Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Nightime Sleep Issues

Please Note: There is now a newer version of this post. See Nightime Sleep Issues--Revised and Updated. For that reason, comments are turned off for this post.

While daytime naps are something we all want down, nighttime sleep is something we all NEED down! The better rested the baby is at night, the better rested we are at night, and the more emotionally stable we can be for the challenges of caring for a baby. Here are some strategies for dealing with nighttime sleep issues.

Baby Waking in Night Consistently
If your baby is old enough he "should" be sleeping through the night, but he is still waking, what should you do?

  • First, watch for his waketime in the night to be consistent. If it is all over the map from night to night (one night it is 5:45, the next, 4:15, the next, 5:15...) I don't think he is waking out of habit. But not out of habit doesn't necessarily mean the child needs a feeding in the night.
  • Be sure you are getting enough feedings in the day. If your baby is waking at night, you shouldn't be moving past a 3 hour schedule. Conquer the night first.
  • Is your baby wearing a big enough diaper? If my kids are close to the weight limit of a diaper, I put them in the next size up at night. You have to buy two sizes, but you will eventually buy the bigger size anyway.
  • Is your baby getting too much sleep in the day? Review your Babywise book and review the number of naps usually needed for your baby's age.
  • Is your baby just waking and talking? A review of page 132 in Babywise tells you that around 2-3 months old, many PDF babies will wake and talk to themselves for up to an hour, and that phase can last over a month.
  • I think once you are sure your child doesn't need to wake up and eat in the night, it doesn't hurt anything to give it shot at Cry it Out (CIO). Many people do it with success, so if you want to, give it a try. I was sure Kaitlyn didn't need the night feeding when she stopped eating well for her first meal of the day. Once I cut back the night feed, she started eating well for "breakfast" again.
  • Before you do CIO, you can try decreasing the amount eaten in the night. If you bottle feed, offer less in the bottle. If you breastfeed, decrease the amount of time spent nursing, or offer only one side, or both. That is what I did with Kaitlyn, and this fixed the problem so we didn't have to do CIO. My first would not have been ready at that age--he needed that extra feeding. You have to decide if your child is ready or not. BW says that to CIO in the night can take as little as one time, but some kids might take at least two weeks. Something you might consider is if you would be as willing to stick with a CIO for several nights if necessary, when you know that you could be up only 20 minutes at the most instead if you fed him, and then you would be back on your way to dreamland.
  • Watch your definition of "night." Kaitlyn often woke in the 5 AM hour, which to me was still night, but she had been asleep for 9 hours. BW says to be careful about letting your baby sleep more than 9 hours if you are BF. If your baby is young, I wouldn't really worry about a 5:30 wake time.
  • I have read that some children will wake at night even if they don't need to because that is when they get attention from their parents. This is rarely true in oldest children, but more likely to happen with each child. If this could be the case, you would want to give as little attention as possible in the middle of the night. When I fed Kaitlyn in the middle of the night, I didn't talk to her, smile at her, and I avoid all eye contact. It could be really hard when she sometimes tried to strike up a conversation :). You would also want to make sure she gets the one-on-one attention she needs from you in the day.
Baby Waking in Night SporadicallyIf your baby sleeps sometimes, then wakes sometimes, your chances are you are experiencing something normal. It seems a lot of babies do this off and on until they eventually stop and just sleep. I would guess the younger the baby is when they start STTN, the more often this would happen.
  • Hunger? If your baby suddenly starts waking in the night again, try adding more feedings, adding solids, or adding more food at each feeding.
  • Too many naps in the day? Maybe it is time to drop a nap, or shorten it.
  • Teething? Sickness?
  • Did you have a wacky day? By that, I mean did you have a disruptive day to your normal routine? If so, that is fine, we all have days like that, but it could explain the night waking.
Be wary of the idea that if they did it once, they could do it always. I didn't start BW with my first until 9 weeks old, and when he was only three weeks old I remember there being nights he would sleep 8 or 9 hours straight. Other nights he would be up a couple of times. I remember distinctly when he was 7 weeks old there was a day he nursed 4 times in the day. I say that to illustrate that a baby doing something one day doesn't mean they can always do it. When it comes to STTN, sleeping longer stretches gives you the indicator that they are moving toward it, but I think most babies sleep through, then will revert back and wake up, then sleep through, then revert back....
You also have to be mindful of growth spurts that disrupt nighttime sleep for some, though not all. One night a couple of months ago I woke up at about 2:30 AM STARVING. I was so hungry my stomach ached. I had eaten as I always do the day before. I managed to fall asleep without eating, but it made me realize that sometimes babies could wake up in the night who normally sleep through and be legitimately hungry for no apparent reason. They might be able to go back to sleep, or they might not.
Check the Naps: Troubleshooting post on this blog (http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/naps-troubleshooting.html) and run through possibilities there. Too hot/cold, noise, etc. Also for nighttime sleep, is the sun coming up at the time baby is waking (not an issue in the winter when I write this, but a real issue for both of mine their first summers)? Pay attention to what is going on when baby wakes. Be analytical and introspective. Best of luck!
Poll Results: Did Baby Seem to Experience Any Kind of Sleep Troubles Around 4 Months of Age?
Results:
Yes! Naps!: 23 votes (42%)
Yes! Night!: 9 votes (16%)
Yes! Naps & Night!: 19 votes (35%)
No: 3 votes (5%)
Total of 54 votes
95% of responders experienced sleep problems around 4 months of age.
Reader Questions:
  • NOLAMOM said...
    Your blog is great resource! I have a question I thought I could get some insight from you. We have been doing BW from birth but I am not as good with CIO. I will let her cry but no longer than 20-30 minutes. We have been on a 3 hour routine and that has gone reasonably well. She started sleeping 9p-7am a few weeks ago. Bliss! She is 15 weeks old and exclusively breastfed. We started with a sitter during the day so I could work. I pump during the day. She has stuck to her routine and feeds. She has a little trouble taking the bottle but eventually will from the sitter. However, my daughter is now waking at least once a night - not at a consistent time - sometimes 2, 3 or 4. This has been going on for 3 days and I am so disappointed. The only thing that soothes her is nursing and she is nursing for 15 minutes. I feel like all my hard work down the drain! Do you think she is looking for more mommy time since breastfeeds went from 6/day to 3/day? Or growth spurt? Any advice?
    January 25, 2008 1:56 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    It is entirely possible that your baby is looking for some more mommy time. I have read about that happening. If that is the case, I would make sure she gets good mommy time in once you are home. Another thing could be feeding. Is she allowed to eat all she will, or is she restricted to X amount of ounces per bottle? I have read that at around four months, babies need an increase in food. So she might need more food in a day. If she isn't able to nurse more often to increase supply, she might need to wake at night to get the extra food. You might try pumping more often to get more milk going. There is also a possibility that things just aren't the same with the sitter, so her day is different. There are a lot of new factors to try to figure out ;) Good luck!
    January 25, 2008 4:40 PM
  • eva said...
    My 13 wk old boy is waking at all hours of the night for the past week. I am exhausted and need help. 2 nights at 1:30, then 2:00, 2:50, back to 2:00, then 1:15. Plus after I feed him he wont go to sleep, he either CIO or babbles and complains for an hour or two, only to fall asleep for 30 min and wake up crying again. Could he be thinking its daytime? How do I fix that?
    January 25, 2008 8:18 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    I would go through the list and pay special attention to the warmth of baby at night. Is he cold when you get him? If it were a hunger issue, I would think he would go back to sleep after being fed. Do you use a pacifier? The pacifier can often become a culprit around this age of sleep problems.
    January 26, 2008 8:27 PM
  • sarah said...
    I have a question about night sleep with my 4 month old breastfed baby. He sleeps happily from about 7:30 p.m. until 4-5 a.m., wakes up to eat, and falls back asleep until 8:30. Is it unrealistic to think that he may sleep until 8:30 anytime soon without waking up? Lately he seems to be pushing back that 4-5 o'clock time until after 6, but I don't want that to be his waketime for the day and if he eats then, it screws up his 8:30 wake time. What should I do? Everyone always says not to wake a sleeping baby but the schedule he has works well and when he strays from it and sleeps a little later, we both pay for it.
    January 28, 2008 12:55 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Sarah,It is unlikely baby will sleep 7:30-8:30--that is 13 hours. BW recommends 10-12 hours. I would especially avoid that because you are breastfeeding. 13 hours of sleep would mean more than 13 hours between feedings.So first, I would change either your waketime or your bedtime so your projected night stretch is 12 hours. So bed at 8:30, or wake at 7:30 (or in between at 8). Next, that is a great question about what to do when baby wakes at that point in the night. I will do a post on it today.
    January 28, 2008 1:32 PM
  • Rob & LeAnna said...
    My little guy is 7 weeks old and I have been waking him @ 1 a.m. and then again at 4 a.m. to avoid the 5 a.m. because our day starts at 7. Last night I fed him @ 1 a.m. wanting to see how long he could go without and sure enough he woke up at 5:20. Should I try dropping the 1 a.m. feeding so that his last feeding is at 10-10:30 and see how that goes? He is my third child; I don't remember having this trouble with the other 2 so I am at a loss, any advise would be great.
    January 30, 2008 7:08 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Dropping the 1 AM feeding sounds like a good idea. Just as a reminder, be sure to get at least 7 feedings in a 24 hour period until baby is 9 weeks. By the end of the 13th week, baby can have 5-7 feedings in a 24 hour period.
    January 30, 2008 9:41 AM
  • Krystal said...
    This doesn't have to do w/ this particular post, but I had an idea and I was just wondering what people thought. My daughter (almost 5 mo.) has slept through the night since she was 8 weeks. She didn't wake up early, or have any problems. But around 3 1/2 mo. she started waking up during the night. Now there is not any nights that go by that she doesn't wake up between 5:30-6:30am. Her morning doesn't start until 7:00. So I lay in bed listening to her whine from the other room. She hardly ever full out cries, she just kinda whines, letting me know she is awake. She is bottle fed on a 3 hr. schedule, so I have tried giving her an extra oz. in ea. of her bottles (so she is drinking 6oz.) thinking she wasn't getting enough to eat during the day. Sometimes she drinks the full 6oz. other times she only drinks 5oz. So I am pretty sure she is getting enough to eat, so then why is she waking up before she is supossed to? She also gets the DF at 10:00. Before she started waking up I was working towards moving the DF back to 9:30, but since she started waking up, I have reverted back to 10:00pm. I was thinking today, maybe she is getting to much sleep during the day. She takes 5 naps (she eats 6 times) w/ those naps ranging anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. I was waiting to move her to a 3 1/2 hr. schedule until she started sleeping continuously w/o waking, but I think I might try to move her up anyway. That will not only cut out a feeding, but it will also cut out a nap. So what does everyone think of my plan? Do you think it might help? Any suggestions or comments would be great!
    February 6, 2008 11:54 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Krystal, I have a few thoughts for you. If you look at page 132 in your BW book, you will see that many PDF babies wake up around 5-5:30 and talk to themselves for up to an hour, and this phase can last longer than a month. This could be one reason she is waking early.

    Another thought, some moms have found their babies sleep better without a dreamfeed. She has been sleeping through the night long enough that you can work on dropping it. See the dropping the dreamfeed post for more info on that: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/dropping-dream-feed.html

