February 19, 2008,
N.K. asks from Easton, PA on February 12, 2008
My 5 1/2 Month Old Is Waking up All Night
My 5 1/2 almost 6 month old daughter has started waking up all night long. At first all we had to do was give her a passie and she immediately fell back to sleep. Now it is almost every hour to the minute and she is also getting up around 4:00am and wanting to eat. From approx. 4 weeks old she slept through the night and I mean All night(12-14 hours). My husband and I don't know whether or not to continue going in and giving her the passie or try to just let her cry it out(which when we try never works). My second question is do we go ahead and feed her in the middle of the night or is that just another habit we will have to break later. We also have a 3 yr old so we have to limit the crying to a minimum so she doesn't wake up. I will take any suggestions. Thanks!
D.P. answers from Philadelphia on February 14, 2008
My daughter at 5 months old start doing the same thing and came to realize she was teething. She did this until her first 4 came in and then started to settle down until the molars came in. She had all her teeth by 10 1/2 months old. Can I say THANK GOD! So, she may be teething and for some children it bothers more than others. At 15 months she is currently getting her 2 yr molars in, and I am hoping they get in and get it done.
For I too got use to the 12 hrs at night!
T.S. answers from Scranton on February 19, 2008
My daughter did the same thing, slept through the night since birth but she went through about a month of waking up every hour and not wanting to go back to sleep. I was in the same situation, my 2 year old step-son was in the room so I had to quiet her quickly. My doctor said that sometimes when kids grow they have problems sleeping and they get hungry in the middle of the night when they normally didn't. Feed her, but if she falls asleep while eating, put her back in her bed. She'll go through this growth spurt then go back to normal.
B.G. answers from Philadelphia on February 13, 2008
Is it possible that your son may be teething? I would talk to your doctor about this sudden change in his sleep patterns too. Maybe you could try giving him more in his bottle right before bedtime. I do that with my 3 month old son, and that seems to help most of the time. He goes through periods where he wakes up in the middle of the night too. Good Luck!
L.C. answers from Philadelphia on February 14, 2008
I feel your pain. I believe that infants don't just wake up and cry without having a good reason. If you feel your daughter is crying because she is hungry....feed her, no matter what time it is (it could possibly be a growing spurt). Are you breast feeding or bottle feeding? If breast feeding, I am sure you realize whatever you eat affects the little belly of your child. My sister has a 3 month old and out of the blue experienced the same problem. She came to find out that she was eating way to much protein for her daughter to digest, which created night tears and pain. She restricted her protein intake and Audrey is sleeping like a little bear and sleeping through the night without severe crying episodes. Audrey is also very particular about having a clean diaper. LOL.
If you are formula feeding, don't rule out that your child is having an allergic reaction to the formula. My daughter, now 11, went through every formula until we found one. Of course, it was very expensive. Didn't take her long to hit the pocketbook. When we switched to milk, we found out our daughter was lactose intolerant. It wasn't easy, but we knew Alexandra wasn't crying for no reason. Believe me, it wasn't the doctor that figured out what our child needed, it was us. Everybody just said we were spoiling her and to let her cry. In my opinion, an infant doesn't know time or how to manipulate. These are learned behaviors.
Another quick story that might help. My cousin's daughter also went through something similar and she came to find out that she had a form of infant acid reflux. Any time of rice or soy product would create pain and gas which caused the reaction of sleepless and tearful nights for the baby and parents. Again, people said the baby just wanted to be held and was being spoiled, when in actuality, being in the upright position and with the body heat against her was the only comfortable position she could endure.
Three different little girls with a common problem of sleepless nights, yet all three had different solutions. I hope you and your husband find yours. Good luck to you and your little ones. L. C.
C.R. answers from Allentown on February 12, 2008
Your daughter is right on schedule for a growth spurt. You can feed her in the night - that's what she needs right now. There's no guarantee that she'll go back to her old sleep habits - regardless of whether you feed her or not. If she doesn't have teeth already, they may be coming soon and will make for more sleepless nights.
I know what it's like...having to minimize the crying - my 2 boys share a room! Just do what you need to do to keep the baby happy. Everything else will work itself out.
S.P. answers from Buffalo on February 13, 2008
I second Christine R... Perfect timing for teething and growth spurt. Another thing to consider is ear infection, does she have any signs of that? It won't hurt her to feed her in the middle of the night, she's too little for that to be a game/manipulation tactic. I also agree with the fact that she may not go back to sleeping as much as you'd like. Everything can change after a growth spurt:) Do you co-sleep? Is that an option? My personal feelings is make them as happy as you can when they are little and worry about breaking habits later when they're older. My 2yr old still doesn't sleep through the night and it honestly doesn't bother me all that much because I know eventually he will. Good luck.
D.B. answers from Pittsburgh on February 12, 2008
I know it may be hard to do but let her cry it out for 1 or 2 nights and she;ll break herself of that habit...just make sure she has eaten before bedtime...
L.B. answers from Philadelphia on February 12, 2008
When I read your post the first thing that came to mind was teething since she is up all night. The second was a growth spurt. You didn't say if she was crying hysterically or just fussing when she wakes up. I would say if she is really crying that hurting or desperate-type cry, she may need to be fed once during the night. The paci will only work temporarily at that age if they really are hungry. They do occasionally regress during growth spurts or when they don't feel good from teething, ear infection, etc.
Have you started her on cereal yet? Might be time for solids if she isn't already on them.
Sometimes when I'm not 100% sure what to do I call my pediatrician's office. The nursing staff has been really helpful with different things like this for me. They have come up with some clever ideas too.
I wish you lots of luck!