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6 Month Old Wakes up Almost Every Hour

My DS is 6 months old and has been waking up almost every hour for the last 4 weeks. I tried the cry it out (ferber) method last week for about 5 mins but could not bear to hear my baby cry. After that, for the next few days every time I lay him down he would cry it out. He is drooling a lot but not teething. I did take out his swaddle when he first started waking up every hour because his arms would wake him up. However, now it's not the arms anymore. He would just cry out and want to be held for a few minutes and then I would lay him down and pat him until he sleeps. By the way, he sleeps with us in bed. I dont know what the problem is anymore. He used to sleep so well. He only eats twice during this whole nigh. I am like a zombie now. =( I am not willing to try cry it out again because he really seemed to be frightened from it since the last time I tried it.

FOLLOW UP: Last night, my DS had a fever because of his shots. I gave him infant tylenol and before I knew it, he slept the whole night. He only woke up at 5:30am to eat.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the advice. His sleeping habits has gotten better a little. He only cries every hour for the first 2 hours that he sleeps. After that, he doesnt cry when he wakes up and eats at 3am and then 5:30am which is his normal schedule from before. What we changed was his napping habits, he naps less now and is not carried when he naps. I still dont understand why he cries when he wakes up at the beggining of the night.

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did you start feeding him food? Perhaps he is allergic to something.

It is not normal to wake up that much.

If it is 'just' teething, then I recommend Hylands homeopathic gel/tablets and for really bad cases use the amazing Gumomile oil.

I see that you have many comments! I hope some have given some bit of relief for you! Really, I would try Tylenol for a few days, maybe baby ambasol, teething tablets. It is hard to see teeth coming in....

Hi! I had a baby girl that cried the same way and I took her to a lovely doctor and she tole me that since the baby had a troubled delivery she, brain wise was still in the "womb" traveling down the channel, and that eventually she would grow out of it and then I had one that had colic real bad, as I had as a baby and was up all through the night I did not put her in bed with us but I did sleep in her crib or in the guest room and then would take her back to her bed as she fell asleep, I lost a lot of sleep but as it is said ... This too shall pass like labor pains.

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any book that asks a mother to overcome her natural instincts to comfort her child is total b.s. i'm sorry, who said babies should sleep through the night? its great if they do naturally. but always remember a baby's most important emotional need at this age is to attach to another human being strongly.

babies go through fussy periods, when they get up quite a lot during the night for a few weeks for no apparent reason. my daughter did the same thing, i thought for sure she was teething several times, when the fussiness would go away with no teeth to show for it. but what would remain was the trust between us that when she cried, i would respond. that's babies first experiment in communication, how they start to feel not so helpless in the world. "when i cry, my mom responds. i can get my needs met."

yes, you can have a child that sleeps through the night using the ferber (or any other similar) method. what you have as a result is an insecure baby who gives up trying to communicate with its mother.

1 mom found this helpful

I relate to what you are going through. In his first year, my son woke up 10-12 times per night and, as you described, I was a walking zombie. It was awful! I eventually discovered he was (is) allergic (not life threatening) to wheat, dairy, and corn and was, of course, getting all those foods through my breast milk and then through solids after six mos of age. Sleep problems are one of the more common symptoms associated with food allergies in children. Believe me, before we discovered he was allergic we tried everything. He has always slept with us, so, thinking maybe we were disrupting his sleep I tried putting him in a crib, putting him in a different room, adding more clothes, taking off some of his clothes, opening a window, putting music on...nothing improved things.

So, I'm not sure what my input is other than consider all thinks related to diet, read up about it....or write me. It is becoming very common anymore for our children to have food allergies. And some of it is inherited. I find it interesting that he slept the whole night after receiving tylenol. That suggests that he might be having some pain and the tylenol relieved it (digestive pain can occur with food allerigies)...or perhaps the vaccine wiped him out. The doctors will likely tell you he will grow out of it or that co-sleeping is the cause,(I hate that answer....it is so pat and ignorant.) but listen to your heart. If you know it is not normal, trust that in yourself. There is an answer, you just have to be willing to look hard enough.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.,

