How Long Should a 5 Month Old Sleep at Night?

Updated on January 26, 2011
L.C. asks from Duluth, MN
15 answers

On average what is "sleeping through the night" for a 5 month old?
My son is a whopping 19 pounds and exclusively breastfed. I am just curious how long of a stretch most 5 months old sleep at night?

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answers from Chicago on

I just did CIO with my 5mo last week (22 weeks). Now she's sleeping 11 hrs straight through the night. :)

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answers from Cleveland on

When my son was 5 months he slept 12 hours straight at night, my daughter is almost 4 months and sleeps between 10-12 hours so I have been blessed with great sleepers but both have been formula fed so I do think that makes a difference. I think they consider 6 hours straight sleeping through the night for infants.



answers from Minneapolis on

I actually got really lucky with my son. He has slept through a majority of the night since he was a couple months old. We put him into bed about 6pm and he will generally sleep until between 130-330, sometimes earlier, sometimes later. Last night he was put into bed at 615 and woke up at 730 this morning. I think that it is dependent on each child. My cousin's son has not slept longer than a half hour through the night since he was born. He is a month older than my youngest son. I got really lucky with both my boys that they are sleepers and love to sleep as babies. A 19 pound 5 month old should be doing pretty well, means that he is eating well and should not be waking up too much for being hungry. My 7 month old is only about 14 pounds. Hopefully your little guy is sleeping well for you. :D



answers from Madison on

My son slept in about 2 hour stretches but was considered "sleeping through the night" because he went to bed at 7pm and did not really get up until 7am. He nursed but went back to sleep until the 7am time. In the class I took that was the definition - how long the baby stay in bed basically and not the length of time. While I would have like longer stretches of time, I liked the definition.



answers from Boston on

Breastfed babies often don't sleep long stretches at that age. It is normal for them to eat round the clock. They need a lot of nutrition when they are growing so much! I think they consider sleeping through the night to be 5 hours or something, not what we would consider through the night.:) All babies are different. I know mine nursed a couple/few times during the night at that age (and for a while after). They also tend to nurse more at night when they are going through a growth spurt or gearing up for a cognitive leap.

Kellymom has a good page about baby sleep

Dr Sears has 31 ways to get baby to sleep and stay asleep



answers from Chicago on

When my twins were five months old and exclusively breastfed, they'd sleep between 10-12 hours at night.



answers from Detroit on

At almost 11 weeks old, my baby sleeps on avg of 7-8 hours a night (and has even slept longer)... He is exclusively breastfed as well. He eats, and I mean eats constantly during the day though... and rarely sleeps for any significant amount of time during the day. Both of my kids were great nighttime sleepers (quick too)... rarely waking in the middle of the night. My first grew out of naps young though, so there are drawbacks, but I'll take it. I think I was blessed with nighttime sleepers because I just wouldn't be able to handle the severe sleep deprivation for long! I don't think I do anything special... kids are just different.



answers from Davenport on

WOW! those last three ladies with the babies sleeping 7-12 hours at night are SOOOOO LUCKY in my opinion. My two children were exclusively breastfed till 6 months, and then a combo of breast, bottle, formula, and food after that. At 5 months, the longest stretch was about 4 hours at the beginning of the night, then up to nurse every two hours after that....but they DID sleep about 6:30 pm, to 6:30 am, total ( with wakings to nurse) and then each took three 45 min-1 hour naps a day at that age....shortly thereafter it went to two 1.5-2 hour naps a day, but night stayed the same. Once we started solids, and some formula, they slept longer stretches. My daughter was still waking to nurse 2 times a night at 9 months when I was ready to wean. So we weaned and did Cry it Out, and after those three days of sleep training, she has been a great sleeper ever since, all the way through the night, 6:30-6:30 form 9 months on. My son is a different story, we tried to do CIO while still nursing, at 6 months and it just didn't work as well. He is turing 2 in a month and STILL wakes at least once a night almost every night, to whine or fuss about something and still will not soothe himself back to sleep most times inthe middle of the night. He loves his pacifier, and if he can't find it in the dark, I still have to go in there to get it for him.....I am seriously thinking of taking the binkies and re-doing CIO with him, to see if we can all fianlly get a full night's sleep!

So anyway, the moral of the story is every baby is different. Sleeping anywhere from 2 hour stretches, to 6 for the longest stretch and 2 after, I think is more average, for a breastfed baby at 5 months, but boy would it be great to get will get there, I promise!!! Dr. Marcc Weissbluth's book, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child " was a god-send for us and helped us deal with our 1st Daughter's sleep issues and have the fortitude to make it through CIO the first time we tried. My son is different, especially since I think I have enabled his waking and my going to him continue too long, for fear of him waking everyone else up, since there are 2 kids and hubby to deal with now....

Good Luck





answers from Milwaukee on

I have a 5 1/2 month old boy who is almost 19 pounds as well, exclusively breastfed. He sleeps for about 2-4 hours at a stretch at night. He still wakes up several times to eat. He is my fourth child. They all did the same thing until I weaned them around 14 months old. Babies are so different and each woman's breastmilk is different. They will sleep through the night eventually! :) Good luck!



answers from Duluth on

well, the answer isnt an easy one. every baby is different. and different things interrupt sleep; teething, hitting milestones like rolling over, sitting up, having solids, etc.... as well as getting sick, or just being lonesome. some babies are easier some babies are harder. my son was awake a LOT as an infant, and i just went with his needs and my instincts, always responded to him and now i have a 4 year old who has NO bedtime issues. he trusts that i will be there for him 24/7 day or night, and that he wont ever be forced to stay in bed if hes lonely scared or cold or having nightmares or something. we are very open about the fact that we are parents day or night.

its exhausting. and there are little things you can do to help baby sleep longer. but really, just listening to their needs and your instincts is 100% the best thing you can do!


answers from Stationed Overseas on

Wow you got a big little guy lol, he weighs almost as much as my 10 month old son. Sounds sooo cute!! :) Any on to your question, I didn't read any of the other comments but from my own experience with my son he started sleeping from 7:30 p.m. all the way til 9 a.m. He still does this even at 10 months. He takes two naps, one at 10 with his bottle and another around 3 p.m. He goes to bed really around 8 now, but I have to formula feed seeing as he didn't want to latch or take the pumped milk. Every child is different with the whole "sleeping through the night" How long does he sleep now? I know a lot of my friends who breast fed and the kids were up every 2-3 hours. My son gets one bottle before bed and then he's out of the night.



answers from Omaha on

My kids were also bigger babies and when they started taking about 6-7 ounces at each feeding (they were mostly formula fed) is when they started to sleep through the night. They will sleep 10-12 hours per night and nap during the day for a couple of hours.Our pediatrician said this was within the normal ranges. Hope this helps!



answers from Kansas City on

My son is almost 6 months and sleeps 9 hours straight at night (10pm-7am). At 4 months he was almost sleeping through (10pm-5am). He would then eat and sleep until 8-ish.



answers from Chicago on

I think 6 hours is considered sleeping "through the night." For whatever reason, my beautiful daughter didn't sleep through the night (meaning 11 hrs. straight in this case) until 18 months old! She was exclusviely breast fed too. I think her problem was teething. For a baby as young as yours, I think 6 months is "through the night," but I personally wouldn't expect it yet based on my experiences.



answers from Dallas on

Mine always slept 4-6 hours at a time at 5 months. It is different for each baby, though. Some lucky mommies have babies that sleep 8 + hours!

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