Monday, May 19, 2008

4 Month Sleep Problems



I have had a question about 4 month sleep troubles, and realized I don't have a post on it. There is a reason I have no post. It is that there really isn't much to say other than that many moms find there to be some sleep disruptions--either naps, night, or both--that accompany 4 months of age.

It is good to have a post on it to point that out to moms who don't know. Here are some polls of interest:

With the first poll, 95% of those who responded said they had sleep troubles at 4 months. The second poll had 68% of responders saying they never had troubles. Here is the breakdown:
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.
Poll Results: If your baby experienced sleep troubles around 4 months of age, how long did those last?
Results:
  • 1 week or less: 0 votes
  • 2-3 weeks: 8 votes (25%)
  • 4 weeks: 1 vote (3%)
  • 1-2 months: 5 votes (16%)
  • 2-3 months: 2 votes (6%)
  • 3-4 months: 1 vote (3%)
  • 4 months or longer: 0 votes
  • Never ended!: 2 votes (6%)
  • Never had troubles: 12 votes (68%)
  • Total of 31 votes
There is a large difference in those results as far as number of people with sleep troubles. There weren't a lot of responders for either poll, so I believe I will do the poll again at some point.
If your baby starts to have sleep troubles around this age, I would check out the suggestions listed on these posts:
Once you have worked through these, just hang in there and continue to press forward. Once you have done all you can, try to not stress.

I have a theory on a reason for these sleep troubles, and that is that the baby needs more calories. I never had sleep troubles at 4 months with either child, and in fact, that was the age both of my kids really clicked and things went perfectly. It was a honeymoon age for them. Brayden didn't nap for a long period, but he stopped crying for his naps 4 days before he turned 4 months old. Things just really started clicking for both kids at that age. I start solids at 4 months.

