abrupt behavioural changes/sleeping during day in a 3.5 month old

Sherry - posted on 02/27/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My son is 3.5 months old and has (fortunately or unfortunately) started eating cereal as per doctors orders -- he's already trippled his weight and eats in excess of 40 oz a day! I'm not joking I clocked him at eating 52 oz three days ago-- talk about hollow legs!

in the last few days though we've noticed that he's gone from either not wanting to sleep during the day at all.. to sleeping nearly none stop. I mean I went out with my niece today and my son's father informed me upon my return that the boy slept for 5 hours (of the 6 I was gone) and had to be woken up... after getting home at 5:30 putzing around for an hour and a half fed him his bottle and Tablespoon of Barley Cereal and poof.. he's out like a light again..

Should I be worried about this abrupt change in behaviour? I mean before he'd get over tired and refuse to nap.. now the nap seems overlong.... And he always seems cranky.. What's up with this?? any ideas? He's taken the cereal well.. showing no signs of cealiac disease (unless you include an increase in poops from 1-2 a day to 2-4 a day but not diareah type just more poop)

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Renae - posted on 02/28/2010

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Sherry, I think you should ride this out for a few weeks. This behaviour is unusual so I would recommend seeing where it goes. He could just be having a phase. Just make sure you keep an established difference between night and day if he is sleeping for long stretches during the day.



Generally at 3mo he would need at least 16 hours sleep per day (sometimes more) and be able to stay awake for about 1-1.5 hours before needing a nap of 1-3 hours.



He is also coming up to the catnapping phase (usually 4-7 months, very common but not all babies do it), so this could be the next change you see. He might go from long sleeps to 30-45 min sleeps in a matter of days.



At this time his sleep patterns will be changing and developing, which is why I'm advising you ride it out for a few weeks.



As far as the eating, unless your doctor has told you to monitor food intake (there are some babies who do not know when to stop but its quite rare), feed him on demand. In general, most babies have a natural ability to regulate their food intake to the exact requirements of their body.



If you like, let me know how he goes and if anything changes and we can introduce some sleep routines/methods if he seems to be developing a problem. In general, sleep is only a problem if it leads to frequent night waking, which isn't happening here at all.

Maria - posted on 02/27/2010

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He may be going through a growth spurt. Babies will eat a bunch, and then sleep a lot during growth spurts, and 3.5 months is about right for that. If it continues for more than a week, call his pediatrician.

Breezy - posted on 02/27/2010

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Does he have special dietary needs for eating cereal at such a young age? I was told the new suggested age was 6 mo to start babies on solid foods, because it reduces allergies. Also, he may be eating too much. The guide that our state gives is 24 -32 oz a day for his age, it should go to 20-28 at 6 mo. Speaking from experience the times when it seemed like my baby wanted more to eat he either had reflux (crying out in pain) or was going through a growth spurt. I'm all for letting your baby cue you to feed him/her, however the baby's stomach is only the size of his little fist.

As far as the sleeping patterns go, again from my experience... Babies seem to wake up more to eat when they are in a growing pattern, a baby his age can still sleep up to 18 hrs a day and that is well within normal range. If you notice such dramatic changes in him, you should consult your doctor, if anything for peace of mind :D

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Maria - posted on 02/28/2010

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It occurs to me he could also be teething at that age, too. It can make some kids pretty unhappy, especially the first few times.

Renae - posted on 02/28/2010

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PS the refusing to nap is common around 2-3 months. Its usually because they dont understand that the "yucky" feeling they have is tiredness and that in order to make the feeling go away they should sleep, so they cry because they feel yuck and make themselves worse because they get over-tired! Poor bubbies.



Also a lot of the time we dont realise that very young babies become tired after only about 45 min (sometimes less) of being awake and miss their early tired cues, so by the time we are trying to put them to bed they are overtired. There is only 20 min diff between tired and over-tried at that age.

Sherry - posted on 02/27/2010

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to answer your question breezy.. there's no special dietary needs that my son must meet.. however, his doc did give the ok for solids as of 2.5 months.. we held off til about a week ago. We simply had no choice in the matter really-- the kid has 3 hollow legs I swear! most mornings if we give him a tablespoon or two of cereal he'll only eat one 5oz bottle with it.. but if we don't he'll litterally down 15-20 oz in the morning for breakfast easy. He's just generally gotten fussy... he'll play with his toys look at you and fuss and then cry, then whine then everything else in the book... we go through the list every time and the bottle is the last thing offered.

He sleeps fine through the night roughly 10 hrs at a stretch. He'll go down at 1030 and be up anywhere from 8:30am-1030am tonight it was late because we couldn't get him to stop crying... even with cuddles.

I wouldn't doubt he's going through a growth spurt. Not in the least so there is the possibility of growing pains as well.. and he loves his saucer but spends so long in it maybe his little muscles hurt.. I've thought of that too... I'm just running out of possibilities

Jeanette - posted on 02/27/2010

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I would think that the extra pooping is from the cereal, maybe? But as long as he's sleeping well at night I wouldn't worry about it. If he's sleeping all day and not at night then you have a problem. I have a 17 month old boy who (since the day he was born), sleeps like an 80 year old man! When he was a baby he would take 3 naps a day and would still sleep 12-14 hours a night! Even now at 17months, he regularly takes 2-4 hour naps a day, and still sleeps at least 12 hours a night. Every kid is different, but the extra sleep is good!

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