I am a mom of two girls (27 and 29) and a g'ma to three beautiful grandbabes (4,2 and 3 mo). Throw that darned Ferber book in the trash!!! Our daughter tried it with her first born and she regrets it. So does g'ma!! My personal feelings are that babies cry for a reason and while still infants they should never be ignored. How sad!! Don't get me wrong, there will come a time when you may have to let him cry and you will know when that is (two year old tantrums come to mind). I hope it will never be a routine! And I also hope you won't leave him with a sitter to do it!! Knowing how it makes you feel imagine how someone who does not love him will act. J., your instincts as his mom are the best guidance you can use. Patting, singing and rocking always worked for us. I do agree that having him sleep in his own bed is a good idea for him and you and your husband. We also had our babes in bed with us for the first few months...it was just so much easier to nurse!!I think they were about 4 months old when we stopped having them in bed...when they started sleeping thru the night. As they got older I loved it when our girls climbed in bed with us and I would wake and have them cuddled next to me! I miss those years! The years go by sooo fast. Enjoy them! And having grands is the very best!!!! They now crawl in bed with me and we have cereal (dry) in bed and watch cartoons when they stay over :)

1 mom found this helpful

I found this book to be a godsend: "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" by Pantley. It talks about how to teach your little one to sleep without having to cry it out. It also describes all the reasons a baby might be wakeful.

BTW, if you're breastfeeding, the baby will wake more frequently. That's normal. Keep the baby close so you can respond and still get some sleep. I worked too. Both of my sons decided that if the Breastaurant was available only at night, THAT's when they would eat (kept me from having to pump as often, but meant that they woke more frequently). Still, every hour is excessive. And the book really will help.

Don't give into the "just let him cry" crowd. Babies cry for a reason, and you don't want to teach him that communicating with you is useless.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

____@____.com Anna Leger

Are you feeding your little one with formula? It sounds to me like maybe it could be a discomfort from formula.

He is hungry I bet, are you feeding him vegetables? These are solid and fill the little cavity, which will make him sleepy, try and see.

Yours, E. H

All the symptoms you describe sound like teething. Talk to your doctor so you can decide the best way to ease his pain. Mine suggested the Orajel swabs and Tylenol when our daughter was really inconsolable.

BTW, I noticed some people took the opportunity to add another worry to your list-immunizations. There is a movement out there that is against them, but the research is still inconclusive. This is a decision you should arm yourself to make, but it is your decision. A good source is your doctor. Of course, I'm assuming you interviewed, selected, and are now happy with him/her. If that's true, he will be able to help you make educated decisions about immunizations.

It's probably time to start puting him in his own crib. You can't let your child decide when it's time to go to bed. You do... put him in bed at the same time, so he knows what's going on... and don't be afraid to let him cry. He is your baby... but he'll be a baby waking you up when he's 1, if you dont' lay the law, your son will do it for you.

If you can't handle leting him cry, hire a baby siter to come over and sit with him during bed time for a few days in a row. It's not going to be easy, but it's nice when the job it done! Don't let your son torture you... it's not good for either baby or mamma!

My 7 month old granddaughter lives with me and doesn't sleep more than 90 minutes at a time.When we put her to bed she can cry up to an hour. We've trie everything from getting her up for half an hour to rocking her to singing to her and just about everything else you can think of. Somtimes it works and sometimes nothing works. But, she's not the worse for the wear. She's a happy healthy baby. She's a very light sleeper and almost anything will wake her. We've just learned to let her cry herself out (which she does) and when she tires out she falls into a sound sleep. The waking up all night has been getting tedious but all the doctor says is she's a very hungry baby and no matter how much we feed her before bedtime, and hour or two later she's hungry again and my daughter ends up nursing her. Don't know if any of this is helpful. I sure hope so. I raised two using a similar method and this is my daughters second so I guess there is something to be said for letting a baby cry as long as you're sure there's isn't anything else wrong.

Hi! I had a baby girl that cried the same way and I took her to a lovely doctor and she tole me that since the baby had a troubled delivery she, brain wise was still in the "womb" traveling down the channel, and that eventually she would grow out of it and then I had one that had colic real bad, as I had as a baby and was up all through the night I did not put her in bed with us but I did sleep in her crib or in the guest room and then would take her back to her bed as she fell asleep, I lost a lot of sleep but as it is said ... This too shall pass like labor pains.