    Finally, it is entirely possible that she is getting too much sleep during the day. You can drop a nap without having to move the schedule--you can just drop the nap that is between your 4ish and 7ish feeding. There would be no sleep between these two feedings, and you might need to move them closer together. I would drop the dreamfeed before you extend your schedule.
    February 6, 2008 2:28 PM
  • annbo said...
    I've always found such sound advice from your blog!Btw, my girl has "graduated" from CIO Sleep School. She usually cries 5-10 mins (or less) and sleeps on own. She can sleep MUCH longer in her naps and not wake as much. This is so great! However, we met some hurdles and I'll like to pick your brains and experience again. She went through 2 rough days of growth spurts (rough for me) cos she wakes A LOT during day AND NIGHT. After the spurt, she didn't "exactly" went back to normal. She's perfect during the day, but at night, she still wakes 3 or 4 hourly. Which is fine, but she'll feed, go to sleep, cries hard 5 mins later and if I feed her the other side, she'll sleep mostly. But that took a long time per feed. You said you didn't do CIO at night, so what do you do if your children wakes more often? (like 3h or more?) Do you still feed? I have a feeling I fed her too much, cos she became disinterested after a while and only needed that to sleep (or poop)We are not sure about CIO at night cos we live in close proximity with neighbors. Did you children naturally move to 7-8h nights? Should I wait? Or should I help her, but not feeding her that often(since I think she can do it)? What were your experiences? Thank you so much for reading this LONG LONG que...
    March 21, 2008 7:57 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    That is great! That is fast progress!It is a hard call. With my son, I didn't do CIO because I didn't think he was ready to not have that night feeding. With my daughter, at one point I thought she was ready, but my son sleeps in a room right next to hers. At that point her night waking was around 5:30-6:00, which I was sure was too close to morning for my son to wake up, see the sun (it was summer) and then go back to sleep. This post should give you some ideas for it:http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/early-morning-feedings-before-waketime.htmlYou baby might be young enough that her cries wouldn't be loud enough for neighbors to hear in the dead of the night. The first time she wakes, I would feed her both sides so you are sure she is as full as possible. If she is waking from hunger, you want to make sure she is completely full so she is less likely to wake again in the night.It will come! Keep plugging away!
    March 21, 2008 10:18 AM
  • annbo said...
    Thank you for your reply! The post on early feeding is very helpful.The problem with her is that she used to eat 8pm (last feed) then about 12 or 1am (I tried dreamfeed, she won't wake to have full feed), then 4am or 5am. She could go 5 hours at night. But since the growth spurt, she has been waking at 12am and then 3+am, went back to sleep, and woke again at 4+ and would always have problem sleeping since then. Sometimes I would then feed her again out of confusion, or I'll rock her to sleep, only to wake 5 or 6 again to feed. It's frustrating cos the wakings has been so consistent and I'm not sure if she REALLY needed that 3am or 4am feed. Used to be she'll wake at 5 or 6 to feed and she'll have a mighty hard time to wake at 8 (our first feed) and she doesn't feed that well. Now she's just not sleeping well from 3onwards and can be fully awake at 7+. I'm confused. She GOES to sleep very well at naps, not crying long. These 2 days she doesn't have long naps either. She'll wake 2+h from wake time and cry and cry and cry. If I let her, she'll cry till 3h mark. If I picked her up, she isn't rooting or showing hunger signs. She has already known HOW to sleep on own and has experience of sleeping long and even went back to sleep during transitions. I feel that this is like a step back for her. CIO at night is just not easy. We live in the city, so I can even hear my neighbors snore (that's how horrible our "sound protection" is)What do you think happened?
    March 23, 2008 3:18 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    There are always steps back--it is a normal part of the process. See this post:Progress is a Spiral: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/progress-is-in-spiral.htmlSince you can't do CIO, I would try soothing her to sleep at night some other way if you can, just to get her metabolism adjusted. This might affect her ability to self-soothe, but that depend on her personality.
    March 24, 2008 10:13 PM
  • annbo said...
    Thank you so much for replying!! I forgot to tell you I read your blog on progress is a spiral and every time I felt a step back, that encouraged me. Things took another turn (don't they always?) She slept well at night now. haha. She slept a 6h, then 5h yesterday. But her naps were horrid.She would go to sleep herself, wakes up 1+h and cry cry cry. I'll let her...for 30-40 mins...then I know she's not going to settle herself back. So picked her up. Sometimes she slept, sometimes not.I'm so afraid I'll mess her up. What I'm most afraid of is growth spurt. I don't want to miss another and get all the crazy feedings at night! If she wakes early and shows no hunger sign, am I right to say she's not hungry then? So confused...
    March 27, 2008 11:39 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    It is hard to tell. You are going to have to figure out her cues. Have you seen the growth spurt post? Growth Spurts: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/growth-spurts.htmlThat might help you get more cues as to that.
    March 27, 2008 2:41 PM
  • MattAndKori said...
    My baby girl wakes up from midnight to 6am every 20 minutes and cries for 10 minutes. I have started feeding her every 2 hours during this time, and she takes a full feeding. I am breastfeeding, should I think about giving her a bottle of formula for her last feeding. Would that possibly tie her over until her 2 1/2- 3 hour feeding?
    April 1, 2008 3:33 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    If you give a bottle, you run the risk of compromising milk supply. What is her age? Have you checked the growth spurt post? If it is that, then you could shoot feeding more often in the day in hopes of avoiding that in the night.
    April 1, 2008 10:19 PM
  • Lynae said...
    Hi Valerie, I love your site. I haven't read Babywise yet, but would like to start using the methods before I can get to the bookstore. My almost 9 week old son I believe is constantly overtired. I thought perhaps you would have some advice on two problems:
    1. I've started the 3 hour feeding schedule which is going relatively well, but the only way he will sleep more than 40 minutes is in his swing. When I tried to do CIO for his naps for 3 days in his crib, he ended up only sleeping for 30 minutes or less and then waking up screaming again. I thought it would start to get better, but it never did. I hated to keep going with this method because he was becoming an over-tired screaming mess.
    2. So I'm trying to get him well rested before I try putting him down awake again in his crib. In the swing now he takes two 2 hour naps, one 1 hour nap and one 45 minute nap. I even get him back to sleep within 45 minutes or so because he is so overtired - yawning and fussy. But then getting him down for bed is a nightmare. I start at 7:30ish and he's in and out of sleep/crying until 12 or 1am. I'm wondering if it's because he is over-tired/over-stimulated that he can't fall into a deep sleep. I just don't know what to do about it because then he starts the day over-tired again! Any advice?Thanks,Lynae
    April 1, 2008 1:12 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Your son is the age mine was when we started BW. See this post:Starting Babywise Late: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/starting-babywise-late.htmlAlso these:CIO Bootcamp: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/11/cio-bootcamp.htmlWaking Early From Naps/Won't Fall Asleep For Naps: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/waking-early-from-napswont-fall-asleep.htmlBe sure to visit the index so you can look through the posts to find everything I have written. It is a whole lot! :)http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/index.htmlPlease don't hesitate to ask questions.
    April 1, 2008 2:54 PM
  • Cristine said...
    My 13-week baby is still waking up in the MON. He goes to sleep at around 8pm, has a DF at 10pm, wakes up at 3am, than between 6:30-7am.I cannot CIO because I live in Brazil and my house is extremely close to our two neighbores, you can hear everything really loud. They would kill me. :)I don't know how to make him stop eating in MON. He just recently started a 3 hour schedule (I had a hard time with BW because my newborn would only wait 2 hours...than after a while I finally was able to extend it to 2 and half...now finally 3.On the night he completed 3 months he slept the whole night, but it was only that night! That day he hadn't slept much.He is also taking 45 min. naps only...I've tried letting him CIO, but he usually just cries until it's feeding time (sometimes he'll sleep again). I read here that I'm supposed to feed him when he wakes, but won't that mess up the whole routine?I also don`t know if something I do is good...when I put him to sleep and he cries, I wait for him to cry a bit, than I go in and give his pacifier and he sleeps right away. Is this worse?Sorry all my confusion!I really need some advice!
    April 11, 2008 6:22 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Cristine, My guess is that your culprit is the pacifier. Since he needs it to nap in the day, my guess is he needs it at night. That is also likely affecting his naps. He needs it back in to transition. Your options for that are based on what you want to do. One is that you would cut the paci out of his life for the day for now. You would then need to cut it out at night (once he was good in the day). Another is that you continue to reinsert it until he is old enough to do so himself (possibly around 6 months, though sometimes later). I would start to wean from the night feeding, gradually decreasing as mentioned in this post. Good luck!
    April 14, 2008 11:00 AM
    Cristine said...
    Thanks for the advice! The last few days he has been sleeping better during the day...because I started putting him in his crib 1 hour and a half after his eating time. He is more tired and sleeps more (until next feeding). Although I have to be careful not to let him stay awake too much or he gets over stimulated and has a hard time sleeping. I do think I need to slowly stop giving the paci. I will start trying.I will try gradually decreasing during the night, but I suspect he will start waking up earlier because of it. There were a couple times he was too tired and only ate for 5 minutes, but than woke up around 5 intead of 6-7. Does this mean he still needs the MON feeding?April 16, 2008 6:20 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Cristine,I would say yes; if he eats little and then wakes earlier than he would, then I would say he does need to eat.
    April 20, 2008 5:09 PM
  • cchudson said...
    Not sure if this is the right place to post this issue, but I'm a bit frazzled! My 6 week old is on a 3 hour schedule, and the 7p feed is the last feed before he wakes up on his own. Usually wakes up b/w 11p-12 and takes about 4 oz formula, and then wakes up b/w 3-4 and takes 3-4 oz of formula. The past 7 days, he as been waking up 1.5 hours to the exact minute (seriously) from when I put him down after the feeding- for instance, put him down at 3:30a, and he wakes up at 5a or put him down at 4:30 and he wakes up at 6a. I would like for 7a to begin the day...what is going on?!!! Should I start to let him cry it out? I should also mention that I have tried to feed him when he wakes, and he only takes 1 oz at the most.
    April 14, 2008 7:27 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Have you ever tried a dreamfeed? For you, that woulc come around 10 PM or so. Here are a couple of posts for you to review. Babywise Milestones: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/babywise-milestones.htmlThat will help you review where your baby should be at his age as far as sleep and eating go.Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/early-morning-feedings-before-waketime.htmlThis will help you deal with waking earlier than waketime.Time Change Strategies: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/time-change-strategies.htmlThis can help you shift your schedule.Once you have tried to feed him when he wakes and he won't eat, and you have checked his diaper and you are sure he isn't too hot/cold, then just put him back to bed. Good luck!
    April 14, 2008 2:03 PM
  • krystal said...
    hello. my name is krystal and i am new to the blogging thing. but, i did a search and found your page and i need help!?! i am a mom of three and my newest is 7 and 1/2 weeks old and so precious. i had been having trouble with napping until finding this page. thank you for reminding me to put him down 15 min. earlier! it is amazing how much you forget between kids. anyway, levi had been sleeping through the night. i was feeding him around 10:30 and putting him down and then he wasn't waking until 5:30 or so. the problem was that i was still sleeping him in his carseat. well, on sunday i broke the habit and he went to sleep on his back. unfortunately, since then he has been getting up to eat in the night again. just once, but i am drained. it seems like his naps are fine (other than the evening one, but that seems to be his cranky time of day), but now he isn't making it all night. i have tried loving on him and then putting him back down, but he isn't wanting to go back to sleep without eating. do you think it is the change from carseat to back, or do you think he just needs to cry it out a while and he'll go back to sleep. thanks so much for reading this and i would really appreciate your input.
    April 15, 2008 5:58 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    It is true, you do forget a lot between kids :).I think you have a couple of options here. I think it is totally normal for him to start waking since he is sleeping differently. You could either feed him for a while in hopes that he will get used to the new sleeping arrangement and stop waking, or you could do CIO. Since he is sleeping just as well for naps, you could do it either way. One thing to keep in mind is that 8 weeks is often a growth spurt time. If it were me, I think I would try feeding him for about a week then reevaluate the situation if he was still waking. Good luck!
    April 20, 2008 4:32 PM
    krystal said...
    thank you so much for writing back. he seems to be doing a bit better sleeping on his back, but still waking up at night. i will give it a week like you suggested. you may hear from me again. hope that's okay.
    April 20, 2008 8:05 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    yep, that is fine. Ask away!
    April 21, 2008 6:38 AM
  • heather said...
    My 6 month old girl has been sleeping through the night like a champ since she was 8 weeks old. However, over the last week and a half, she has begun waking early around 5am. Her wake up time has been 7am since she began sleeping all night, so I'm so confused what's going on! When she wakes, she never wakes crying. She wakes talking, playing, and eventually whining after laying in there for an hour plus. Any ideas?
    April 24, 2008 1:38 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    It sounds to me like she might be doing the waking early thing where they talk to themselves. See 132 in Babywise for more info.
    April 24, 2008 10:16 PM
    heather said...
    I remember her doing that when she was 3 or 4 months old. Could she be doing it again? When she did it before, she would always go back to sleep. Now, she isn't. Something I might add, is that her naps have always been fairly inconsistent. She has never been a good 2 hour napper. We're taking 30 minute naps...1.15 at best. Do you think we've got sleep issues which are hindering our nighttime as well?
    April 25, 2008 7:06 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    If I remember right, there are a couple of ages for that morning talking. Also, pay attention to the sun. Many people are sun risers (myself included), so if she is waking with daylight, that might be your reason. My guess would be there is something that is causing her to wake early. IF she has been sleeping well previously, there is going to be a reason for her waking early. The trick is finding it :) Also remember that there is a 6 month growth spurt--something else to keep in mind.
    April 25, 2008 9:47 AM
  • jaclyn said...
    My baby is 6 weeks old. He is a good sleeper at night(he sleeps for 4 to 5 hours at a time and goes right back to sleep once he has eaten). He only sleeps well though from his dreamfeed on...After his "bedtime feeding" he wants to be awake. He isn't fussy (unless I put him down)...he just wants to be awake. Would you just keep him awake or put him down and let him cry (which he will do until the dreamfeed)? My next question: he is not a good napper. He will sometimes cry until his next feeding time and on good days he will sleep only an hour max. I guess I am a little confused about the BW cycle when it comes to naps. It says that at his age he can only be awake for an hour max (this is when he starts to show signs of being tired) and then he should only sleep 1.5 hours max, but he is on a 3 hour schedule. So he eats for 30 min, is awake for another 30 min, and then sleeps for 1 hr. Well this means he still has an hour before he eats. I am confused! Any help and advice would be great!
    April 27, 2008 11:35 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Jaclyn,I think I would likely give him some waketime. While my daughter would go to bed early (7ish) from basically birth, my son didn't move to an earlier beddtime until he was closer to a year. Once your son gets older and drops naps, he will most likely be able to go down earlier--and that should come somewhere around 4 months. As for your second question, that is a weird thing with the early BW schedule. It is also something that doesn't make sense to me. The good thing is that they outgrow that relatively fast--they move to an age of longer naps. Be sure to check out the Troubleshooting Naps post for ideas on that. I know that the newborn months seem like an eternity--those first three months are hard, at least for me--but he will soon out grow those things. He sounds like he is doing quite well. If you started from birth, he is still in the stablization period.Also be sure to note that there is a 6 week growth spurt, and it is a "hungry" one. Be sure to feed him if he is hungry. Growth spurts slow down once you leave those newborn months also :)
    April 28, 2008 9:57 AM
  • mommytoisabella said...
    Isabella has been struggling with night time wakings. I would say about once or twice a week she wakes between 4 and 5. For the most part we don't respond and she goes back to sleep. We allow 15 minutes before going into her room. When we do respond she has a very wet diaper. Now I just read about at night going up a size on the diaper. Also she is an early riser. She wakes between 6 and 7. Her bed time is between 7:30 and 7:45 and it takes her about 15 minutes to fall asleep. Is there something I am doing wrong? She just turned 9 months and hasn't quite dropped her 3rd nap. It has been hard to drop it when at times she wake from her 2nd nap at 2:30. Because she is an earlier riser she goes down for her 1st nap at 8:40.
    May 1, 2008 2:06 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Try the diaper first. See what happens. Then work on other things. Consider the sun being a reason for your daughter waking early. Also consider that she might just not need 12 hours of sleep. BW says 10-12 hours, and she is within those hours, so she as long as she is happy, she should be fine. Don't worry about the third either. My daughter didn't officially drop it until about 11 months old.
    May 1, 2008 9:56 PM
    mommytoisabella said...
    Thank you for your advice. I really do appreciate you blog and the time and effort you put in to help mommies out. I have gone up a size on the night time diapers and gone to a later bedtime. The large diaper doesn't seem to help, she is still waking at 4 am very wet, however the later bed time does seem to help. She does go back to sleep after the diaper change and wakes closer to 7 now to where as she was waking earlier. Therefore with putting her down later for bed a third nap is necessary. Thank you for the encouragement in regards to not dropping the third nap. She wakes between 2 and 2:30 from the 2nd. Could the 4 am diaper issue be due to the fact that I give her some water at dinner? Should I discontinue the water at dinner?May 5, 2008 11:45 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    MommytoIsabella,You could try the no water at night and see if she will go for it and if it helps. That is frustrating for you!
    May 6, 2008 3:45 PM
    mommytoisabella said...
    Yes, this has been frustrating to me. I would say it she STTN on average about 4 or 5 nights out of the week. Lately it has been 4. I am starting to wonder if she is waking out of habit since it is normally between 3:30 and 5:00, most of the time it is at 4:00. This morning I just didn't respond and she fell back asleep after 20 minutes. She doesn't cry, she just talks and our room is very close to hers. Could it have to do with her schedule? She is 9 months and this is her schedule:
    7:00 wake bf and cereal some times she wake between 6 & 7
    8:40 nap, she cannot handle much wake time in the am. Now if she wakes before 6:30 I put her down at 8:00
    10:30 however she can wake at 10 or earlier and I keep her in her crib till 10:30 recently she has been napping for 45 minutes
    10:30 bf, lunch
    11:0012:30 nap
    2:30 wake & bottle
    4:45 nap
    5:30 wake
    6:30 dinner
    7:30 bottle
    8:00 bed
    For awhile I was dealing with the 45 minute naps and the advice you gave on the nap fix did help. However recently I have been noticing that her am naps have been shorting. Is that normal for 9 months. Is there any thing I should change in her schedule to get her past the 4 am waking and to sleep till 7:30?
    May 8, 2008 3:48 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    This is a hard call. You would hate to leave her in her bed if she is soaking wet. If she doesn't cry, I would say leave her and see what happens. She might just be doing the wake up and talk to herself thing, and with you going in it would only add more interest to the situation. When she wakes early from her morning nap does it coincide with her waking early in the morning? If she goes right to sleep but wakes early, there is usually some reason from being too hot/cold, to a new noise, to being overly tired when going down. If they talk and play before going to sleep, they often need a longer waketime, or they are excited about some new skill.
    May 9, 2008 10:42 AM
    mommytoisabella said...
    Thank you so much for your help in this issue. She went to bed at 8 last night and slept through till 7:15. It was so nice. In looking at her log, I can't really say her early wakings from naps coincides with the early wakings in the mornings. Actually what I am seeing is the mornings that she has had early wakings she is napping longer 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Today I put her down for her nap and she talked and played from 8:40 till 9:25 and only slept till 10:30. In looking at my log, on 4/28 she woke at 7:15 and was down at 8:40 like today fell asleep right away and slept till 10:30. In looking at my logs from the past few days, in the mornings it has been taking her about 15 minutes to settle into her naps and she is only sleeping 50 minutes to an hour. I am wondering at this age in the mornings do there am naps shorten? She has been talking and playing when I put her down.
    May 9, 2008 3:00 PM
    mommytoisabella said...
    Also,do you think I should make some changes to her schedule? Like lengthening her wake time?
    May 9, 2008 3:04 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Does she still have a third nap? She might need to drop that if she does. Also, if she sleeps well at night, she might be able to handle a longer waketime in the morning. If she wakes early, she will likely need a shorter waketime.
    May 9, 2008 9:00 PM
    mommytoisabella said...
    Yes, she still has her third nap. She falls asleep anywhere between 12:30 (on the mornings she wakes early) and 1:00. She wakes between 2 and 2:45. She has been going down for her 3rd nap at 4:45 and is asleep by 5. However yesterday she woke at 2:30 from her 2nd nap and did fall asleep till 6:00. Her dinner is at 6:30. Normally this nap is 1/2 hour.
    May 9, 2008 11:36 PM
  • sasa said...
    A friend of mine just directed me to your blog and I'm so excited that you've taken this time to give us this amazing resource. I hope you can help us....Our son is turning 6 months this week and has been sleeping consistently through the night since he was 12 weeks old. He's very predictable in that he would only wake and cry if he was hungry, otherwise, he would fall back asleep without any assistance from us. The past two weeks however, he's been waking up every night (usually twice) and I've needed to feed him. First we thought it was teething, then we thought possible an uncomfortable stomach and we finally chalked it up to a growth spurt. It's just been going on for so long now that we aren't sure what to do and are feeling somewhat discouraged. He started on solids last week and today, I tried two meals to see if that would help. He's stirring as I type and it's midnight. I'm not sure he's going to fall back asleep, but we'll see. During the day, he is on a 3 to 4 hour schedule and takes two longer naps with one occasional catnap in the evening. His daytime schedule has not seemed to cause any variance in the night time waking. Babywise has worked so well for us and to have it all fall apart now would be terrible. We would appreciate any advice you may have! Thank you!
    May 5, 2008 11:03 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Sasa, I am glad you have found us. Babywise talks about some babies waking suddenly in the night around 6 months. There are a few possible reasons. One is the growth spurt. This can be especially true if you start solids at 6 months or later. If he is being fed in the night, he would have no reason to wake earlier in the day to get extra calories. You can try feeding him more often in the day to see if that helps. They just need more calories as they hit 6 months; it isn't a short spurt like previous spurts. It is an increased need for more calories. So if that is his reason for waking, he will continue to do so in the night until he has his calorie needs met in the day.It can also be due to too many naps in the day, but that doesn't sound like your situation. It can also be because of a hightened awareness of his surroundings. Good luck in your problem solving!
    May 6, 2008 3:43 PM
    sasa said...
    Thanks for your advice! He finally slept through the night last night, so it must have been the calorie thing-- two meals just might be my answer! Hopefully, it will continue. I'm looking forward to reading more of your blog. Any help for a breast infection? Or maybe it's a clogged duct? Must have come on because of the lack of sleep the last two weeks!
    May 6, 2008 10:28 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Really watch the infection. I have had mastitis twice. The first time kind of caught be by surprise. The second time I knew it was coming before it got bad. I would start each nursing session on the side that is clogged until it clears up. You can also massage the spot while nursing to help get it out. If it gets really tender, red, or hot or if you feel flu-like symptoms, call your doctor right away. Mastitis can be really serious if left untreated.
    May 7, 2008 8:54 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    And congrats on the STTN!
    May 7, 2008 8:54 PM
  • krystal said...
    hello. here i am again needing more help. thanks for your willingness. so, now i think we have our naps down, but he has started waking up in the night again! he is 3 months now and even on nights when he doesn't wake up, he is only going from about 10:30 to 5:30. i think my other two were sleeping much longer by now. and for the past week he is getting up in the middle of the night again. i've let him cry it out, but he is crying for an hour or more (with me checking on him occasionally) and then i finally end up feeding him. what can i do? i am wanting to get rid of the 10:30 feeding, but i am nervous it might make things worse. thanks so much for helping!
    May 23, 2008 7:14 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Do keep in mind the three month growth spurt. Some babies will wake in the night rather than waking from naps early. I think I would try adding a feeding in the day to see if that fixes it. Something you could try in the night is going in and soothing him to sleep rather than feeding him and see what happens. If he sleeps well afterward, then he is likely not hungry. If he wakes up before his real waketime again, then he probably is hungry. Good luck!
    May 25, 2008 8:09 PM