This is only a theory. I haven't done even informal surveys to figure this out. I am not suggesting you start solids at 4 months if you don't want to. It is merely a theory. So I ask these questions of you:
  • If you had 4 month sleep troubles (either night or naps), did you start solids at 4 months?
  • If you did not have 4 month sleep troubles, did you start solids at 4 months?
  • If you are over your sleep troubles, do you have a theory as to why they happened (now, in retrospect)?
  • Do you think there was anything you did that helped your baby get over the sleep troubles, or do you think he/she just "outgrew" it?
I would be interested in starting a dialog about this issue. Perhaps we can pinpoint this down and help future moms with this 4 month difficulty. Thanks for contributing!
Reader Comments/Advice:
  • Meghan said...
    I agree with you, I think it's a calorie thing - four months seems to be the age that things really started to click with both my girls (3 yrs and 5 months). We also start solids at 4 months and never experienced sleep troubles during that time. I think some babies just start to get hungrier for something more around that age.
    May 19, 2008 1:32 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Megan, mmm-hmmm, I do think it is a calorie thing. I think a hard thing with my calorie theory is that some babies probably don't need that calorie increase at four months. Some would be earlier and some later...Thanks for your input :)
    May 20, 2008 10:19 AM
  • Andy said...
    We didn't start solids at 4 months, but we haven't had any troubles. It has been so much easier than the first 3 months. I read in "The Wonder Weeks" that there is a fussy time during weeks 15-19 that preceeds a big developmental leap. During this time, babies can be more clingy, crabby and have trouble sleeping. This could be why so many babies struggle at 4 months. My baby didn't have any sleeping trouble, but she was much fussier than she had previously been. I have two theories on why we haven't had any sleep trouble at 4 months. First, I read in Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child, that daytime sleep regulates at 16 weeks and night sleep becomes more adult-like. As soon as my baby hit 16 weeks, she completely stopped waking early from naps and started sleeping much more soundly at night -- no crying out like she used to. Second, I think it really helped to start CIO early on. It seems like the "accepted" age to start CIO is 4 months (this is what my pediatrician recommended). It's possible that a lot of people wait to do CIO, which makes 4 months a difficult time. We started CIO at 6 weeks, so, I think, by the time we hit 4 months and her sleep was regulating, my baby had already learned how to soothe herself and everything just came together at that point. Sorry that this is so long-winded. :o) I was really worried that we would have trouble, so I did a lot of reading on it. I'm looking forward to hearing what other people think.
    May 19, 2008 2:22 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Andy, Thanks for sharing that. I have heard good things about the wonder weeks, thanks for bringing it up. That is interesting about what they say about 4 months...but my kids weren't that way at all. Things were really smooth and basically perfect. No talking back :), very content to observe things around them...I have also read in various places that sleep regulates around four months. But obviously there are many people for whom that is not true :)I would agree with starting CIO early on. That would be an interesting thing to add to the questioning. I started CIO with Kaitlyn at 1 week and Brayden at 9 weeks. I am trying to find variables that change from home to home (so we can help future moms of 4 month olds), which is why I find the wonder weeks and sleep reglating at 4 months interesting and totally believed that to be true before starting this blog, but can't really see those as being the reasons things go smoothly for some and not others--all babies are the ages described in those two theories. You know what I mean? Thanks for all of your thoughts! I am glad you brought up the CIO thought.
    May 20, 2008 10:35 AM
    Andy said...
    I see what you're saying about the regulating working for some and not others. It was literally like a light switch went on for my baby at 16 weeks, though, but maybe it's because she is naturally more of a sleeper. I have several friends who didn't start CIO until 4 months and they had an awful time of it with naps and night waking. So, maybe the early CIO had a bigger impact than I thought.
    May 20, 2008 10:58 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Andy, I hear you. Things were the same for us at four months. I was shocked to hear of problems at four months. For us, it was a lovely time :)
    May 21, 2008 10:58 PM
  • Elizabeth said...
    We also had the 4-month nighttime troubles, even though Noah had previously been sleeping through the night since about 9 weeks. At first I would get up and nurse, and then later switched to giving him his paci instead and he would still fall back asleep once he had it. My doctor (who is a Prep for Parenting supporter) advised me to let him CIO, since he obviously didn't need the calories. He called it a "trained night crier", and that Noah just needed to learn to self-soothe. Sure enough, after about a week of CIO at night he stopped waking up, and has only had troubles since when experiencing occasional growth spurts.
    May 19, 2008 11:27 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks for your thoughts Elizabeth. That also makes me wonder about pacifier use and the four month issues. I appreciate all of these thoughts to help us narrow down possible reasons better. The more experiences the better!
    May 20, 2008 10:50 AM
  • Tim & Jamie said...
    My son will be 5 months old on the 30th of this month and this week has begun to have sleep issues during nap time. he wakes up 45 minutes into his nap I would let him CIO but he just sits in his crib and talks to himself. If I get him up he is cranky and fussy about 45 minutes into his awake time. I had him on a 3 to 3 1/2 hours schedule until about 2 weeks ago and have not been able to troubleshoot his nap time problems as he was fine before. He sleep great at night and has slept 12 hours since 8 weeks old. I have never had a problem with him until the last 2 weeks. I am thinking about starting him on rice cereal to see if that will remedy the problem, but so far I have not been able to get anything else to work. Thank you for your blog I read it all the time and look to it for some great insight as I navigate my way through the first year of my childs life.www.thegocenter.com/preston
    May 20, 2008 3:15 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Jamie, Good luck troubleshooting! I believe 5 months is a normal age mentioned in the book for 45 minute naps. I hope you figure it out soon!
    May 20, 2008 10:52 AM
