Restless 5 Month Old Doesn't Want to Sleep During Day

Updated on February 13, 2010
H.L. asks from Philadelphia, PA
6 answers

Dear Mamas,

My LO is very restless during the day. He will stay up for hours 4 or 5 hours before napping even though he shows signs of being tired (watery eyes, rubbing eyes, yawning, disengaged). He seems to be pretty clingy these days too and most times will fall asleep during nursing. The moment when I know he's asleep and try to pop him out he latches on even tighter. He cries when I leave the room. The few times he's gone to sleep not at the breast, I've been stroking his head while in his swing.

He's also teething. Is teething making my LO so uncomfortable that he doesn't want to sleep? Perhaps he's not getting enough stimulation? I'm at a loss. I'm concerned he's not getting enough rest and as a result becomes so wired. He sleeps just fine at night probably because he's not sleeping much during the day.

Any advice and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

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So What Happened?

I love this forum! I'm always grateful to everyone for their thoughts and sharing their experiences. I do have white noise (ocean sounds) and darkness at night and I've started doing that during the day too. thanks for the tip. That seems to be working to keep him down longer. Still trying to do the "actual" getting him to nap. That's still challenging but he's still in good spirits, at least until I leave the room. LOL. I will definitely try using the sling again. He wasn't that crazy about it when he was about 2-3 months old. Perhaps it's time to break it out again and get him used to it. Although now my perfect and wonderful LO at 5 months is 19 pounds! I will also try the Tylenol for the teething. The other thing I did was sign up for a music class for a little stimulation. And I'll be signing up for my classes when he hits 6 months and spring arrives.

Thank you again! You all are wonderful.

More Answers



answers from York on

My son did the same thing during months 5 and 6. Teething and constant practicing of new skills were part of the problem. It seemed like he'd cry as soon as he touched the mattress; sometimes he'd be trying to roll or crawl. Some days I couldn't get him to nap at all, but just like your son, he was still good at night.
There was a lot of trial and error, but I kept working at our routine, and it all seems worth it now. At eight months, he has finally settled into a schedule and started to put himself to sleep on his own! It did not seem that any of this was working at all until almost seven and a half months, so don't give up hope! Just be as consistent and patient as you can, and know it will get better. He's going to learn how to do this, just like all the other cool things he's learning.
Here's a routine that seemed to help us. When my son wakes, I feed him and then we play hard immediately. What that means changed with his abilities. It might be tummy time and sitting practice now. Later it might be crawling time and the jumperoo. Then I move him to something easier, like the exersaucer for awhile. We go for one more stimulating thing, like a quick grocery store trip (literally across the street for us) or time in the yard no matter how cold, then we wind down. Winding down usually means that we walk around the house together. Sometimes, I walk dishes to the dishwasher one by one. Sometimes I call my mom and chitchat and pace with him in my arms. He doesn't exercise and I don't bounce and play with him during this time. It's like his muscles just need to be forced to chill out. I give it about 20 minutes or so. Then we go to his room, put on the sleep sack, put on the fan, and lower the blackout shades. He gets ten minutes of rocking and then it's nap time.
Around five months, he started taking only two naps a day, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours each. It was tricky to figure out what times worked for him. He gets up between 6:40 and 7. His first nap is usally around 10:00, and the second one around 2:30. Then he's back to sleep around 7/7:30. It was pure trial and error to see what worked.
Re: nursing. My lactation consultant told me to limit him to no more than 20 minutes per breast, so that I'm not just pacyfying him. I found that he would take the full time in the AM when he was very hungry, and in the PM when he's sleepy before bed. He does fuss when taken off in the PM. But after naps during the day, he only nurses for about 12 minutes per side. I like that he's not dependent on nursing to sleep before naps.
Just know that it will get better soon! Remember how hard it was when he was three months? Give it two more months and you'll see another huge change! Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Hi, sorry about your troubles getting your son to sleep. It does sound like teething is a problem with his getting rest.

When my son wouldn't calm down for naps (and seemed overtired) sometimes it would take 20-30 mins to calm him. I found it best to go into a dim room (used white noise too), I read him a little nap book, gave him is nap toy, the whole nine. You might wan to introduce a transitional item to comfort him in general and signal naptime, when naptime comes. I use the gentle giraffe from cloud B, love it!



answers from Phoenix on

1- Hyland's teething tablets are amazing. They really helped my kids

2- Amber teething necklaces help ease the pain a lot too

3- Wear him on you in a sling, beco, or other good carier (not a bjorn... bad for the hips) and let him sleep on you. That way you can get work done, and he can sleep. You can also nurse him in there, which is a big plus! I love my wraps too, and gypsymama is my favorite!

4- Take a deep breath, my son was like that too, but eventually we got it all worked out :)



answers from Grand Rapids on

My 6 month old is sleeping the same way. When she does go down it's only for 30-60 minutes at a time. Last night I gave her some medicine thinking that maybe her mouth hurt so much that she couldn't sleep. About 30-45 minutes later she was out. Luckily it was 6:45 and because she went down for te night. I think nursing him to sleep might end up turning into a habit you will regret so if you can avoid that I think it would be for the best. At this age tey will not be sleeping as much as before and maybe we just need to learn their new sleep patterns?



answers from Cleveland on

Little ones have so much to see in this world... the start thinking they are missing everything when they are very young, so they have a harder time sleepin when they think things are happening. Which most things are happening when the sun is up. Which could explain why he sleeps better at night then during the day.

At 5 or 6 mo or maybe a little younger, I use to set up the little swing, play pen or blanket in what ever room I had to get stuff done in. If I had to get the dishes done or cook dinner - the baby was in the kitchen watching me do dishes or cook... even if my back was to them. If I had to get the garden weeded or pick - the baby was outside with me in the shade of the big maple tree. If I needed to get the laundry folded the baby was in the living room, since I fold clothes on the couch. Anyway... babys feel more comfertable when they aren't alone - you are their "safe blanket" and have been since they were inside you. That doesn't just go way... my 2 yr old (and sometimes my 4 & 5 yr olds as well) can still be found under my feet (or on the counter) when I do dishes & cook dinner. He is also usualy in the bathroom when I'm putting the laundry in the washer or dryer (wanting to push they beeping buttons) and even when I'm using the restroom. I don't know when the last time I had a "privat" bath was - it's most likely about 2 1/2 years ago when I was in the hospital after delivering my youngest... and my next will be when I deliever the one I'm carring & in the hospital w/ it.) When I watch tv... I usually have atleast on on my lap if not all 3 of them at some point. All it shows is your little one loves you & needs you. I know it's not always easy to move the baby from room to room when you are doing stuff, but if you don't want to hear him cry that might be what you need to do for a little while. In time you will be able to leave the room & in not bother him... just right now something is bothering him & he needs you around to feel at ease.

If you think he is teething - try giving him a little Tylonel... it does help w/ the pain. That in it's self might reduce his crankiness.

Good luck & take care of that special little guy.


answers from Allentown on

Hi, Green:

Contact your local La Leche League Consultant at

Good luck. D.

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