Sleeping Through the Night - Fremont, CA

Updated on January 11, 2008
J.U. asks from Fremont, CA
31 answers

I have a four month old baby boy who has never been a good sleeper, but has recently gotten worse. He had increased his sleeping to four hours during the night, then waking every 2 hours afterwards. Now he wakes every hour and a half, with feedings every 2 hours. He only naps for 30 minutes, 4 times per day, so I am very sleep deprived. He is exclusively breast fed and frequently refuses the bottle. He only wants me during the night and screams when dad helps out during these times, so I am up throughout the night. Does anyone have any strategies for helping him sleep longer?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you everyone for your help. I started swaddling Will from the waist down insted of a full body swaddle so he could suck his thumb. I have created a very consistent bedtime routine that my husband and I follow. We moved him from our bed to his room and also started laying him down to sleep without bouncing him to sleep. I am now able to put him in his crib and let him fall asleep on his own most of the time. He has started sleeping 4-6 hour spans during the night and takes longer naps also. This is such an improvement from 90-minute naps during the night!

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.H.

answers from San Francisco on

I am a huge fan of a book "On Becoming Babywise" by Gary Ezzo. I just bought another book by him On Becoming Preschool wise. I give the Babywise book to everyone I know who is having a baby. My first son slept through the night at 8 weeks old and my 2nd son at 12 wks. Basically you adhere to a routine: sleep time, eat, wake time. This is so they don't need food/bottle to fall asleep. And there's a night time component as well. I didn't follow everything because I can't let me kids cry it out for more than 9 minutes (I timed myself). So, take what works for you from it and will probably still work.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

I.C.

answers from Salinas on

My second son was a horrible sleeper who never slept longer than 4 hours until he was 13 months old. I was dead on my feet so I feel your pain.

He would wake multiple times per night and demand to nurse. During the day, he'd only sleep in my arms or upright on my shoulder. He didn't want his father, only me. He had horrible gas; you could drum on his belly it was so distended. Bicycling his legs, rubbing his gut, milicon drops, nothing worked. Tried putting him in the swing to sleep, the car seat, in the car, on the dryer, everything you can think of. Nothing worked but nursing (until my nipples cracked and bled) and me rocking.

Turns out he was lactose intolerant. The lactose molecule is one of those things that passes through breast milk. Most kids can handle it; some kids can't. Once I stopped eating and/or drinking any kind of dairy product, he started sleeping through the night. Literally 36 hours after my last glass (and his too) of milk, he slept 8 straight hours.

Babies can also be sensitive to wheat, corn, chocolate . . . even if they are just breastfeed. Dr Sears writes about this and most La Leche consultants can help you with this.

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Our son did the same thing at 4 months - he was exclusively breast fed also. My sister in law suggested this and it worked.
Be sure to put him in bed full, clean and awake (just after last feed. For us that was 10, or 11pm). You will see the signs of sleepiness, and that is the time to put him down in his own space. Tell him you love him, and offer a soothing pat on the bottom (or a gently back rub - a gesture that will be repeated). When he wakes up, offer a bottle of water (Liam hated bottles and therefore realized quickly it was no fun to wake up), or a security item (Liam had a blanket). Tuck him back in and repeat the loving words along with the gentle gesture (but do not pick him up again). This should only be repeated if he wakes up again. If he is crying and refusing sleep, wait 10 minutes, go back in and only pat and soothe with your voice. If he does it again, wait 20 minutes only pat (no talking). You should wait 30 minutes the next time. He will get the picture that the patting means goodnight. Oh - and NEVER turn on the light. Tell him that dark time is sleep time. It is never too early to explain what is going on.
The only liquid offered 11-5 should be water. Our son lost interest in waking after 3 nights. They were hard long nights, but it worked.
I also agree with the other mom that suggests you let your husband take a shift or two through the night. Your boy will appreciate it later, as they will be closer emotionally. And he will benefit from your getting more sleep!
The other advice she gave was to keep him in his room (sit on the floor or rocker). Taking him out of the smells and comfort of his room wakes him even more.
Just a tid-bit more...Liam wound up being a sleep-walker as a toddler. So it turned out that all that "waking" as an infant wasn't "waking" at all, just expressions during sleep. It is your job to teach him to go back to sleep. It is for his (and your) own good. Sleep=Sanity both in adults and babies.
GOOD LUCK