    Rachel Stellaaa said...
    Jamie, My son did the same thing as yours around 4 months for a couple weeks. He would wake up happy after a short nap so I'd think maybe he was done napping but then be tired shortly after. He never seemed to wake up due to hunger. I still don't know why he did it. It just went away eventually. Maybe he was just too excited about his surroundings?
    June 2, 2008 5:09 PM
  • IzzysMama said...
    My lo fits the developemental leaps schedule in "The Wonder Weeks" book to a T! I never understood why she would do so great for a couple of weeks and then all the sudden start sleeping horribly and then a couple weeks later start sleeping great again. After reading that book I realized that so far, her sleep problems have been associated with her development. I think she is just so excited about her new world she cant sleep. I remember 4 months was the biggest but I think it happened at 2 months as well.
    May 20, 2008 9:26 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks Izzy's Mama!
    May 20, 2008 11:00 AM
  • Dana said...
    I did have sleep issues at 4 months with my daughter, but not with my son. We started solids at 4.5mo with my son, but not until 6mo with my daughter(Interesting!)With my daughter, I think part of the problem was I moved her schedule too soon. She had reflux, which I never had diagnosed, but I'm positive of it now. I believe the reflux caused her to not eat consistantly due to the pain. I thought at the time she just needed her feedings moved farther apart. Boy was I wrong. When I finally gave up the 4 hour schedule and moved her back to a 3/3.5 hour schedule everything started to smooth out. So definitely a calorie issue in combination with too early of a schedule change. HTH with your theory and advice for other moms!
    May 20, 2008 11:03 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Dana, thanks for your thoughts! It is a good reminder to be sure to follow the needs of your child; we can't force things our kids aren't ready for. My daughter also needed a 3-3.5 hour schedule for a longer time because of reflux.
    May 21, 2008 11:00 PM
Reader Questions:
  • Krystal said...
    My daughter used to sleep from 9:30pm-7am, w/ no problem, but now (she is a little over 4 mo. and it has been going on for about 6 weeks) she eats at 10pm and can't seem to make it to 7am w/o waking up at least once during the night. I don't feed her-we stopped feeding her in the middle of the night when she was about 8 weeks old. She scoots around in her crib,so during the night at least once she gets herself all crammed into the corner. I always go and move her down at least once, and sometimes she goes right to sleep after that, but sometimes she cries for awhile. If she wakes in the night (because she's in the corner) at 2-3, she will still wake up at 5:30-6:30 and cry until I go get her. If she doen't wake at 2-3, she will still wake 5:30-6:30. Our day doesn't begin until 7:00! If this was just every once in awhile, I would just go w/ the flow, but it is EVERY night! Our days are fine-she takes great napes-anywhere between 1 1/2-2 1/2 hrs. every time. She rarely wakes early out of those. When my son was her age he slept from 8:30-8am. If anyone has any advice for me, that would be great!
    February 3, 2008 6:28 AM
    Becky said...
    I am having the same problem with my 4.5 month old son that Krystal had. How long does it last? Are you "back-sliding" if you feed him? I only feed him if I cannot get him to go back to sleep. This happens maybe just once a week, but he is waking up 1 or 2 times a night just about every day of the week.
    April 14, 2008 8:00 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    I have to appologize to Krystal because I didn't know this comment was here! It is hard to say how long this lasts because it will depend on your baby. For some, it honestly is months. For others, it is only days. I don't think it is backsliding if you feed him. If he is hungry, always feed him. There is a growth spurt at 4 months and a general need for more food. I will do the next poll on this question so you can get an idea of how long it lasted for others.
    April 14, 2008 2:09 PM
    Becky said...
    Thank you very much! After reading your new post on the pacifier, I think that may have alot to do with our sleeping habits as well. Thanks for your response and for the upcoming poll. It will be interesting to see the results! Thanks again!
    April 14, 2008 9:37 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    You are welcome! Some moms find pacifiers to have no negative effects on sleep, while others find it to have a lot of problems.
    April 17, 2008 4:47 PM
  • becca & nathan said...
    My son will be 4 months old on the 23rd! His nights vary...he does not sleep through the night yet. I do not do a dreamfeed because I thought when I was doing it that he slept better without it. So his nights have been varying between waking up once (around 2 or 3), or waking twice (last night around 11:30 and then 3:45). My first question is, should I try the dreamfeed again to see if that will cut out the waking? It seems like I always want to try it again, then I try it for one night and it doesn't work, so I go back to normal. Do I need to give it a week to see if it will work? I am also thinking that this is the age he is supposed to drop the dreamfeed, not add it, so I don't know if this is a good idea. We are normally on a 3 hour schedule. Yesterday, however, I decided to let him sleep as long as he wanted for naps because I think he is overtired (lots of crying at bedtime for the past week or so). He slept 3 hours in the morning, 2.5 in the midafternoon, then about 1 hour in the late afternoon. He went to bed with minimal fuss. Should I consider that just a "catch up" day, or should I think about extending his schedule. 1) I know that they are supposed to STTN before doing this. and 2) He only can usually get about 1 hour of waketime still. Sorry for such a long comment...any help is appreciated! Thanks!
    May 20, 2008 7:38 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Becca,If I were you, I don't think I would try the dreamfeed again. You are right, you are at the age to drop it. I think I would just stick it out.As far as extending schedule, you could try it. It is possible it was just a catch up day. Some moms find their nights get better with extending the schedule. IF your son is waking in the night from hunger, though, then I wouldn't extend your schedule to the point of dropping a feeding. And if it were me, I would try to get down to at most one feeding a night before extending to the point of dropping a day feeding (and in fact I would wait until all night feedings are gone, but like I said, some moms find night feedings stop once a 4 hour schedule starts). You could try a combo schedule (3-3.5 hour schedule) and not drop a day feeding and see how he does consistently.
    May 20, 2008 10:58 AM
