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Sleeping Through the Night - Long Beach,CA

Can anyone give me some tips on how to get my 4 month old son to sleep through the night. He still wakes up at 2 in the morning for a feeding. HELP!!

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Dear M.,
A friend recommended the book Healthy sleep habits, happy child by Marc Weissbluth, MD. After reading it and applying the techniques my five month old sleeps from 6 or 6:30 pm to 6am and rarely wakes up at 2:00am. Good Luck!
S.

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If he is not breast fed, is he eating solid food yet? If he isn't eating solids, I would suggest giving him about 1/2 tsp Gerber's rice cereal in formula. This will give him just a bit more in his tummy to maybe help him sleep through the night. Even if he is on solids, maybe giving him the cereal right before he goes down for the night will help him get through the night anyway. You can adjust the amount of cereal until you find what works best. I wouldn't suggest more then a TBLSP though as it might make the formula too thick for the nipple.

I have the same problem with my 4 month old baby, can you post some the replies you receive?

Thanks

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Hi. don't know how many responses you've gotten, but, let me tell you...enjoy him not sleeping. you'll miss this time together that's made just for the 2 of you. i know you're tired and want sleep desperately. be glad he wakes up only once. he's still very very little! a lot of people will give you lots of advice, but, the best advice i ever got about anything (and my son didn't sleep thru the night until he was 3 years) was...love every stage and every hurdle, they'll be gone sooner than you relize and you'll wish for it back!!!
good luck...try to nap! : )

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You've already gotten great advice. My daughter didn't stop waking up to eat completely until about a year but for the most part, she slept through the night more often after she turned 6 months and we started solid foods (cereal first-by spoon, never by bottle unless the Dr. recommends it for eating problems)

Just remember when you do wake up to feed him, to keep it dark and quiet so that he can still recognize that it's still night time. I let it be a little noisy and light during my daughter's naps so that she can differentiate the difference between naps and night. Try to avoid turning on the lights when you wake up to feed him. And the BEST advice I can give you is sleep when he sleeps. When he naps, you nap. When he goes to bed, you go to bed. You won't be nearly as tired.

I know there a lot of parents that force an un-natural schedule on their children but your child's body clocks are developing and they will put themselves on a healthy schedule over time.
Right now, your son's schedule is to wake up at 2 am but that will pass and before you realize it, he'll be sleeping 10 and 11 hours at night. My daughter now at 18 months, you could almost set your watch by for the most part with her afternoon nap and bedtime.

You don't say whether or not you are nursing or bottle feeding but I assume since he only wakes up once at night you're bottle feeding. Either way, these are both good articles that would cover each method.
http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T070300.asp
http://www.askdrsears.com/html/3/T031600.asp

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I co-slept with my first child until he was 9 months old. He was night waking and nursing but the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby" by Weissbluth helped immensely. The methodology seemed some where between Babywise (which works but is pretty harsh) and the "No Cry Baby solution". I cannot recommend this book enough: "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby" by Weissbluth, It was given to me by a friend who has three boys. Good luck and you will get through it!

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All babies are different. Having said that, I recommend the book "Childwise" by Gary Esso. It has some guidelines that will assure kids are sleeping thru the night (6-8 hours) within 8 weeks. My first slept thru at 6 weeks, and my second at 3 weeks. Now my 4.5 month old is sleeping about 11 hrs a night.

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Dear M.,
A friend recommended the book Healthy sleep habits, happy child by Marc Weissbluth, MD. After reading it and applying the techniques my five month old sleeps from 6 or 6:30 pm to 6am and rarely wakes up at 2:00am. Good Luck!
S.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi there -- according to the Sears Baby Book (which I really think is a must-have for new mothers) sleeping through the night means the baby is asleep for 5 hours in one go. If your baby is only 4 months old, I say put him in bed with you and nurse him back to sleep -- that way you can doze once he latches on and get the most sleep possible. He will eventually give it up, but my son was a 3 am waker from in-utero till about a year old or so. Good luck. aloha JP

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yikes -- a lot of advice. I'm a 2nd time mom and #2 is 13 wks old. he wakes during the night (arms breaking out of swaddle), but not to eat. All his nutritional needs are met during the day. confirm w/you doc that he's an accepatable weight and then try cluster feeding (frequent feeding) at end of day. after my son's bath I give him a 3 to 4 ounce bottle of breast milk on top of his cluster feeds. I give the bottle to accomodate his lazy sucking at end of day and my lower flow. Food will not help your baby sleep thru the night, but may produce food sensitivity/allergies. Try to hold off until 6 months.

dream feeds can help. did this w/my first one at 10pm before I went to sleep and then he could go to 5 or 6 am. night waking to eat can be a habit. if it is a bottle, try offering watered down milk until it is water and he will stop waking.

babywise, the book you were recommended by some moms, is pretty harsh. a good moderate alternative is "Surviving and Thriving During Your Baby's First Year" available at amazon or www.babygroupvideo,com. Donna Holloran, a child development expert in LA, and real moms will talk you through challenges and solutions for getting your baby to sleep as well as other issues you will deal with in coming months. best of all you can watch it while you feed your son or do stuff around your house and your baby will watch the other babies.