Unfortunatly I have no advise, but would like some as well...my son is the same way and is now 7 months. Every hour he will wake up and scream like he is afraid of something we will put the bottle in his mouth and he will pass back out. He is a happy and very loved little boy otherwise. He also sleeps in the bed with us. I just dont know what to do...I think im in the same boat as you. Good luck.

Is there anything new in his life. At around 6 months,many infants get started on solids. Can you recall any coincidence? My sister in law was in a similar situation, where her baby couldn't sleep for any more than 20 minutes at a time, before waking up to cry. It wasn't until her daughter turned 9 months old that her food allergies were discovered. Her allergies didn't manifest in visible signs such as rash, but just caused her ache in her tummy. She was a new child, once she was screened and diet was adjusted.
Although I do agree, with many of the others' opinions that your baby could be teething.Good luck!

Maybe he needs more space to sleep. My sister in law had a similar situation so she put her little girl in her crib and she slept like 8 hrs straight, breastfed, and slept again! She was a wiggler so we're all guessing she just felt like she needed more space.

You could also try shaking her toosh. Sounds so weird, i know but it's a Brazilian thing. You lay her on her belly (if she doesn't mind it) and shake her toosh back and forth. I have no idea why it works but it does. Let her fall asleep (if she does) and flip her back over.

Hi J.,
6 months old...drooling...no signs of teeth can still be teething. Also, my son when that age did the same thing...every hour on the hour wake up.
Your doc will cringe...however it worked for my son.
pour a little baby rice cereal into his bottle of milk before he goes to sleep at night. Just enough so there is somewhat of a bit thicker texture to his milk. This will give him a full belly to sleep through the night. If you are breast feeding, check your milk supply and make sure it is really white milk and not watery with clumps. You should eat healthy if you are breast feeding and not be dieting because what you eliminate from your diet, will be eliminated from your child's diet.
Your breast milk should be the texture of whole milk and not skim milk. If you'd rather diet...go to formula. Starving yourself will starve your child. A growing baby needs lots of nutrients. A well fed child will sleep better and longer. A baby should really sleep in a cradle next to your bed and not in your bed. So many parents have accidentally rolled over on their children and smothered them in their sleep.
You need your rest and baby needs his. Tuck him into a cradle next to your bed on his/her back. Because of SID syndrome, it is recommended that no child get placed on his stomach.

I see that you have many comments! I hope some have given some bit of relief for you! Really, I would try Tylenol for a few days, maybe baby ambasol, teething tablets. It is hard to see teeth coming in....

Elizabeth Pantley's "No Cry Sleep Solution" has lots of ideas to help if you're not wanting to use the cry-it-out method. You can check for it at your local library or bookstore.

Dear J.,
It really sounds like your baby is drooling and the tylenol probably also helped with the teething. My daughter got 2 teeth at 4 months when the nurse at my Drs said she was not teething and too young, everyone said she was too little, but she proved them wrong. The excessive drooling is definetely a sign. I use Hylands Teething Tablets with her and that helps. She is now getting an additional 3 teeth and her night waking has started again. I sympathize with you for the night waking. We co-sleep too. Best of luck.
This all will pass.

The drool is an indication of teething, and a fever can be related as well. Do you have the Wyland's homeopathic teething tablets? Perhaps you could try those next time and see if it helps. It often did with our son, who's now 11 months and teething like mad.

The cry it out is the best method. Within a week, I had my son sleeping through the night. And if you work like I do, it is a must. It is really hard to do, it will break your heart.My sister in law had the same problem. She didn't stop it at 6 months so she had 5 year olds and 3 year old kids who would not go to bed. So I sent her and her husband out for the night. I put the kids to bed at 8 and they cried and screamed for over an hour. The question is, who is in control of bed time. You or your child.

Although its been a long time since I had to deal with that, I never forgot. I did a number of things to get my stubborn child to sleep. I would feed him more and rock him to sleep while playing music and singing. (He loved Sarah McLachlan) I also would play classical music, or used one of those machines that play the nature sounds. I also got him a lava lamp that he could watch, he was mesmerized by it! I had to play around with a lot of things. Some days one would work, the next day something else. Hope this helps, hang in there and lots of luck.

did you start feeding him food? Perhaps he is allergic to something.

It is not normal to wake up that much.

