22 answers

5-Month Old Won't Sleep More than 2 Hours in a Row

Hello Mamas - I desperately need your help. About a month ago, we transitioned my daughter from the bassinet to the crib. She had been waking up once or twice a night while sleeping in the bassinet. Ever since she has been in the crib, she has woken up every 1.5 to 2 hours, like clockwork. I literally have not slept more than 2 hours in a row since then, and am at my wits end. I nurse her full-time, and it is the easiest way to get her to go back to sleep, so that is what we've been doing. Occasionally if she wakes up sooner than 2 hours, my husband will go in to try to sooth her and she screams immediately because she knows its not me. On the rare occassion that he is able to get her to go down again, she wakes up within 20 or 30 minutes. meanwhile, after all of the screaming, I am wide awake, as is our 3 year old. She is still too young to do the cry-it-out method. We think the problem is that she does not feel cozy in the crib because its so big and she is still so little. Any tips on how to get her to feel cozy while still being safe (i.e. without using a blanket)? I will try just about anything at this point! Thanks!!

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Guess what? 5 months is old enough to do the cry-it-out method. If you want more sleep, you have to do it.

She knows that if she cries she will get mom's milk and so that is a great incentive not to fall back to sleep by herself. You could try an amby bed - www.amby.com. they are jpma certified for safety and are very cozy and rock but I am guessing that the only thing that will really work at her age is to let her cry a little bit. My doc told me that after 4 months a child should be able to sleep through the night and to let baby cry and she will learn to fall asleep - the first few nights at this are tough but after that it is better for everyone. good luck.

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Hi C..
We had the same problem when my son was 4 months old. We chose to use the weisbluth method and he now sleeps from 7:30-2:30, nurses and is back down until 6:30. If you don't want to do this, maybe try a sleep positioner in her crib so she feels more closed in. I use to lay my son vertically in the crib so it felt more confined to him. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter is 9 weeks old and we moved her to her crib at 6 weeks. I breastfeed her during the day and have been pumping once or twice a day so that my husband can feed her a bottle at her last night feeding (10pm-ish). After her feeding we check her diaper, swaddle her up, and lay her down in a sleep positioner (we've used it since she came home from the hospital while she was in her bassinet and now in the crib). She only wakes up once a night normally sometime between 2:30am and 3:30am. We've been trying to follow the "Babywise" method.

Here is a link to the book on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Baby-Wise-Nighttime-Becomi...

I'm going to talk to her doctor at her 2mo appointment to discuss stopping her middle of the night feeding so that we can work on getting her to sleep completely through the night (10pm-7am). But this method has been working pretty well for my husband and I.

Hi C.,
I am in a similiar situation with my 4 month old son. I have a 2 year old daughter. I nursed her and am nursing my son. I followed Dr. Weissbluth re sleep scheduling but did not sleep train my daughter until she was 9 months old. she was up at least twice a night. I was so sleep deprived. I finally decided to do the "cry it out." It works. Within two days she was sleeping through the night. It is a miracle and wished I did it sooner. M

Our children are similiar in ages, 4 and 5 months. According to Dr. Weissbluth, they should not be getting up more than 2 times per night to nurse. I am going to sleep train Aaron tonight, as he has been up every 1-3 hours for the past 4 nights. He knows that when he whimpers, I go in there and he gets picked up and nursed back to sleep. Life could not be better. I would recommend a halo sleep sack to make your daughter feel secure. They are thin. In the cooler months I use a Grobag, expensive but worth it. Let's hold each other accountable. It is hard to sleep train, but it only takes 2-3 nights. You have a much happier and rested child. D.

C.,

I've heard a lot of praise for Weisbluth's book (he talks about many methods, not just cry it out) and for Elizabeth Pantly's The No Cry Sleep Solution. But if you're anything like I was, the last thing you want to do is read a book.

Remember, where ever baby sleeps (safely) is the right place for baby to sleep! If it's safe, try the bassinet again, the car seat, a positioner (to keep baby cozy). If you're ok with cosleeping, you can nurse you daughter in bed, lying down. I was able to fall back to sleep that way. We discovered that our son slept great in our bed, and that was the best thing for all of us. We tried it with our younger son. Turns out he likes to sleep alone. Every kid is different.

Good luck. I feel your pain.

Hi C.: I had this same problem with both of my girls. They loved their bassinet and slept great in it. When I did the transition, it was really hard on me as you well know. Here's what I ended up doing. There are blocks that you can buy (perfectly safe for cribs) that keep them in a general area in the crib and nestled. You can find them at Babies R Us; they come in different sizes and i placed two of them around them as well as making sure they were snuggled in whatever onsy was appropriate for the weather. The first night was a little rough, but they soon grew to feel safe. This way, they can't roll and can feel boundaries and the space isn't so vast for them. I usually tried to stay in one small section of the crib, like using the shorter sides as a part of the barricade as well. For some reason, the longer sides are disconcerting to them. They are small enough that you can lie them the direction of the smaller sides with the blocks (they are kind of triangular). I hope that you meet with some success. God Bless!!

She knows that if she cries she will get mom's milk and so that is a great incentive not to fall back to sleep by herself. You could try an amby bed - www.amby.com. they are jpma certified for safety and are very cozy and rock but I am guessing that the only thing that will really work at her age is to let her cry a little bit. My doc told me that after 4 months a child should be able to sleep through the night and to let baby cry and she will learn to fall asleep - the first few nights at this are tough but after that it is better for everyone. good luck.

I cannot believe the amount of people who would recommend cry-it-out for this age of a child. Yes. it works. no doubt. But you are basically giving your child the message that it doesn't matter how much you cry, I'm not coming, so what's the point in crying. It's not that it works in teaching them to sleep. It simply works because they realize crying is pointless when they need you.

The two books I recommend is not necessarily the easy road, but it is a more gentle loving approach to helping your child learn to sleep independantly.
Tracy Hogg - The Baby Whisperer and you probably need the Baby WHisperer solves all your problems
Good Night Sleep Tight by Kim West

They both give approaches to teaching your child how to sleep without listening to the agony of your child cry.

As an aside, there is a reason it is agonizing to listen to a baby cry. A baby's cry is designed by nature to get it's mothers attention for help. Not for mother to ignore it.

I too have a 5 month old daugther. She was waking up too and I figured out I think she was cold. I put a sleep sack on her and when she sleeps on her side she seems to do better. Also, instead of nursing her, try giving her a pacifier if she takes it. Our daughter still wakes up a couple times, but as long as we give her the pacifier, she goes right back to bed.Most babies wake up several times per night and if they don't know how to sooth themselves they will cry. It sounds like she only knows how to sooth herself with nursing, so try keeping her in the crib when she cries and give her the pacifier and reassure her that you are there vs. taking her out and nursing her. You may have a few rough nights but better than months of waking up to nurse! Good luck! Also, could she be teething?

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