Six Month Old Son No Sleep

Updated on July 05, 2009
M.L. asks from Indianapolis, IN
10 answers

Okay, I've asked this same question about a month or two ago and things have changed so I'm asking again for any advice or suggestions from any of you moms. My son is six months old and he's getting up every two hours in the night still.

He only takes either three 30-45 minutes naps a day or two 2 hour naps a day. He eats breakfast (bowl rice cereal and usually 1/2 jar of fruit with a bottle), then usually has another bottle a couple hours later, then for lunch he has one jar of vegetables and a bottle, then another bottle about three hours later, and for dinner about 6 or 6:30 he has a bowl of rice cereal with 1/2 jar of fruit and about half a jar of vegetable with the remainder of the bottle that wasn't use all for his cereal.

All of his bottles are 6 ounces that he eats. Then usually around 8pm or 8:30 he drinks an 8 ounce bedtime bottle usually. He will sleep for two MAYBE three hours and he gets up and we start the cycle again, he gets up usually 11pm, 1:30 or 2am, and then at 4 or 4:30am and then we have to leave at 6:30am for work/daycare. He keeps the same schedule at daycare.

I was against the letting him cry thing but I tried it this past week and can't do it. He cries (the most I let him cry was for 10 minutes just to see) and he cries so hard he starts sounding like he's screaming, he never opens his eyes though the whole time not while he's eating the bottle or getting his diaper changed (rarely he will when his diaper is getting changed open his eyes for a few). I've tried just giving him his pacifier which he doesn't take much and then patting him, singing, etc. before I pick him up to actually feed him.

Is this usual for a six month old? I'm so afraid I'm overfeeding him but his pediatrician says if he's not hungry he won't eat. Then I sometimes think he's doing it in his sleep because he never opens his eyes during these times.

What can I do next?

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answers from Elkhart on

Hi M., try giving him cereal w/fruit just before he goes to bed. I would suggest rice or oatmeal. I thought my daughter would never sleep all night. I used to go to work feeling like a zombie. Also you can use an infant feeder, they make life so much easier.
Good luck

More Answers



answers from Indianapolis on

My son was up every 1.5-2 hours for the first 9 months. They sleep through the night when they are ready.
And yes, I think it sounds like he's over fed. They should get nothing but formula or breastmilk for the first 6 months and he's already on 3 meals a day? His stomach is probably upset!
Children don't have to "learn to soothe themselves" it's a total myth. I never let my children cry it out and they are prefect sleepers; 12 hours at night plus good naps. They slept when they were ready.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on


I went through this for about 4 months with my oldest son. He was hungry. So, he got lots of food before he went to sleep. I also, kept him up a little later so that we could get the nights to be nights and then woke him up at regular times in the morning so days could stay days. I would try to limit him a bit on food during the day just alittle and make sure he is content and full when he goes to sleep at night. Also, have you talked to your doctor about this to make sure that he is ok? Does he curl his legs up like his tummy hurts? Maybe he has colic. Just some thoughts. Good luck and I hope you get some sleep soon!



answers from Cincinnati on

My baby girl is 6 months old too and we had the same problem. I used the ferber method and it worked great. however you MUST give whatever method you are trying 2 weeks. It shouldnt take that long but the older your baby gets the longer it will take to break him of his sleeping habits. Your son will get up every 2 hours for over a year if you allow him too (happend to my sister in law). He needs to know how to go to sleep on his own. When he crys, give him 10 mins, go in and pat him (do not pick him up) stay no more than 2 mins then leave(even if he is crying), then wait 15 mins and repeat. Next visit is 20 mins (but he should be back asleep). Its VERY important to not pick him up. My doc told me that babies tummys are big enough at 4 months to go all night without feeding. We started sleep training our baby at 4.5 months and she sleep a SOLID 11-13 hours every night 730-7,8 or 830am. You need to get your rest as well..especially with another little one at home. A well rested parent takes care of her baby better because they have patience and are alert.
Good luck to you. Its hard to hear the little ones cry but honestly knowing that there is light in 2 weeks or less is worth it.