134 comments:

jamie9686 said...

Plowmanator,
Here is my dilemma. My baby, Finley, will be nine weeks old tomorrow. We have consistently been on a three hour schedule since she was around 4 weeks. Our feeding time are
8:00am wake time
11:00am
2:00pm
5:00pm
8:00pm
midnight - dreamfeed
Obviously my problem is in regards to her sleeping through the night. She did once - 4 nights ago. I had been in the process of gradually going down on her amount feed in the middle of the night (we were at 3 oz). Since then she has been waking up between 3 and 4 (which is when she would normally wake up before she slept through the night) I have been trying to continue to go down on the amount of feeding between 2 to 2 1/2 oz, but here is the issue...she is now waking up at 5:30 instead of 8. I have been trying to let her soothe herself back to sleep. She usually will after about 20 minutes, then sleep for another hour, waking up around 7 to 7:15. I will usually wait til 7:30 to get her up, then get her changed and dressed then feed her around 7:45 to keep w/in the 30 minute window. So, do you think I should go back to feeding 3 ozs, continue to try and ween her down, or do you think I should let her CIO?

Plowmanators said...

If she started waking earlier once you started cutting back the amount of food eaten, I would go back to increasing the amount eaten. I would also try to increase the amount at other feedings in the day, if she will do it.

She is still in the normal range for not STTN, so hang in there! Once you are positive she doesn't need more food, then you can try CIO. If you aren't positive, decreasing the amount eaten is a good idea.

Anne Elliott said...

Hi, and thanks so much for your site. I'm the mom of 6 children, and we've used Babywise for all of them. But I'm stumped. My dd is 8 months old, and she has been waking at night for 5 nights in a row. (She has a good sleeper before that.) We live in a very small house, so all our kids share a bedroom. CIO isn't a very good option for the others, and we're a little unsure what to do. She doesn't seem hungry. She seems to just want to cuddle with mom for 30 minutes, but I'm getting so TIRED! She's also been very fussy during the day. We did travel about 10 days ago, but she slept well during the trip and generally stayed on schedule. Our couch time is good. Some of the older kids have been fighting colds, but she doesn't seem to be sick at all. Thanks for any help you can give!
~Anne

Plowmanators said...

Anne, see this post:

6 Month Sleep Disruptions : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/05/6-month-sleep-disruptions.html

I should re-title that. It is for 5-8 month olds.

I would evaluate if your daughter has had a decrease in the amount of mommy time recently that would make her want to wake up and get it in the night. My son will get cranky a for about 12 hours before the sickness starts to show, so I would wonder about that. Also, maybe with older kids being sick while sleeping they are noiser and are waking her up? Coughing, sniffing, etc.

Just goes to show that no matter how much experience we have, we still have questions :) Good luck!

Georgie Bellas said...

Hi Valerie,
I'm wondering if you could help me achieve a STTN baby. I am reading so many posts of babies that are STTN who are weeks younger than my LO. Olivia is almost 21 weeks and is waking at 1.30am for a feed. She chugs for about 10-15 mins and goes right back to sleep until 7am. Her current schedule looks like this:
7am wake and feed
8.30 nap
10.45 feed (she is normally awake from her 8.30 nap at 10am, but due to my schedule it works best to feed her 45mins after she wakes)
11.30 naps until 1.30
1.45 feed
3.30 nap and wakes at 4.30
5.30 feed
6.30 cat nap to 7.15pm
8pm feed and bed
Due to my schedule (picking up kids, dropping off etc) my feed times and wake times are a little off. Do you think this is affecting her nighttime sleep? Should I attempt to keep a strict 3 hour eat schedule by changing my own daily routine or do you think she will eventually adapt to and drop the night feeding on her own?
Thank you for your advice.
georgie

Plowmanators said...

Georgie,

BW says not to expand your day schedule until the baby is STTN for this very reason. Baby needs X amount of calories in a 24 hour period, and if she doesn't get it in the day, she will need to wake in the night to get it. You have a few options:

1-go down to a 3 hour routine, adding one more feeding to your day. But that might be hard for you.
2-just wait until she can get more in fewer feedings and can drop that night feed
3-add a dreamfeed at about 10 PM (this might get her through the night, but you would also have to drop it later and it might disrupt her sleep)

Georgie Bellas said...

Hi Valerie,
I've come up with a schedule that suits us all that keeps her wake time at 7am, with feeds every 3 hours (with the exception of that is 3.5hr). I tried it yesterday and she napped well. She woke at 2.30am for a quick feed, but slept really well on either side of that time so we ALL got some sleep. I hope when she gets used to getting more calories during the day she will drop the 2am feed on her own. Thank you for your advice it means a great deal to this frazzled mum.
georgie

bradysmom said...

My son is 19 weeks old. He has been sleeping through the night since he was 5 weeks old. He goes down between 8:30 and 9:00, and wakes at 7:30. Since the first night he did this at 5 weeks, he doesn't make a sound until 7:30am. The past 2 nights, he has woken up around 4:45am. I haven't tried to feed him, as I've gone in there and rolled him on his belly, shushed him and he went back to sleep. He has been having the 45 min nap problem for about a month now. The only difference is that on Friday he had his 4 month wellness check and received shots. He did have a reaction to those, but the doctor said it was OK and he seemed fine, other than being puffy. It's just very odd that he has now woke up the past 2 nights at the same time. I'm wondering if he's teething? I would think if he was hungry he wouldn't have fallen back asleep? I dont' know. I have planned to start solids about 2 weeks ago, but haven't gotten around to it. He has been strictly formula fed since I went back to work. Any help would be great! Thanks.

Plowmanators said...

Georgie,

I just now saw your comment. You are most welcome! Thanks for sharing your success!

Plowmanators said...

bradysmom,

Have you tried increasing the amount of formula in the day at all? Many babies have a growth spurt at 4 months, and many have just a general increase in the amount of food eaten. There is a boost in the number of calories needed around 4 months, and while breastmilk changes the calorie content, formula doesn't. So I would try either adding solids or adding formula to the day. The thing with solis is htat it usually takes a few weeks before they really start to take in enough to help with calories.

Also, see this post:

4 month Sleep Problems : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/05/4-month-sleep-problems.html

djwagaman said...

I got the stomach flu over a month ago, and had to rebuild by milk supply. Before this happened my baby (now 3.5 months old) sttn from about 7:30pm last feed to around 6/6:30 wake time. Now we are still eating every 2 hours during the day, and waking between 3-4 some nights to eat, and again around 6, and some nights sleeping until 5:30 or so before waking to eat.

I know she needs more sleep because she will go back to sleep for around 45 minutes even when she wakes to eat between 6-6:30. I figured out that she sleeps better when I don't do a dreamfeed, but I am becoming more exhausted every day and my husband isn't very excited about my bedtime creaping closer and closer to 9pm.

Will the feeding schedule ever extend back out again during the day, and start sttn again? I feel like I have been running in circles for several weeks now - it's been a month since I stopped supplamenting and had my milk back, but we are still eating on a mostly 2 hour schedule. I feel like I am in a perpetual growth spurt and don't understand why it won't stretch back out again.

Volkov Family said...

I was so glad to find your site. It helps to fill in some of blanks of the BW book.
My son is almost 7 weeks. For the most part he has only gotten up once a night. But he is now more consistenly waking twice a night. I have him on a 3 hr schedule during the day, but not always a consistent first feeding. I usually catch up by the second. But now he is waking earlier and earlier. It generally was eating around 6:30 a.m. and then getting on track at 10 a.m. and every 3 hours with the last feeding at 9:45/10 p.m. After rereading BW and your blog, I realized the 10 p.m. feeding is supposed to be a dream feeding and not the bedtime. I will have to make that change. Though I keep him to the schedule, he doesn't seem to be falling in line with it. I usually have to wake him to feed him during the day etc. and he sometimes falls right back to sleep while eating or just after. At night he wakes anywhere from 3-6 hrs. and then again after 2-3. Lately he is not eating full feedings day or night. He just refuses to eat. I am assuming this is why he is waking earlier in the night to eat-1 a.m. I have been giving him his pacifier and then waiting til he wakes up again around 2:30/3 a.m. to feed him, but then last night he was already awake by 5:45 or so and so I gave him a pacifier until 6:15 and then fed him. Basically, is there anything I can do to help regulate his nights and should I let him CIO at any point-and he will full on cry for a long time.
Any help you can offer would be great.