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.L.

answers from San Francisco on

I feel your pain, but mine is getting better. My 7 month old had a terrible spell around 4 months. From the first day home from the hospital she woke at 1.30am, 4.30, and 6am. Eventually, she started to drop the 1.30am wake up and I stopped waking her to feed her when I went to bed and she could sleep 7pm-1.30am without a feeding. At around 4 months it came back along with an 11pm wake up. I read the "Healthy Habits" book and it suggested feeding at the 11pm, and ignoring the 1.30am one. I think that worked for us. I didn't "ignore" her, but I fed her at 11pm and then would soothe her to sleep at 1.30am with a pacifier and rocking. It was tough for the first few nights (she kept waking every 10 minutes), but then she soon didn't need to eat at that time. Then she dropped the 11pm wake up and the 1.30am came back and I would feed her then. After another month, I stopped feeding at the 1.30am and that eventually went away.... as of a week ago! Hopefully, we are now down to one waking (I hope I'm not jinxing it!!). Last night she went from 6.45pm-5.45am without a waking. I fed her at 5.45am and then she slept until 7.30am! Hope that helps.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

G.D.

answers from Modesto on

J. since you are breast feeding then I suggest you eat lots of turkey specially for dinner, reason is that Turkey has lots of Glutamate and you body turns it in to GABA a relaxing neurotransmitter, that helps sleep though the night!!!(that is why you get sleepy after a thanksgiving dinner) And if you want you can supplement GABA take 250 mgs. around 7 pm your self and that will make your breast milk a supplement for your child to sleep better... also add to your diet fenugreek that makes milk abundant and with good quality!!! So that he in not hungry at night!!!
And avoid eating to much sugar in your diet specially afternoon...also you should buy co liver oil caps (but get the ones fron Carlson's because of mercury in fish, these are safe)I will bet you that he misght even sleep all night after that and so will you...Love, G.. :0)

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.H.

answers from Sacramento on

J.,

I know my answer will not be popular with everyone here but using the tips of Baby Wise saved my sanity. Our son was over 8 mos old and still only sleeping 2-3 hours at a stretch. Baby Wise, and other methods similar to it, says that you need to let your baby learn it's first lesson in independance from you. Start off with letting him cry for just an extra minute than you normally would, add another minute, then another. See if you can put him back to bed awake after nursing. I use to change my son's diaper to "wake" him back up a bit before putting him back to bed then sooth him by rubbing his tummy or back and helping him to settle down that way. Before putting him down the first time of the evening I would start off with a warm bath for him followed by singing or talking to him in his bed...removing food from the equation by feeding him before the bathtime. This way he didn't associate food with sleep. Over the two weeks it took to get him to sleep thru the night, and you will, at this age, only get him to sleep 5-6 hours at a time in the night till he's older, our son learned to soothe himself back to sleep. Waiting the extra minute, two minutes, five minutes was difficult. No one likes to hear a baby cry, and it breaks your heart to hear your baby cry. But developing these patterns now will make your child a better rested child, develop good sleeping habits for when he's older so he's a more rested, clearer thinking child. A child who has good sleeping habits does better in school and in life. This is the perfect time to start teaching him how to wake up in the night and be able to go back to sleep on his own without any type of intervention.

Our son is six now but recently I coached a good friend who's 5 mos old wasn't sleeping thru the night as well as my neice who had a year old not sleeping more than 2 hours at a time. Both mothers were horribly sleep deprived and at wits end. Within 4 days the mother of the 5mos old was getting 4-5 hours of sleep at a stretch (the child is now 8 mos old and sleeping thru the night completely) and the year old was sleeping thru the night in 9 days. So it IS possible. It just isn't easy. If your husband and you can form a united front and help eachother thru the short term then you will be helping yourselves and your son in the long run.