answers from Indianapolis on

Giving him some cereal at bedtime will help keep him from getting up so often at night because it will stay with him longer than just liquid.
Since the theory is that we all should eat 6 small meals a day why doesn't this apply to children? I fed my children breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, a mid-afternoon snack, dinner and a bedtime snack. They all consumed liquids other than their "meal" or "snack" bottles during the day. Water was generally the thing.
Two of them slept through the night and one of them continued to get up and get a drink and then go back to bed at about 2 a.m. all the way through high school. We just kept a thermo cup of water next to the bed for him until he was old enough to get up, go and get his own and return to bed on his own.
Good luck.



answers from Cleveland on

If you’re not willing to let him cry I don’t think there’s much you can do. It doesn’t sound like you’re happy with the situation otherwise you wouldn’t be writing in for advice. I think you have to decide which is more important – you getting more than 2 hours sleep at a time, or your well-fed child getting another bottle while asleep in the middle of the night. I would personally be cranky and a zombie if I was waking up that often at night for six months in a row (my daughter has slept through the night since she was one month old but we have had periods, after four months, where she has cried before bed and then settled herself down into sleep).

You should probably talk to your doctor about your concerns to. He or she can give you advice on what to do, but the solution he/she will offer is probably to let him cry. You know he doesn’t need food, he is just used to getting it at those times.

Good luck.



answers from Cleveland on

Hi M.,

My sons slept even less than that at six months. We had the "up every couple hours at night" thing, plus they didn't nap as much as you describe. They were breastfed babies; sometimes formula-fed babies sleep longer because the formula is harder to digest than breastmilk, and therefore stays in their stomachs longer, so they feel fuller longer.

It does seem like he's getting a lot of solid food. I remember being told to start solids around 6 months, and that babies should really be getting most of their nutrition from breast/bottle for their first year. Maybe (as someone else suggested) his tummy is upset. You could try scaling back the solids and see what happens.

I'm not sure that helped any, sorry! Those nights without sleep are hard. good luck!

K. Z.



answers from Elkhart on

I'm not sure if this will help as my children never really went through this. However, I can relate to how exhausted you must be because my middle child was born 8 wks early and came home at 10 days old. He was only drinking 1/2 ounce of breast milk at a feeding and was up every 2 hours. Once he started taking in more he slept longer periods at a time. My youngest had colic for about a month and I was delerious at times with dealing with that, a 2 and 6 yr old plus working 50 hrs a wk. I can also say that once my children started getting teeth they started on people food. Mashed potatoes, anything soft enough I could mash for them they ate and loved it.It also helped sustain them for longer periods. When you son gets his bottle before bed do you put cereal in it? I know this will help sustain him longer throughout the night. He may not be hungary when he crys at night but uncomfortable or had a dream that scared him; if babies dream. Maybe he just needs comforting and being rocked and sung to will put him back to sleep. Does he have a comfy that he is fond of? A stuffed animal or blanket that might provide comfort while he is away from you; such as at night and naps? Hope any of this helps.



answers from Indianapolis on

I have a six month old and he wakes up 1-2 times a night, I know its time for bootcamp and we had to do it with our daughter so I know it works. First night she cried for 3 hours, second night 1.5 hours, third night 30 minutes fourth night...slept through the night. It is very hard and if the baby cries you wont get any sleep, but its worth it. It sounds like he is getting enough food during the day, so he should not be hungry, he is probably just wanting you.
Good luck!



answers from Indianapolis on

He could be going through a growth spurt. Both our girls eat like there's no tomorrow when they go through growth spurts, and would scream like there's no tomorrow unitl they got fed...and like the pediatrician said, he'll quit eating when he's full. I remember with my oldest, I had just given her a bottle, and about 10 minutes later, she started screaming. I couldn't figure out why...changed her diaper, changed her clothes, she didn't have a temp...couldn't figure out what was going on - called the pediatrician, they said, "Feed her." After arguing with them for about 5 minutes, they again said, "Feed her." I finally did, and she settled right down - and hoovered the bottle down. So - let him eat.

Meanwhile, I would do 2 things.

1) Put a couple spoonfuls of cereal in his bottle right before bedtime or naptime. We call that "slipping them a mickey".

2) Put 2 squirts of Mylicon in the bottle too. When our daughters hit the 3-6 months mark, they started to get gassy. 2 squirts of gas relief drops (a.k.a. Mylicon) worked WONDERS for us.

For what it's worth - and good luck!

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