If it is 'just' teething, then I recommend Hylands homeopathic gel/tablets and for really bad cases use the amazing Gumomile oil.

i have 3 kids i been through all of it just because he's drooling doesn't he's not teething he could very well be teething and not knowing it. it is very hard to tell with babies. now as a suggestion to him waking up every hour maybe try warm vapor bath for him to sooth him or try some baby ceral right before he goes to bed the bottle may not be enough for him and also try some childrens music and play it and yes it will get old from listening to it all the time but i can say one thing it dtill works for my 20 month old daughter. also you might want to go to walmart or somewhere and in the baby isle or the pharmacy they have teething tablets and i can tell you they work very well they worked for all 3 of my kids and he may also need to be in his own bed and yes it is very hard to sit there and let them cry but they will go to sleep i still go through it with my 20 month old and she does go to sleep even in the middle of the night when she wakes up i just make sure she has her paci. and a blanket it helps her sleep much better so you might want to try those things. just keep in mind it will get better you just have to give it time. if you need anymore advice you can e-mail me at ____@____.com thank you,R. Leitzen

I would try Calms Forte for kids... it's a homeopathic so it's natural and gentle and pretty effective

I am a first time mom as well and when my daughter had turned 4 months I thought we would be ready to do some sleep training with her and when the time came to do it I just couldn't stomach it. I was anxious, upset, and just sick to my stomach to think, "ok, this is the night we're going to try it!" Needless to say I couldn't get myself to do it. I wasn't ready for it (even though I was convinced that SHE wasn't ready for it). Well I thought i would try it at 6 months, then a year, then perhaps once I stopped nursing. Finally when she turned 13 months I was READY - she was waking up anywhere between 4-6times EVERY night - no joke!! I was so tired and frustrated and I just couldn't sleep with her in our room anymore. I knew things needed to change and i felt ready to make those changes. So my best advice to you is that when enough is enough you will finally be ready :o) And remember that it WON'T last forever!!! We put her in her crib at 13 months and told her we loved her and we were right outside her door. We kissed her, played her music, put on her nightlight, gave her her pacifier and I walked out of the room. She cried and cried for two hours straight. I would go in every three minutes (because that was all I could handle) and doubled the length each time. I would enter her room halfway between the door and her crib and tell her mommy was downstairs and she needed to lay down and go to sleep. She cried more and more. I would watch her in the monitor and finally after about two hours she fell asleep standing up in her crib with both arms draped over the crib rails. SHE WOULD NOT LAY DOWN! I felt so bad for her but I wanted to try this for three nights straight and if there was no difference I would give it up - well, BY THE THIRD NIGHT SHE FELL ASLEEP ALL ON HER OWN WITH NO CRYING!! I couldn't believe it. And still to this day she sleeps all night long in her crib and knows how to soothe herself to sleep. She sleeps 11 hours and doesn't cry at all when we lay her down or when she wakes up. I honestly believe it did her wonders to have her sleep with us for so long in the begining - she learned to trust us. I hope you're encouraged and keep positive!!!

he probably IS teething, it takes a while for the teeth to break through the gums & is painful, and like all humans, some people are more sensitive to pain than others...you can try cool teething rings--maybe put a couple in a little cooler by your bed with an ice pack & see if he will suck on them in the night for relief. There is also teething tablets, look for them in a health food store, they might help. Also, sometimes because of the drool, the water gets in the ear, causing pain while laying flat, & in the quiet of the night with nothing to distract him from the pain, it wakes him up. There is also motrin or tylenol. I applaud your determination not to "ferberize", your child needs you & the only communication method he has now is crying. Good Luck!

My guess is that he is teething. My son started teething and was in tons of pain at four months. We didn't see the tooth for over a month after he started teething but Tylenol was the only thing that got him through those tough times. Try to give him a dose before bed and see if it make a difference. I know if I were feeling the pressure of teeth coming through my gums that laying down would probably create more pressure so it makes sense - Good Luck!!!

It is not normal that a 6 month old would wake up every hour. You need to take him to the doctor to rule out any medical problems that might cause the waking.

Be very careful could be a reaction from the shots I would keep a journel of how he reacts after each set of shots. He may be waking up from you & your husbands movement you could try getting him in his own bed even if it is in your room so he doesn't notice everytime someone moves.

I will probably get lots of grief about this response: if you let him cry he will figure it out after 3 nights.