As I said, there are plenty out there that will pooh pooh the "let them cry" thing but having seen the effects of friends kids who did not follow this program and how they react to life and to learning now that they are in school...I'm glad we decided to take the two weeks and do the program.

Lastly, we didn't follow the program to a T. We modified it a bit to work for us and it did. I, personally, do not agree with the programs that say to put your child down at night and under no circumstances should you go into them. A minute at a time was all I could do when our son was crying. I would go in, soothe without picking him up, and leave again...feeding only once during the night (remember he was 8 mos old, not 4 mos old) and then weening that off during the two weeks. So let the program work for you at your own pace.

Good luck!

C.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.W.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi J.,

I'm not an expert but as a first time mom I counted on a lot of literature for assistance, and one book I reccomend is Becoming Baby Wise. It helped us get onto a feeding and sleeping schedule (exclusively breastfed or bottle fed). It helped save our sanity. Although we didn't follow everything to the detail it gave us some ideas that really worked, for example: building an eating routine of 3-4 hours intervals and then knowing when to let a baby cry at night to establish a sleeping routine. I realize not all mothers choose to let their babies cry, and trust me it was not easy on us. I obviously made sure he was changed, fed and in no danger or pain (arms and legs not stuck in the crib railings) and then timed his crying before reacting. Every baby is different, it worked for our little one and maybe it won't work with out next child. It is merely a suggestion.

Concerning your child not taking the bottle, our son Sebastien also did not want to take it. He refused. I learned that I had to be out of the house so that he wouldn't smell me and he had to be VERY hungry to take it. After a few days of practice he was ok. (It took us about a 6 weeks to figure this out. We had tried other techniques, but that was the only way it worked.)

Good luck and hopefully you will be able to get some rest.
N.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.W.

answers from Salinas on

My son was the same. Though he has been sleeping with us from the beginning. Yours is still pretty little- is he sleeping with you? It helps them and you to have them right there- neither of you really have to wake to feed. I wouldnt worry about them sleeping with you forever but for now it really helps with you getting sleep if he is waking that often to eat. We also got an king organic latex bed which is wonderful b/c you cant feel eachother move thru the night. Although you your lil one are very tuned into eachother regardless.
As for having your bed just for you and your hubby- its nice but its nicer to get some sleep. Not having the bed to ourselves makes us more apt to be adventurous and find new places to be intimate...adds some spark- which will come back- once you get some sleep!! Ive learned not to get attached to any of my sons sleeping patterns as they will change alot.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.D.

answers from San Francisco on

Talk to your pediatrician & get the book Baby Wise. At four months your son should not need to eat every 2 hours at night & is probably waking up out of habit. I am a mom of three and my first 2 daughters did exactly what you are describing. With my 3rd I talked to my pediatrician & read the book Baby Wise and I am happy to say my 7month old son has been sleeping through the night since about 2 months old. All babys are different though...so just hang in there & be consistant with whatever you decide to do. But don't be afraid to let your son cry a little when he wakes up in the middle of the night, you might be suprised, and he could put himself back to sleep :)
Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.,
I remember those days! I can empathize and tell you that
your baby will grow and a new phase will begin soon. But in the meantime take care of yourself and sleep when he
sleeps, forget the laundry, and depend on your husband as much as possible. You didn't mention if the baby is in the bed with you. I know that for my friends, having the baby in the bed helped. For our family, we did babywise (let the baby cry) I am not sure that I would reccommend that because I couldn't be consistent. I couldn't let the baby cry.

