25 answers

My 6 Month Old Wont Sleep Through the Night

i have a 6 month old son that wont sleep through the night. i try to keep him on a schedule as much as possable. he has slept an 8 or 9 hour streatch a few times but every night ks different. some nights he is up every 2 hours some every 4. even during the day he is different with naps. i am not sure what to do my daughter slept through the night right away. sometimes i can just give him his binky and he will fall back asleep but when i do that he is usually up a half an hour later. the only thing thhat realy gets him to sleep is nursing. any advice would be great.

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Get one bottle and poke a bigger hole into it, and put a little rice cereal in it with the formula. It sounds like he is not full, and maybe this will help him have a full tummy and sweet dreams. Good luck.

My kids were the same. My daughter slept and my son didn't. And he never would take a pacifier. I finally had to give in and bring him in to sleep with me so we could both get some solid sleep. He is now almost 18 months and is the better sleeper of the 2. My daughter is 4 and 1/2 yrs. 6 month old baby still have issues with being out of the womb...lol. Good luck!

K.

Hi A., welcome to the club, LOL. I have a six month old boy that gets up a few times but not as much as before. What works for me, I feed him a bottle with a dash of cereal at about 12 midnight. He gets up at seven, sometimes six, but we get a nice stetch of time to sleep. I also read articles on the Internet that stated six month olds are too young for sleeping routines, that's what the article says. I had to research the child development of a six month old I learned a lot. Did I mention coffee is my best friend.LOL
It's just a faze it will fizzle out, just laugh A....

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A.-
I had a similar problem with my little one (now 9 months). He was sleeping well when he was younger, but around 4 months started waking frequently during the night. I would nurse him back to sleep (it seemed to be the only thing that worked). Needless to say, he became a trained night feeder . . .couldn't fall back to sleep without it. So if he woke at all during the night, he would need to nurse. After taking him to the pediatrician to make sure he was OK (no ear infection, etc), we decided (with advice from the Dr.) to let him cry it out. I would make sure to put him to bed sleepy (but not asleep). I would nurse him right before bed, then wake him up just enough that he knew where he was going, put him in his crib, and walked away. It was extremely difficult to let him cry (we even bought a video monitor to make sure we could see him and that he was OK). I was assured that after 3 nights, he would learn to put himself back to sleep if he awoke in the night. After 3 very difficult nights he did it! He now consistently sleeps through the night (roughly 8pm-7am). It was a very difficult decision to make, but I am so glad that I did it! I hope this helps . . .good luck with your little one!

Hi A.,

I know you said you are nursing, however, try pumping your milk into a bottle for him. Once you have the bottles set up add a tad bit of Rice cereal into his bottle. If the only thing that helps him go to sleep is nursing, then he isn't sleeping because he is hungry and he may not be getting enough milk to hold him over. If you are nursing and bottle feeding together, then it would be good for you to put some cereal into his bottle at nights. It worked wonders with both of my children. You really only need about a nipple full to start off depending on how many ounces he is drinking. The doctors may tell you not to, however, you know your child better than the doctors, so do what you feel is right for your child.

V.

I guess I'm from a different school of thought than most of these moms. By about six months they should start learning to sleep through the night (approx. 8-10 hours)and shouldn't need a feeding.

My 18 month old daughter had a tough time learning to sleep through the night. At six months my pediatrician said that she was getting plenty of food and should be able to do a longer stretch at night. The baby had ME trained. She recommended letting her cry it out. Easier said than done. I would make sure that nothing was actually wrong with her, but then have to just leave her to cry. Believe me, it was not easy. And I was always worried about her waking up my 3 year old. But that amazingly never happened even once. So many times I would give in and nurse her because that seemed to be the only way she would get back to sleep, then I resolved just not to do that. I started letting her go for 5-10 minute intervals, then longer. That still didn't work well. THen we found that she loves music, so we bought her a CD player and put in the same soothing CD every night on repeat the entire night. That was the miracle cure. It took a few more weeks, but she finally learned to put herself back to sleep. The whole process took about 3 months, but now I am SOOO glad I did it because she is now an excellent sleeper. For me, a couple of months of misery was much easier to take than several years. As my doctor said, you have to cut that feeding out at some point and it's much easier to do it while they're young.

Good luck!

J. C

In my experience, my son did not sleep through the night until almost 9 months. I so envied those parents that their child slept through the night within a few months. I believe it was, in my case, he needed more food than most. He was always a big eater. He was on formula. Hang in there.

A.,

It sounds like he's still hungry. I usually had to give them something solid to eat before they went to bed if this happened. You can give him rice cereal or maybe even some yogurt.

I also found that they sometimes cry and make sounds like they are awake or need you, but they will go back to sleep if you let them. All of my kids have done this where out of nowhere in the middle of the night or early morning they will start to cry and then after a few minutes, they go back to bed. It becomes like a circuit and if you get up with them and tend to them each time, it sticks...if you just let them cry for a bit they will usually go back to sleep. I usually gave it 5 minutes and sure enough, they'd fall right back to sleep if it was just a nightmare or them just having restless sleep. If they don't go back to sleep, I would go and take care of them. It's hard to let them cry like that, but so many times I'd go running in there only to find them making noise with their eyes shut and still looking liek they were sleeping...and I would wake them up by going in there when they would have gone back to sleep.