Erin Jensen said...

Val- We need some help! I posted somewhere else with another question but our 4 month old has for the past week and a half woken between 12 and 1 am (except one night when it was 10:30) Nothing is wrong, he isn't hungry or cold or hot. We do generally change his diaper but I don't actually think that is the problem. Usually he calms back down pretty easy when my husband goes in there and then 5 minutes goes by and he is awake and cries again (sometimes up to 4 times). Then last night he really wouldn't calm back down so we let him cry for 15 minutes and then I went in there, calmed him down and set him back down and then let him cry for 5 more minutes and repeated. He did eventually settle back down and go to sleep after an hour and a half of being awake. We just don't know what to do. Is this a habit, the 4 month thing or what? Should be just let him CIO?? Please any advice would help. We just don't know what is wrong or what to do!

Plowmanators said...

djwagaman,

Sorry, I wasn't notified of your comment and came for others and found yours!

Yes, things should extend back so long as your milk supply was established enough in the first place. Those first few months are also basicall a perpetual growth spurt, so if you didn't have enough milk to really get baby through the growth spurt, she likely is eating more now to compensate.

I got a really bad flu when my daughter was 10 months old. My supply definitely went down, but came back again. We obviousl had a good supply by that point. Are things better now?

Plowmanators said...

Volkov,

Really focus on getting that first feeding consistent. BW says to not underestimate that.

Is he able to soothe himself without the pacifier? If the pacifier has become a crutch for him, you have a couple of options. One is to continue to have the pacifier and know that he is likely waking because of that. It will get better once he can find it himself and reinsert it (around 6-8 months old). The other option is to remove the pacifier all together. I would recommend this post:

Pacifiers : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/04/pacifiers.html

Plowmanators said...

Erin, That is a hard one. If he slept well (until normal morning waketime) after he went back to sleep, I would say it isn't out of hunger. Have you added solids to his life? Changed anything in your diet if breastfeeding? Is he starting any new skills?

It also could be the strange 4 month thing. If he is close to 5 months, I would suggest this post also:

5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/05/6-month-sleep-disruptions.html

Erin Jensen said...

Of course then last night he slept right through (after a lot of prayer that he would since we didn't know what else to try!) Go figure. He has been mastering rolling over. No solids yet. I guess it is just one of those things and goes back to your progress is a spiral post. Will check out the other post you indicated. Thanks for all your time on this blog - it really is awesome.

djwagaman said...

Things haven't improved yet. I have my baby's 4 month well baby dr. appointment on Monday, so I am hoping for some insite there. I am feeding my baby rice cereal at lunch and dinner after I nurse her, and I am still nursing her between 8-10 times a day, one of those feeding always during the middle of the night. sometimes she will take a good nap and go close to 3 hours between feedings, but usually she goes closer to 1.5-2 hours between feedings. It makes naptime frustrating, because I never know if I need to let her cry it out, or if she needs to eat again. She is usually really good about going to sleep without much crying at all, so when she crys and gets really mad, I usually figure it is because she is hungry again. I have about give up on the thought that life will be "normal" again while I am still nursing, but we will see how things go.

Plowmanators said...

Erin, You are welcome! The rolling is likely a culprit also. See this post:

Nap Disruptions: Rolling, Standing, Crawling, etc: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/nap-disruptions-rolling-standing.html

Plowmanators said...

djwagaman,

That is too bad! I would make sure she is taking a full feeding. It is possible she is not eating enough since she is eating so close together and therefore not getting the hindmilk. It will be good to talk to your doctor about it. Good luck!

ck said...

Good afternoon. My daughter, Stuart, is now 4.5 months old and I am having trouble with her sleeping through the night. She was consistantly doing so at about 16 weeks, but for the last two weeks she has woken almost every night. During the day, she is on a 3-4 hour routine, and I have tried to go back to feeding her every three hours. Unfortunately this hasn't helped and she won't eat a full feeding if I feed her every three hours. Currently, I am feeding around 7, 10:30, 2-2:30, 5:30ish, and then somewhere between 8:30-10:30. I was feeding her at both 8:30 and 10:30 but she wouldn't eat at 10:30. Then I have tried to split the difference and feed her at 9:30. Usually this is fine, but she still wakes at night around 2:30-3. She doesn't eat a good breakfast so I don't think she really needs to eat at night. I'm afraid she doesn't know the difference between night and day and is triyng to feed every 4 hours around the clock. Do you have any suggestions? My first daughter was perfect with Babywise and did everything right on time if not earlier. Stuart is more particular, which is fine, but I am NEEDING her to sleep through the night, especially because I know she can. I tried to let her cry last night, but she ended up getting so upset I had to go in after 25 minutes (there were no signs of her settling). I fed her, felt bad about it, and am now at a loss. Please let me know what you think!

Thanks so much! By the way, I haven't started solids yet, and would rather wait until 6 months, but am open to suggestions.

Plowmanators said...

ck, It is pretty common to have sleep disruptions around 4 months old. See this post:

4 month Sleep Problems : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/05/4-month-sleep-problems.html

Amanda said...

Hello - I am new to this site but am happy to have found it. I have been reading/following BW since my daughter was born. She is almost 10 weeks old and has made it "through the night" a handful of times since she was 8 weeks (anywhere from 7-9 hours). The nights she does not sleep through she wakes around 3 or 4am. When she wakes I let her cry a bit only to go in and find her trying to eat her fist, so I feed her. Then when we wake her to start our morning schedule (around 6:15am) she never takes a full feeding. Here are my specific schedule-related questions to hopefully help her STTN more consistantly:

1. We were on a 3 hour schedule for a while, however I had to wake her up for virtually EVERY feeding, and it was a struggle to keep her awake. BW says that if you have to wake them up for every feeding perhaps they are ready to stretch to longer time between feedings. So I moved her to 3 1/2 hours, most of the time she makes it that long and sometimes I still have to wake her. She is eating about 5oz at each feeding (combo BM and formula from a bottle). I will be honest, it is a struggle to keep her awake through each feeding even when she wakes up on her own to eat. I get her through it by undressing her, etc. and then follow it up with waketime then a nap. Do I need to go back to the 3 hour schedule to get more feedings in to help her SSTN?

3. If she is falling asleep through each feeding, do I need to back down the amount I give her, or is that normal for them to do? She weighs about 12lbs.

2. With the 3 1/2 hour schedule she eats 5x per day, not including the attempted 10pm dream feed, during which I am lucky if she takes 2oz. For a long time we were dealing with fussy times between 6-10pm where she would not nap after her 6:30 feeding and would not settle down until we gave her a bath. We would end up bathing her right before her last feeding of the night (around 10 or 10:30pm) to help establish a bed time routine. Then she took a bottle and went right to sleep. She STTN about 4 times with this routine. Then we decided to try the bath right after the 6:30pm feed to avoid the fussy time and it helped calm her down and she would go to sleep. We have been doing this for about 5 days and she has SSTN once, do you think we just need to give it a little longer to see how she adjusts to the earlier bath time and being woken for the dream feed?

3. If we do need to move back to a 3 hour schedule can you help me figure out how the whole "dream feed" should happen and should I decrease the amount she gets each feeding (currently eats 5oz at each feeding, starts dozing off after about 4oz if not sooner)? We start around 6am because of our work schedules. Is this how it should look:
6am feed
9am feed
12pm feed
3pm feed
6pm feed
9pm feed
With that schedule, should the dream feed start at 11?

djwagaman said...

I just wanted to let you know that our schedule is finally stretching back out again. We're back to almost a complete 3 hour schedule, and I'm feeling a lot better about it. We are getting better at night sleep too - not every night, but more nights are better.

I guess the lesson here is patience! Thanks again :-)

Todd Kortus said...

I need some advice on whether or not to let my baby CIO at night. She is almost 4 months old and is usually waking once or twice at night. Last night she woke up 5 times! I usually just feed her and lay her back down when she wakes at night, but she only eats a little bit. She just seems to want to snack or be comforted. I would like to start letting her cry it out, but is she old enough to do that at night? I usually feed her at 9pm, once or twice at night, and start the day at 6. We have been doing bw since she was born and she is doing a great job with her naps. We are still on a 3 hr. schedule during the day. Should I put her down at 9:30 and not feed her again until 6?

Stacey said...

What do I do when my 6month old son wakes because of a wet diaper in the middle of the night? The BW way during the day is working great. But from 8pm on....it doesn't seem to be working at all. He cries for over an hour and if we go in, he just screams louder and seems to start all over again.
Also, how am I supposed to just let him cry at night?? Usually he is crying because of a wet diaper or he's hungry....or both. I don't understand how I should just ignore that. I really want to give BW a fair chance to work but if anyone has input on the night, it sure would be appreciated.
Also...what if wakes prematurely during his daytime naps, say 20 min into it? Is that long enough? Should I get him up, just let him cry, or go in and start the 'putting baby to sleep' process all over?
Thank you in advance?

Plowmanators said...

1. BW does say if you have to wake them to stretch the schedule, but only after they are STTN. If you drop a day feeding before a night feeding, that night feeding will hang on there longer. Be sure to also see this post for thoughts on that nighttime feeding:

Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/early-morning-feedings-before-waketime.html

2. I don't know about backing down the amount eaten...I breastfeed so I never control the number of ounces. It is normal to fall asleep while eating, though I would think most 10 week olds are awake for most feedings on their own. See this post:

Sleepy Newborns: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/sleepy-newborns.html

3. Yes, give it some more time. It usually takes several days (or a week or so) to figure out if something is really working or not.

4. Again, I don't know about number of ounces per feeding. I would recommend the book super baby food for more help on that:

Book Recommendation: Super Baby Food : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/03/book-recommendation-super-baby-food.html

That schedule does look good. Something you might consider is to do a 5:30 feeding and then an 8:30 feeding and a 10:30 dreamfeed, just so you can get to bed earlier. But if you are going to bed before and waking at 11, that works too.

Plowmanators said...

djwagaman,

I am glad things are improving! Thanks for sharing. It is always nice to hear the good news!

Plowmanators said...

Todd,

She is old enough to CIO if you think she is ready. Does she know how to self-soothe? If you are sure she is not going through a growht spurt or teething or something else, then CIO is definitely an option. You will have to decide if you think she is ready though. Good luck!

Plowmanators said...

Stacey,

If he is waking because of a wet diaper or is hungry, no you are not supposed to just let him cry. You always feed your baby when he is hungry (see Combating Babywise Myths: Go Three Hours Between Feedings No Matter What: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/combating-babywise-myths-go-3-hours.html).

Another thing, I put my kids in a bigger size diaper at night. This helps them to be able to go longer between changings.

See this post for the 20 minute question:

Waking After Only 20 Minutes : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/06/waking-after-only-20-minutes.html

Stacey said...

My son is 6 mo old and on the 4 hour schedule. He eats at 6:30, 10:30, 2:30...and sleeps 8:30, 12:30, 4:30. My question is if he sleeps say 8:30-11:30...is he expected to be able to go back to sleep at 12:30? It doesn't seem like he's be tired enough. OR DO I WAKE HIM AT 10:30 TO FEED HIM???

Stacey said...

Also...regarding our 6mo old son....we are on day 16 of this whole babywise deal. Obviously, we started late but we've been trying to do it by the book. He's on a 4 hr schedule and I'm wondering when should we be seeing results? Our son still cries from 30-45 min in the evenings when we put him down in his crib and it just makes me sick!! I HATE IT!! I want to give this program a fair shot, but if we don't start seeing results soon, I'm not sure I want to continue it. Tonight he just cried for 45 min straight! He was fed, had a dry diaper, normal room temp, etc. If we go in to comfort him he just goes off the charts with screaming, crying, coughing, puking. It goes against every instinctual want within me. So on average how long is this supposed to take????? Please HELP!

Plowmanators said...

I would wake him to feed him at 10:30

Plowmanators said...

See this post:

CIO Bootcamp: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/11/cio-bootcamp.html

and

When Does it Get Better?: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/when-does-it-get-better.html

Stacey said...

Hello. I have a 6mo old son and we have been trying this babywise tech for about 17 days now. It is 'sort of' working for naps during the day, but not at night. I have to say, unfortunately we have not been SUPER impressed. It has been extremely stressful letting our baby cry...on us and of course on him. I can't help but think all those stress hormones racing around in his body cannot be good. SO...my husband and I set out (about a week into this) to research the internet in hopes of finding some evidence BACKED by scientific research that PROVES CIO does NOT negatively affect children. Surprisingly, we cannot find ONE single study that states babies WILL NOT be negatively affected in regards to brain development, emotional well being, psychiatric, or otherwise. We were shocked!!! Does anyone else know of any studies or research that says this will not hurt them. Or is is just being socially accepted because it's en vogue....or because our parents did it and we 'turned out fine'?? We're looking for statements other than "they won't remember it" or "it doesn't hurt them". WE want to know HOW the authors in this BW book know it doesn't hurt them...based on WHAT STUDY??? I'm just not seeing the proof. If anyone knows of any studies I'd love to read about it. Thanks.

Jennifer said...

Stacey, I found Dr. Richard Ferber's book (Solving Your Child's Sleep Problems) really helpful when it came to helping my baby learn to fall asleep on her own. He makes a really good point--the objective is not the crying, the objective is to help your baby learn to fall asleep on their own. Therefore, we want to minimize the amount of crying, but some crying will happen. He has spent years doing studies on children's sleep. I have the 1985 publication of his book (there is a version published in 2006 on Amazon). On page 74, he addresses your concern. It says, "Allowing some crying while you help your child learn to improve his sleep will never lead to psychological harm. It will be harder on you than on your baby." He goes on to talk about how this concern is often temporary as the crying does decrease with time. I'd recommend reading chapter 5, "What your child associates with falling asleep--the key problem." It helped me so much! Good luck! It really is worth it! It takes a few weeks (or months), but I love knowing I can lay my baby down and she can fall asleep with out my help.

Stacey said...

Thank you for replying. However, statements like "allowing the baby to cry will never lead to psychological harm" is what we keep hearing but where is the scientific proof?? Just because statements like this are made in a book doesn't mean they are true. Where is the study or research that was done to back these types of statements. That is what we are looking for and still don't find the proof anywhere. If anyone can point to a study to back the CIO method it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Plowmanators said...

Stacy,

This article might be of interest to you:

http://www.growingkids.org/2008/04/28/harvard-catches-up-with-the-ezzos/

Plowmanators said...

Thanks for your thoughts Jennifer!

Plowmanators said...