Good luck and get some sleep,
C. in Petaluma

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.C.

answers from Salinas on

I have 2 boys, ages 2 and 7. They are both terrible sleepers.
I feel your pain. My 2 1/2 year old still wkes 3-4 times a night. My husband took over nights because I was so run down after 2 years... My older son was the same way. We each sleep with a child now.
Try to sleep when your baby sleeps, naps, early to bed, etc.
It is such a tough situation, but they do grow up so fast...
Any advise I can give you, please let me know.
Take care of yourself!!
[email protected]____.com

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.F.

answers from Redding on

Hi J.,
Routine,Routine,routine. One poster said said, sleep when the baby sleeps. That will be your liesaver. It took me a while to get that one but when I did boy did it make a difference. Also at night we did the baby swaddler wrap and I know it made a huge difference. If we did not wrap her up in her swaddler she would wake up every two to 4 hours. It gives them a sense of warmth,comfort and cozyiness. We also made sure she had her last feeding just before bedtime. The other thing you might check out is teething. My daughter had her first two teeth come in by 4 months.If that is the problem talk to your doctor about what to give them. Talk to a friend or family member and ask them to come over and sit with the baby while you catch up on some sleep. This time doesn't last forever but enjoy it while you can because before you know it, its gone. Blessings~

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi J....I would most definitely speak to your pediatrician about this. He/She may have some ideas for you.

Our girls are 4 months old and sleep in one 7 hour stretch and then 3-4 hours after that. They are breastfed exclusively and we usually give them a bottle of breast milk as their last feeding before "bedtime" to ensure that they are getting at least 5 oz of milk. Then we just let them sleep. Some questions for you...

Do you swaddle him? Would he benefit from that? If so, then buy a "miracle blanket" they are fabulous!

Is he going through a growth spurt? Or did something else change in his routine? Often times that sets my girls off ona a different schedule and makes for some sleepless nights for me.

Some people suggest giving their babies a bottle of formula as the last feeding before bedtime because it will sit with them longer. Might be a good idea.

Have you thought about pumping then going to feed him at night? He will soon realize that there is no use in him waking up if there is nothing coming out? IE: don't make it worth it for him to wake up.

All in all, speak with your pediatrician and good luck! Our doctor said that it takes 3 nights to "tame the beast."

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.B.

answers from Sacramento on

My son started the same thing at around 6 months. At first I thought maybe he was teething but when I told the doctor he'd fall right back to sleep once I'd nurse him for 5 or so min he suggested it was probably a learned behavior and the best way to stop it was to let him cry it out. It's not easy, I had to sit and stare at the clock to make sure I didn't go in and soothe him too early...but it worked. About three nights and he was back to sleeping 4-6 hour chunk with a 2 hour after feeding. He is now almost 8 months and still doesn't sleep more than that, I get so jealous when mom's tell me thier babies sleep 8 or more hours in a row! But I just didn't get that brand of baby! : )

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.C.

answers from San Francisco on

There is a lot of literature out there for this. One book I liked was entitled "How To Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night." It has more of a gentle method but does suggest in cases like yours that the husband or another adult help in the middle of the night. Your baby has realized it can scream and fuss and get you and all the comfort and milk he wants. The author suggests putting them to sleep at ten or eleven pm and have your spouse get up with him first if he cries out and stretch the time between night feedings a little more each night. This way he learns that his pleas will be answered by dad first, and helps him learn he can go back to sleep without eating. Although this worked for some, I eventually ended up with a co sleeper with one of my children so she could be with me through the night. I opted to nurse sidelying to save myself getting up every couple of hours. She did not nap well or sleep through the night for three years, no matter what I tried. And believe me, I tried. On a positive note, I have a great loving relationship with this child. Although high needs as an infant, she is a wonderful helpful loving independent child. I'm glad I took a rocked her to sleep and kept her close to me rather than the crying it out method.
Don't get too discouraged and realize that eventually your baby will sleep through the night. The book I mentioned did help me with my other four children in developing good sleep habits. Good luck and hang it there.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.K.

answers from San Francisco on

Our daughter is a little over two now... I remember sleepless nights well. We had to supplement during the nights with a bottle because I was getting nutty without sleep. We also started putting a little bit of rice flakes into a bottle (long before our pediatrician recommended it...maybe at 5 months or so). Especially through the night feedings because it seemed to sit heavier and make her sleep better. We also had to just cry it out a few times for her to accept Daddy as the night-time feeder. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.A.

answers from Sacramento on

Sounds like he is going through a growth sprit where he needs more nursing. This is normal for a breastfed baby. It will wear you out though. The constant feedings will ease in about a week. He is still little and until you start introducing soilds you are his world...food and confort. Keep up the good work....