Make sure he is on a good feeding schedule in the day time. Bottle or breast at "breakfast" time followed by some single grain cereal mixed with whatever milk he didn't finish earlier, bottle or breast for snack. Cereal with milk at lunch - introduce a fruit with it. Milk at snack. Dinner of cereal with vegetable (no fruits at night).

Then do your bedtime routine and lay him down. HE WILL CRY. You will let him cry for up to one hour before intervening to see if he has a dirty diaper or offering a cuddle.

Why an hour? He needs LEARN how to go to sleep on his own. You CAN'T do this for him. Falling asleep is a learned skill. He has to go from A to Z in the falling asleep process and if you interrupt him he might already be at P and your interruption sets him back to A. NOT FAIR TO HIM.

He will wake up several times at night as we all do. He needs to learn to get himself back to sleep. Again, don't intervene before one hour.

If you want more details you can write to me at ____@____.com. I have 2 kids and I really suffered with the sleep thing until I hired a sleep consultant to help me. My 8 month old son figured it out in 3 nights. He's now 18 months old and I'm sooooo rested!!! :)


I'm glad you're not making him cry it out. It actually could be teething, though the teeth may not have poked through yet. That's what happened with my son--he started teething at about 3 months, but didn't actually show any teeth until about 8 months! Drooling is a sign of teething. The tylenol probably temporarily stopped his pain, in addition to the fever.

I work during the days too; my little guy is 2 years old now. He is my first too. We had his bassinet in our same room and that seemed to work so we could listen to him at night, but I wouldn't recommend having your babe sleep with you in your same bed. Motrin also works great for fevers and pain relief. As far as letting you baby cry it out, I believe it will work but it will take a few times. It's hard though. You can always come in after a little while and reassure your baby that you are always close but don't pick him/her up! Just rub his/her back or head and speak softly. I am 37 years old and this is my first time being a mommy, but this worked for us.

Best wishes for rest!
V. M.

I know how you feel - I tried the Ferber method w/my son a couple of times, and it is just too heart-wrenching to listen to them cry.

Just a thought - both of my sons drooled a lot before I could tell that they were teething. He may be starting the process, but the gums aren't yet showing signs of a new tooth coming in. It took 2 months before my oldest son's gums started to show signs of a new tooth breaking through. It will get better - hang in there! :)

my son had a terrible time with the same thing when he was teething (which doesn't mean the teeth are popping out) and so i would give him hyland's teething tablets. i think they are the next best thing to our Maker Himself! honestly! i am sure it is the teeth, sweet mama. good luck and hang in there!

Hi J.,

I agree with you, I couldn't do the cry-it-out stuff either. It just seemed so cruel!

I think babies go through stages where they sleep well and then they don't for a while. Some babies sleep much better than others. My daughter was a horrible sleeper - now she's 7 and I can barely get her out of bed! My son always slept pretty well.

I really have no sure fire way to get them to sleep thought the night, but I promise that one day soon it will all change, and then it will change again. One day your baby will be a toddler and all these sleep problems will be a distant memory.

Good luck! Try taking a nap when your baby naps to get some extra sleep in.


First of all. Take a deep breath. This will pass in time I promise. Have you started him on solid food yet? MY son was a big baby and did not sleep more than two hours at a time until he was six months and we started him on a little bit of very diluted cereal. He may also be teething. The symptoms start a lot sooner than you think. The homeopathic teething pills helped a lot. I also used a soft eash cloth that I would wet and put in the freezer. Good Luck!

Hi J.,

Are you sure he's not teething? Of course I can only speak from my own experience, but my daughter had her first tooth at 6 months old and before that tooth came in, she changed her sleeping habits and was a bit whiny, her cheeks were very red and she sometimes would run a low grade fever. I found Tylenol helpful before night time, I also gave her something cold to gnaw on...frozen bagel, frozen washcloth, you can get toys that you put in the freezer for teething babies etc. Of course as always, keep an eye on the baby :o) Sometimes it also helped if I gently rubbed her gums. As you can see, I still suspect that your sweet son is teething.
Best of luck, it's always so hard to see your little one in pain!