    becca & nathan said...
    Thanks, Val. That's really helpful. I am wondering about the combo schedule...Do I have to be consistent about which feedings are 3 and which are 3.5, or can I just be flexible and see which nap he sleeps through? This morning, he woke at 3 hours on the dot for his 10 am feeding, and now it is 1:05 and he is still sleeping. Would it mess things up if I just let him sleep until 1:30 making this a 3.5 cycle...and not necessarily doing it every day? I have read your post about establishing a consistent schedule...still not sure how to plan a combo schedule. thanks again.
    May 20, 2008 11:11 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Becca, I think that if you took note of when he seemed to be able to go longer, you will see a pattern. I would try to make it the same feedings that have a longer time interval so you can be sure metabolism is stabelized.I would take several days to take notes of when he wakes for feedings and see if you see a pattern. In the case that you asked about...if you normally wanted the feeding to be at 10:30, then the next at 1:30...then he woke at 10:00, I would let him sleep until 1:30 so that you are back on track.
    May 21, 2008 11:03 PM
  • Kate said...
    I'm one of the Moms having the 4th month trouble. Before this, she has only woken once during the night since she was 7-8 weeks old and it was always b/c she was hungry. There were a few exceptions but would go right back to sleep if I gave her a pacifier. So, I've never had to do CIO b/c she never cried at night. I tried doing an extra feeding during the night, but she wouldn't really eat. I tried doing an extra feeding during the day, but it was the same thing-she wouldn't eat. So, I know it's not a hunger thing and she won't even take the pacifier. We decided Sunday night to do CIO. I'm not ready for what I know is the best way to do CIO. Instead we've been doing the method where you increase time and go in for a minute and pack their back. I know this method takes longer but it's all we're ready for. However, my sister-in-law just called and she, her husband, and 2 kids (2yr old and baby) will be staying w/ us Thur. and Fri. night. We won't be doing CIO those 2 nights and I guess I will just feed her. Is that going to totally mess my daughter up b/c I plan on going back to letting her cry after they leave? What's the best way to handle this? Thank you
    May 20, 2008 10:56 AM
    Kate said...
    Tried to post this earlier, but can't find it so sorry if this is a repeat. I'm one of the Mom's having the 4 months trouble. My daughter has only woken once during the night since she was 7-8 weeks and it was always when she was hungry. There were a few exceptions but she would go right back to sleep if we gave her the pacifier. I tried giving her an extra feeding during the night-she wouldn't it. Tried an extra feeding during the day-same thing, wouldn't eat. So, I know she's not waking b/c she's hungry. She also won't take the pacifier, so we decided to do CIO. I've never had to do CIO before b/c she's never cried at night before.My sister-in-law just called and she and her family (2yr old and baby) will be staying with us Thur-Sun. I don't want to CIO while there here and keep everyone up. How would you handle this? Should I just feed her while they're here and hope that puts her back to sleep and then start back w/ CIO when they leave? Is that going to totally mess her up?I wonder if I'm having trouble since we never did a dreamfeed. A dreamfeed never worked with her, I tried a few times. But when she was waking once a night the time would vary anywhere from 2-4:30AM. I wonder if since whenever she woke she got fed, now that she is waking up more at night she is having trouble putting herself to sleep. Just a thought.As usual, thank you so much!
    May 21, 2008 7:38 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Hi Kate, Your other post is on this page :)I might wait to CIO until your sister-in-law is gone. If not, you can certainly to back to it once she is gone, and it is just fine to modify your approach to be courteous to your guests. Your daughter might have a slight regression when you go back to CIO, but she should make up ground faster than she originally made it.There are a lot of moms who don't do a dreamfeed, so I don't know if that is the problem. Good luck with your CIO!
    May 21, 2008 10:57 PM
  • Jessica said...
    My daughter, 16 weeks, has just started having trouble, primarily with her naps. She has gone from taking two 2-3 hour naps and one 45 minute nap to only napping for one hour per nap. She has also woke early in the morning once (Praise God only once). I am not 100% sure what is going on. There are so many new things happening with her right now. She is teething, her eat habits have changed (wanting to take only 2oz. at some feedings), she is now sleeping unswaddled and she can turn over.At first I was contributing the sleep disturbance to her being able to turn over (each time I have gone to get her, except once, she has turned herself over). Now, I just don't know. I don't know if I should allow her to CIO and learn to sleep on her back (she is a tummy sleeper). I don't want her to CIO when she is hungry or having teething pain.I have gotten her up at each nap today and this last nap she ate almost 4oz. So, I think she was hungry.
    July 17, 2008 2:01 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Jessica, This is a hard situation when you have so many factors to work through. I would focus on one at a time. I would first assume it is teething because if it is, it can be easy to fix and is easy to test. I would give her tylenol before her nap (20 minutes before or right before). Then it should be working at the transition time and she can make it through.If not, move on to growth spurt because this is one you don't want to ignore if it is the case. Try feeding her when she wakes early. This age is common for growth spurts.After that, move on to other possible factors. Focus on one at once. It will take some time, but hopefully you can figure it out. Good luck!
    July 21, 2008 4:09 PM
  • benmagmom said...