All 4 of my kids sleep through the night in their own beds. It has definitely been different with each one of them as far as when they slept through the night (all but 1 of them slept through the night in the first few months of being born) but they have ALL done this wake up and scream in the middle of the night routine.

Sometimes I would even make note of the time and see that it was happening every night/early AM at the EXACT same time like 3:15am or right at the same time...this is how you know it's just on autopilot and you shoud let them cry it out one or maybe 2 times and it will go away..it's amazing and works if you can refrain yourself. :) It's hard as a mom to do that, but you both need your sleep and it won't hurt him to cry a bit.

I also would give them chamomile tea in a bottle (warm) before bed sometimes...they like it sweetened with a natural sweetener like Stevia and it calms them down and gets them ready for bed.

I hope this helps!!

C.
Mama to..
Amber 7, Aubrey 6, Aidan 2 1/2 & Aren 15mths

A.,
I feel your pain. My daughter who is now almost 7 years old never slept thur the night till she was about 3-1/2 years old. Still to this day she doesn't require much sleep. I wanted to pull out my hair as well. Some kids are like that. You might try changes in your daily/week, maybe that will help. Try not to let him take as many naps during the day. Good luck.

A.,
Get the books Babywise and Toddlerwise. I think they are right on target. Your son is going to have a hard time for a few days, but he has got to learn how to get back to sleep on his own.
Best wishes,
R.

My daughter started doing the same thing at 5 months. We found that it was the pacifier that was a big part of the problem. She would wake up, I'd put the paci back in her mouth, she's fall asleep, and it would fall right back out again, waking her up. It was a vicious cycle. We ditched the paci, which ended up being MUCH easier than I thought it would be, and that solved a big part of the problem.

I also highly recommend the book Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems by Dr. Richard Ferber. It took us less than a week to "Ferberize" our daughter and she has been a wonderful sleeper ever since! And Dr. Ferber's method is a lot kinder and gentler than rumor has it, too.

I hate to say it, but some kids are just like that. My friend's second daughter is 9 months old now and still wakes up every couple of hours. Does he scream when he wakes up? If he just wakes up and doesn't cry I would probably try just leaving him alone and seeing if he goes back to sleep. Obviously talk to your pediatrician if you think something is wrong...otherwise welcome to the joys of a second baby and good luck! It may seem like he'll never sleep but this too shall pass! Stay strong!

I know exactly how you feel. My first daughter slept throught the night at 6mths old once I started solids. I could always tell when she was teething or had an ear infection becuase those nights would be the only time she would wake up. My second (19mths apart) just turned 10mths old and still does not sleep through the night. She has only slept through the night 4 times all of which she was on benetrial for congestion. I can never tell when she is has an ear infection becuase she always wakes up 2-4times at night. I did move her out of our bed because I noticed she had long sleep spants in her own bed but not much longer. My pediatrician suggested letting her cry when she wakes up and she swore that in 3 nights she would be sleeping through the night. She said it is a habit she has gotten into. Once they start solids they should not be hungry at night, they have just developed a habit of waking up and eating. For your baby it sounds like he doesn't know how to follow asleep unless he is nursing. You need to teach him to self sooth and fall asleep on his own. He doesn't know how to get himself back asleep without nursing so he want to nurse. I haven't tried my pediatrician's approach yet but I might since I am pregnant again and working. I am desperate for some sleep. I just hate to let her cry if she has an ear infection or bad dreams. ANyways good luck

have you tried to cut is nap time by 30 minutes a nap?

My son is 4 mos old now and has been sleeping 10-12 hours at night from the time he was 10 weeks old. I used the BabyWise Method and it has worked like a charm for us. There is a book called "Becoming Babywise." It is easy to read and the concepts are really simple to adapt. You have to get the baby on a feed, play, sleep schedule...at my son's age, he is feeding about every 3 to 3 1/2 hours. I also bathe him every night with the lavender soap. Hope this helps.

He is still too young to worry about this! For the next couple of years he will go through these phases. What everyone else has said is true. could be a growth spurt, could be busy brain activity, could be teething etc... Just do what he needs for know and prepare yourself becuase when he does start sleeping better, he will go through this again a couple months later!

Put some cereal in his bottle with formula and thicken it up a bit give him a warm bath and put thim to bed it works everytime

Get one bottle and poke a bigger hole into it, and put a little rice cereal in it with the formula. It sounds like he is not full, and maybe this will help him have a full tummy and sweet dreams. Good luck.

Hi A.,

You're very fortunate your first slept through the night. Mine did too! My second however was a different story. Make sure your son is getting enough "supper" before bed. Sometimes babies just wake up because they are hungry or wet. Are you still taking your prenatal vitamins? Sometimes our eating habits revert back to what we were eating before we got pregnant.

Also make sure you are not bleaching his sheets. The outgassing from the clorox and some of the other detergents can stimulate because they are classified as neurotoxins. Do you see a difference when he is on his tummy or his back as to how well he sleeps?

And then there is the possibility he may be teething. That will wake up a child...

As my mama always said "This too shall pass." Good luck to you!

M.

M.

He sounds perfectly normal to me. A few things to consider: when children are having a growth spurt they wake up more (they need to eat more). Teething also does it. Sometimes they are learning so many new skills it wakes them up at night. AND Sometimes it is just the way they are...

It's amazing how little sleep a parent can get and still survive. Hang in there- your baby will sleep through the night at some point. Continue to be patient and loving. He's soooo little and needs you so much.

HI A.! I can relate. My son didn't sleep through the night consistently until he was about 8 or 9 months old. It sounds like you are doing all of the right things. One thing we added was that we started giving our son a bowl of oatmeal (or rice cereal) before bed. I don't recommend putting it in a bottle, as some do. I just thought he must be hungry and once I added in that oatmeal, it made a tremendous difference.

It's great that you are still nursing! My son turned a year old yesterday and I am now going to start the weaning process. He has never been sick, thank goodness and I attribute that to the nursing more than anything!

Best of luck!
M.

My kids were the same. My daughter slept and my son didn't. And he never would take a pacifier. I finally had to give in and bring him in to sleep with me so we could both get some solid sleep. He is now almost 18 months and is the better sleeper of the 2. My daughter is 4 and 1/2 yrs. 6 month old baby still have issues with being out of the womb...lol. Good luck!

K.

I had the same situation, but my son was around 4 or 5 months old. The pediatrician said to shorten his naps, so instead of 2-3 hour naps, let him sleep for 1.5 - 2 hours in the afternoon nap. Babies need somewhere around 13 hours of sleep a day. So, add up nap time and night time to equal 13. Also, gradually stretch the time between feedings during the day. So eventually, he'll eat every 3-4 hours. Another thing that is hard to do is to let him cry when he wakes up. As long as you know that he is not hurt, a wet diaper should not be waking him up. So, let him cry unless it is one of distress. My only word of warning is that stretching the time between feedings may decrease his desire to nurse as your milk supply may be affected like mine was. Overall, if I look at it like sleep vs. nursing, even though I strongly believe in nursing, I'd rather both of us sleep through the night at this point. At 6 months of age, I gave my son a good head start from nursing him up until that point. My son also had formula before bedtime and cereal mixed with formula from a spoon. I was so sleep deprived I had to do something that was safe and worked for him to sleep longer. Babies at 6 months old are supposed to start eating solids anyway. Try the cereal if you aren't already and see if it helps - my boys like the oatmeal and later oatmeal with bananas (the flavor is in the boxed cereal).

I had the same trouble with my child and I finally got a book that helped me. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, and it helped me learn about what I needed to do. At 6 months your son my have things going on that are waking him up and he has not yet learned to sooth himself back to sleep. He should be sleeping about 6 hours straight on average. Good luck and don't give up.

Hi A.,

It sounds normal to me too. My daughter is 14 months and nurses throughout the night. She wakes to nurse a lot when she is teething, and only a little (maybe 2x a night) when she is not teething.

Can you lie on your side and nurse while sleeping? I learned to do this when our baby was a few weeks old, and this has saved me many wakeful hours. Best of luck!

Hi A., welcome to the club, LOL. I have a six month old boy that gets up a few times but not as much as before. What works for me, I feed him a bottle with a dash of cereal at about 12 midnight. He gets up at seven, sometimes six, but we get a nice stetch of time to sleep. I also read articles on the Internet that stated six month olds are too young for sleeping routines, that's what the article says. I had to research the child development of a six month old I learned a lot. Did I mention coffee is my best friend.LOL
It's just a faze it will fizzle out, just laugh A....

I have a 9-month-old and just bought the Fisher Price Rainforest Waterfall Peek-a-Boo Soother. At night he would wake around 2am, 5am and 7am. Only a bottle or nursing would soothe him back to sleep. Now, he sleeps from 8pm to 8am straight! At bedtime as part of his routine I just put the rainforest sounds on (no lights or movement) and when he is drowsy I put him in his crib and he falls asleep on his own listening to it. We have only had to get up once to turn the soother on at night, but he fell asleep within 5 min of that on (lights on this time with rainforest sounds). They sell them at Babies R Us and Walmart. Get it! it's worth a shot! I tried the others, but the sounds and songs were too annoying. This is the best one. Good luck!

All that you described sounds about right to me! Just when you think they are in a routine, BAM! the routine changes. Just roll with it! I do suggest a few things to make it a bit easier - nurse on demand because he is probably in a growth spurt, co-sleep because the warmth and closeness usually helps, and enjoy every moment!! this baby just probably requires a bit more touch at night than the other one. Every baby is different. :)

Best,
H.

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