I agree, this time is precious, and I try and treasure the middle of the night time I have w/my son. I also know having done this before, you can treasure the day time even more when you yourself have gotten some quality sleep during the night!! good luck

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Please keep in mind that sleeping throught the night for a baby means 5 hours. If he only wakes up once (and makes it all the way until 2:00) then I envy you. On a good night my daughter will wake up only once and she's 20 months! I can think of only two occasions that she actually slept "through the night" and woke up around 6:00 am. Very few of the mother's I spoken with have had babies who sleep through the night until they are much older -- many of my friends say not until after they hit the 2 year mark for their kids. Hang in there -- it does get easier (either that or you just become immune to the lack of sleep :)). Check out Dr. Sears' The Baby Book or askdrsears.com -- I almost always find what he says helpful. Good luck.

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M., My Daughter did not sleep through the night until she was 10 months old. Your son probably cannot sustain either breastmilk or formula all night. Just feel lucky that once is all he wakes up. Some children wake for multiple feedings during the night. I think he will sleep through the night when he gains more weight.

im on my third baby and he is probably the best night sleeper. he sleeps at nighttime for up to 8 hours if im lucky, usually he sleeps for 5 to 6 hours straight. only sometimes its not at night. i never felt like it was a good idea to force the baby into a schedule. as long as you are a stay at home mom, you have the freedom to let the baby be on his own schedule. thats what i did for all three of my kids. five yr old boy, three yr old girl, and two month old boy. my oldest was a like a clock, he napped at the same time everyday and fed at the same time every day and night, until he was 3.5 yrs he was on pretty much the same schedule. my daughter however did not like a regular schedule. she did whatever she wanted whenever she wanted. i was lucky that my hubby would wake up with her every night until she was 2.5, now she just comes into our bed every night around 1am, even though she is three!

i guess the point is, every baby is different with their sleeping schedule, so as long as the baby IS actually sleeping, your probably good.

Don't let him cry. Accept your son's current stage in life. He is four months old and is not ready to sleep through the night. Babies were not designed to sleep through the night and their little systems are not ready to. They need to be fed during the night. Certainly you can "train" him to sleep through his hunger, you can teach him that mommy will not come feed him when he is hungry during the night, that mommy is not there to meet his needs. But why would you want to do that, when it is a biological fact that the majority of babies do not sleep through the night without a feeding and were not designed to do so? How fortunate for you that your son only needs one night-time feeding! Consider yourself lucky. The change needs to take place in you. You are a mommy now, and your son needs to be fed at night, so, for now, sleeping through the night is not an option for you. Enjoy this stage of your son's life. Start looking at the 2 am feeding as a pleasure instead of an imposition. He will be a big boy all too soon.

You are so lucky!! I have a 4 month 1/2 and he wakes up 3 times every night......

Have your tried putting a little rice cereal in his bottle before bed? Some people are against this, but I did it with all 3 of my kids and at 4 months they all slept through the night. It will keep him full for alot longer than a regular feeding.

He only wakes up once?? Technically, he is sleeping through the night!

No advice here, mine were both 2 yo when they started sleeping all night.

Enjoy the 2am feeding, it will be gone before you know it.
M.

Hey M.,
We give our 3 month old son a DREAM FEED at midnight.
So he eats his last meal before bedtime @ 7pm (give or take a half hour) then sometime between 11pm and 12:30 pm depending on our schedule, one of us will sneak into his room, pick him up and give him a bottle while he is still swaddled. He stirs a bit, but chomps down the bottle and falls right back to sleep. He then does not wake up until 6 or 7am. And he wakes up happy and coo'ing.
Ive tried nights with out the DREAM FEED, and he wakes up at 3am hungry. So this technique really seems to work for us. Ive heard that when they stop drinking full meals during the dream feed is when you can wean them off of it. But ours still chomps away. Best of luck.

We tried everything under the sun to get my daughter to sleep all night.... and it only started when she was around 2 years old. Maybe you should try to take turns w/your husband at night. My husband and I took turns w/getting up w/ the baby one night on and one night off. That way you knew that every other night you got to sleep all night. It worked wonders for us and now our friends do it to and they love it. Best of luck.....

Sometimes babies mature at different rates, and simply need the security of having you close by, especially if you work during the day. Your baby is young. All three of mine woke up often for the first year or more. I read all the books, tried the crying techniques, and other strategies, and finally I regarded it as our time to bond, though I was tired.I stopped fighting the issue, brought them into my bed, and now that they are older, they are confident young women. Give your baby time, and love. There are many more challenging issues you will be facing with him as the years go on...This one is small stuff. Meet his needs, day and night, and you will all be the better for it. (Part of our parenting sacrifices.) My philosophy through so many tough times was to remind myself this is why mothers are so highly regarded, and to tell myself they wouldn't be doing this when they were 18....and guaranteed, they weren't....That's your light at the end of the tunnel. Enjoy your son, day and night. The years will fly by...and this problem will be but a blip in your memory. By the way, I remember being afraid with my first baby that if anyone knew I was having trouble getting her to sleep through the night that I would be regarded as a bad mom...This is so not true, and I wish someone had reassurred me then that all babies are different, and they are unable to fully express their fellings, needs, and fears. Don't worry. My oldest is now a sophomore in college...(She's even been sleeping through the night faithfully now for at least14 years.) You will be fine.