    HELP! My daughter is 4 months old. She had been sleeping through the night (approx. 11 hours) for about 2 months. The last 2 weeks have been a nightmare. She is up at night. I've tried treating it as a feeding issue and tried to let her CIO to no avail. She does eat, but she's up so much it's interfering with her daytime happiness (and my sanity). Plus, she's not eating as much at her first morning feeding. She seems to be awaking relatively regularly at 1:30-2:30 and then again at 5:30-6:30. Our daytime schedule is first feeding at 8 am. (This is because my son's preschool/activities begin at 9 am. So I have to have time to feed her and get him where he needs to be.) Then she sleeps from 9:30-11. I feed her again at 11 (so I can pick him up from activities at noon). She takes about a three hour afternoon nap and a one hour evening nap. These have been varying from day to day no matter how hard I've tried to nail it down. Aft. is either 1-4 with a 5-6 evening OR 2-5 with a 6-7 evening. Then bedtime is either 7 or 8 because of the varying aft/eve naps. I think one of the issues is that she is going to sleep too early to wake up at the appointed time which is 8 am. But I really don't know how to get around it because no matter what we've done, ever since we dropped the late evening feeding she has wanted to go down for the night between 7 and 8. Obviously 13 hours would be a real stretch but so is 12. I've also tried to lengthen time between feedings and alternatively get back on the 3 hour feeding schedule. But she is determined to take the very long aft nap. Even when she was sleeping through the night...it was only until 5:30-6:30 so I would feed her then she would sleep until 8 and feed again to be up for the day. I really need help getting her to sleep through the night again. Additionally, I have added solids since she has been waking during the night because of course I'm thinking it's a hunger issue. I've been giving her cereal around 12:30 (even though BW says to combine it with breastfeeding), but it has really helped to tide her over into her long aft nap and it would be too soon to breastfeed again. Then, I give her solids again before her last feeding of the day. Both of these feedings are not the BW way. I tried to give her solids this morning directly after her 8 am feeding and she wouldn't eat much of anything. Then, I was going to give solids again after her afternoon nap.Please tell me what I should do to improve this situation or improve my schedule. The most important things are being able to drop off my son at 9 am and pick him up at noon. Nothing else is static during the day. Thanks so much! Love your blog!!
    July 20, 2008 4:33 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    benmagmom, So does she insist on the long afternoon nap even if you don't feed solids at 12:30? I would move away from that and get a shorter afternoon nap. 3 hours doesn't really come until they go down to 1 nap a day. She can do 2.5 if needed. Really I would try to get to a 3 hour schedule. Feed at 8, 11, 2, 5, and 8. If she needs to do 2.5 somewhere (like in the evening) and 3.5 somewhere (earlier in the day) that is fine. You can do the combo schedule. I would get those feedings in there and see how that goes. Good luck!
    July 21, 2008 4:14 PM
    benmagmom said...
    Yes, she does want the long afternoon nap even if I don't give her solids. She began taking the afternoon nap before I introduced them. I only introduced solids when she started waking during the night thinking it was a hunger problem.I'll try to do more of a three hour schedule. If you were doing two solid feedings...when would you do them? i switched (tob be more in line with BW) to just after breastfeeding after her morning nap and I was thinking again after her afternoon nap. what do you think?the reason we kind of moved away from the three hour schedule is because she wouldn't take a full feeding...then would want to eat much sooner...like two hours later and got into a snacking pattern.??? I'm so confused!
    July 22, 2008 12:01 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    IF you are breastfeeding, I would do lunchish time (the feeding closest to lunch that you have time to feed solids) and dinnerish. The reason is you have the most milk in the morning. If you are formula feeding, I would do breakfast and dinner. Spread it out. You can also do a combo schedule. I would check out this post:Getting a Consistent Schedule: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/getting-consistent-schedule.html and Combo Schedule is Okay: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/combo-schedule-is-okay.html
    July 23, 2008 9:59 PM
  • Claudia said...
    My almost 4month old is always been an angel baby and textbookbaby. We had dropped the 9pm feeding and moved it to 8 or 8:30 pm. Now he wakes up at nine or even 10 to feed. Just as this phase was gone and going back to his 8:30 schedule again. Now he is waking up at 1am or 2am to feed. He has his full feeding. I hve been breastfeeding and last weekend I gave him formula when we went out to see family. He got a little bit of astomach flu as I was told because he started to not have his full feedings and not want my breast. He is better now. I am confused...Should I start the rice cereal in a bottle or spoon? Because he seems hungrier now. He started screaming last night went put to bed for his last nap. When should I extend his waketime could that be it? He still has about 6 naps a day and last from 45min to 1hour. When do I start the 3 naps a day. I have been following his cues that's why I haven't started the 3 naps because he gets sleepy as schedule. He is also still in his 3 hour routine for feedings. Please help! Everything seems to have become a mess.
    September 1, 2008 12:07 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    If he had the flu, my guess is that he lost weight and/or didn't gain the wait he needed during that flu. So, he needs more food right now. I wouldn't start rice for this reason alone because it will take weeks to get to a point where he is eating enough to really make a difference. If you were going to start solids anyway, then go ahead and start trying. I would try to add a feeding during the day or add a dreamfeed to help. You can try a longer waketime at that one naptime, but only extend by about 5 minutes at a time to be sure you don't add too much.
    September 5, 2008 2:20 PM
    Claudia said...
    Thank you so much for your advice. He is back on track. He did need those extra feedings at night. He got used to waking up at 1 or 3 AM, so I would let him talk to himself, he would move around his crib and even screamed a little and would go back to sleep. He is 4 months now so I started the rice cereal with a spoon. He has been doing great but on wednesday he woke up at 5 am. He is a tummy sleeper, he will pull himself to sleep in his tummy but now when he is not wanting to go to sleep he will roll to his back. He is very vocal so he will start babbling really loud! When he sees me he will smile and and laugh loud. I gave him a feeding and made that his first feeding of the day. When do you start the 3 naps? And when do I start the 3 meals? I give him his rice cereal at 8 with his last nursing feeding. I nurse for 20 min give him cereal at the table with his dad's help and back to the breast for 5 min. each breast.
    September 12, 2008 10:53 AM
    Jessica said...
    Claudia -You still start giving your LO 3 meals with rice cereal one week after you started giving him rice cereal for one meal per day. Two weeks after that you can introduce veggies or fruits - whatever you prefer. BWII suggests starting veggies first but I started with fruits.My daughter went to two 2 hour naps and one 30-45 minute nap at around 4 months.Your son sounds much like my daughter with talking to himself and then smiling when you come in - that is her! She woke at 5 a.m. today. Fun!Val has great solid information here: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/search/label/solids