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.L.

answers from Sacramento on

I have 2 sons and my 2nd is almost 4 months, so once he starts solid foods, I am going to put him in his own crib and let him cry it out at night. For some reason when they sleep with you they wake up to nurse more. With my first it only took a few days and then he slept for longer periods in his own crib. I also used the method of putting them down sleepy yet awake. It is hard at first but then it is so worth it. Good luck, I hope this helps and I hope it works with my 2nd as well. S.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.A.

answers from Fresno on

Hi J. :) I am so sorry that you are sleep deprived. I understand. I have a 5-year-old, 3-year-old and an almost 5-month-old. I remember feeling the exact same way with my first baby (that I needed to figure out how to get my baby to sleep better because I was so tired). I learned so much from that first baby! First...you are doing the best thing you can do for your baby...breastfeeding!!!! It will only be a short time before your baby finds his own "schedule." Trust me, nothing lasts forever. Before you know it he will be sleeping better and this time will be a distant memory. Your sweet little guy needs his mommy and his breastmilk and he knows how often he needs it. PLEASE DO NOT SUBSTITUTE BREASTMILK WITH WATER!!!! Trust that your baby knows what he needs and you can provide him with that! Breastmilk is digested faster than formula and at 4-months he is definitely needing to be fed on demand. He knows when he's hungry. Following "Babywise (i.e. the Ezzo Method)" can cause dehydration and worse. Follow your mommy instinct to respond to your baby when he cries. You have those instincts for a reason. Your baby will be happier and more secure in the future because he will learn that his mommy will be there when he needs her. Imagine being left in a room alone to cry when you needed someone? Or worse...imagine being left to cry when the person you love the most is sitting right next to you and won't help! That breaks my heart. Trust me, I understand how exhausting it can be to have interrupted sleep. Hang in there.

I don't know what your current sleeping arrangements are, but have you tried sleeping with your baby? It makes it much easier to continue your sleep while the baby nurses. You will be amazed that after a few times nursing lying down on your side how you don't really even wake up to help the baby latch...and baby learns to latch in his sleep too so there is little to no fussing...just a moan and a latch and both mommy and baby are happy and getting sleep! There are so many non-truths out there about co-sleeping. As long as alcohol and/or medication are not involved co-sleeping is not a danger to your child. Your child picks up your breathing patterns and the risk of SIDS is reduced. Mommies and daddies have an innate instinct not to roll over on their babies. My husband is such a hard sleeper and will sleep straight through a crying baby, but I'll tell you if our children make any unusual noises he is bolt upright in bed to check on them. Another non-truth about co-sleeping is that you'll never get your child out of your bed. Not true. They are out before you know it and then you miss them!

Keep in mind that your son's sleep patterns are going to change many times. It will depend on growth spurts and milestones. Babies know when they need to nurse more often to build up mommy's milk supply (growth spurt coming on) and they also tend to have a harder time sleeping when they are meeting milestones (rolling over, scooting, sitting up, etc.). Then there's teething. There are a myriad of reasons for baby to wake through the night. Please know that I understand how you are feeling. I have had three high-need babies who haven't slept well and all insisted on being held 24/7! There wasn't a gadget I didn't try (swings, bouncy seats, exersaucers) and I finally came to the realization that my child needed ME and there wasn't anything that could replace me! Now, mind you, sometimes I have to shower -- LOL -- and that means my little one might have to fuss for a few minutes. I can promise you that the time goes by so fast and before you know it you'll be chasing a toddler! Do your best to relax and enjoy this special time with your baby. Try not to let other people tell you what your baby "should" be doing, how long they "should" be sleeping, etc. Listen to your mommy instinct. YOU KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!!! Something that was helpful to me with my first baby was to turn the clock around in the bedroom and not look at what time it was...then I wouldn't know how much time has passed between feedings. It seems when you count your hours of sleep you're more tired ;)