Consider yourself lucky! My son is 11 months and still gets up twice to nurse.

I have the same problem with my 4 month old baby, can you post some the replies you receive?

Thanks

it is totally normal to have your infant still waking up in the middle of the night. they need all the nutrients they can get to grow healthy. try weaning them off after 6 or 7 months. your baby is probably still hungry.

It may not feel like it, but a 4 month old that only wakes for 1 feeding is a really good sleeper. Don't buy into the myth that babies should sleep through the night at such an early age. It is VERY likely that at 4 months he is still hungry - and he is too young to force him into an adult sleep style. Enjoy these night feedings while he is still young - he will grow up fast and you will miss this quiet time with him.

If he is not breast fed, is he eating solid food yet? If he isn't eating solids, I would suggest giving him about 1/2 tsp Gerber's rice cereal in formula. This will give him just a bit more in his tummy to maybe help him sleep through the night. Even if he is on solids, maybe giving him the cereal right before he goes down for the night will help him get through the night anyway. You can adjust the amount of cereal until you find what works best. I wouldn't suggest more then a TBLSP though as it might make the formula too thick for the nipple.

My husband would get up with my kids. If I got up and tried to soothe them nothing would work but nursing, but when daddy got up he would soothe them by touch and words or even give them a bottle of water. We knew that if they didn't wake up again until morning that it wasn't hunger and daddy would take over the routine for a few nights and voila! sleeping through the night. BUT if the baby doesn't sleep all the way through the night after a water bottle he probably is hungry and not quite ready yet. If that's the case just try it every other week- like on a Friday night so dad can sleep in Sat. am- but worse comes to worse it should work after he starts eating cereal around six months. Hope you have a willing hubby!

Hi M.,

I had my first son sleeping 8 hours a night by 6 weeks and I just got my 5 week old to sleep 6 hours last night no feeding. I practice "Babywise". Get the book, it is awesome. Some people think it is a little harsh. I'm typically a go with the flow person and a big sifty with my boys, but in order to go with the flow with both boys, I found I needed a tight schedule.

Last night the things we changed were he slept in his bassinet for the first time and not in our bed. I feed him every 3 hours during the day and have wake times. I do not miss a feeding whether he wants to wake up or not. Additionally when he woke for the 2am feeding I just rocked him back to sleep and put my hand in his bassient for comfort. He made it another 2 hours before he started stirring again and this time I gave him a bottle. Good Luck. babies need sleep and you CAN get them to sleep through the night.

Hi M.,

Every baby is different, and I understand your frustration, but my son didn't sleep through the night until he was 8 months old! I was told once that they typically CAN'T until they at least double their weight. I don't have any tips, but sometimes tid bit information helps, I've found.

Good luck and be patient. It'll happen.
M.

I have 4 year old twins and the woke up in the middle of the night to feed until they were 9 months old. Maybe he just needs more food because he is growing...good luck and try to get some sleep.

I say that it is great he is only waking up once at 2am to feed. I hope you DO NOT LET HIM CIO or follow the book Babywise. That book is just awful...

Our babies wake up because there is a need they need fulfilled. They are not just crying to prevent us from sleeping. And they cannot communicate with us any other way. You are doing such a great job at tending to his needs and feeding him if he needs it... remember our babies go thru MANY growth spurts!!!

If it isn't hunger, it's teething and if it isn't teething, it's cold... the bottom line is it's something and our babies need us to reassure them. We're mommies (and daddy's). That's just our job! Aren't we so lucky!?!?! My beautiful baby girl is a year old and I have NEVER let her CIO and she sleeps GREAT!!!!! AND she wakes up several times/night, but does NOT cry.. she puts herself back to sleep (we can hear her talking sometimes on the monitor - it is so cute!).

We don't "teach" our babies to eat or go to the bathroom so why do we expect to teach our babies to sleep...? Your son will soon sleep thru that 2am feeding and I bet you, you'll miss that quiet time you once had with him... Treasure it!! :)

I have no idea if this will work, but it would buy us a few hours more when we tried it on my daughter at about 6 weeks old. We use white noise, you know the static in between radio stations. We actually bought a track on itunes for the ipod and we just play it at night and it helps her sleep longer. We don't play it too loud, as we don't want to damage her hearing. We just play it softly, and it drowns out any of the noise from the neighbors, the street, pets, etc. Also, another great thing that I have done, that works great is dream nursing. Say you put your baby down to sleep at 9:00PM, but you don't got to bed until 11:00PM. Then at that time, you don't wake your baby, you simply have him latch on to your breast and nurse. you don't burp him, don't unwrap him if he is swaddled, just lay him down. That might buy you a few more hours as well. Good luck!

