10 answers

5 Month Old Sleep Habits..

My 5 month old baby girl is still eating/waking every 1-3 hours at night. She is off the charts for weight (and height) so she doesn't physically need to nurse. We have moved her into her own room over a month ago and this hasn't helped. Usually about half way through the night we give up, my husband sleeps on the couch and she sleeps in the bed with me. She sleeps much better this way, but I don't. Any recommendations? During the day, she is up for two hours and then needs a nap. She will only nap for 30-40 min. at a time. Is this normal?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Last Thurs. we decided to let her cry... she only cried for 30 min. and went to sleep. Ever since then I've been getting at least 4 or more hours between the times she wakes up. Much better..! :)

More Answers

I think your situation is absolutely normal, but not desired! My best friend is going through the exact same thing with her 6 month old, and both of my girls did this as well. Marda's advice is great. I have one nugget to add: have your husband get up to comfort her. She knows she can't get any nursing from dad : ) so she'll quite likely calm down more easily and will more readily give up those night-time snackertons. This is what I had to do and this is what is finally working for my sleep-deprived friend, as well.

Also, the short naps are probably because she's not putting herself back to sleep as she works her way through her sleep cycle. "No Cry Sleep Solution" suggests sneaking in 5 minutes before baby wakes to preempt baby waking up- put a hand on her, put the pacifier back, snuggle her up, etc.

Oh, two hours after getting up in the morning is exactly when babies are ready for their first nap, according to what I've read and my own experience.

Good luck to you! You must be simply exhausted- I feel for you.


2 moms found this helpful

Mine started doing this at this age too. She might be over tired from not taking good naps during the day, and that is why she isn't sleeping well at night either. I read healthy sleep habits, happy child and eventually let her cry it out (even though it was the hardest thing I think I have ever had to do) and you wouldn't believe the differents in her. She started sleeping for 8 hours straight and would nurse and go back to bed for another 2 to 3 hours. She was much happier during the day and took better naps. It is very hard to do and should be a last resort in my opinion but in the end I think I did us both a favor.

2 moms found this helpful

I light heartedly say she's got you trained. I say that because my granddaughter had me jumping thru hoops when she was that age.

When she gets up at night put her back in her own bed, rub her back etc. but don't talk with her and don't feed her. Add to this letting her cry it out once you've discovered that nothing is wrong. Other mothers on this site have done various versions of this and can describe it much better than I can.

Since she's "off the charts" for weight and height feed her less. If you nurse her everytime she wakes up or cries then she will want to nurse everytime. Nursing is a warm and satisfying experience for both of you. Find other ways to be close with each other. Perhaps, when she's not crying or just waking up from a nap, rock and read to her. Also does she have something to chew or put in her mouth. Babies have a need for oral experiences. And she will soon be teething.

I do sympathize. I couldn't stand to have my granddaughter cry for very long and so I was always trying to find ways to make her happy. By doing this I was not giving her the space to learn how to make herself happy. And it's important that you get a good nights sleep. So it's time to let her find ways to comfort herself and get herself back to sleep.

Doing this is difficult! Our baby pulls on our heart strings but we need to respond in ways that are beneficial for ourselves as well as the baby.

I wish you the best as you try to resolve this problem.

2 moms found this helpful

Wow, it's hard to be woken up that often during the night. I think that waking up so often to nurse is a very easy habit for babies to develop, but at this age she probably doesn't need it anymore. It might be a good idea to start making her stay in bed and not nursing her anymore. She should be able to go at least 5 hours at night. It will be hard at first but as long as you hang in there she will break her habit. Good luck and I hope you get some solid sleep soon.


2 moms found this helpful

Make her tough it out. My son, now 3 years old, did the same thing. At 6 months he was still waking up in the night to eat, he was bottle fed so it's a little different. At any rate, the doctor told me he does not need to eat at night. So I stopped. The first night we went through a couple hours of intermittent crying. He would fuss and I would go in and comfort him and then leave. Eventually I gave in and fed him. The second night, we did the same thing only after awhile he gave up and went back to sleep. I guess he decided it wasn't worth all the effort. What ever you decided to do, be consistent. If you go into comfort, make shorter visits and offer less comfort each time. Also, make her wait longer each time she cries. I could never let my baby totally "cry it out", I can't take more than 10 minutes or so. You have to decide what your limit is and stick to it. Good luck

2 moms found this helpful

With my children, when I noticed the change in sleeping habits at night, I started making sure the afternoon nap wasn't later than 4 or 5 o'clock. We would play really hard before bath time. I also made sure that I gave them a warm bath and massage. And a bottle with a little cereal. (If you're nursing than just a formula bottle may work.) Put her in her room with some music or talk radio. If she's used to sleeping with people she's used to hearing some kind of noise or rubbing up against someone. Children seek comfort all through out the night. If you're comfortable put a heavily stuff pillow or something that feels like a person up against her back at night. And if all else fails, yes... A good cry always knocks you out.

1 mom found this helpful

I would say this is pretty normal. Your 5 months old probably does need to nurse at night for a while still. Breast milk just doesn't stick with babies as long as formula does. However, you shouldn't be up every hour, that's just too draining. I would say maybe nurse her 1-2 times at night and have your husband take her the other times. It really does help to have someone else take her because she knows you'll give in. It should only take 3-4 days to create a new routine, once you do it will be worth it. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I have the same problem! My 5 month old daughter is up too and off the charts! I have noticed that if I have her in her cradle swing in my bedroom she does sleep a little longer and more sound. My Doctor said that leaving her in the swing was fine. If you have one I would give it a try, its worth a shot. It helped me get @ 5 hours of consistent sleep and my husband didnt have to sleep on the couch! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter is 5 mo, nearly off the charts, and also still feeds at night every 1-3 hours. When I am around she never naps more than 30 minutes. When I am out, she'll make it an hour or a little more. Sounds like from other responses you have gotten, our girls are normal! I am lucky though, I don't feel bothered by waking up at night to nurse -- I keep her in bed with me so that when she wakes up, I am right there, can turn toward her and fall back asleep once she has latched on. She rarely makes it to crying, and I barely wake up. And I enjoy the closeness, and know (and am sad about the fact) that breastfeeding will be over all too soon. I can understand some of the measures to train your baby to comfort herself, but I feel at this young age, that responding to her needs is going to serve her and us well in the future (i hope!). But again, I am not feeling sleep deprived. Hang in there.

Hi L.,

My baby will be 5 months this week and I have the same issues you describe. I was just curious to know if you are still having these issues and if not, what did you find that finally worked successfully?? Help!!!


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