Newborn Sleep Patterns Question from New Mom

Updated on April 10, 2011
R.C. asks from Maplewood, NJ
10 answers

My 5 1/2 week old baby was sleeping through the night at 4 weeks and now is waking again in the middle of the night for one feeding around 2:00 am. We had her on a schedule where her supper feed was 3 hours before her night feed, which is at 9:30. Before her night feed we would rouse her from sleep if she was asleep, bathe her, swaddle her and put her down. Two weeks ago she would go through the night till morning and now she will wake at 2:30. Are we doing something wrong? Should I change what we are doing or should we leave it as and assume that she will let go of the middle night feeding? Or should we not wake her to feed and bathe and 9:30? Help!
Thank you in advance.

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So What Happened?

Thank you for your responses. I am trying to listen to what she needs more, and trusting that it will all iron out eventually.
I am a new Mom, so everything I do I tend to second guess at times. I think that is pretty normal considering.
I think for now I am going to take it day by day and not be so married to the "schedule". I still believe in creating one, but in conjunction with the baby girl, and not in solitary. She is 6 weeks wednesday, so we will see what next week brings. Thank you again for your experience and suggestions.

More Answers



answers from Augusta on

one feeding a night for a newborn is a miracle! it's usually every 3hrs or every 1-2 hrs if they are cluster feeding and doing a growth spurt.

rule #1) don't wake a sleeping baby
rule # 2) always feed on demand
rule #3) if it ain't broke don't fix it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

She is growing. Do you know how lucky you are. Do not change a thing.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Don't change anything. Waking up one time is a miracle for tiny babies. You should consider yourself lucky as hell. I hope yall aren't stressed about one night feeding. I used to wake up every 3 or 4 hours lol.

You can try not waking her up and seeing what time she'll wake up on her own. Like bathe before you put her to bed at the normal time and see what happens.... she may stay asleep til 11 or 12am then won't wake up again til 4 or 5am.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Wow, that is a miracle in and of itself. When my 3 were newborns it was an every 3 hour routine of diaper, bottle, sleep a little, diaper, bottle, sleep a little. Every 3 hours they ate. She is doing really well. I know it sucks when you think you've got it figured out what is going to happen next and then it changes, but this will happen over and over again for awhile.

Have a little bedtime routine is nice, it helps for the future but right now she has no idea that it is a bedtime routine, when her tummy is hungry she will wake to feed. She should wake to feed, she needs a lot of food to grow. You are doing a great job.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pocatello on

Don't worry- you are doing fine! She is growing, and growing babies are hungry babies... you'll go through several adjustments in sleep and routine over the next few weeks and months still. 9:30 - 2:30 is 5 hours between "meals" that is a LONG stretch for an infant, even at night. I don't know what time she wakes up in the morning, but she probably needs that middle of the night feeding still. you could try seeing what time she wakes up on her own for the "night feeding"... maybe she'll stretch till 10:30 or possibly even 11:30 and if you feed her then.. it could be enough of an adjustment to get you through till 4 or 5am...maybe bathe her right after "dinner" so you don't have to do that really late at night.

I don't know your sleeping arrangements... but nightime feedings are much easier to do if the baby is in the room with you... they aren't awake long enough to get very "worked up" and you don't ahve to get fully waked up and then lose as much valuable sleep.

Hang in there... give her a few more weeks... for me real "schedules" didn't settle in for more that a few days at a time until my daughter was about 2.5- 3 months. Don't expect too much from that little girl- she is still just barely learning how to be a human!

Good Job Mama~



answers from New York on

Count yourself lucky she is such a good sleeper with only 1 night feeding. I wouldn't wake a baby up for a bath (you could do it at another time of day for now). I did wake my babies up for a feeding right before I went to bed so I could get some sleep when they slept. I was usually a smaller feeding, maybe half a regular one. I wasn't ready for bed at 9:30 but at 11 it worked better for us. Then I could get the 5-6 hour chunk before the baby woke me up for the next feeding. Babies do change schedule a lot in the early months and need to eat more during a growth spurt. That is probably all it is.



answers from New York on

A five week old baby is too young to be considered sleeping through the night or in any permanent pattern. At this age, her natural body rhythms may still change every week or two. She knows when she is hungry and tired.I would NOT wake a sleeping newborn for a scheduled feeding or a bath. Let your baby's needs and rhythms be your guide.



answers from St. Louis on

At 5 1/2 weeks my son was just starting to sleep 4 hours straight at night and he was already 12 lbs! Now at 8 weeks he will eat his last meal at 11, sleep for 5-6 hours (usually wakes up around 5ish) and then eat again and go back to sleep for another 4-5 hours. I think it's relatively normal for her to be waking at 2:30 hungry and you should just keep feeding her till she gets big enough and old enough to really handle sleeping through the night. It's amazing that she was sleeping through the night at 4 weeks. I don't think your doing anything wrong at the moment.

I will suggest though to maybe not be so stuck on a strict schedule. If she's sleeping don't wake her and if she's hungry, feed her, no matter the time. If she does not want to wake up till 10 for her night feed, then let her wake and do the bedtime routine then. Or you can do her bedtime routine earlier. Really at this point the "routine" is more to start developing the habits but their not connecting one activity to the other so much. Just be flexible with her schedule throughout the day. My son was an incredibly fussy nightmare for the first 4 weeks of his life. It wasn't till I started going to his clock and stop trying to make him go to mine that he started being happier, which has ultimately caused him to sleep better and be less fussy when awake.

Oh and I will also say that my son did start wanting to eat almost every 2 hours while awake at this stage because he was going through a growth spurt (his growth spurts seem to start a few days before the "standard" time to start them, i.e. his 3 week growth spurt was more like 2.5, etc).


answers from Oklahoma City on

All of my babies slept thru the night very young also... 6 weeks was the longest any of them waited to go the full 8 hours. I DID have them on a feeding/sleeping schedule which a lot of people disagree with BUT they never acted hungry before I fed them anyway. (I nursed them every 4 hours)
All of them went thru a little phase after they had started sleeping all night where they would wake up like your daughter is. What I did was nurse them JUST enough that they fell back asleep then put them back to bed. That way they weren't getting used to having a full feeding in the middle of the night. She's already shown that she can sleep thru the night so unless you are worried about weight then she'd be fine not having a full nursing/feeding in the middle of the night! (Also if she takes a pacifier she might just need that)
Good Luck! :o)


answers from Stationed Overseas on

I was always told you never wake a baby for feedings. Let them wake up on their own and tell you when they are hungry. Our son woke twice a night for the first 3 months, after that he would have one feeding at like 1030 then sleep all the way til 730 a.m. ever since then he's been sleeping through the night and he's a year old now.

I just had my second son a week ago but he's not home from the hospital yet since he was 5 weeks early, we aren't sure how his sleep patterns are. Right now all I know is he's being fed every three hours.

Next question: 3 Month Old Nap/feeding Schedule?