5 month old not sleeping through the night anymore

Stephanie - posted on 12/28/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )




okay so hers the deal, my fiance and I had our daughter on a really great schedule, she went to bed at 930, woke up at 6 for a feeding went back to bed and woke up at 9 and was up till noon before her nap. but now she is waking up at odd times at night screaming and crying, sometimes just because her binky fell out of her mouth when before it didn't bother her, i just don't know what to do now. any suggestions???


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Renae - posted on 12/28/2009




What Joley has said is correct. Many babies unfortunately "pratise" their new skill (rolling, crawling, standing are the most common ones) in their sleep and all of a sudden fine themselves stuck on their tummy, or on all fours, and so they cry for you to come and help them. The night waking stops when they master the new skill and their brain stops practising in its sleep.

You might also have to get rid of the binky. Its really common for babies to start crying for it at night. What happens is they stir in their sleep, partially wake up, like we do when we roll over or readjust the blanket, but by 5 months their brain has learnt to rely on the sucking motion to get back to sleep. I have a friend whose baby goes to bed with 3 binkys. One in her mouth and one in each hand! She still cries at least once a night when she has used and lost them all, but its better than crying 4 or 5 times a night like she used to. Dont know that this is exactly the best solution though!

Another thing that could be happening is a phenomenon where 25% of babies who have their parents with them when they go to sleep suddenly stop being able to go to sleep and start waking at night between 5 and 12 mo. 5mo is the most common age. They are usually babies who slept well since 8-12 weeks old. If this is what is happening, you can either wait it out, there is a greater than 60% chance she will go back to normal within 1-3 months on her own (also 40% chance she wont). Or you can teach her to go to sleep on her own.

To teach her to go to sleep and sleep through the night you have several options. No-cry methods and crying methods. Crying methods are most effective, have higher success rates and work quickly. No cry methods are gentle and require some time and patience.

If you use a crying method I recommend you use crying it out with cry interpretation. I am not an advocate of control crying or any method where you go in and check on them as each time you go into them, you must leave again, and when you leave they go through the initial distress of being left all over again and it makes the baby more and more distressed. If you use a crying method and leave her to figure out she is supposed to go to sleep and do some research on cry interpretation and listen to her cries so that you know if she needs you, you can cry it out without distressing your baby. This method is very effective and is usually not nearly as bad as mum's expected.

The most common no-cry option is gradual withdrawal. This is where you gradually withdraw the baby from needing your help to go to sleep. This has an 80% success rate and takes 2-4 weeks.

Another no-cry method is that of UK baby whisperer Tracey Hogg, called Pick-up/Put-down. She has a website with a support forum for people using the method.

Also keep in mind that most 5 month olds still need 1-2 night feeds, usually at about 10pm and 2am. Your baby is also staying awake for a long time during the day for a 5 month old. Usually at this age she would need a nap after 2-3 hours of being awake. Make sure she isn't getting overtired during the day.

There is lots of info out there if you google any of the above sleep methods. You are also more than welcome to contact me for info or instructions on anything I have said (post getting way too long).

Joley - posted on 12/28/2009




I have read several articles about when a baby learns to stand or crawl that they wake up more frequently at night to practice the new skills, but if your child is waking up because she wants something in her mouth then maybe it is teething. The best thing to do is keep your normal routine.

[deleted account]

my son is doing the exact same thing! everyone said its just a phase probably caused by teething and just to try and keep a routine as much as possible. I've been trying different things for the last week and we have made some progress but its hit or miss GOOD LUCK

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