29 answers

5 Month Old Not Sleeping Through the Night.

My 5 month old son won't sleep through the night. It's not as bad as it use to be (waking up 3-5 times a night), but he still wakes up at 3am every morning. No matter what I do, I can't seem to get him to sleep through the night. The only time he sleeps through the night is if he screams and cries during his bath before bed. (and I don't want him doing that lol) I never had this much trouble with my 2 year old, he started sleeping through the night the day he turned 3 months. Any advice would be welcome! I'm to the point that I'm willing to try just about anything! Thanks in advance!

*edit* He does sleep in the same room with his big brother. At 3am, everybody is asleep, so there's no noises to wake him up. He was sleeping in his swing (he couldn't sleep at all laying flat), but he's been in his "playpen" now for a couple weeks and has been doing fine. (all but the waking up at 3am part) I'm bottle feeding him (Couldn't breastfeed him =/) and he's eating baby food/cereal now. Just before he goes to bed, I feed him a 6oz bottle with some cereal in it. (I was told that should help him sleep)

Hope this new info helps.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well, I've tried a number of things and this is what worked....

I tried just telling myself "he will do it when he's ready" so I just kept feeding him when he woke up. Then, to my surprise, he slept through the night! I was all excited and happy for him, but it was short lived. He started waking up at about 3am again. This time thought, I just tried giving him his "passie" and tucking him back in. (He really likes soft blankets touching his face) That seemed to work, so I stopped the feedings for a while. Now he is almost 6 months old and he pretty much sleeps through the night! Sometimes he sleeps all night without waking once, sometimes he wakes once just to be tucked in, and sometimes (rarely though) he wakes to be fed.

I'm in no hurry now, I'm going to let him do it at his own pace. I realize now just how different 2 kids can really be. Even if they are from the same family. lol. I'm just having one other concern with him, but I will post that later.

Thanks to all of you for all the help!

Featured Answers

Most young children at that age won't sleep. It could be the feeding before bedtime that is waking him up as he would have a soiled diaper, but he could also have gas. Perhaps he has a favorite toy that he likes to sleep with? Maybe you should try that. Try laying him on his side with a pillow behind his back, that will eliminate the possibility of a gas problem and may help his breathing and sleeplessness.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

He is still young and shouldn't be expected to sleep through the night just yet. Some kids will start early like your other son did, but some won't and you might have to do sleep training later on to break the habit. My understanding is that babies generally aren't ready to go 10-12 hours a night until they are at least 6 months. My daugter was 11 months when we had to do some sleep training. She did very well because she was ready to sleep through the night at that point. It was an easy process to get her to start sleeping through the night, but I had to get up with her at 3am every night until she was ready and that was hard. My opinion is if your little guy isn't ready, then it is going to be much harder than if you wait until he is. I know my answer isn't serving your request like you probably hope it would, but I am a firm believer that you shouldn't force your baby to do anything until he/she is ready. Try some training and if it is awful, then wait a while and try again. We started putting our daughter in her crib awake and taught her how to fall asleep on her own. Then when she woke, she would be able to fall back asleep with out me or my husband. She cried for 10 minutes (if that) the first night and then that was it, she has been sleeping wonderfully every night since and she is now 16 months. I have heard horror stories of hours of crying for 3-4 nights straight and I believe that when it is that difficult they aren't ready, but I could be wrong. Go with your gut on this one. Good luck. BTW-it is a myth that adding cereal to the bottle will help them sleep longer. Your little one is waking for comfort and he may still need a night feeding.

2 moms found this helpful


I REALLY empathize with you right now. I feel like I'm going to go CRAZY if I don't get some sleep!

I would like to share some perspective, in hopes that it makes it easier. I have a almost 13 month old that isn't sleeping through the night. Not only that, but on a good night she wakes 3-4 times, and it is common for her to wake EVERY HOUR! I have tried just about everything (setting the line at letting her cry it out).
Before becoming a mom, I was a professional nanny. I have never heard of or experienced a child waking as often as mine does. If she wasn't a extremely happy, active child I would think something was seriously wrong.
No person is like another, and its the same with kids. Your 5 month old's sleeping habits won't be like your 2 year old's. I think a sense of knowing what your child's personality is like is important. I realize my girl is a very active, independent sort that would rather be awake than asleep and I have put lots of energy into a bedtime routine to calm her down.
My suggestion is to gauge his personality. Maybe he wakes at 3 because he thinks everyone SHOULD get up then, or maybe he really is hungry and can't go the whole night. I wouldn't expect a 5 month old to not be hungry at least once. Lastly, a sense of humor is best. He won't go off to college needing you at 3am every night!

Sorry so long. Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

Every child is different and at 5 months old, he is still pretty little. I'm betting he just needs a bottle to fill his hungry little tummy. Make sure his head is high on the pillow so he doesn't get an ear infection or you could feed it to him while holding him in an almost upright position. Or make sure you feed him RIGHT before going to bed, like after his bath and pajamas are on. But either way, getting up once in the night is nothing to worry or complain about. It's all a part of motherhood and he'll grow out of it soon. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

You didn't mention sleeping arrangements, but our little guy was only waking up because he heard others in the room with him. At the time he either had to sleep in our room or his brothers. We put him in the pack-n-play in the living room and he started sleeping the first night. We let him sleep there a few nights and then put him back in with his brother. He never had a problem again, and even now doesn't wake up no matter what happens.

1 mom found this helpful

Well you can always do the cry it out method. But to be honest he is still pretty young to be sleeping through the night. And actually only waking up once at night is really good for a 5 month old. I got my daughter to go to bed at 8:00 every night when she was 3 months old but she would still wakeup to nurse 1 to 2 times a night until she was like 10 or 11 months. Then i finally weaned her from nursing at night and then she finally started sleeping the whole night like from 8:00 until 7:30am. Remember that all babies are different and just because you were blessed with a great sleeper for your first child this one will be different. And again only waking up once a night for a 5 month old is really really good so i would just give it some time and in a few months he will probably sleep the whole night.

1 mom found this helpful

I guess the question is how long he stays awake. My first child didn't sleep through the night consistantly until she was 3 rys old. My 3rd child is almost 2 and sometimes he sleeps through the night and sometimes he doesn't. Most of the time when he wakes up he just needs to be covered up with his blanket and he goes back to sleep. Too hot, too cold, or hungry, are all reasons your baby may be waking during the night. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Lucky you on the 1st one...Mine have never slept through the nite. But the trick I did learn to start getting them to that point.. Was I would feed them at 11p.m. they'd sleep til 5a.m. or 6a.m., then I would start backing off about 10 mins a night, it usually lasted until they were 10-11months old then they sleep from 9p.m. to 6a.m. (pretty good I thought) we'd have set back with growth spurts and teeth but primarily I have great sleepers. Good Luck I hated being woke up after midnight....

1 mom found this helpful

Hate to tell you this, but your older son was actually sleeping through the night much earlier than most babies do. My 9-month-old son still wakes at 3a every night to eat, too, and that is developmentally appropriate for his age. At 5 months you should expect at least that. There is a great book that outlines clearly what is typical at different stages of development; it's called, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. Check it out. It might at least ease your mind that everything is as it should be with your son's sleeping. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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