am.

Katy - posted on 02/25/2009




My  almost 6 month old son has JUST started taking naps that last longer than 30 minutes!  We get him up @ 7am, nap by 9am (usually 1 - 1.5 hours) and then another nap at 1pm that's about 30 min - 1 hour.  He also takes a really short nap around 4pm that lasts about 30 min.  He's not a great sleeper at night - sometimes he wakes up every hour or two from about 11pm until 6am.  Other nights he wakes @ 11pm, I pat him and shhhh him, and then he sleeps until 3am for a feeding.  He goes down pretty early at night, usually between 6:30 and 7.

There are definately some nights that he wakes up at 1am and I try to get him back down with no luck until he's fed. 

Whatever works for you... I would LOVE it if my son slept 8 hours straight!

Carly - posted on 02/25/2009




I agree with Nancy - if bubs is not hungry, they won't feed.  More likely they'll just suck for a while then go back to sleep.  This is what I found with my son when he was about 4 months.  If he woke at night, I would get him up for a feed but he would quickly fall back asleep at the breast.  I took this as a sign to start trying other things to help him get back to sleep, like patting and sshhhh-ing.

My son is now 8 months.  At 4 months, as far as I remember, he was sleeping about 8 hours, then having a feed and a nappy change, then sleeping another 3 or 4 hours.  Now he is sleeping a full 12 hours.  He used to have 3 naps (now down to 2) during the day.  At 4 months, my son could only handle being awake for 1.5 - 2 hours at a time.  Then he would get grizzly and yawn and rub his eyes so I knew it was time to sleep.  We didn't have set naps times.  A nap usually lasted an hour, sometimes 2 if we'd been swimming or something else a bit more demanding.

I hope this has helped.  Of course, every baby is different.  Also, just when you think you've got a great pattern worked out, they completely change the rules!!  Good luck :-)

[deleted account]

my child is 12 weeks, so far his pattern is that he sleeps average 5 hours, wakes to be fed (breastfed) then sleeps for 3-4 hours longer, I too have been wondering when to stop feeding him in the middle of the night.

Nancy - posted on 02/24/2009




I found with my three girls that they did not have schedules.  They ate when they were hungry, slept when they were tired, etc.  I nursed my girls at night any time they woke up wanting to nurse.  I always offered.  You cannot force a child to nurse, but I always offered.  If that was not what they wanted they would not nurse.


Good luck finding out what works for you and your daugher!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms