21 answers

Sleeping Pattern: 5 Months

Goodness, my baby does not sleep at all! She still gets up odd hours of wee morning to nurse every 3 hours all day! She is 5 months going on six. I know it is not normal. Do u think it is a breastfeeding side effect :) One of my friends tell me her kid slept through only when she stopped breastfeeding ... 2 years later! Any advice on how to help her sleep well? I feed her really well the last feeding with solids, rice cereal, and milk and already do a great sleeping ritual. Should I quit nursing the mid am hours cold turkey? Poor thing will cry her eyes and our ears out....

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Hi! THANK YOU ALL So MUCH for the varied input. It is so interesting to see the many thoughts and the fact that I am not alone!

Well, I agree that babies do communicate with cries but i feel also they learn what they want and how to get it too and with my girl, I realize that when i get up to feed her the many times during mid morning hours, she really just wants to "smell" me. She does not eat voraciously like the other regular eating times. She just suckles on one side then cries to be put back to her crib. If i would do that for her, she would sleep a bit longer till the earlier morning hours. But I will have to do that sometime in the earliest am hours, like 2 or 3 am, in order for her to sleep till 8 or 9 am.

I am a big fan of breastfeeding...even up to year, but i cannot be feeding on demand like this for a year. I work odd hours and have to leave her to be cared for during the nights when I am not around. I therefore have to train her to not need to smell/eat on me during odd hours. The funny thing is when my husband or mom cares for her, she never does this! She will sleep through the night, or at least she would not wake up so frequently...and if she does, she always falls right back to sleep after crying/fussing for abit. But when I am around, she can go out for hours until I get to her. I think she knows how to manipulate already! :)

My ped is ok w/me starting solids just because she is demanding ALOT of milk and waking up earlier if i just rely on mikl w/o cereal. So far it has been good. We feed her twice a day (lunch and dinner) on some type of stage 1 food. She LOVES to eat!! Her feeds have stretched to 3 1/2 hours. SHe sleeps around midnight (we just CANNOT get her to sleep 8 or 9pm...) and wakes at 10 am. At times when she fusses when i am around, it will be 3 or 4 am after putting her down at midnight. So far it has been ok. When i cannot deal anymore, I sleep in another room with the monitor on.

IT has just been hard as I feel so compared when I talk to my other friends about their babies and how wonderful they are in routine and structure. Mine seems to have a mind of her own and her own time to do things. She is definitely not the baby who can fit into any one book and rule.

But thank you all for your help! I take in all the advice and tips!

Featured Answers

Hi L., I am a Sleep Consultant and Parenting Coach. No it is not because you are breastfeeding but it is because you are breastfeeding in the night. She is old enough and has enough fat reserves to be sleeping through the night and taking 2-3 long naps a day. There are things you can do to decrease the amount of crying involved in sleep training, and it should only last a day or two. If you would like help with this transition please visit my website at www.theindependentchild.com
Best wishes,
K. Smith

More Answers

I was reading the other posts and had to respond...

At 5-7 months old my son was breast/bottle fed because I needed to begin meds and the transition was emminent. But, it wasn't some kind of cure for night feedings or feeding on demand. My son didn't instantly become more independent...in fact, I don't think how you feed determines your child's independence.

Your daughter is totally normal. My son's feeding/sleep patterns were all over the place until he was about 9 mos. old and had been on a steady diet of solids for about two months.

I agree with all the other posters who said it's fine...and there really is no such thing as 'normal' when it comes to babies and sleep...it's just role with the punches and do the best you can.

Also, as a fan of attachment parenting and those theories, even Dr. Ferber discounts the claims that infants earlier than 9 mos. old should be taught to sleep independently. I would do more research before you continue down that road...she needs what she needs and that is what Mommy's are there for.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

your baby needs you- and you would be doing an injustice to you both for you to ignore it.

my son is almost 7 months, and wakes at varioius times of the night (ususally twice) to breastfeed. I enjoy the time i get to spend with him, and since we co-sleep part of the night, it isn't really that big of a deal. I know, that over time his need for me will lessen ( I have a 8 yr old son & a 5 yr old daugther- so i know it happens) and he will sleep longer, and need me less.

I say- for the time being, IF you feel the strong need to wean during the night, go ahead. but do it slowly and at least replace your nursings with breast milk in a bottle. They don't take too kindly to formula when they are used to breast milk.

Really through, during the night- is the easiset time to breastfeed. do you really want to get up, prepare a bottle, feed the bottle( upright and alert), burp, possibly change diaper (since you are awake and notice it), then try to put the baby back to sleep?

Or- bring the baby to bed (or already have her there), roll over, put the baby to breast, you both fall asleep....
to me the choice is obvious!

Good luck, she still is super small, and every 3 hrs is really good. Every child is different, and wouldn't it stink if you did wean and she STILL woke up during the night?? What works for your friend- may not work for you!

Take care!

1 mom found this helpful

Susan says it perfectly!!

You said, "I know it is not normal" whose to say what is normal? For me, what you describe is perfectly normal. I breastfed both of mine on demand until they night weaned at age 2. They both nursed every 1.5 hours or so. I'm not going to add anything else as Susan covered everything already.

Enjoy your little baby - she'll be grown up before you know it!

1 mom found this helpful

Go to www.3daysleep.com and your little girl will be sleeping through the night in NO TIME!! Davis has wonderful tips for healthy sleeping habits. My son was sleeping 12 hrs/night at 4months!! Her video is cheap and quick to watch!! GOOD LUCK!!

Baby needs what she needs. Good homeopathic constitutional remedy is a big help to you and your baby to get over this needs. It is costly and not possible to select one without the help of qualified homeopath. If you live in major city, there are CHC directories. The change you encounter with good remedy is staggering, not only in a sleep pattern, in overall health too.
Good Luck!

Listen to your baby, don't let her cry her eyes out :( Everything is normal, just because 'us' mom's don't know the reasons why our babies do somethings sometimes...in hindsight I'm usually saying to myself, "OH! That's why he was sucking on me all night and I didn't get any sleep!" Continue doing what you're doing-you're doing a great service to your baby by responding to her needs. It's good to have advice and some comparisons BUT every baby is different!! Is she healthy? Happy? At this age many variables affect baby sleep pattern; are you on a schedule/rutine? Stimulation to get baby tired? Teething? Growth spurt? So much is going on, listen to your baby....Lots of luck! : )

Hi L.,

I think everything you're describing is very NORMAL and I would not cut out any feedings. It is hard to deal with the sleep deprivation but it will get better as she gets older. Just hang in there.... the gift you are giving your baby of breast milk is the BEST you can give her. Enjoy this special time - you will look back one day and wish you could go back. Hang in there. You're doing a great job. And by the way - a baby is not supposed to be independent - hence the name baby!!

She's still young - don't let her cry for you. When a baby cries, they are trying to tell you something that they don't have the words for. Can you imagine asking someone for something that you needed and couldn't get yourself, and them just ignoring your repeated requests?

If you are tired and need to night wean, by all means do so - but do it in a compassionate manner. Try a La Leche League meeting for advice - there are lots of Mamas there with lots of breast feeding experience.

Breast feeding is a wonderful gift that you can give to your child that does not cost a thing, and only benefits them! Breast-fed babies are healthier on the whole, have higher IQs (it's a proven fact), and feel very secure and attached.

Babies are not meant to be "independent" - they are babies, for crying out loud! And it seems to me she is already somewhat independent, deciding when she needs to sleep and when she needs to eat. See, "independence" is not what some parents are looking for - they are really looking for convenience. I wish they would call it what it really is rather than trying to make moms who follow their childrens' cues feel badly.

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