I have a 6 month old as well. He used to get up every few hours but since I have him enrolled in day care he gets a lot more stimulation and sleeps better. Also, when I get him home after daycare, I let him play in his activity saucer for a while, get his dinner ready, feed, him, give him a bath where i let him play for about 10-15 mins and then get him ready for bed. I find that the more stimulation I give him very active guy the better he sleeps. He still does the crying every once in a while but usually if i give him a blanket to put up by his face, he feels more secure and goes back to sleep easily. Good lucky mommy and try to sneak in a nap! :)

If this started happening right after the vaccines there might be a very strong connections. Vaccines do more harm than good because they attack the central nervous system. Don't believe me? Here is my source, who happens to include a lot of his own sources for you to follow up with. Before you vaccinate any more, please read this book: The Sanctity of Human Blood: Vaccination is not Immunization by Tim O'Shea. I can understand your frustration because I was having that issue as well. My son is only 7 weeks old though and it is to be expected. Maybe he is hungry (which was the case with my son). I breastfeed 95% of the tome, but now give my son one ounce of formula on top of my milk right before bed. I chose organic from a health food store to give him the best I could. He now sleeps almost through the night 6-7.5 hours a night. My other thought is that he might be ready for his crib. My son started sleeping better in his crib than he did next to me in his bassinet.

I sounds like it could be teething to me. My son also woke up every hour when he was teething, right before his teeth poked through his gums. Maybe giving him tylenal also helped to take away his teething pain. He just may need a little more comfort right now.
H. B.

I would try some oragel though you may not see any teeth they can be under there causing some problems. Sometimes it take a klong time for the teeth to pop through. My son is 6 months old also and this one tooth comes up and down, it actually isn;t doing that but the gums around it will swell then receed so he probably slept well with the tylenol because he didn't have pain. In the vitamin section they also have these all natural teething tablets I liked those with both of my children.Every child is different though so good luck

honestly, the first thing i would do is transition your baby into a bed of his own. you can't sleep train with any method (meaning ferber or one of the non-crying methods) until the baby is in it's own environment. after the baby is fully transitioned you can explore sleep training methods. i recommend a book called "healthy sleep habits, happy child" by marc weissbluth. he walks you through sleep patterns at every stage of the game and give you alternatives to the cry it out methods like sitting on a chair near the crib and slowly moving the chair farther and farther away from your baby until you are out of the room.
i am not saying that i am against the family bed - to each his own - but the longer to wait to transition to a crib the harder it will be.

My girls are 8 and 12 now, but when they were both 5 or 6 mos. old, I had them cry it out for about 1/2 hour, and from then on they slept through the night and were able to go to sleep on their own. It has been the best thing I have ever done. I recommend it highly to anyone. It was very hard - I cried too, and some babies take longer, will cry longer and take more nights to do it, but it's so worth it. My doctor was the one who told me I had to do it so I wouldn't go insane. It was taking me sometimes 2 hours to rock them to sleep, then again in the middle of the night. I know several people who never tried the Ferber method and they still had problems with sleep when they were 8 years old!! I would suggest that the baby sleep in their own crib now too. The longer you wait on that, the harder it will be.

I remember at 4 months old, my first child was in his room crying and we were in our room with the monitor on crying. We let him cry for a bit, I'd go it and tap his back say soothing sounds and I'd walk out. After a while, he'd cry, and we'd continue that for a bit. Eventually he learned how to put himself back to sleep without mommy holding him. Whew!

My second child, I had him in a crib next to my side of the bed, so I wouldn't need to walk to another room. I got smarter! I would reach in between the slats and pat his butt or back to help him fall back asleep. He eventually would fall back asleep and I'd feel more rested in the morning not having to walk to another room.

We also had a noise machine, the type that made white noise. That was a like a sleeping pill for my second child, didn't help with my first.

I would do little things that would help my boys learn how to pacify themselves. I would put their pacifyer in their hand and move their arm to their mouth. Soon after, they would wake, look for their pacifyer, stick it in their mouth and go back to sleep.

I used to let them sleep in my bed, however, I discovered that we were waking up the child with our moving. Once in their own bed, it seemed like they slept better. Today, once in a while, I wake to either my 6 or 4 year old snuggled with us in bed. I love it.

Babies wake up crying usually because they are hungry, perhaps you should try adding cereal to his formula to fill him up. He's probably just not satisfied in his tummy.....Try it, it might help.....GOOD LUCK!

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