    September 12, 2008 11:25 AM
    Claudia said...
    Jessica,This is so awesome having you and others give advice. Specially when most people I know that have kids have never heard of babywise or read any books or they very stong opinions of babywise and gtell me to burn it! I bought all series of babywise and sheperding a childs heart and I find all of them helpful.I have been feeding him one meal of rice cereal for 2 weeks and today I am starting with 2 meals of rice cereal. I was taking it slow because of his diarrea. I guess tomorrow I will do three!Last week he wasn't eating muchand yesterday he was waking up 30 to45 min into his nap and ready to eat so I am guessing he is getting better.Thanx so much for the advice.
    September 22, 2008 11:00 AM
    Claudia said...
    He sleeps on his tummy but now he rolls to his back and can't get himself to his tummy quite yet but he tries when I don't come to help. It is frustrating! He also has been waking up this past 2 days at dawn. One time at 3am and yesterday at 5am. I was trying to let him CIO but my husband would tell me to feed him because it could be a growth spurt. Since past sunday he has been taking short naps. So unlike him. I thought maybe he is hungrier because he had been feeling bad with vaccines he got fever and diarrhea. I have been monitoring eat. Take my time to feed him when he wakes up earlier to see if he will go back to sleep. If he doesnt I will feed. I monitor his cries. This past few days his baby talk has been more of a wining. So I tried the tylenol but less than the dose needed. He still woke up early from his nap but not wining.At this point I think it is mixture of teething,growth spurt and when I wait to get him he is also more aware of his surroundings so he explores his feet and mobile attached next to the crib.Good luck to both us.! I have decided to treat it as a growth spurt for now give myself a week.
    September 24, 2008 12:57 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Claudia, you go to two naps possibly as early as 6 months. Most are around 8 months. Some are older (Kaitlyn was 11 months). See: Dropping the 3rd Nap (evening): http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/dropping-3rd-nap-evening.html See this post for three meals: Solids: How to Start?: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/solids-how-to-start.html and Solids: What's the Schedule: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/solids-what-is-schedule.html
    October 21, 2008 11:26 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Claudia, for rolling, if you are still having problems, see:Nap Disruptions: Rolling, Standing, Crawling, etc: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/nap-disruptions-rolling-standing.html
    October 21, 2008 11:28 AM
  • Mom2BoJo said...
    My 4 1/2 month old son has been having these same nighttime sleep problems - I'm so tired! He eats during the day at 6:30, 10:30 (with cereal), 2, 6 (with cereal), and 9pm. He was previously sleeping 10-11 hours at night, and now is waking every night between 2:30 and 3. The first couple of nights I just fed him. Last night I let him cry but gave him his paci, patted his back, etc, and he eventually went back to sleep. He is doing a lot of the things that others have mentioned here: scooting around his crib, rolling over, looking up at his mobile, talking to himself, etc. Also, he is drooling and chewing a lot during the day, so maybe teething? I am not sure what I should do next. He is such a sweet and predictable baby, and I am grateful for the Babywise method, as well as this informative blog! Please help with some advice. Thanks!
    October 7, 2008 5:53 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Mom2BoJo, if you are still having problems, I would move back to three hours a day rather than four hours. If he is having a growth spurt, he needs to eat more often, so adding a feeding to the day will help eliminate the need for night.
    October 21, 2008 11:30 AM
  • Piper said...
    I have a question...sorry I don't have time to read through all the other questions to see if this one has been asked. My baby was 16 weeks yesterday. She started sleeping through the night at 6 weeks. We have never had to do CIO at night and only had to do it for 10-15 minutes on occasion during the day (sometimes off and on for 45-60 minutes but I would move her to the swing and this is rare). The last week or so she has started loudly crying when I put her down for a nap. It still does not last more than 10 minutes, but she starts fussing when I walk towards her bed and crying loudly as soon as I put her in bed. She seems a little fussy with nursing and seems to want more but when I offer she doesn't even try to latch on or she does and pulls right off. I am not really sure what a specific question is...more does this seem normal? This is my first baby and I think in the back of my head I am just fearful I am losing my supply. I do 6 feedings (including a dream feed, which I have tried to drop the last two days but am putting it back in tonight because she wakes at 530am instead of 8am without it). Also, she often does not seem hungry at all after 3 hours so I am wondering if this is some of my nursing issues.
    October 13, 2008 7:03 PM
    Piper said...
    I have a follow up to this now. Now my baby is starting to cry incredibly loud as soon as we walk in her room. If we walk out she stops. It's like she knows she is going down to bed. We do other things in her room such as read, change diaper, play with toys, but somehow she seems to know when it is nap time and starts crying as though it is the WORST thing she has ever suffered through. It used to be that we could put her down and hardly hear a fuss but all of a sudden over the last 2 or so weeks she has become so angry when we put her down. This only happens for naps. At night she goes down just fine and still sleeps through the night just fine. In the morning I either get her up at 8 or she wakes about 730 and chats with herself until 8. Sometimes she gets up at 730 ready to start the day, but this is rare. I know BW pays off, but this is starting to make me doubt it because we seem to be going backward.
    October 18, 2008 6:38 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Piper there is going to be some reason for this. It doesn't seem normal. You are going to have to do some thinking and trouble shooting to figure out the reason for this. Is she teething or sick? It is impossible for me to guess why she suddenly doesn't like naps; you will have to think through possible changes recently that could have made her this way. Perhaps she just needs a longer waketime. Even 5 minutes could do it.
    October 21, 2008 11:35 AM