Anyway, I have so many things running through my head but I guess I'll stop now. The main thing is to listen to your gut...trust yourself and trust that your baby knows what he needs and is calling out to you when he cries (he's smart enough to know that mommy has the milk that he wants...that is why dad can't calm him during these times). Please don't give your newborn water instead of breastmilk he is much too little and this could be very dangerous. Believe that "This Too Shall Pass." And most of all....ENJOY THIS TIME...lots of cuddling, lots of nursing...he'll be onto the next hurdle before you know it :) Good luck! You'll be in my thoughts.

M.
Mommy to Cadee, Connor & McKae

p.s. My son was born August 17th and is close to the same age as your son. He, too, has recently changed his sleep habits at night. I believe (from previous experience) that this is developmentally "normal." McKae doesn't take 30 minutes naps EVER! I am lucky to get 10 minutes here and there (which is why this message is so all over the place and has taken 2 hours for me to finish)! All of my kids have been this way. At around 7-8 months the naps got longer in duration and more "scheduled" (happening around a certain time each day). Trust me, kids will GET THEMSELVES into a routine if they are given the opportunity. Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.R.

answers from Bakersfield on

Dear J.,
Try a little rice cereal in the evening, he may be hungry. You can add breast milk to it and make it really thin. He may just want comfort....you.
I had the same issue with my daughter and I had a 3 year old who was finished napping at the time. Looking back I have always said if I had it to do over I would have hired help. I would have called my church and asked the pastor for a recommendation of a teen age girl to come and watch the little ones while I took a nap.
I had some friends who let thier little ones cry....after 3 nights they slept through the night. It worked for 3 different families...I had trouble doing that though so I went nuts from lack of sleep. Hope the rice cereal works.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.K.

answers from San Francisco on

My daughter is about the same age and we had many of the same issues.

First off don't let yourself get caught up in thinking that this is a growth spurt. Growth spurts last a day or two and are accompanied with increased hunger through out the day. What he's doing is a learned behavior. It's natural for babies (and adults)to cycle through light and deep sleep. The problem is that babies need to learn to sooth themselves back to sleep and this is much easier to do if they're not over tired (sleep begets more sleep - so things will only get worse if you try to keep him up during the day.)

Start with a morning nap 2-3 hours after his day has really started. Pay attention to his sleep cues and as soon as he shows signs of being tired (eye rubbing, repeated yawning)put him in his crib. If you have a night time ritual when you put him down use a shortened version of it at nap time. My daughter will pacify herself with her hands so I swaddle her from the chest down with her arms out and then turn on a crib toy that plays soothing music.

Now he's going to protest because he would rather hang out with you than take a nap. You need to remember that this is about what he needs not what he wants and what he needs is sleep. Let him cry for up to 30 min. During that time try your best to ignore him (I know how hard this is but it is worth it. I would always start laundry or a load of dishes, not only does this drown out the crying but the rhythmic sound of these appliances sounds a lot like you did during the pregnancy and can be very soothing for him.)

If he doesn't quiet down after half an hour pick him up, sooth him, feed him if he wants it and once he shows signs of being tired again try the nap again.

Your goal at this age is to get him to take 2 to 3 naps (at least 45-60 min each) every day. This will encourage longer healthier sleep patters at night.

When he does wake up from a nap give him 7 to 10 minutes to just hang out before you pick him up (this is a really good time to prep a bottle).