Stacey,

If you find you don't feel comfortable with CIO, you can try the self-soothing training outlined in the Baby Whisperer.

Natashia said...

Thank you so much for this blog! I have been looking for something like this for a couple of months now. I have a 10 week old daughter who slept through the night last week for the first time but for some reason the past 3 days in a row she has been waking up anywhere from 5 to 5:45am. Her normal morning feeding time is 7am. Her nighttime feeding is 9:30pm. I have been feeding her at the early bird wake up time for 5 min. then swaddling her and putting her back to bed. She has shown signs of hunger which is why I chose to feed her. I even tried the larger diaper thing and that doesn't seem to be changing it. She was getting 6 feedings in during the day. Should I try to feed her 7 times a day? (i'm trying that today) Also, I am confused as to the nap issue. Is the approximate age/times in the 1st babywise book or the 2nd. I only own the first and cannot find the information. Technically she has 5 naps a day. Is that too much for her age and should I try to drop a nap. If so do I have another 1 1/2 hr. waketime for her after that. (Her waketime is usually 1 1/2 hrs. I appreciate your help and look forward to hearing from you!
Thanks!

brittany, steve, and gabe said...

this blog is so helpful! i like the idea of babywise, but it sometimes feels like there are so many questios left unanswered. glad to have someone to interact with on the subject.

my son is 4 months old. i have been doing the BW thing since he was born. (with some interruptions to his schedule at about 2 and a half months because he had a reaction to a cow's milk protein allergy) he is down to 5 feedings a day(every 4 hours), one of which is a dream feeding. his bedtime is between 7:30 and 8, and we have to start our day at 6 to get to work on time. for the last month at least, he has been waking at least once a night (usually around 3:00, sometime he goes back to sleep and stays asleep, sometimes he wakes every hour after that until i feed him at 6). he is obviously very tired, so i try to sooth him to sleep. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt. he is finally napping very well (three naps a day, 1.5 to 2.5 hours each) is there something that i can do that would make it so that he sleeps until his first feeding at 6? is it possible that i am trying to get him to sleep too much? and if that is the case, how could i adjust his schedule so that he still wakes and eats at 6 am?

Plowmanators said...

Natashia,

You are welcome! Thanks for the thanks.

It is possible she is waking because of a growth spurt. If so, it is good to feed her and also try to add another feeding to your day to try to get her to not wake at that time. It also could be the quirky thing BW talks about where baby wakes in the 5 AM hour. If she is waking and is just talking to herself, I think I would leave her and see if she will just go back to sleep on her own. If she is waking and crying, I would see if you can figure out why.

# of naps depends on how you look at naps. If you count the "nap" between 7ish feeding and the dreamfeed, then yes, 5 naps is totally normal.

At that age, you still have a nap following every feeding. Since you have 6 feedings, 5 naps is appropriate (since after feeding 6 would be nighttime sleep). It isn't until around 4 months (give or take) that you might possibly have a nap dropped that leaves you with just waketime between two feedings.

Plowmanators said...

Brittany,

Thanks! I am glad to help.

This is a tricky one. Since he is napping well, it most likely isn't a growth spurt issue (thought it is still possible). Did he have a 3 month growth spurt?

Other than that, I would try to find out the reason for his waking. Look through the list in this blog and see if any of them are possible. Problem solve by trying things out and see if you can find the problem. The problem might be he is just learning to sleep. Remain consistent. Good luck!

Amber Taylor said...

My 5 month old daughter used to sleep through the night, but a month ago she starting waking up numerous times during the night - up to 10 times a night. I just have to go in and give her a pacifier and she goes back to sleep, but only for awhile. I went back to a 3-hour feeding schedule and starting giving her cereal, but nothing works. She takes 3-4 naps a day and her bedtime is at 9pm. She used to sleep until 7am and now she gets up a little before 6. What else should I do??

Plowmanators said...

Amber, it sounds to me like a pacifier issue. See this:

Pacifiers : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/04/pacifiers.html

Amber Taylor said...

I thought of that, but in the last week she started waking up at the same time every night - 12, 2, 3, 5 and 6. She won't go back to sleep at 3 unless I feed her. Could this still be a pacifier issue?? Please let me know what you think. Thanks.

Corzine family said...

Around 8/9 weeks my LO starting sleeping 7-8 hours at night. After a few weeks of that he starting gradually moving to 9-10 hours. I've never been able to do a dreamfeed with him because he'd never want to wake-up enough to eat so his last scheduled feeding is 7:30pm. For a good week or two he slept a solid 10 hours. He always goes to bed at 8:30pm. In the last week he seems to have regressed. He started going back to 9 hours which was no big deal because I know at his age (13.5 weeks 9 hours is about right) but then each night after that he has started waking earlier and earlier. Last night he only slept 7.5 hours straight. I've always demand fed at night so I've just been getting up with him and letting him eat and putting him back down and he sleeps until his first feeding of the day (7am). I'm just not sure why we are moving backwards when he was doing so well consistently sleeping 9-10 hours. The first couple of times he did this he only took a small feeding so I decided to let him CIO for a little while to see if he'd soothe himself back to sleep. I knew he was capable of sleeping 9-10 hours so I thought I'd try it but after an hour or so I decided to go ahead and feed him because we were getting close the the 9 hour mark and I did want to expect him to go past that. Last night when he woke up after 7.5 hours I didn't let him CIO I just went in and fed him and he took a full feeding so while at first I didn't think it was a hunger issue now I'm not sure. I'm trying to think about what has changed to account for this but nothing has really changed in his routine. He takes all of his naps (4 1-1.5 hrs naps), he eats well during the day (7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7:30pm) so I'm just not sure what is going on. We always put him down awake for naps and bedtime and most of the time he gets himself to sleep quickly so he knows how to self-soothe. Do you think if he keeps this up I should just go ahead and keep feeding him or should I let him CIO since I know he is capable of 9-10 hours of continous sleep? I have no problem getting up to feed him if he needs it but with him eating fully sometimes and not others I'm not sure what to do. I know babies his age sometimes wake up around 5am and talk to themselves for a while but Ezzo said they usually go back to sleep. When he wakes up he does talk for a little while but always ends up crying and never gets himself back to sleep. I've gone through your list above but nothing jumps out at me. Any advice would be appreciated.

Plowmanators said...

Amber, The reason I thought paci is since you said if you give it your daughter would go back to sleep. But since she won't go back to sleep at 3 without a feeding, I would guess it is a hunger issue. Do check out the pacifier post, but also see this one:

5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/05/6-month-sleep-disruptions.html

Plowmanators said...

Corzine, He is about 3 months, which is a growth spurt time. You could try feeding more often in the day (2.5 hours--try to add a feeding, up from 5 to 6), or just continue to feed at night while he needs it. I would first treat it as a growth spurt. After that, see this post for ideas on what to do about it:

Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/early-morning-feedings-before-waketime.html

Lauren said...

My 12wk old son has been STTN since he turned 8 weeks. Many nights he does wake somewhere between 4 and 6:30am to just talk to himself, fuss, whine, but always goes back to sleep on his own within 10 - 15 mins. For the past three nights, he has awakened at around 5am and can not seem to soothe himself back to sleep. I still let him fuss and talk for that 10 or 15 minutes, but the difference is that now after his usual fuss, he goes into a real crying jag, and after giving that 15 minutes or so, he shows no signs of letting up. At this point, I've lost 30 mins of sleep. I go in and try putting the paci back in (he is NOT overly dependent on it, he usually spits it back out himself before he really falls asleep.) He fights me on the paci, so I start patting or rubbing him, and he still fights, and now his cries sound angry. I pick him up and try to just comfort him, rocking him in the glider. He does seem to settle a little, but when I lay him back down he is crying hard again. Now we're approaching 45 mins or an hour of being awake, and my time is running short before the sun comes up. I fed just 4oz the first night (usually takes 6oz) in hopes he would still be hungry at breakfast. **He has been less hungry during the day for about a week now, so that may be adding to this problem.** Sure enough, he didn't want to eat much at 7am. THe next night I fed the full 6oz and just planned to blow off the schedule for the day and allowed a full 3 hours before I tried to feed him breakfast. Still didn't want to eat much. Last night, I only fed 3oz and tried to get him up at 7:30, and he did eat most of his breakfast bottle. I know he is near 3mo and might be experiencing a growth spurt, but why wouldn't he also want to eat more during the day? Frequently during the day I can't get him to finish a bottle all the way. I have read and tried practicing your suggestions in the waking early post, but what I really want to know is why you think he might be unable to go back to sleep all of a sudden when he wakes early? He had already mastered this! The only other thing I know to try is CIO, which my husband does not fully support, so I sure hate to use it when I know it disrupts HIS sleep, further causing him to resent the method. I just want to know if there is something I should be doing differently during the day. Until this started, I had been comtemplating dropping the dream feed b/c he had been STTN for several weeks, and was starting to not take as much during day time feedings. Where should I go from here?

Lauren said...

Update: Last night, like clock work, he awoke again at 5am. This time, as soon as I heard him start to stir, I got up and moved to the couch. I was able to close our bedroom door so that my husband wouldn't be disturbed by crying. :) Within 10 minutes, the hard crying started. It was AWFUL listening to it, but I had resolved to try to go as long as I could stand it. I had tried everything else, so I needed to know if this would work. He cried hard for almost exactly 30 minutes, then he settled and went back to sleep. He started fussing again at around 6:45am, and since that was just within 15 minutes of wake time (7am) I got his bottle ready and got him up. I laid there and prayed the entire time he cried! I know we may have to endure this again in the coming nights, but I hope it won't be too long before he gets back to uninterrupted sleep. I'd still love to hear your thoughts on this, and I hope to update again in a few days! THANK YOU for this blog!!!

Lauren said...

Okay, unfortunately, it has gotten worse, not better. I'm really struggling with not being completely disappointed and discouraged. Here are the current stats:
*he has woken early the past 9 nights
*he woke at nearly exactly 5am the first 4 nights, but the time he wakes varies now to between 4:30 and 6am
*since my post about letting him CIO, I have not gone in to get him or feed him, and the only change I see is that the times he wakes get more sporadic
*of all those nights, there have only been two when he cried hard - the rest of the time he just whines and fusses
*even without feeding early, he still isn't finishing his first meal, as well as some others throughout the day
*now, over the past few days, his naps seem to be falling apart, which I can only think is the result of overall lost sleep over several days
*his first nap is the worst - he has only slept 30 mins for the first nap the past three days

I just can't believe that my baby who used to take good naps consistently, and who used to sleep through the night, is doing neither now! I just need help with the troubleshooting. I'm playing with waketimes, but haven't found anything that makes a difference. I really need help assessing WHY he is waking every night. I have a hard time believing it is hunger if I have to really talk him into finishing that first bottle. And, by going in to check on him, I'm scared of perpetuating his nighttime waking by giving him that attention at that time. I'm so lost...

Plowmanators said...

I would try to figure out the reason he is not eating well. My guess is that is the reason he is waking at night. One possibility is teething pains, which can definitely start that young and can start months before a tooth ever appears.

Does he have reflux or something? The thing with night feedings is that he is half-way asleep, so he will eat better than in the day. I would try going in and feeding him a normal (old normal) full feeding. If he takes it then but doesn't during the day, then I would guess there is something that is causing him pain and preventing him from eating while fully awake. Then you just have to figure out what that is and move from there.

Another possibility is a change in temperature. We are in the beginning of season changes, so acess that also.

There is a reason he has changed his sleeping and eating habits. My guess is the root of the problem is his decrease in food so he isn't sleeping as well.

Corzine family said...

Thanks for the advice! It did get better for several days. He went back to sleeping 9-10 hours straight but now it has started back up again. I'm pretty positive we aren't dealing with a growth spurt because in the past when he has a growth spurt he normally nurses longer instead of more often and I notice he doesn't poop as much. Plus he displayed his growth spurt behavior a couple of weeks ago so I think the 3 month spurt is over.

I checked the early waking post. His wakings are sporadic (different times of the early am) and when I feed him he has been eating well for that feeding but not for his first waketime feeding. I have no problem letting him cio. I tried it one night (as mentioned in my previous post) but that was it. Should I try it again but this time stick with it for several nights? It's just strange becuase I know he is capable of a solid 10 hours since he was so consistent with it for weeks but now for him to be all over the board with some nights sleeping 10 hours, others 9, others 8. I just don't get it. He'll be 4 months (17 weeks) next week. I read the 4 month sleep troubles post-Do you think he's starting to need the extra calories of solids? Any additional advice you can offer would be great! Thanks again.

Megan said...

Hi! I'm sorry if this is a repeat question, but I've looked all over your site and can't find anything. My 3 month old has been going through the night without a feeding since she was 5 weeks old. BUT, she consistently (like every single day since then) wakes up at 4:40 AM half awake crying / half asleep, but won't go back to a deep sleep until we put her pacifier in her mouth. We've done this every morning for over a month and we're ready for an uninterrupted night of sleep. :) She eats enough during the day and has great naps and consistent wake time. Is the only option to let her cry it out? My only concern with that is that she does not self soothe at all really. She used to go 30 - 45 minutes of CIO at naptime before I grew so tired of hearing her cry that I'd give her a pacifier just so she'd get some sleep. I realize the pacifier is a sleep prop, but it was one of those things that we recognized early on that our baby needed in order to settle. Now it's an issue because she won't settle at night without us getting up to give her the pacifier. It's almost the weekend so we're going to try CIO for the next few days, but I thought I'd see if there is anything else you think we could do. Let me know! Thanks!!

Val said...

Hi Valerie...question.
15 week old twins, eat at 6:30a, 9:30a, 12:30p, 3:30p and 6:30p with naps at the end of each cycle (except 6:30pm bedtime) for 1.5 hrs.

My twins eat at 3:30pm and then at 6:30pm (which is their bedtime). We get them home from daycare at 5:15pm and normally put them down for a nap because they seem so exhausted.
In this nap, they crash into their cribs, sleep deeply but they only last 30-45 minutes and wake up screaming and fussy (we can not console them back to sleep, CIO does not work on this nap continuation). So, our whole bedtime routine is awful because they fuss the whole time and we have to feed them early (at 5:45, instead of 6:30). When we get them into bed at 7:30, they go straight to sleep and wake up time is 6am.
Recently, they have this fussy bedtime thing going on, and then they wake up twice at night, just to cry and then go back to sleep (Daughter will take a pacifier, son just cries for unknown reason).
Do you think we should drop this short nap and go straight into bedtime routine when we all get home at 5:15? I mean, it's not a full nap (its a catnap)...I've just always heard babies should not be awake longer than 2 hrs, 3 hrs MAX. Going from 3:30 to 7:30 is a long time.....