I know those worked well for me, but mine is 5 months and she still has her nights where she just gets up regardless of what I do. Those just seem to help keep the nights like that to a minimum.

Four months is a little early to expect him to sleep through the night. If he only wakes once, consider yourself lucky! I have 3 kids, and consider "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby" by Weissbluth to be the Baby Sleep Bible. I can't recommend it highly enough. In the meantime, be assured that he will sleep longer as he gets older.

Mine just turned 4 months today as well! Same problem here, but supposedly if you up the amount they eat during the day, they will sleep longer/better at night....If he is taking a full feeding at 2am, he is obviously still hungry....So, try giving him more formula (an ounce of so) at each feeding during the day and then doing a "dream feed" (where you pick him up and feed him while he is basically asleep) between 10pm-11pm- before you go to bed for the night.....hopefully this will help....Sometimes it works for my son and sometimes he still wakes up at 2am :( Also, if you baby takes a paci- try to pop that in at 2am (that usually gives us another hour or so until we really have to feed him again)...
Let me know if you need more info on the dream feed- If you breastfeed I am not sure how you "up the amount" per feed, but I guess perhaps you add a few more minutes onto each feeding during the day and at the dream feed....good luck, let us know how it goes....

Wow, he only wakes up once at 4 months old??? That is a blessing for this young. I followed "Babywise" (it is a book) and with my oldest, I had to let her cry it out at 8 months old because she was still waking once or twice for feeding. After 2 nights, she slept through consistently. My youngest, she was sleeping through at 8 weeks, but once she started to roll over she would wake herself up and I made the mistake of nursing her back to sleep instead of letting her deal with it herself. (she was a pretty loud crier, though) Good luck.

Hi M.: Your problem is not that unusual. You're fortunate that he only wakes up once per night. I have 2 girls and 2 boys. They were totally breastfed until the girls were 6 months and the boys were 4 months. Boys seem to need more food than girls. My girls pretty much slept through the night by 3 months. The boys were still waking up at 4 months. It will get better. Just enjoy every minute of every day that you have with him. He will grow so quickly and you will really miss this time. Don't wish it away or waste a minute. My kids now range from 22 - 30 and my memories of them as infants is precious to me.

All the best, Mary

Nobody actually "sleeps through the night"...not adults, not children, not babies. Everyone stirs, gets up to go to the bathroom, needs a drink of water, etc. A baby does the same, but just needs some help from you. Waking up only once a night for a feeding is really good! A young baby shouldn't go longer than 5 hours without food and certainly not without a diaper change. I would be mighty sad if my four month old son didn't need me in the night...especially when I return to work in a few weeks. This is our special nursing time together. Before you know it, this first year or two will be gone and he'll be running away from me! I'll take the lack of sleep for now!

Hi! I'm with Jennifer about "Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child." The book is fantastic. Now that your baby is 4 months old it is the perfect time to sleep train him. You will have to deal with some 4 am feedings for a while longer but the baby will eventually grow out of that, and as long as you follow the book you will have a happy baby. My baby was on a very good sleep schedule but still waking up around 3 or 4 for a feeding and he was going on 7 months old. I decided to let him cry it out one night to see if it was really a feeding he was needing. He cried for about 10 minutes, went back to sleep, and never woke up that early again. He goes to bed at 7 pm and I don't hear from him again until 630 am. Hang in there and get the book. You won't be sorry. Good Luck!

I have been a postpartum doula for the past 7 years and this is what I sugguest. If you baby's weight is normal for a 4 month old and he is drinking, either formula or breast milk, normally through the day and getting enough calories, he should not be waking. If all of the above is normal try this. Aprox a half hour before he normally wakes go into his room and semi wake him from his deep sleep. Dont wake him all the way, just enough to stir him out of a deep sleep. He should go right back to sleep. If you do this for aprox 4 nights he should not wake at that time anymore. I know it sounds crazy but it does work. I have been using this method for years with my clients. The 4 nights are hard but at least it will be over with. Good luck!!!
L. S.

Just consider yourself lucky that you only get up once a night. My 8 month old just recently went down to one feeding a night. He'll sleep through the night when he's ready. I've learned that some babies just take longer than others.

What you have is NOT a "problem". What you have is a NORMAL baby! So PLEASE do not look at it like a problem. You are lucky that at this stage he's only getting hungry one time, and it sounds like he is sleeping in 5 hour amounts. For a baby that IS sleeping through the night! You should be thankful for this. What a great baby you have! I don't know why you thought that your baby should be sleeping all night without eating at this age? Who told you that? My little guy is also 4 months and he eats once in the middle of the night and a bunch (cluster feeds) once morning comes. We sleep with him so it is no big deal. Him and I both practically sleep through it and I love sleeping next to him at night.