I know how hard this is. Be strong. Give your son what he needs even if it's not what he wants. And when you get a chance get the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Dr. Marc Weissbluth. It's based on actual scientific observation and covers the sleep needs of children from birth to 12+ years. It really helped us. My daughter now sleeps 11 to 12 hours a night and usually only wakes up once (after 8 or 9 hours) for a diaper change and light snack.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Hello, I know you need your sleep, I feel your deprivation.
I'm not sure what your sleeping arrangements are but, try co-sleeping. It really helps my son to know I'm there, plus feedings are easy, I just change his diaper right there, roll over and put boob in his mouth and we both fall asleep, I barely even know I was awake! You can find co-sleeper bed attatchents so you know he is safe. Good luck, and please resist the cry it out method. you will get through this!!!
hugs

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.G.

answers from San Francisco on

I'm so sorry! NOt getting sleep is so hard. It sounds like he needs more food during the day time. I increased my daughter's daytime feedings (specifically the last two before bedtime) to help her sleep throught the night. If you could get him to take the bottle, you would have a better idea how much he is getting or supplement.

My other suggestion is putting him to bed later. At that age, I didn't even try to put her down until at least 10. I had a friend who was putting her 3 month old down at 7:00 and he was getting up a lot. She started putting him down later and it worked for her as well. Then, in not too long, you can gradually decrease his bed time and he'll be sleeping from 7 or 8 through the night.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

V.P.

answers from San Francisco on

Hello have you tryed keeping him up awake during the day?

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.N.

answers from San Francisco on

I feel for you and understand, as I went through a very similar situation. In the first 6 months babies grow really fast, and changes in their sleeping and eating patterns might mean that they're going through a growing spurt. Some babies are also very attached to their mothers and need them more and longer than other babies. Your son is still very little and still needs to eat at night. I'm sure you don't want to hear this, but try to hold for another month or two and things will probably get better.
During that period, I co-slept with my daughter, and at around 6 months we started letting her sleep in her crib. When she woke up at night, my husband would go reassure her. It was very hard at first, since she cried a lot. But I felt better knowing that my husband was with her. It took about 2 weeks for her to progressively sleep through the night. We had occasional relapses (teething, illnesses, traveling), but all in all she sleeps in her crib through the night. She's now 14 months old.
Good luck and congrats on your first born!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.C.

answers from Sacramento on

I have a 6 month old. He once slept throught the night (10pm-5 am)from 1-3 months. Then it got worse and worse. Waking up at 2:30 and 4:30 and 6:30. I couldn't suffice him throught the night with the pacifier any more. He too only wanted me and screamed at dad. It has gotten to bedtime at 7:30 and waking up at 11, 12:30, 2, 4 and 6 am. It is very stressful. I too am breastfeeding. He will take a bottle but only breastmilk. I tried formula "to help him sleep throught the night". He doesn't like it and won't have anything to do with it.(Which is probably a good thing). I would rather have him have breastmilk than anything else. I know it is best. Anyway, I am sleep deprived and frustrated questioning myself and what I am doing wrong or right.

I went back to my readings and I talked to with my girlfriend yesterday about it (who has a wonderful 2 year old and one on the way.) She says it is hard to do but you may have to let him cry at night. Make him self-sooth himself back to sleep. IT WAS HARD. But we did it. He cried for 33 minutes straight and finally went back to sleep. He awoke at 1:30 as well, but went back to sleep after about 4 minutes. Then he slept through the rest of the night and he woke up at 5am and I feed him. At his 5 am wake-up he was happy and babbling. He was giving me his fussy hungry noises again. He wasn't screaming and crying. He wasn't deprived or dehydrated. He feed with calmness he hadn't had in over 2 weeks. The last two weeks of him waking up all night long has effected the his attitude during the day. He lost some of his giggling, babbling, fun loving attitude. I am sure it was because he was exhausted. This morning he awoke Happy and babbling. Fun loving and playing without the frantic drama he was showing.