Plowmanators said...

Corzine, Keep in mind that for some babies, they need to CIO for a few weeks. BW says the average is a few days.

Plowmanators said...

Megan, it sounds like she is addicted to the paci. I would actually try to remove it from day naps and hope night sleep follows. How did things go?

Plowmanators said...

Val, they are close to the age when most drop the 4th nap (four months). You could try it. But, a catnap is normal at that time of day also. You could try to have a longer waketime before the catnap, or try to hold them off before food after the catnap.

~terra said...

I have a 4, almost 5 week old. During the daytime, I have to wake her from her nap to get her to eat within the 3 hour window. However, at night, she wakes and wants to eat every 2 hours down to the minute. She does take a full feeding. I'm not sure what to do. I would much rather feed her every 2 hours during the day if it would help, but I tried that and was still up every 2 hours at night. Any ideas?

Also, I have a 21 month old that is still taking 2 naps per day. He just can't seem to drop his morning nap. He's very tired at 10am. Should I drop his afternoon nap instead or let him keep them both?

KJackson213 said...

My daughter is 12 weeks old and 3 days, has been sleeping through the night for 11 hrs, BUT had been waking up from naps after 45 minutes for the last MONTH!!! So I decided I was goign to get her on a schedule FINALLY ( I was just feeding her every two hours constantly when shed wake up). Shed take a sporatic 2 hr nap once in a while. So I let her cry it out for the last half of her naps. Yesterday was the first day I did it...and by the last nap of the day, she didnt even cry after 45 min. I was so happy. Then she woke up 4 times during the night!! Shed roll herself onto her back, and lay there with her eyes open, and wed flip her. We flipped her 4 times. She was taking like 5 or 6, 45 minute naps a day, and I am changing it to 3 1.5 naps a day and a short 45 mnin., Her TOTAL soleep hrs were pretty much the same- is she just waking bc of a routine change and will it get better soon? Im tired of feeding her every two hours during the day. Im also trying more waketime today. Please let me know your opinion.

riley1319 said...

Sleepy mom needs help! My 5 month old started sleeping through the night right around 16 weeks. That lasted a total of 18 days before he started night waking again. Over the past 2 weeks, the night waking has gotten progressively worse and now he'll get up 3-4xs nightly. The time varies, but sometime between 2:30-4am he wakes up talking. That can last up to an hour before he starts crying. Once he's rocked back to sleep there have been nights where he wakes every hour thereafter until morning.

Here's his schedule:
8am - up and eat
9:30am - nap (1 1/2 - 2 hrs)
11:30am - eat
1pm - nap (1 - 1 1/2 hrs)
2:30pm - eat
4pm - nap (45 mins)
5:30pm - eat
7:00pm - eat
7:30pm - bed
11pm - dream feed

The past 2 nights we've skipped the dream feed to see if that feeding is disturbing his sleep. He's woken and been fed in the 3am hour and then been up for an hour post feed, and then up 1-2xs before morning. Then has a lousy morning feed, although his morning feed with an 11am dream feed still isn't great.

Other details: he's swaddled for naps and night time and only sleeps in his crib, uses a paci some and is in a sleep positioner for reflux issues (they are improving). I have only used CIO to get through the 45 min intruder to extend naps, but he still blows one occasionally (ie. this morning). I rock him to sleep and gave a half hearted attempt to start weaning him from the swaddle with one arm out - but the one arm caused major issues. He is able to bust out of the swaddle at night during his wakeful periods. He chews on his hands a lot, but some Tylenol doses with the first night waking did not appear to improve things. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!

Jared and Michelle Houk said...

My son has been on a 4 hour schedule since he was born. It just worked better for him. He was happier and less fussy when we did every four hours. He is gaining weight and doing well. He is 6 weeks old now and I am wondering how sleeping through the night will go. Do I need to increase the daytime feedings in order for him to drop the nighttime feedings?

Jared and Michelle Houk said...

I didn't see a reply so I am just posting again. Thanks!

My son has been on a 4 hour schedule since he was born. It just worked better for him. He was happier and less fussy when we did every four hours. He is gaining weight and doing well. He is 6 weeks old now and I am wondering how sleeping through the night will go. Do I need to increase the daytime feedings in order for him to drop the nighttime feedings?

Plowmanators said...

Terra, I am sorry this is so late! I didn't see your question until now. I know things change fast for newborns, so if you are still having problems with that, let me know.

For the 21 (now 22 month old), the -wise books say the average age range for dropping this nap is 14-22 months, so he is still in normal. If he needs it longer, keep it.

If he takes his morning nap and still naps well for the afternoon, just keep things as they are until he changes that. Don't drop the afternoon nap, though. Drop the morning when it is time. See the blog label "dropping naps" for more on that.

Plowmanators said...

KJackson, I am sorry I am late on this. Are you still having troubles?

Plowmanators said...

Riley, expect sleep to not be as good and milestones to be late with reflux. There are so many factors that contribute to this. One of them is the sleep positioner. They just don't sleep as well with that. Don't take it away until needed, but also expect sleep won't be as good while he does need it. Babywise and Reflux: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/11/bw-and-reflux.html

Also, know that rocking him to sleep could be causing a problem. He isn't putting himself to sleep. All people, including babies, wake several times a night. He likely doesn't know how to self-soothe since he is rocked to sleep. That is fine if that is what you want to do, but know it is likely a contributor.

See also this post: 5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/05/6-month-sleep-disruptions.html

Plowmanators said...

Michelle, you either need to increase the daytime feedings or expect it to take longer to STTN. You can choose which you prefer and which is more possible for you :)

JosiesMom said...

Hi Valerie, I've been reading your blog for some time now and it's been great. I have a baby that just turned 4 months but we are having trouble with consistency throughout the day. We are on a 2.5-3hour sched. She has a consistent wake time of 8am, and a good morning nap at 9am for 1-2h. She usually has a waketime of 1h-1:15max before showing nap cues. The rest of the day, she most often will take a 45min nap and wake up happy 4-5 naps for the day). She is able to self soothe to sleep for all naps. Recently, she's been having trouble self soothing for her nighttime sleep at 8pm, and waking consistently at 1am and 4am for feedings (she has never STTN yet). Is it normal for a 4 month old to still wake twice at night? How can we encourage STTN and why do you think she's fussy to go down for the night even though she's okay for naps? Thanks in advance for any insight!

jenb said...

Did BW last yr with my 1st very successfully. Now I have a 4 month old son who has never slept thru the night. He had reflux but that is better now. Night feeding is at 7pm then a dream feed at 10pm. He still usually wakes up at 2or3 and then again around 6am. He cries really loud when he wakes andI've tried a pacifier to get him to fall back to sleep but usually it requires a nursing to help him fall asleep again. I know he's not hungry and can't figure out why he can't make it thru the night. he eats every 3 hrs during the day and does pretty well with naps although sometimes he is woken by the 45 minute intruder. Any ideas?!?! Help, I'm so sleep deprived and have a 19 month old to keep up with every day.i['m so sick of people telling me it's normal when I know BW can be so successful.

Plowmanators said...

JosiesMom, She might be overly tired or overly stimulated at night. Evening is usually a busier time around the house.

I would say twice a night is not normal for a 4 month old to need to feed. I would pick one to try to get rid of. Once that is gone successfully, work on the other.

Plowmanators said...

Jenb, does he self-soothe in the day? Have you tried CIO at night? Is that possible for you with the older child? See this post for ideas on getting rid of the night feedings:

Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/early-morning-feedings-before-waketime.html

jenb said...

When it's time to nap during the day I swaddle him and he cries pretty hard inmy arms till he starts to doze off and then I lay him down. He also has trouble napping thru to the next feeding. Last wk I had him CIO during the night cuz he had eaten and was dry. It took about 20 min. Now he's been making it to about 5 or 6am which is better. Its been hard to let him CIO cuz he screams so loud and gets all worked up. Is that normal? should I not be letting him doze off inmy arms. Should I lay him down crying if its time for a nap? Will he start to figure it out?

Plowmanators said...

Jen, It would likely get a lot better if you had him self-soothe. You holding him until he starts to fall asleep is likely making it so he doesn't know how to soothe himself. See this post:

CIO Bootcamp: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/11/cio-bootcamp.html

jenb said...

thanks so much for the advise. So far I had to let him CIO last Wed at 2 am and it took 30 min. So far he has slept the last 3 nights till either 6 ot 7 am. I am also lying him down tired for naps and he falls asleep after 10-20 min. I think it's helped. I appreciate all the advise.

Proud Mommy said...

I just wanted to thank you so much for this site. It has been a God send.Your blog has giving me hope that I am not doing it all wrong and there are others out there with simular problems.I have been following BW since day 1. Recently, I have had some challenges with naps and sttn with our almost 8 month old boy. I have read and re-read BW suggestions and your sections on sttn,45 min naps,nap trouble shooting, dropping the 3rd nap, 5-8 month disruption and many more but we are still trying to figure some things out. Our little boy started sleeping through the night at 13 wks after he cio for 3 nights. Suddenly, at 5 months he started waking up starved 1 to 2x a night. I fed him and have every since. I have increasing his solids and have tried dropping the third nap. He has two 45 min. naps and one 1 1/2 hr. nap. each day. He is still on a 3 hr schedule since we haven't resolved his night. Our day starts at 7:00am and finishes at 7:15pm. Do you think I should drop the 3rd nap? Since he does best with only 1 1/2 hr waketime in the morning and he is still on a 3 hr. schedule, if he drops his 3rd nap he wouldn't nap after one pm. I tried a four hour schedule to correct this problem. He didn't do well with stretching his waketime to 2 hrs. and when I tried dropping the 3rd nap he got to tired before bedtime. Both his naps turned into 45 min naps and he cried alot before he was too tired. So if this isn't the problem, do you have any other suggetions? I know once in a while teething has been a problem with sttn (he has 7 teeth) and he just started crawling. Also we have been really focusing on the day with being consistant and not going to sleep when too tired. I am also weaning him at night. Thanks for your help.

Plowmanators said...

I am glad to hear of your success Jen!

tastevens said...

My daughter was sleeping 12 hours a night from 2 months until 7 months. She is now 10 months. For the past three months she has been waking up 2-4 times a night. One of the times I can just rock her a little and she goes back to sleep. The rest of the time I have to feed her. She is not sick, teething, cold, hot, or uncomfortable. She refuses to eat solids or drink from a sippy or bottle, though. I try to feed solids 3 times a day and have tried all different foods and consistancies. She will eat 2-5 tiny bites of food at each feeding and that's it. I breast feed her 5 times a day (and 2-3 times a night). I have tried cio and she has screamed up to an hour with no success. Any ideas for the feeding and night waking issues?

jenb said...

if I had to guess it would be hunger that is waking her. I would try to feed her solids before giving her milk when she's hungrier or give her less milk overall so she will maybe want solids more. Have you tried adding a TBSP of rice cereal to an evening bottle? That helped my daughter to go back to STTN.

jenb said...

I have another question regarding my 4 mo son who was waking during the night until a couple wks ago when I let him CIO. He now eats at 7 pm and I put him to sleep. Then I wake him around 10pm for a dreamfeed and he goes back to sleep. He is still waking early though like around 6, sometimes a little earlier or later. I thought a baby his age should be able to go 10 hrs b/w feedings in the night which would mean he should be able to make it to 7 or 8am. He can usually fall back to sleep but when he eats in the morning at that hour but not always and then it screws up our schedule of 7 am being his normal waketime. I just started adding rice cereal to his day and he is all over eating it. He does seem hungry when he wakes at that hour and i've tried to make him CIO w/o success. I just thought he should be able to go longer into the morning with the dreamfeed. Any suggestions?

Plowmanators said...

ProudMommy,

Thanks for the thanks! I would guess that he isn't ready to drop the third nap since he is only taking one long nap in the day.

It sounds like you had a lot of things hit you around the same time. A growth spurt, teeth (wow, he has almost as many teeth as Kaitlyn! She is a late teether), new skills...my guess is they have all just piled on top of each other and caused issue after issue. Be sure to read the teething posts and this one:

Nap Disruptions: Rolling, Standing, Crawling, etc: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/nap-disruptions-rolling-standing.html

Take things one issue at a time while you try to solve it, but there is a good chance you are dealing with more than one issue at one time.

Plowmanators said...

tastevens, I agree with jenb, it sounds like she can't possibly be getting enough to eat in the day. Have you tried any finger foods like peas or cheese etc.? She might prefer "real" food to baby food. Kaitlyn did. Try giving her solids before nursing or nurse one side, solids, other side to see if that will help her to start eating.

Plowmanators said...

jenb, many babies can go longer, but not all. Just go by what he needs and not what other kids can do. They are all so different.

See this post for working around the early morning feeding:

Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/early-morning-feedings-before-waketime.html

Sara said...

This blog is so great - i wish I had seen it sooner! My DD is 5 months old. She started STTN at 2 months, and slept consistently well until she was 4 months old. But for the past month, she has been having one problem after another at night and I am completely exhausted! I am starting to wonder if it is time to eliminate one of her daytime naps - maybe that is the problem rather than the nighttime sleep?

It all started when we went to visit my inlaws over Christmas. At first I assumed that the problem was her routine got out of whack from traveling. I also started working full time (I pump during the day, and she stays home with a nanny - I read your posts about mommy time and am really trying to do that before and after work.) She was waking up 4-5 times a night for 2 weeks, so I let her CIO a couple days and she started sleeping again. But her sleep has still been spotty ever since then - she is still waking up most nights. I have made sure to stick closely to her routine during the day, but that hasn't helped.

She was on a 3 1/2 hour feeding schedule during the day. (8 am, 11:30, 3 pm, then 6:30 pm). But her naps have been going longer with the nanny, so she now eats at 8, 12, and 4 during the day. She usually has 1 1/2 - 2 hours of waketime, then gets fussy and starts rubbing her eyes - so I have good clues when she is sleepy. She still wants her evening feeding between 6:30 and 7, even though it hasn't been very long since her last feeding. (sometimes I have to wake her at 7, but she is usually ravenous when I do.)

Bedtime is about 8:30 - 9 pm. Before these problems started, she would usually wake up at around 9:30 to nurse one more time, then goes right back to sleep. Once in a while, before the problems started, she would sleep right through until morning and skip the 9:30 pm feeding. (dream feed never worked for her - I couldn't wake her enough to do a full feeding, then she would usually wake up hungry 30 min later.)

