5 month old is up screaming every two hours to nurse at night. Help?

Megan - posted on 05/23/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )




Hi all. I have a 5 month old baby who is colicky or supposedly 'post' colicky at this point. He's had issues with acid reflux and gas since he was born. He has gotten better all around during the day and evening, but lately, the nights just seem to be getting worse and worse. I nurse him and put him down between 6:30 and 7PM. Around 10PM and every 1.5 to 2 hours thereafter, he is up screaming and crying practically inconsolably. The only thing that will soothe him back to sleep is my breast, but he still continues to awaken. He has never been able to self soothe. I've been told this is because he does/did have colic. He will not take a pacifier and I can't let him cry it out. Everything I've read says it won't help him anyway because he does have a difficult temperament. I just don't know what to do at this point. Wait it out? Any suggestions are much appreciated. Thanks!


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Linda - posted on 05/23/2011




This is a very common problem. If your baby is falling asleep nursing, and he wakes up and finds you not there, he may cry. He was expecting you to still be there. Think about what would happen if you turned over in the night, and your pillow was missing. You would probably wake all the way up and look for your pillow. When you found it, you would go back to sleep. It is possible this is the problem. (It could also be teething, but if it doesn't go away after a few weeks, this could be it.) Try putting your baby down when he is very sleepy but still awake. You could even rub his back a little in the crib. It could make all the difference in him sleeping through the night.

Megan - posted on 05/23/2011




Thank you so much for your help ladies! Tyrae, he's never been a good sleeper, but we were always able to get him to go back down without screaming the way he has this week. I suppose it could be teething as many suggested. He does just suckle sometimes rather than feed. It's just so hard for me to tell what his problems are sometimes which is very upsetting. I do feel better now knowing that I'm not going completely crazy. Thanks again.

Kate CP - posted on 05/23/2011




Is he actually nursing and eating or is he just suckling and not getting any milk (you'll be able to tell the difference)? If he's actually nursing he's hungry and you should feed him. If he's just suckling because he needs comfort then yes, it could definitely be teething.

Vino - posted on 05/23/2011




Hi Mega, my daughter is now entering into 6th month. I too have the same problem. After 9 PM i used to nurse her every 1.5 or 2 hrs only r else she wont stop crying. Just few days lets sacrifice and feed them - since @ this age only we can give them the best. Until it hurts u pls dont stop BF. Better rest along with ur child in day times so that u wont feel hard in night times.... Thats the only alternate v can do dear.

Keri - posted on 05/23/2011




I completely feel for you. My second son slept great until about 5 months old. Then he did the same thing, up every 1.5 to 2 hours screaming. I finally started sleeping with him in the recliner. It was the only way I could sleep at all. I hate to say that it didn't get any better until he was almost 3 and then he would still wake up two to three times a night. He suddenly started sleep through the night when he turned 4.

Karen - posted on 05/23/2011




I absolutely think it could be teething, or could be a growth spurth, but also if he is really colicy have you tried to tip the head of his bed up a bit? That might help too.

Tyrae - posted on 05/23/2011




How long has he been doing this for? Has he always been up every couple of hours to eat? Or just the last little bit? He may be going through a growth spurt if it has only been recently, babies tend to go through one between 5-6 months old. He might also be teething like Amy said. My daughter is 6 months old and for a good week was up 3-4 times a night because she was cutting teeth, she's returned to her regular sleeping patter with just waking up once in the middle of her 12 or so hours of sleep.

Theresa - posted on 05/23/2011




Babies go through a growth spurt again around that age. He could be getting up more because he is hungry and needs to eat. If that's the case it should ease up after a couple weeks. Hang in there. I know it seems impossible at the time, but it will pass and he'll work out how to sleep and stay asleep before you know it. Once he gets to that stage you'll look back at this and think "That wasn't so bad." Kind of like birth. It sucks as you're going through it, but a day later and you're already forgetting how bad it was and just remembering the good of it.

Amy - posted on 05/23/2011




Is he teething? My daughter who breastfeeds and would fall asleep on her own always gets bad when she starts cutting teeth, to the point that I'm the only one she wants she won't even take a bottle. At 9 months old it got so bad she was up every 30 minutes we took her to the doctor, two days later her tooth came in and returned to more manageable sleeping patterns.

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