Sleeping thru the night is defined as sleeping a 6 hour stretch. Soley breastfed babies often need a feeding up until one year. If you feel he is waking out of habit, and not hunger, try letting him cry for 10-15mins. (It will feel like an eternity). Also, try feeding him more often during the day. Boys tend to be more needy than girls and eat more often. You can introduce rice cereal at 4mos, which might help settle his appetite a bit more. Does he nap well during the day? Often an over-tired baby doesn't sleep well thru the night. My middle son wasn't a great napper. He'd take 20min cat naps up until 5mos when I finally had to get into the shower so that I couldn't hear him cry back to sleep (my showers were about 20mins). After a couple of days he would nap for an hour and a half. Any time his schedule wasn't followed though, and he would immediately resort back to cat napping. Be consistent! FYI Both of my two girls were sleeping 8-10 hours by 8 weeks. BOys are stinkers!

Hi Just wanted to let you know i feel for you. My son did the same thing. I found that worked with him was to try to keep him up from 3pm until you were ready to go to bed but he ate about a 1/2 hour before so he wouldn't get up hungry during the night. I also found if you find music that calms him play it very low during the night as he sleeps and after a couple of weeks he got use to a schedule and he slept all night. I hope this helps a little.

Hope you get some sleep soon.

Both mine did not sleep through the night till they were 2!!! Some are sleepers and some are not. I nursed both nightly for 10 months and then just weaned to rocking or patting in the middle of the night. I know its HARD and TIRING but they WILL grow out of it. I always felt they needed me and a little comfort in the night. My 2 year old son still wakes sometimes...not sure if its bad dreams, but just hearing my voice he will lay back down and go to sleep. I figure, they're just babies and they love and need you...its an important job! Good luck.

you could always use the good old Ferber method. It is a structured cry to sleep method that has worked beautifully with both of my children. At 4 months my son ate at 11pm, 2am, & 5am. I was getting burnt out with the 2am feed so i let him cry it out at 4 1/2 months at that feed, which only took one night. Then he just stopped the 11pm feed on his own. Now, at 7 months, he sleeps from 8pm to 5-6 in the morning.

Hi M.
It is very unusual for a 4 month old to sleep through the night (despite what the doctors tell you). They are not truly biologically ready to accomplish such a task. At that age, sleeping through the night really only means 5 hours anyways (unfortunately). Stick with it, and know that you are actually lucky that he only wakes once a night at this age!! I know it is so hard not getting sleep yourself, but just know that this too shall pass and even though it seems like an eternity now, it will end soon and enjoy the time you get to spend comforting your son as no one else can!
Good luck!

I have one 4 year old daughter. She has only had one 5 month period where she slept great - other than that she wakes up at night almost 1/2 of the time.

I think that some of it is just the child themselves - hang in there! And remember to sleep when he sleeps, at night and during naps, when you can. It helps.

Good luck!

M. - first of all remember, he will only be this age for a VERY short while. I know it is hard, but you will get through it. Secondly, both my boys were very different from my daughter. They needed a little extra at night (last feeding before bedtime). I cut a regular nipple just a little bit (to make my own version of a criss-cut nipple but the ones in the store are too much on a younger feeder), and put some baby rice cereal in it. You can find that cereal on any baby food aisle. You make the formula like a soup consistency and this keeps them full enough for overnight. If you do not like this, you can feed him with a baby spoon and follow-up with each bite a suck or two of the bottle to wash it down. Either way works and I used them both. My first pediatrician actually told me to do this and my next two both told me NO - it works though believe me! :] Sleep is necessary and it will work. Also, does he use a pacifier? I know a lot of parents don't like to, but some babies need the suckling for comfort through the night. All three of mine needed it to sleep at night. They never used them during the day just to do it. Good Luck and God Bless You!

Hi, M.! I have a 3 1/2 month old and find that if I calmly and gently change his diaper before I go to sleep at 11 or so, he wakes up enough to have a good feeding and will sleep through until around 6 or 7. Whatever happens, I promise it'll change before you know it--they grow so fast!

He just wants comfort and it's a pattern for him. I let my son cry one night, he only cried for 12 min. That was enough to break the pattern. They're not hungry, although some babies will cry for hours. There is a lot of reserach and books on this, but you have to do what you're comfy with.

I am in the same boat. And for the past few days, he is waking up every hour from about 10pm to 3pm until he eats. He will then sleep until 6:30am. Let me know if you get any great advice. I have an older daughter, but she NEVER did this. She was an excellent sleeper.

I really believe that 4 months is too early for your baby to be sleeping more than 6 or 8 hours straight through. I would say around 6 months is when it's safe for them to sleep "through the night". Some research I've come across actually says they shouldn't sleep that long at that age b/c it interferes with their brain development.

Once a night isn't bad at all at 4 months. I'm pretty sure that my son was waking up at least once if not twice at 4 months.

Everyone believes in different things so if this is your goal I know there is a book out there called "Twelve Hours Sleep by Twelve Weeks".
Good luck.