82 comments:

KJackson213 said...

Piper,

I dont know if this information is late or if youve fixed your problem, but my daughter started doing the same thing a week ago...Id read to her (our nap routine) and she knew what was coming so shed scream and scream for 20 minuites before a nap when she used to go down with no fuss at ALL, maybe 10 seconds. Anyway turned out she wanted to drop her fourth nap, but it affected her 2, 3, and 4 nap- she screamed for all of them, and bedtime. I dropped her fourth nap, increased her waketime and she stopped screaming when being put down. Every baby's different but it worked for me!

Piper said...

Thanks Kjackson,
Things have gotten a lot better and now that you mention it I have been working on dropping that nap. She still does a 45 min catnap sometimes, but overall she is down to 3 naps a day. She stopped crying as soon as we walked in her room and she is crying a lot less to go to sleep. She still cries a lot sometimes so maybe I will really focus on dropping that 4th nap entirely and see if we can get back to her being done fussing before I walk out of the door (I really liked those days :)...). Thanks for your input! I appreciate it.

KJackson213 said...

I do have a question about 4 month olds, if anybody has any information. Last night, my daughter woke up every two hours (turns four months on Thursday, Nov 27), and she only slept for 5 minutes during her morning nap, I let her scream for 45 min, she did not go to sleep. I fed her and now shes up and happy and ready to take on whatever comes her way!! Whats up with that? She doesnt appear tired at all. Shes smiley. She was only doing the 3 naps. Shes having to do more now though bc shes taking such short ones. Anyway shes ALWAYS been an 11 hr a night sleeper without feeding. Last night I did feed her after the third two hour waking!

Should I continue to feed her in the middle of the night? Ive done it for a few nights this week (shes woken up once every other night this week)...but last night was horendous. If anyone has advice please advise!!!

Thanks!

Also Im having to feed her every two hours during the day and she USUALLY eats everything.

It seems like a lot for even a growth spurt!

Plowmanators said...

KJackson, it could be a growth spurt. If you breastfeed, babies usually have a general increase in need of food at 4 months, so it could be a growth spurt coupled with her trying to get your milk supply up to her need.

It could also be teething that is making it hard for her to sleep.

Right now, I would feed her the first time she woke. Hopefully then she would make it longer. Treat it as a feeding issue first, and if that doesn't smooth out, move on to other possibilities.

natcase said...

Hi there,
i'm having the typical 4 month issues. My baby girl is 19 weeks.
She's teething badly and is eating poorly and this week has been waking at various times in the middle of the night (after STTN consistently for 3-4 weeks from 10:30pm to 6:30am).
Last 3 days she's been waking at 5am, so i feed her from one boob and put her back to bed but she'll wake again at 5:30 or 6 and cry. so i'll feed again and try to put her down but she'll want to be up only 30min later. So its been tough mornings.

So her schedule currently is
6:30am feed
7:30 or 8am down for a nap that can last as long as 2 hours (longest nap is the morning nap).
9:30 or 10am feed
12noon nap for 1 hour
1pm feed
3pm nap for 1 hour
4pm feed
now rarely wants to nap at 6pm unless has missed a nap earlier in the day. is this ok? cause i've been kind of forcing this nap but then we give up after 30min of fussing crying.
6:30 or 7pm feed.
8:30 feed (one boob) and sleep. normally have a hard time putting her down at 8 or 8:30am which is why i started to feed her before putting her down.
10:00 feed (one boob or two depending on how she is eating during the day)
wakes up anywhere between 5 - 6:30am

So question is
1) should i stop trying to give her a 4th day time nap (6pm time frame)
2) should i try dropping the 10pm feed if i know she's had a good feed at 7 and that 8:30 snack i've started during our period of teething issues. or do you suggest skipping 8:30 snack and keeping 10pm feed until consistent waketime
3) is 6 or 6:30am too early of a waketime for a 19 week old? i figure that since she takes a 2 hour nap in the mornings that she is super tired and should be sleeping even 1 hour longer in the mornings. which is why i need advice on how to assist her with that

I might try rice cereal as you've suggested in these posts. but i'm just not sure if our issue is teething (and baby is taking in less food cause gums hurt which contributes to the crazy wakeups) or growth spurt.
so guess i will test and see what happens.

thanks for your support!
congrat's on your baby girl and best wishes for your continued happy, healthy pregnancy!