But now, her night time feeding is completely erratic. Some days she won't go to sleep at 8:30 and just cries until I feed her. Other days she sleeps past 9:30 then wakes up hungry at midnight.

She has also been waking in the middle of the night at least a few times a week, sometimes several times. Sometimes I just have to give her the pacifier and she'll go right back to sleep. Sometimes she seems genuinely hungry if she didn't wake up for the 9:30 feeding so I nurse her. Other times she just seems wide awake, and letting her CIO seems to work after 10-20 minutes.

Sorry this is such a long post... With all these different issues, I can't figure out what is going on! Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!

jenb said...

Hi Sara, read your comment about your 5 month old. My first did great at night till about that age and started waking. I was fixed immediately when I started adding solids. I did the forbidden rice cereal in her nightime bottle until she could eat enough with a spoon. she went back to sleeping through. You didn't mention solids so I thought I'd let you know that worked for me if you haven't tried it yet. Good luck

Plowmanators said...

Sara,

There are a lot of possibilities here. One thing I notice is that she is on a 4 hour schedule, but not sleeping through the night. She might need more food in the day and is waking because she isn't getting it.

At four months, most will have three naps.

See this post:

4 month Sleep Problems : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/05/4-month-sleep-problems.html

LEM said...

My 8 month old has been recently waking in the night sporadically, crying/whining for a minute or two, then falls back asleep. Some nights it doesn't happen at all. some nights it happens 2-3 times. I can't figure out what the cause of this is. He isn't sick and is nothing of his bedtime routine or daytime routine has changed. I thought it might be teething but he isn't fussy in the day. I give him a teething tablet before bed sometimes when I question it and those nights he sleeps just fine. But could a teething tablet last all night if thats the case? What do you think?

Plowmanators said...

LEM, no, I don't think a teething tablet would last all night. I don't think those last very long (though I have no idea how long they do last). It sounds like you are addressing possible reasons. See this post for more guidance:

5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/05/6-month-sleep-disruptions.html

But it doesn't sound like it is too big of a problem right now since he goes to sleep quickly. He might just be waking up and needing to resettle himself with however he likes to self-soothe.

Courtney said...

Hi there, I'm glad I found this site. We have been trying BW since our son was 6 weeks old and have not had much luck (at night). He has only STTN twice in his young life despite us trying to follow the rules in the book. He is 5 months old and is on a 3-hr schedule. He eats cereal once a day at dinnertime now. He goes down well for naps, but he always wakes early from his naps (3-4 a day) and sleeps only 1 hour at a time. He is up 2.5 hours after he last ate. I try to keep him occupied until the next feeding time comes around. His breastfeeding times are 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm. He always wakes up around 10:30pm at night for a 'dreamfeed' and then again between 3-5am for a 'snack' before being up for the day at 7am. My hubby usually feeds him a bottle (only 2 oz) in the middle of the night so I can get some rest but he is getting tired of this. We have tried CIO but it only makes him scream louder and we have an older child to consider. What can we do to get him to STTN? Does he still need all that milk in the night? Thanks for any advice.

Plowmanators said...

Courtney,

I would first check out your milk supply to be sure you have enough milk to sustain him.

I would second evaluate his ability to soothe himself. Does he fall asleep on his own without props? If not, this is a likely reason for the waking.

Whether or not he needs that milk is dependent on him. I know the Baby Whisperer says babies don't need feedings at night after a certain age and weight are attained, but I don't really agree with that idea. I think you need to evaluate it yourself as the mom.

Sarah Kirksey said...

My two-month-old sometimes goes right to sleep after her last feeding of the day (9:30 or 10:00) and her MON feeding (usually between 3 and 4), and other times she is wide awake! She isn't fussy or crying, and if I put her in her crib, she will just lay there happily talking for 30 minutes or more. How can I teach her that it is night time and that she needs to go to sleep?

Plowmanators said...

Sarah, the best thing to do is to just put her in her bed. She will go to sleep when she is ready.

Also, don't give her any interaction in the night. Attend to her needs, but don't talk, don't smile, don't even make eye contact. Then be sure she gets the waketime she needs (but not too much).

mathmom said...

Hello..I would like to pick your brain on an issue I am having...my son is 3 1/2 months old and exclusively breastfed. He learned how to roll over from his back to his tummy at 3 months and now will not stop. When we try to put him down - all he wants to do is roll over. We put him down around 8 - and have the DF at 10:15. He then will only sleep until 3 or 4ish. He may bet up at both hours. We have to go in and replace his pacifier and make sure has not rolled over. It takes us about a half hour to get him back to sleep. He then will wake up between 6 and 7 for the day. Any advice? I did drop the nap between the 4 and 7 feeding - and have tried the larger diaper but that doesn't seem to be working! Thank you for your help!

csammonds said...

Hi, I hope I'm posting in the right place. My newborn son is my second child, my first is almost 2 and was an awesome BW baby. However, I'm having trouble implementing the routine to my newborn. He is 4 weeks old. He doesn't give great sleep ques, however, I think that I've got the nap routine under some control. I've been putting him down for naps 45 min to 1 hour after I wake him to eat. His eyes are closed during most of the feeding, but he does take the whole bottle. He usually falls asleep within 20 minutes, however, he does have his moments where he wakes crying every 10 minutes during the nap. He still doesn't have every nap down, I absolutely cannot keep him awake after his 10am and 7pm feedings. During the day, he naps on his stomach because I had trouble with him crying for hours during the day when he was 2 wks old. He usually wakes at 7:00 am, and I feed him 4oz every 3 hours until 10:30 pm, which is his dreamfeed. His doctor suggested I try to extend his night wakings to 4 hours, he was waking every 3-3.5 hrs in the night. I've been trying to do that with a pacifier. However, the last few nights, he has been waking up at 1:45, I give him the pacifier and he usually lasts until 2:15 or 2:30, his eyes are open the entire time he is eating and then he roots around for more food after sucking his bottle dry. He doesn't seem to be full at all. The minute I put him in bed again (which is on his back at that time), he proceeds to try to suck his hands and cry for the next 2 hrs. I try to pick him up to burp him, to let him cry it out, to give him a pacifier...nothing works. I finally give up and give him 2 more oz at 4:30 and he immediately falls asleep. Do you think I that I should feed him 5oz at the 2:30 feeding? If I do this, I think I will be exceeding the 32oz/24 hour maximum. Do you see anything that I can do here to help us all get some sleep at night?

Plowmanators said...

mathmom,

See this post for the rolling issue:

Nap Disruptions: Rolling, Standing, Crawling, etc: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/nap-disruptions-rolling-standing.html

I would personally only replace the pacifier one time when he wakes up. He might be waking due to the pacifier. Many babies start to wake up because it isn't in at that age, and they are unable to put it back in themselves. See the blog label pacifiers for more on it. You can either put it in until he is old enough to do it himself or get rid of it.

Also, be sure he isn't in need of food. If he didn't have his 3 month growth spurt, this is probably it. Good luck!

Plowmanators said...

csammonds,

I don't know if this is still an issue for you. I think he might be not sleeping as well at night because he is sleeping in a different position. You might try swaddling on his back to minimize the difference. Let me know if you are still having issues. Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you :)

miraclebaby said...

Hi---so delighted to have your blog as a resource! We have been doing BW since 4 weeks and love it! Currently we are having some nighttime sleep issues with our 15 week old. He doesn't sleep though the night yet as he had some weight gain problems and we just put him on formula to supplement and help add on the pounds, so he still gets up to eat 1-2 times at night. BUT, the problem we're having is anywhere from 45min-2hrs after we put him down for the night (8pm bed time) he's waking. We've tried CIO, but it just works him up and he doesn't put himself back to sleep. Daytime schedule is:

7am wake (sometimes 6 if he's hungry)
8:15 nap
10am wake
11:15 nap
1pm wake
2:15 nap
4pm wake
5:15 nap
6pm wake till 8pm for bed.

He eats at both 6pm and 8pm to ensure a full tummy before bed time. Any thoughts on why he's waking shortly after his bedtime?

He's also waking in the morning at 6 very often instead of our desired 7, but it is out of hunger. Should I let him CIO till 7 or get him up to feed at 6? (I don't want a 6am wake up time!)

We extended his wake time from 1 hour to an hour and 15 minutes 2 weeks ago and last week we cut back the length of his late evening nap to 45 minutes to try and help him sleep better at night last week. Why would be he waking after we put him down (he's a GREAT daytime sleeper) and getting up early in the morning? Thanks SOO much!

Novi said...

Hi

I desperately need advice here..
my 3.5 month baby who used to sleep through the night suddenly wakes up after 3 hours from his dream feed. he has been on 4 hourly routine this whole week and that's when he started this sleeping problem.
he always wakes up around 2 am. Well, not exactly awake, but he starts to seem uneasy in his sleep, he shakes his head on his pillow etc. when I give him milk, he doesnt finish it too. and from 2am onwards he doesn't sleep well, every few minutes he cries a little and he also wakes up earlier too (7am, usually is 7.30 or 8am - anyway he sleeps around 7.30-8pm).
He drinks 150ml every 4 hour now, and mostly he is on routine during the day: eat, play, sleep. his total naps usually around 3.5hours a day (2naps, 1 catnap)
Is there anything I can do to get him back to sleep through the night?
if it's just a phase, when is it going to be over??

Jennifer said...

Novi, you may consider going back to a 3 or 3.5 hour schedule until he is sleeping better at night again. Since these two changes came at the same time, it could be that he's just not ready and still needs more calories during the day to make it through the night. Check out the blog label "four hour schedule" for more info.

Novi said...

hi jennifer

thanks for the reply..I was previously on 3.5hourly feed but sometimes he doesn't finish his milk so i extend to 4 hourly

I'll observe til tomorrow night..if there's no changes, I'll go back to 3.5hourly or 3 hourly

thanks you so much :)

Novi said...

Hi..
I just moved back to 3 hourly..but he again doesn't finish his milk. he's drinking 4.5oz (he is 3.5months). should I extend to 3.5 hourly (since 4 hourly he's also not ready yet), or should I reduce 1/2oz?
if I'm on 3.5 hourly..that will still be 4 feedings between 7.30am-7.30pm right? will that be enough for him?

Plowmanators said...

miraclebaby,

Babies that age need a dreamfeed to make it through the night. This typically happens anywhere from 10-11 PM. I would add that in and it might extend your morning also. See the blog label "dreamfeed" for more.

I wouldn't CIO at 6 since he is hungry. You don't want to have a rough start to your day every day. As he gets older, he will extend it.

He might also be overly tired at bedtime, so you might need shorter waketimes before bed or to let him have a longer nap so he isn't overly sleepy.

Plowmanators said...

Novi, I don't bottle feed so I don't know ounces. It is best to consult your pedi for advice on number of ounces per day.

He could be waking for a growth spurt, so if you can get more in him in the day, he might not need to wake in the night.

Also be sure there is no sickness, reflux, or teething pain that could be waking him.

Also, does he fall asleep on his own? If not, that might be the reason. If so and it is with a pacifier, that might be the reason.

Sydney said...

My son is 14 months and is taking one 3-3.5 hour a nap (12:30-3:30/4) in the afternoon. He goes to bed at 7:30. For the past two months he has been waking up at 5:30 a.m. He just lays in bed and talks to himself and fusses on and off. I leave him in his crib until 7. My problem is that because he is waking early, he has a hard time making it until 12:30 for his nap. He is fussy and showing nap cues around 10:30. I dropped the morning nap about a month ago because it was taking him between an hour and a half to fall asleep at night and he was still waking at 5:30. His early rising effects the rest of the day and his mood. HELP! Any suggestions?

Novi said...

plowmanators

thanks you so much for your reply..this has been my 3rd wk of struggle and still no solution yet.
I've finally moved back to 3 hourly, he sometimes drains his bottle, sometimes he leaves 20ml.
he always wakes up at 1.30am..definetely not hunger because his dream feed is at 11pm. so I take it as habitual waking and follow Hogg advice to wake him up 1 hour earlier for these 3 days. tonight will be my 3rd day. I really hope this will work.
But if it isn't..do you think he really should move to 4 hourly? he will be 4 months old by this 24th july. Hogg stated that baby who suddenly wakes up at night, wake up earlier in the morning or nap lesser means he needs transition to 4 hourly. so far my baby has been waking up earlier (6am than his usual waking hour - 7.30am), he's been sleeping through for 7 hours since dream feed and now habitual waking at 1.30am and wants milk at 3.30am. but he naps well..as long as I keep patting him during his sleep transition, he will go back to sleep for a total of 1.5 hour. he has 3 naps and 1 catnap. I don't use pacifier or CIO, I do the ssh-pat method for about 5mins til he falls asleep.

I read you 4 hourly schedule posts and I got confused whether to wait for my baby to show me the signs..or follow what Hogg says..what if my baby really needs my help to make the transition?

ckettren said...

Thank you so much for this site. Just found yesterday and it's already been a huge help! My 13 weeks old daughter had some major fussy issues the past month and the doctor finally determined it was silent reflux. We've been treating and she has been mostly an angel ever since. Lexi is now on a 3-3.5 hour schedule with 5 feedings a day. She has been sleeping from approx 9 PM - 6:30 AM but lately we've been having major fussiness starting around 6:30 - 7 PM at night. She looks exhausted and sort of glazes over but I try to see if she'll just nap and she won't. I'm not sure if this is a sign I should be trying to put her down for the night earlier. I make sure she is not overstimulated that late but I'm not sure what else to do. It's not like colic where she is screaming but she just looks exhausted but won't sleep. Thanks for the help!

Novi said...

Hi it's me again..
pardon my 'many questions' on your blog :) .. (glad to find an experienced mummy whom I can share my problem with)

after observing many nights, I am now certain that it is not habitual waking or hunger..but the waking is due to sleep transition!!! But how can this be? before 3 months old he really can sleep through the night, didn't bother the transition at all..but why does he suddenly wake up? our room is dark and quiet. Sometimes I just let him cry and he will fall asleep but if the crying gets louder, I would come to him and pat his back til he's asleep. Do you know when babies will pass through this sleep transition?
I don't mind if he's having it during naps..as I can always check on him after 30 minutes before the transition comes.

Plowmanators said...

Sydney, there is a good chance that he wasn't really ready to go to one nap. Many times dropping the nap will be okay at first, but over time a sleep deficit occurs. I would put him down for a morning nap of about 60 minutes and then do an afternoon nap. Try this for a week or two and see if there is an improvement. Good luck!

Plowmanators said...

Novi,

First, does he sleep with a pacifier or something that makes it so he relies on something else to fall asleep? If so, that could interfere wtih the sleep transition.

Otherwise, it might just be a normal four month old sleep problem. Most babies experience it--and not just scheduled babies. Even AP babies. So it might just be something normal he needs to work through.

Plowmanators said...

ckettren, 9 PM is pretty late for a bedtime for a baby. I would try to get bedtime earlier.

dajanapeterson said...

My daughter, Elliana will 5 weeks old on Friday and is such a wonderful baby. She does the baby wise schedule perfectly and caught on to falling asleep herself for naptime this week with minimal problems. She will CIO for 10 minutes tops tops at naptime. However nightime is a different story. She will cry for hours if we don't intervene and would go on CIO almost all night. I thought maybe she liked looking around the nursery before she fell asleep so I left the lights on. No help. She's fed, dry, healthy and just won't fall asleep while CIO at night. I've done the past two nights and she gets hardly any sleep. I'm at a loss. Would you say I should wait? Continue? Have you ever heard of this happening? I so look forward to some insight!

dajanapeterson said...

PS I've also let her try to CIO in the swing @ night and its just not doing the trick.

Plowmanators said...

It sounds like it might be the witching hour. See the blog label "witching hour" for more on that.

Lana said...

A quick question. My DD is 13 months and is typically a good napper. (10:00 or so in morning and I usually have to wake her. Then 3:00 in afternoon.) The last four days or so she has talked or played in her crib for over an hour before falling asleep for naps or not napping at all. She has had a few spurts like this in the past and I just make her stay in her crib and it eventually goes back to normal. But my question is, she has been on this schedule for quite a while. Should I consider lengthening waketime? She has long since stopped giving nap cues, but she still seems tired in the a.m. by ten. In the p.m. however, she doesn't always seem tired. If I push it back any longer, though, it makes her waketime before her 8 bedtime too short. She has also started taking a long time to fall asleep at night. And I have always prided myself in the fact that no matter what her naps have been like, she has ALWAYS been a good night sleeper, falling right to sleep when put down. Until now. Any suggestions?

SAmom said...

My 21week old daughter has been STTN on and off (More off than on!) for a month now. She is on a 3h schedule with cluster feed at 6pm and 8pm. She has been refusing to nap between these 2 cluster feed sessions for the past few weeks now - although she does still occasionally fall asleep. Should I drop that nap officially, however 2h is a long time to be awake at her age and she gets very difficult/fussy towards the last 30minutes thereof? It does not seem to make a difference in her STTN, whether she actually naps here or not. That is another mystery yet to be solved. I thought my milk supply was getting low but she drinks only 3 to 6 minutes and leaves the full breast untouched sometimes. Is it time for solids? Any ideas?

SAmom said...

The latest is that she is wide awake for sometimes for more than an hour after I put her down, chatting, not crying (afternoon naps) which eventually goes to either napping OR crying. Obviously she needs less sleep now - how do I do that? I'll start adding 5minutes or so to her wake time, but she really looks tired after 75minutes!!
She feeds at
6:30
9:30
12:30
15:30
18:00
20:00 and her wake time is 1h:15min after every feed. (And then we wake for a quick drink in the MON). I BF exclusively.

Plowmanators said...

Lana,

Many babies have a period like this around one year of age. I would probably give it a bit. If she is still doing it by now, I might try lengthening waketime, but not too long. You could also shorten the mornig nap. See the post "Dropping the morning nap: Transition time"

Plowmanators said...

SAmom,

You can try lengthening waketime, but do it just for the naps that are off. Don't add to naps that she is still sleeping well for.

See also the post "5-8 month sleep disruptions"

Susan said...

I love this blog. I am so glad to know that there are other moms here who are having the same problems I am. I consult BW all the time thinking I missed something or am doing something wrong. But they left out a chapter that should be called... If your baby doesn't go exactly as planned, here are more tips.

I have a 15 week old. She has only slept from her late night feeding (11:00) to her wake time (8:00 a.m.) a few times. She has gone from 11:00 to 6:45 the last few nights. We got rid of the waking up at 2:00 a.m. for no reason by CIO. How do I get her to sleep from 11:00 p.m. feeding to 8:00 a.m. wake-time? I usually let her CIO for about 20 minutes when she is waking up at 6:45 a.m. but then go in and give her a pacifier until she wakes at 8:00. She will fall right back to sleep until 8:00 a.m. and is ready to go. I don't know what else to do! I get frustrated because I feel like I am doing something wrong. I also think she went through a growth spurt of some sort the last two weeks because she was waking up every 45 to 50 minutes into her naps. Any advice? I see all these moms who say that their babes have been sleeping through the night since 8 weeks.... frustrating to me. Help! Help! Help!

Plowmanators said...

Susan,

Most babies will not sleep until 8 AM. Most wake in the 7 AM hour, so keep in mind the possibility that she might just be a 7 hour baby.

Keep in mind that she is technically sleeping through the night. Sleeping through the night is sleeping 7-8 hours in a row. She is doing that.

So, you can either continue trying to get her to wait until 8 by doing the pacifier. Or you can work in 15 minute increments of waiting until 7:00, then 7:15, etc. Keep in mind that March 14 is spring time change, so we move our clocks forward and 6:45 will then be 7:45. So you could just wait until then and your difficulties will be solved :)

Adrian and Cassandra said...

Hi,

I want you to know that this blog has been such a blessing to me as a first-time mom. Thanks! We have done Babywise from birth, at least we've tried to. My daughter is 6 months old and her sleep is all over the map. I can only count on about 20-30 minute naps during the day and we have nights when she wakes 10-12 times!!

Just a little background (I don't want this to be the longest comment on record but I want to make sure I make sense:) She has reflux that has been controlled by Zantac since she was about 3 months old and I've noticed recently that it seems to be improving drastically. She also has eczema but it's pretty much controlled (at least visibly) by Caravea lotion 2-3x a day. I don't think she's hurting or itchy. We did CIO at 4 months with both nightime and naps (no paci in the crib) and things were right on track. Within a couple of days she started sleeping 9-10 hrs. straight and getting up around 4-4:30 to nurse then right back to sleep. Around 5 months things just fell apart. She goes down without a peep at 7:30 but often wakes within a couple of hours screaming. She's never been one to fuss or talk to herself, if she's awake in her crib she's screaming. Some nights she'll be up every hour/half hour all night long, others she only gets up three or four times, never less. At this point I nurse her the first time she wakes after 12 and again the first time she wakes after 4. I know she doesn't need to eat both times but she'll sleep for about 2 hrs. after eating compared with 30 minutes after CIO. We're still doing CIO but I feel like something is just wrong. She sometimes cries up to an hour when she wakes. What am I missing?? She's on a three hour schedule during the day and eats three meals of solids as well.
I know you're busy and receive a lot of comments but I'd love your take on this. I've read Weissbluth's book and many others and sometimes feel like our sleep problems are extreme even by their standards. I'm out of ideas.

Plowmanators said...

Adrian and Cassandra,

It really sounds to me like she is in pain of some sort. Since she has reflux, I would evaluate her dosage. I know you said it is improving, but perhaps only the visible signs are improving (spit up) while the pain is still there.

Zantac is based on weight, so it will need to be increased as she grows.

Also, a lot of moms say Zantac works well at first, but loses effectiveness after a month or two of using it and they need to go to prevacid or something like that.

I would say the nursing is soothing her so she is more comfortable. I would work to get the pain under control. Good luck!

Goldstein Family said...

I have a question.. I have a four and a half month old who's been sleeping through the night since she was seven weeks old. She has a cold and last night she woke up at 4:30 crying. I tried to let her CIO but only for about five minutes. I went in and she was rooting like crazy so I fed her. I don't want this to become the new norm and I don't want to damage the sleep cycle she has well established. What do you recommend I do when she's sick? Is there ever an exception to CIO without doing damage or should I let her cry longer? If she's still crying after 10-15 minutes, what then? Thanks so much for your help.

Plowmanators said...

If she is sick, I wouldn't leave her to CIO. I might wait about 5-10 minutes like you did because sometimes they just cry as they are resettling...sometimes I want to cry in the middle of the night when i am sick :)....

I probably would have tried a pacifier first in your situation, but if that didn't work, I would have tried nursing just like you did.

C. said...

I need help. My 9-week-old son has been waking up more and more frequently at night. At 4 weeks, he was sleeping a 5-6 hour stretch, but now he's waking every 2-3 hours! I have tried soothing him back to sleep or letting him cry, but he gets so worked up and eventually I nurse him. He eats, but not a full meal. I know that he is capable of going longer without food. Has nursing become a sleep prop? Sometimes I put him back in the crib asleep and sometimes he wakes up, but if he has nursed he seems content to drift off to sleep by himself.

If nursing has become a sleep prop, what measures can I take to change it? He took the paci once but cried after 30 minutes. Once or twice he has cried for 10 minutes and fallen back asleep, but most other times I end up nursing him.

I have tried to follow BW with him since birth, but it just isn't helping his night sleep! He eats every 3 hours during the day and usually takes good naps. I just put him in his crib and he goes to sleep. Sometimes he cries for 5-10 minutes but he will usually go to sleep on his own.

I am thinking maybe he has sleep transition problems, and that is why he is waking every 2-3 hours at night. Earlier, he did have trouble with naps, waking 30 or 45 minutes into his nap. I tried the wake-to-sleep method and it seemed to work most of the time.

Do you think babies naturally grow out of these sleep transition problems as they grow older, or do they need our help to learn to do it? I would be patient and wait it out, but I don't want to create any bad habits in the meantime. I am also exhausted as I have a 2-year-old to take care of as well.

I am also wondering if he is waking more often because he needs to go to sleep earlier. He used to go to sleep at 11 pm (as a newborn), then I moved it earlier to 9 pm two weeks ago. He won't do a dreamfeed (I tried it at one month and it backfired. Should I try it again?). Should I put him to bed even earlier, e.g. 7 pm? The 9 pm bed time worked for a while because he was waking once at 3 or 4 am, then 7 am. But if he goes to sleep at 7 pm he will wake earlier and even more times throughout the night. After he wakes the first time, it seems like he wakes every 2-3 hours after that. Any suggestions?

Thanks so much!!

Plowmanators said...

C.,

It really sounds like you have a growth spurt going on. I would try feeding him immediately to see if he takes a full feeding. He might not be taking a full feeding because he is tired after waiting so long.

You can always try a dreamfeed and see how it goes.

I think it is best to have the bedtime you ultimately want even from the beginning. I would put him down at that time. You can try the dreamfeed and if it doesn't work, you can stop it.

Good luck!

mommyinscrubs said...

Hi I love this post! I have a question. My son is 5 1/2 months old and is on a 3.5 hr feeding schedule. His naps are great usually 2, 2 hours then a 45 min nap in the evening. For almost a month now he has been waking up every 4 hours at night like he's stuck on his day schedule. I know he went through a growth spurt with waking early from naps to eat but now his napping during the day is great (doesn't even cry anymore when we lay him down). We finally started him on solids a week ago to see if this would help...it did not. He has been eating 1/4 cup of rice cereal + nursing afterwords 3 times a day plus nursing in the am for 'breakfast'. He wakes up around 8am and down at night around 6:30. DF does not seem to make a difference. Not sure what else to do. I feed him at night and he goes right back to bed. 11pm and 5 am he takes full feedings and sometimes he wakes up at 2 am but takes only a partial feeding (4 min or so nursing). We 'tried' CIO one night by turning off the monitor after his 11pm feeding but he screamed so loud that he woke me up from the next room, and we sleep with a fan and a humidifier on! What are my options here? I can't imagine he's really that hungry!

Plowmanators said...

One thing to consider is that his bedtime is too early. Most babies will sleep 12 hours at most. My youngest did sleep 13, so some do sleep longer, but I do think you need to consider that.

Also, think carefully about what changed around the time he stopped sleeping well at night. Did weather change? Could be be cold? Or maybe hot if a heater is blowing? Or bothered by air blowing on him? Think about what changed and try that out.

If that doesn't solve it (or in the meantime), try soothing him back to sleep without feeding him. Good luck!

Tyler said...

So, I have a 16 week old baby girl and she has never had trouble sleeping. We have been using the babywise methods and she has been sleeping through the night for awhile and usually only woke up in the early morning to eat. However, I went back home to Oregon to visit for two weeks (which is a three hour difference from Virginia), we have been back a week and she has had a terrible time sleeping. For some reason it is taking her 2-3 hours to get to sleep at night and then has been waking several times in the night as well. She is also been a little difficult to get to sleep for naps as well. I'm not sure what is wrong. It might be a combo of the time change, the stress of the trip, catching a cold, and then possibly a growth spurt. It is still so weird though because she has never been this difficult to get to sleep. Any suggestions?

Tyler and Elizabeth said...

Sorry, I was signed in under my husbands account...

Becca Anne said...

First of all, thank you so much for your help a couple of weeks ago. I moved my LO's bedtime to 7:30 and he is sleeping so much better. We're still having a couple of issues, though!

He is 13 weeks old today. Our feeding schedule is basically 6:30, 9:30, 12:30, 3:30, 6-6:30, and a dreamfeed at 10:30. For a while, he was sleeping beautifully till 6 or 6:30, but the last two weeks, he's started waking up anywhere betweeen 3:45 and 4:30 and fusses. It's not screaming, just a very restless sleep till I get him up at 6:30. We've been doing CIO since it's started, but it hasn't really seemed to help so far - and truthfully, I don't think it IS a hunger problem because if I feed him at 4, he will barely eat at 6:30. Any ideas as to what the problem could be?

We're also having some nap issues. He has a difficult time sleeping past 60 or 70 minutes for his morning naps (his afternoon naps usually will last longer - sometimes I have to actually wake him up). I would be okay with shorter naps except that when he does wake up, he's usually rooting and acts like he's starving, so we end up going 2.5 hours between feedings (ahhhh!). Suggestions??

I appreciate your help so much!!

Plowmanators said...

Tyler and Elizabeth,

I would say you have a combo of all of the things you listed, PLUS the 19 week wonder week--see the blog label "wonder weeks" for more info on that as well as "4 month sleep problems"

Those will help you know what to do and how long to hang in there :) On top of those, look at the "disruptions" posts and the traveling posts. It might take her two weeks of super consistency to get back on track, but she can get there :)

Plowmanators said...

Becca Anne, there is an age when it is normal for babies to wake up and talk to themselves in the morning. He might be doing that and then unable to really fall back asleep. I would try helping him go back to sleep without feeding since he doesn't eat well for "breakfast" when you do feed him.

For the morning nap, try shortening how long he is awake before that nap. See the "optimal waketime" posts for more on that.

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