I've heard that sleeping through the night is 5-6 hours at a stretch. We have been blessed to have a 4-1/2 month old who is (thank God!) sleeping anywhere from 5-9 hours a night. I have several friends who also have babies who were born the same year as ours and not all of them (even the ones who are older) still don't sleep through the night, but that's OK because every baby is different. What helps us is that we wear him during the day in a sling/carrier and frequently feed him throughout the day (every 2-3 hours) - "tanking" him up, so to speak. Before his last nursing of the day, we have him swaddled (in a Swaddle Me infant wrap) and keep lights dim and our voices quiet so he knows it's bedtime. A book and bath is often part of the routine. He usually falls asleep while nursing and we don't put him into his co-sleeper until he's completely detached himself. We have a purifier that sounds like white noise and leave on during the night. Although we never planned on using a sleep positioner (http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2341851) but were given one as a Christmas gift, we've been using it and it helps keep him on his back and gives him that snug feeling most babies like. Now, some nights are not all the same and we prepare for the unexpected, but for the most part, he sleeps through.

Hi M.,

Unfortunately, all the ways to "get" your child to sleep through the night are not really good for them, like letting them cry, etc. The fact that he's only 4 months and only wakes up once is actually quite good. It's a rule -- new parents don't get to sleep as well as they did pre-child so just relax and take naps during the day when he does.

V.

Hi M.,
I also have a 4 month old son (my second boy). Thanks for your question, and everyone else for their answers! My 1st son started sleeping thru the night at 10 weeks. I've yet to see any consistancy with my second. I agree with most that every baby IS different and will meet each milestone on their own terms. I just wanted you to know, I know how you feel and I am right there with ya!
Good luck!

You need to dial your expectations back a little bit. Once a night isn't bad at all (even though you're tired of it!). It's the rare baby that's sleeping through the night at this age, so try not to listen to all those "my baby was sleeping the night through...." comments. Hang in there---a lot of things change within the next 3-4 months!

Hi M.,

4 month olds are not always ready to sleep through the night! Waking up only once is great at his age. I know you are tired! Hang in there!

I think that if he is only waking up once at 4 months that is good, you should be happy! Everyone told me after 3 months my son would sleep through the night! Well he is 7 1/2 months and still wakes up once a night, which I don't mind. I have heard they are metabolically capable of sleeping through the night once they double their birth weight but they will continue to wake out of habit. MY son would fall back to sleep on his own if I let him cry it out however since my husband wakes early for work I am reluctant to wean him from his feeding during the week. And it seems before now there was always something keeping me from letting him cry, teething, being sick, getting his shots. Finally it seems that has all passed. I would suggest letting him cry once he wakes.

Hi M.! It is so hard not sleeping. My sister in law gave me an awesome book that I have used with both of my boys and they are both awesome sleepers and have been since 12 weeks old (my boys were premature so they took a little longer). I know you have probably heard of it, it is called "On Becoming Babywise". I live by it's guidelines. I swear by it. You MUST read it. It talks about how to regulate your babies sleeping habits by putting them on a structured schedule. There is no "crying it out" involved.
After reading what other moms have said regarding this subject, I have a little bit more to say. First it is NOT mean to teach your child to sleep through the night! They need sleep just as much (even more) as we do. I beg you to read that book. It will educate you more on how babies are. If anything sounds too mean, simply don't do it. But it definitely is worth your time to read it.
I come from a school of thought that believes that children need help from us, that they are not perfect little people whose bodies know exactly what they need. I believe they need help from their mommies to figure out how to sleep. It is a skill just like feeding, rolling, crawling, batting at objects and other things are. If your baby is not sucking, we don't just let they baby be spoon fed do we? So why do we with something almost as equally important as eating let them not get enough sleep, and a good quality of sleep? You can't be as happy as a mommy if you are not getting enough sleep either. Please contact me if you want more information. I support you in your quest for your family to sleep happy. :)

I would have to say that if you son sleeps at lunch time let him sleep then try to keep him up till he's tired maybe 8pm is a good time to sleep. Try giving your son a warm bathe with those sleep soaps and see how that works, also make him be full before he sleeps, maybe that can help you a little. My daughter usually sleeps around 8pm or 9pm and gets fussy afterwards so I know its time for bed. She usually sleeps till 530am-6am so I usually wake her up to eat. The sleep soaps works for my daughter but not all the time, I guess it depends on the baby. Hope that helps.

Dear Monic,
A 4month old either sleeps through or doesn't. I have a 1 yr. old and everyone tried to get me to put her on a schedule so that she'd sleep through (I am a first time mom too)and in retrospect the expectation that she should be doing something was worse than the 3 am feedings. My pediatrician gave me the best advice ever. "She's the queen, she'll sleep when she wants to and eat when she wants to. You're just there to do her bidding for now." When I let go of all the scheduling expectation that others had we did just fine, in fact her feeding schedule was pretty reasonable and when she was ready to sleep through (6 mos. or so) she did. No letting her cry it out just letting her know that I was there and embracing that early morning as a really special time that only she and I shared. She's a super happy girl.

I'm with all the others--waking once a night is really great for his age. Keep it dark and quiet so he'll go back to sleep quickly. You can also make it easier on yourself if he's close to you--in the same room.

I can absolutely help (being the mother of three children who all slept through the night before 3 months.) If he's only waking up once, it's an easy fix. I don't know if you're breastfeeding or bottle feeding, but you need to decrease how much he's eating at the 2:00 feeding. If you're breastfeeding, decrease the amount of time that you're feeding him. If you're bottle feeding, decrease the amount that you're giving him. Decrease it a little bit more every night for a few nights. If he'll take a binky, give him that on the last night. He'll start to sleep through the feeding time, if there's nothing to wake up for. Also, never turn on the lights or make any noise when you go in to feed him. Good luck and happy sleeping! :)

M.,

Don't be discouraged. My son just turned 3 months old and I just put him in his room with his brother and he is now sleeping through the night. I think something you have to think about is the atmosphere the baby is in. We had my son in our room in his crib and we sleep with the tv on. He was not sleeping through the night. He would wake up once. The other thing I do is I feed him about 8 or 8:30. Then he sleeps until about 6:30 or 7. We also use a humidifier for the boys and they seem to sleep better. The other thing you can do is try to keep him awake or the better part of the day. Obviously he will still want to nap but if you play with him and keep him stimulated he will sleep better at night!! Good luck and I hope this helps!!

S. M

Hello, I have two children, both were breast fed. I had a similar problem with both. I found that mixing the breast milk (or formula) with some baby's Gerber rice cereal and feeding them the cereal along with the breast milk or bottled formula, right before you put them down for the night, did the trick. They both started sleeping through the night, much to my relief.

When does he go down. If it's been more than five hours before the 2 AM wake-up he is probably hungry. Feed him and put him back down. You should get another five hour or so stretch after that. Some babies can sleep longer than others but four months is really young to go too much longer than five hours without eating. If you were on a liquid diet you would probably be the same way. Also, every baby is different, but at four months you could try a small amount of cereal mixed with breast milk before bed. Don't put it in the bottle, feed him by spoon. It may seem like you're not getting much in at first but he'll get used to it. Be careful of constipation though. I had to stop giving my boys cereal until they were 6 months old because their digestive system wasn't ready for it yet.

It's important at that age to have a sleep schedule that you adhere to each day and night with naps and bed time. I found that this helped a lot with my son that was getting up anywhere from 2-8 times a night. Also, let him cry. It is hard, but it really does teach them to get themselves back to sleep. At 4 months your son may still need that feeding in the middle of the night but any other awakenings may just be awakenings. My son still gets up once and sometimes twice a night and he is 10 months old. Good luck and good sleep

He's only 4 months. They are not suppose to go 12 hours without food. Once is great...and he's consistent at 2am - it must be when it's meal time for his body and to help regulate is blood sugar.

Sounds like a perfect baby to me.

Hmmm, only 4 months old? I think it's reasonable that he might actually be hungry. My kids didn't sleep through the night for years. It is normal to have night waking for many months. Resist the temptation to compare sleep habits to other children you hear about. Resist the temptation to use the Ferber "cry it out method". It feels like abandonment to a child and they may internalize that their needs are not important.

Is he eating any baby food? I don't know if you are nursing or giving a bottle, but the last feeding before bed, you can give him a bottle with a teaspoon of rice cereal in it. You need one that has a nipple with a bigger opening to allow it to come out. He will rest easy all night! My pediatrician gave us that one. But also just know, it is not unusual at all for a baby that age to be waking to eat. The bigger he is, the longer he can sustain between meals. He may not weigh enough yet. Be patient! Pretty soon you'll be wondering how he got so big so fast:)
Good luck,
L., mom of two girls ages 12 and 5.

My son just turned nine months old and wakes up between one and two times a night for feedings. Some nights are tougher than others, but I keep going, and I know that someday he will sleep through without waking up. You may feel like you are the only one up at those hours of the night, but there are many of us up out there! :) Good luck.

4 month old babies aren't supposed to sleep through the night! If he is only waking up once at 2 am consider yourself very lucky! Most doctors will tell you that the earliest a baby is physically ready to sleep all night is 6 months. Don't worry, it seems endless now but it will pass.

Enjoy it! My son was on the same schedule when he was 4 mos. He is 29 now and married and I would give a million to have those sweet early mornings back with him again - just me and him!

Hi M.,

Like other posters stated, your baby will decide if/when he wants to sleep thru the night. In the meantime, take care of yourself by getting to bed at a decent hour,eating right, etc. so the waking up is not so tough on your body.

I am a mom to 2 and I wish someone would have told me what I recently figured out (about both marriage and motherhood): This Too Shall Pass!

When you feel distraught about something your child is going through, remember that it'll pass and something else will happen. Roll with the punches, relax, and let go. It'll all work out. Let go of what others tell you "should" be happening and don't compare your life with other moms. It'll just drive you looney. Listen to your intuition about being a mom and what feels natural to you!

Best wishes- you're doing great!