He knows we are there for him. He knows that we are there when he wiggles around on the floor and is stuck like a turtle. He knows that his parents love him and feed him. It breaks your heart to hear him cry at night. But they also need to get sleep at night just like you and I. At least a 5 hour stretch. Don't feel bad or that you're a bad parent because you let your child cry. You are not hurting them...it's teaching them to self-sooth a bit so that they can help themselves.

I don't mind the 5 am feeding then he easily goes back down until 8ish. He then has 2-3 naps (30min-2hrs) during the day, and bedtime at 7:30. Of course we are going to stick to our guns and do the same tonight. From what I have read and experienced...it usually takes 2-4 nights to get him into a rythum. I loved reading "The Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" by Tracy Hogg. It has helped me and my friends out termenously and has helped me feel like I am doing the right thing with our children. I am getting the toddler version too. Wish me luck....Maybe it will work for you.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.C.

answers from Salinas on

My suggestion would be, every time he's awake, force him to stay awake for 2 hours. Play, tickle, bath, etc., whatever it takes. When he naps, don't let him nap longer than about 2 1/2 hours. Doing this gets him exhausted for the evening sleep. It helps him to understand there's a difference between day and night. When he gets a little older, you can stretch the awake time to three hours. I have a 2 1/2 year old, and a 1 year and so far, it's worked for them. Best of luck, I can sympathize with being sleep deprived.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.W.

answers from Chico on

Hi J.-
At 3 months and six months babies go through growth spurts; start waking more at night again, and increrase nursing frequency to build up milk supply for thier increasing needs. Sleep patterns usuually return as the spurt slows, anad babies will go back to longer periods between feeds.

In addition, your babe may be beginning to teeth. Drooling, mouthing, biting down while nursing can all be signs of that first tooth coming in, and sleeplessness and frequent nursing can also accompany that-
S.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.S.

answers from Sacramento on

J.,
Everything is normal. Your baby just needs you and needs to nurse often. I know you are getting lots of conflicting advice and you need to find what will work for you. My first baby didn't sleep well. Napping took longer to get him to sleep than the naptime itself. Finally, I lowered my expectations. My son nursed all the time and he nursed for up to an hour at a time. He grew fast...over 90%. At first all I expected was to be able to nurse, eat, go to the bathroom and change diapers. Then I added getting dressed to the list. Finally, I added just being able to get one thing done, like empty the dishwasher or take a shower. If I could get one thing done during the day, besides taking care of baby and me then I didn't mind nursing so much and sleeping when he napped. He always slept longer when I layed down to nap with him or when he slept on my lap in the rocking chair. I layed him down to sleep in his cradle next to my bed around 10 or 11pm so I could clean something and get ready for bed. When he woke up, I brought him to bed with me. Once I learned to nurse laying down, I could go right back to sleep. Perfect! Everyone got more sleep: mommy, baby, daddy. With baby number 2, I learned to only change the poopy diapers at night (not the wet ones) and I got even more sleep without having to really wake up much, just to bring baby to bed, latch, and go back to sleep. You don't even have to roll over to change sides, just lean in. It just takes practice.
I don't suggest asking your pediatrition for advice. They aren't trained lactation consultants. They can only give you a personal opinion about sleep. Better to talk to a La Leche League leader which you can find online or other moms. Take those baby rearing books with a grain of salt. Find out how much experience the authors have. Read Dr. Sears' Baby Book. Wear baby in a sling, wrap or mei tai. Find out more from the informational website: www.mamatoto.org or www.thebabywearer.com.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Have you tried feeding him more frequently during the day? Also, how about trying to get through the night (or day) by having him sleep in the swing or bouncy seat - would he sleep longer? Then when he's sleeping better, transition back to the crib.

Good luck - as one poster said, it's a relatively short phase, and you will get through it!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.B.

answers from San Francisco on

This advice was given to me and at the time I thought it was harsh but it worked. Let him cry through one of the times he wakes up. Maybe only ten minutes or so. It will feel like a torture to you to hear your little bundle of joy crying. But he may go back to sleep. We tried this for five nights and it did help.

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions