5 week old baby..

Tiffany - posted on 06/04/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )




How can I get my 5 week old baby to sleep better at night?! He wakes up every 21/2 - 3 hours and sometimes stays up for over an hour or 2 hours in the middle of the night. I'm getting so very tired and would LOVE even an extra 30 mintutes lol! I have been told to put 1tbls of rice cereal to 4 oz of formula in a bottle right before bedtime. The thing I'm not sure of though is my son is only 5 weeks old! Is that too early?


Allison - posted on 06/05/2010




Although some babies sleep better with rice cereal, in my experience, most do not. I've found there is not a "magic bullet" to get them to sleep better. It's mostly about just getting into some routine and helping them relax. I agree 3 hours is pretty typical for a 5 week old, and that won't last - don't worry :) It's too bad that it takes 2 hours to fall asleep again, but maybe you can trying some different rocking, music or singing to help him fall back asleep faster? Our son woke a lot, too, and we had to lay next to him or hold him to help him get back to sleep, usually within 15-20 minutes. We ended up co-sleeping to get more sleep. If you do co-sleeping, be sure to follow all the safety rules (no big blankets or pillows, no smoking or drinking alcohol, no soft beds, keep mattress close to floor and not close to walls - and there are several more...)

And most professional organizations recommend delaying solids until at least 6 months for breastfed babies, although many doctors recommend starting at ~4 months (I think this is for formula fed, but not sure?). I've also been told by pediatricians never to put solids in a bottle because it is a choking hazard, especially for babies who haven't developed muscle control for eating and swallowing (doesn't typically happen until 4-8 months old).

I know how hard the sleep deprivation can be but hang in there and try some new soothing techniques, and you will get more sleep eventually - promise!

Ashley - posted on 06/05/2010




From what i've heard yes 5 weeks is too early for any solids. But when he wakes up in the middle of the night, do you turn a light on? It helps them stay sleepy if it is just a night light or very dim light. Also, diaper changings wake a baby up, so you should give him half of his bottle, then change him and then give him the other half with the lights off. Does he sleep all day? if so try keeping him up longer during the day so he will sleep longer at night.

Jodi - posted on 06/04/2010




Yes, it is too young. His digestive system isn't ready for any solids yet, and that includes rice certeal. Recommendations are to start them at 4-6 months, as this is when they are biologically ready for foods.

It is actually normal for a baby that age to need feeding every 2-3 hours. The best thing you can do right now is try to get some sleep during the day while baby is sleeping to get that extra 30 minutes.

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Melysa - posted on 06/05/2010




try stimulating baby as little as possible ideally you should not talk to them much try to keep the light off if you don't have to change him, don't. i pick them up feed them whilst keeping them wrapped up warm and then put straight back to bed allow them to cry briefly rather then picking them up straight away possibly stroking them around their ear (playing with their hair seems to comfort them really well) this will help them learn that night time is for sleeping not playing, it can take several nights even up to 2 weeks but it can work as hard as it can be to let them cry it is much harder to survive with no sleep. i hope you can find something to help in the mean time sleeping through the day can help you to catch up on some much needed rest

Christine - posted on 06/05/2010




Yes, it's too early. At 5 weeks it is normal to wake often for a feed, Will your baby settle with you in your bed while you get some shuteye. Some people frown upon bedsharing with a baby but your sleep is important, While I was breastfeeding I used to do the overnight one in my bed on my side and go to sleep while feeding! I'm sure your baby will sleep better snuggled against your nice warm body and you would get some rest too. 5 weeks is so young it's probably the snuggles your baby wants not rice cereal in his bottle!! Good luck to you and your precious little one!

Bernie - posted on 06/05/2010




yes i think 5 weeks is way too young.

if you are breast feeding then its very normal for your son to wake every 2 hours.

i feel your pain, my son use to wake every 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

one small tip that helped me: your son mite not be getting the 'back milk' when breast feeding so make sure he has fed well on one breast before going onto the next one i know its hard because it is still pain full at this time, but if he is only getting the 'front milk' it will not keep him full for very long and it could all so be why he is not going back to sleep strait away.

(if your nipples are getting very painfull try clean, cold cabbage leaf's in your bra after each feed) sounds funny but it works.

hang in there i know it feels like you will never sleep well again, but it does get better.

Sara - posted on 06/05/2010




I agree with everyone here 5 weeks is far too young for Rice Cerial and it could bloat him too much. You have to think about his tummy and the size of it. You are giving him enough food to live on for a couple of hours... how much food can you get into a wallnut shell? It is quite normal for a baby so young to be getting up every 2 hours. It is a matter of teaching him that night time is dark quiet and this is when we sleep. Daytime is noisier lighter but it is still ok to nap. My 5 month old is just sleeping through the night my neice didn;'t start sleeping through the night till 8 months old.
Yes he is probably waking as he is hungry but this is normal. If you are tired you need to nap when he naps even during the day it was the only way I got through. If you have friends or family and you are bottle feeding or if you can express and he will take a bottle it might be a way for you to have a little more sleep. I have solely breastfed throughout and it is exhausting and I found myself falling asleep sat up feeding. Just remember this doesn't last forever and he will settle into a routein eventually.
I hope you sleep better soon X

Louise - posted on 06/05/2010




5 weeks is far to early for desperate measures of rice cereal. At 5 weeks old your baby is still getting used to his routine and not yet established the difference between night and day sleep. I tried to help my children with this by putting them somewhere light in the day in a moses basket with noise going on around them and in their cot at night with very low classical music and darkness. The music was to reasure that somebody was around. I found they slept much better and would sleep 5-6 hours between feeds at night. You still have about 8 weeks before your baby will be taking in enough food to go for longer hours through the night. About 12 weeks is when you will start to see a difference in sleep patterns. In the mean time get somebody to come and sit with your baby whilst you have some time to yourself have a bath and a sleep to refresh yourself. It is the most exhausting time of motherhood but it wont last forever I promise.xx

*Lisa* - posted on 06/05/2010




Yes it's too early! And a choking hazard! My boy used to sleep during the day and wake every 2 hours or less at night. It's such a crazy time! I know how tired you must be. Try and rest when he rests and keep him awake a bit during the day so he knows that night time is sleep time. It took my boy a few months before we could get him to sleep at night rather than during the day. Good luck :)

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