Hi M.,

It is not unusual for a 4 month old to waike up at least once at night for a feeding. One option is to put him to bed a little later than you normally do now. I have three daughters and only one slept through the night at 2 months old. The other two woke up at least once during the night until I stopped bottle feeding them. Good luck!

Oh my gosh! he's only waking up once at four months? Lucky you.

just once a night? lucky you. My daughter is a year old and still eats twice a night. I am breastfeeding and she has teeth now, so I am not so happy about it, but oh, well.
be carefull of the book babywise. children have been removed by cps when their parents follow that book too closely. listen to your baby. it sounds like he is hungry, so let him eat. he is little. he won't be that way long.
good luck
R.

My son just turned 4 months old and we're working on sleeping through the night as well. I breastfeed during the day, but I give him formula for his last feeding. (I don't produce enough milk to keep up with him). He goes to bed anywhere between 7-8:30. I wake him up around 10 before we go to bed for his bottle of formula. He makes it all the way until 5:00 when we have to get up. Good luck!

Personnally, I think once waking up is great for a 4 month old. Consider yourself blessed! Unless your willing to let him cry it out, which, at his age, in my opinion, is too young, he might be in need of the extra nourishment at that time. I would just try to get used to it, and enjoy the closeness with your baby at in the middle of the night. He will eventually be sleeping all night long...

When my first baby was 4 months old, a mom friend told me he was only waking up out of habit... not really for food. My pediatrician confirmed this. So I got up with him and patted his back, but did not nurse him. Within a week, he stopped waking up! Good luck

Hi,
I feel your pain- we all miss sleep so much!
My ped. recommended cutting the one last night feed when my son was 6 months old (and he weighed a lot for his age). However, one of my friends just cut the night feed from her 5 month old and it went fine. We all use the 'cry it out' method. When the baby starts to cry at 2 AM, you go in and rub or pat his back and tell him mommy is there and then leave. You go back 5 minutes later, 10 minutes later, 15 minutes later. It helps him to realize he is not being deserted, but also not getting any food. You do not pick him up, because then he will start depending on your rocking to help sooth him back to sleep- and the whole idea is for he to learn how to fall back asleep on his own. After a few (2-7) nights, they eventually realize that they are getting nothing out of this waking thing and they give it up. My second son would get more upset if we went into his room so we just let him cry and fall back asleep with no back rubs. It only took 3 or 4 nights and he was sleeping 12 hours, happy and well-adjusted to life. The only problem most moms have with this is we give in and pick the child up to nurse or feed because we can't stand hearing them cry! But if you know your baby isn't starving and that you are sleep-training, then try to stay strong. Have your husband help you to not get up.
Good luck- sleep is coming!

M. -
First let me warn you that you may get a wide range of advice. As a new mom you will find that some people do things VERY differently. I am the average down the middle mom.
First, your child is only 4 months. My son (3/4 formula feed starting sleeping thru the night at about 5 months) my daughter (95% breast feed slept thru at about 6 mos). They are all different. It usually starts to happen once they start on cereal or baby food. I know moms that have 2 yr. olds that still wake at night to nurse. I say shame on them because it only makes it harder on the child to stop the longer you allow them to wake. According to my Dr. there is no reason for that, it is just a habit at that point. But you will find moms that continue to nurse until the child decides...
Best advice I ever got after having my son - live by a schedule, don't die by the schedule. Give it some more time, 4 months may be a bit early- hang in there.

moms luv,
T.

Remember too, that 'sleeping through the night' is really only considered to be 8 hours of sleep for an infant, although they of course require much more sleep than that every night. Therefore, if you put your baby to bed, for instance, at 7pm, even once he is 'sleeping through the night', expect a likely 4am wakeup for a feeding. When this happens, you can congratulate him on sleeping through the night, but it doesn't make it any easier on you! For now, at 4 months old, you are probably several months away from that. But don't despair! Nap when he naps during the day! This first year goes quickly and looking back a few years from now, you won't remember so much how hard it was to drag yourself out of bed several times a night, you'll just remember how sweet he looked as he slept.

Did you ever wake up in the middle of the night during your pregnancy, hungry enough to have a full meal?
Don't make your kid go hungry from 2 am until you get up - he needs food, that's why he's waking up!

I think it's a bit early on to think he'll sleep through the night. I am sure some people have kids who have slept through the night by 4 months of age, but none of my 3 boys did and none of my friends had kids who did that early. If he's only waking up one time, I think you have it pretty good...

M. there is no set rule as to babies sleeping thru the night. My children are grown now, but I rembember feeding what I call non stop during this time. Just when I would breast feed (took almost 45 minutes) my son would fall asleep only to wake in 1hr or 2hrs.

With my daughter....just the same. It's all about your babies schedule or lack of schedule. And waking up at 2am is just about right...considering to get to bed at 10pm.... And then up at 2am.....back to bed and up at 6am....down again at 10am and sleep until 5..... It goes on and on.

Don't worry about it. You will get through it. It's part of being a mommy.

R.

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