27 answers

8 Month Old Wakes up Every 3-4 Hours at Night

I have an eight month old son who does not sleep well. He has only been on breastmilk for the first 6 months. He would sleep 5-6 hours at night and take a morning and afternoon nap. Then we introduced solid foods, baby cereal first and now vegtables and fruits. He is a good eater. My problem is since beginning solids he has cut down to nursing about 3 times during the day and 4 times at night(9 pm,12am,3 am, 6am).
I am getting 3 little naps at night and want to help him sleep better.
Things I have tried so far:Darkend room with only dim night light, Feed only cereal at evening meal(6pm)with milk mixed in(no fruit juice), increased temp of house, dressed him more lightly(in case he is too hot),Tried comforting him but not picking up.So far none of this is helping. any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the help. I tried a few different things. Cooled down the house a bit,put him in short sleeve PJ's darkened his room, Kept a more strict bedtime routine(bath, books, nursing in dark room). Feed him more caloriesat the dinner meal(meat and bannana puree).
Now he is sleeping about 6 hours and only awkening once.(YEAH). Since his older brother never slept thru the night until 1 year this is GREAT! Thank you for all the advice.
NO we are not alone in this sleepless struggle(LOL).

Featured Answers


Try using breast milk or a soy based infant formula. Milk should not be given to an infant until they are over 1 year old. Their bodies are not ready to handle it. He could be having some minor stomach problems that is preventing him from sleeping.

T. Cornelius, MS, RD, LDN, CLT
Registered Dietitan

1 mom found this helpful

I have always played music all night and the one night i didnt she didnt sleep good!!I also have a camera monitor and would watch her for a long five minutes before i went in there

More Answers

If you still have good milk supply, you could try nursing him more. I was told by mothers and doctor's not to cut out any nursing (at least for a while) when we start solids. They still need the high fat in the milk to get them all the way through the night. My son is 6 months and he started cluster feeding a few weeks ago. He was getting hungrier and waking up in the night to feed more freequently (less than every 3 hours). Which i learned is called cluster feeding...it increases your milk supply and gives them more of the high fat milk that they need. I also introduced cereal and the combination of these 2 things has him back to sleeping through the night. I don't know if any of that will help....I'm new at this too!

2 moms found this helpful

It could be due to new teeth coming in and he's waking up because he's uncomfortable??? Does he seem uncomfortable when he wakes up at all, or is he just "up"? If you suspect teeth, it won't hurt to give him a tad of infants motrin before bed. Or, maybe he's just got an empty belly b/c of a growth spurt and needs a bit more at dinner time. Like a veggie container and then a fruit container mixed with cereal....or, maybe if you're still using stage one foods, he may be showing you that he's ready for stage two foods which have a little more "consistency" to them. I'd do a little experimenting with feeding him more and see if that helps keep him content through the night. Don't worry......he'll get through it and so will you! =0)

2 moms found this helpful

He is DEFINITELY old enough to sleep at least as many hours as he is months old (8). Either you mean for him to sleep, or you mean to let him keep ruling the roost (which, @ 8 months, is kind of scary).

Most babies are born with a 'ME, ME, ME' attitude (I mean, what ELSE are they concerned with or about?? LOL) It's our job to give them realistic doses of what life is really like (the world DOESN'T revolve around them), and having him sleep all night --as does the rest of the household-- is one of those important, early lessons.

I know many people say that letting them 'cry it out' is cruel, but it simply works. I'm a 'new' staff member working with a 65+ yr old Down's Syndrome lady, and after dinner she wants drinks of this and that (which makes her night staff have to get her up numerous times to 'go potty'). My manager told me that if I start giving her only water, she'll soon quit asking for 'more'! It 'seems' cruel, but it's for her (and everyone else's) own good! Discipline is a lifelong necessity. It just needs to be applied lovingly and for the RIGHT reasons -- EVERYONE's well-being and peace of mind!

2 moms found this helpful

I'd guess teething, tummy upset, or growth spurt. Look for signs of the first two. The other possibility is that since he stopped nursing as much your milk supply could be decreasing in preparation to wean. Although all those night feedings should be stimulating it enough! You may also want to be sure he's not congested or talk to your doctor about possible reflux if the sleepless nights started with the intro of solids. Most reflux babies show early signs with formula or nursing but may he's only sensitive to solids. If its been going on for more than a 2-3 weeks and talked to the dr. about it to try to determine the cause.

2 moms found this helpful

I have a different approach... first of all are you trying to help him to sleep better like you said or yourself...my girl is just now starting to sleep soundly all through the night and she is almost 3. I had her at 44 and realized early that my sleep schedule would revolve around hers. If she woke up, I nursed her back to sleep and never had to agonize about listening her to cry. That's just something that I can't stomach.. my girl is very loving, affectionate, a great eater, very healthy, and happy and smart. At night she might need me and I"m there for her. She can trust that. At 8 mos. it's very natural for a breast fed baby, which is the perfect food, to wake up at night... you should not feel pressured by those whose children sleep through the night. Sometimes on this message board if feels like there is some kind of a contest to see whose kid can sleep the most? Like the one who boasts of her child taking 3 naps and sleeping all through the night... why have a kid if you're so glad when they are sleeping... I wonder what the child's awake time consists of? I just nursed my baby for ;her nap and still nurse her to sleep. That is what I do for her because it works the best and it's healthiest for both of us. SO don't feel like something is wrong... unless you don't want to be bothered, I'd simply nurse my child back to sleep. Your baby is doing what is natural for him/her... that's the way I feel.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi T.,
I'm going through this right now with my 9 month old daughter. She had started just started sleeping through the night about 6 months old but then we went away for a month, staying with various family members and I had to nurse her at night so she would go back to sleep and not wake the rest of the house. I couldn't wait to get her back home to get her back on schedule. We've been home for over a month now and no such luck, she's was usually waking up twice a night, but then started creeping up to 3X. It's a pattern for them, (I went through it with my other two as well) at this age, they don't need to eat, they will survive the night, you just need to break the pattern and unfortunately that means letting them cry it out each time they wake up for a couple nights. If I remember right it was 3-4 nights with my other two. We're on night two right now (It was easier to wait until my husband was away on a business trip to do this, which is why I didn't do it immediately when I got back, Daddy can't stand letting his little girl cry) I can definitely say she didn't cry as long last night each time, so it's working. I can update you again in another night or so if you like. :)

2 moms found this helpful

Hi T.,
What time do you put him down for bed? A lot of times when my son had trouble sleeping, it was because we were putting him down too late, which makes his overtired, and therefore causes restlessness and nightwaking. I think that when my son was 8 mos old- he was in bed no later than 7:00 p.m.
It is also possible that he associates nursing with sleeping at night and needs you to get to sleep. Have you thought about trying a paci? It's a little late in the game, but it might help him soothe himself back to sleep.
I hope things improve. :)

2 moms found this helpful

I have the exact same problem. Was about to consult the Baby Whisperer again, as we have done the same thing for this baby as we did for our 5 yr old who was sleeping 12 hours at 6 weeks! Argh! He is a hungrier baby, but PA-LEASE!!! I'll be 'listening' to the reponses.

2 moms found this helpful

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