OOh one more question. i breastfeed - but sometimes give a bottle when i go out with the hubby. how many ounces would you give a 4month old baby who has been exclusively breastfed? can i assume she gets 4 ounces per feed? or should i be leaving her more milk then that (i hear formula fed babies taken in 6 ounces at this age??)

Plowmanators said...

Natcase,

She is at the age to drop the 4th nap. You can always try it. Both of mine droppped it right at 4 months.

I wouldn't try dropping anything while you are having teething issues. You can try dropping the 8:30 snack if you want to. I don't think I would feed closer than 2 hours.

Waketime can be whatever you want it to be. If you want her to ultimately end up waking around 6/6:30, then continue to get her up. If not, work toward moving it. See

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

and

Time Change Strategies: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/time-change-strategies.html

I would work out the teething first before you change other things.

I don't bottlefeed, so I don't know for sure. I do feed one bottle per week, and it seems like at that age 4 ounces might be right. However, I assume it depends on which feeding it is for (breastfed babies don't eat X number of ounces per feeding, then tend to eat more in the earlier part of the day than the later), and also just her and how much she eats. If she is satisfied with 4 and makes it her normal interval afterward, go for it. But it might not hurt to leave 6 if you can.

Lacy said...

My daughter is 17 weeks tomorrow. We have had a great schedule, every three hours starting between 7 or 7:30 in the morning, with a good, long nap both between the 7AM & 10AM feeding, and the 10AM & 1PM, and two short naps between the 1PM & 4PM feeding and 4PM & 7PM feeding. She has been getting over a cold this past week, so I am trying to take that into account as I try to stick to the schedule. However, the past two to three days, it is like she is refusing to take naps. I can perfectly relate to Piper's comments--she instantly starts crying when I lay her in her crib, when before she would seem relieved to get to nap. Now she fusses, drifts to sleep for a max of 45-60mins, and wakes up. She does this all day. If it is past the 2.5hr mark, I breastfeed her; if it has only been 2hrs, I make her wait until at least the 2.5hr mark. Because of this, by night time she is exhausted and continuously fussing. She cried for 45mins for the first time in her life for bedtime, when she typically might fuss 5-10 minutes before going to sleep for the night. I'm not sure if she is just not feeling well from her cold, or if she could also be teething (she is drooling like crazy, gumming things intensely, and just seems overall irritated when normally so giggly and happy). Any suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated!! I just want my baby to get good rest during the day!

Plowmanators said...

Lacy, first, I would wait for the cold to be over. Also see this post about the teething:

Tips and Tricks: Teething: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/tips-and-tricks-teething.html

Once those two things are resolved, consider that she might be ready for a longer waketime. If you think so, start by adding only five minutes at a time.

gman said...

Our boy is almost 22 weeks old and has been on a 4 hour schedule for several weeks now. He had been going down for naps quite well and is sleeping through the night.

Similarly like some of the other posts here, this past week, he all of a sudden is only napping for 30-45 minutes most of the time and screams when being put down and when he wakes. He has started rice cereal at night and when my wife works, we bottle feed breastmilk. So we know about how much he'll take and how much milk my wife produces which seems to be ok so far from a supply perspective. We've attemted to feed him a little earlier than 4 hours to see if that helps and though he seems very hungry and immediately latches on right away and eats, he will pull off on the second side and not always finish.

He's showing signs of some teething but no teeth yet. He's learning to roll over too.

This is only occuring for naps as he still is sleeping through the night and hasn't screamed before being laid down for bed at night.

Can you shed any light on what might be happening with his naps and schedule?
thanks!

Plowmanators said...

gman,

There are several possibilities. One is that he needs his waketime a different length.

Another is teeth. Teeth can cause problems months before they come in. If this is the reason, you can try some teething remedies (see the teething label on this blog).

Rolling over can do it (we had nap disruptions with my daughter with rolling, though not my son).

Since he is close to 5 months, see this post as well:

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

J9 said...

Do you think there are any different issues associated with bigger babies? My son is 4 months and 18 lbs (97th %tile). We're still on a 3/2.5 hour schedule, and he's still eating 7-8 times per day. He was sleeping about 7 hours at night, then about two weeks ago started sleeping for about 9. One week later he's been waking up every 3-4 hours at night. The doctor said he needs more calories so we started rice cereal 4 days ago but so far have not seen a difference. I occasionally pump and give him a bottle so I know he's eating anywhere between 5-8 oz. depending on the time of day. I feel like this is more than enough calories to make it through the night but it seems like it just keeps getting worse. He's definitely hungry, if I give him a pacifier he'll fall asleep but wake up an hour later. Also, he takes a full feeding once or twice in the middle of the night and still eats a full feeding in the morning. I'm worried I'm going to be stuck with a 3 hour schedule and 7-8 feedings per day forever! It's frustrating because I've seen BW work with so many of my friends, but I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong!

J9 said...

I forgot to mention, he is still taking 4 naps a day and his waketime is only 1 hour, do you think he's getting too much daytime sleep?
Thanks for your help!
-Janine

Plowmanators said...

j9,

I don't really have experience with bigger babies. Most things I read say bigger babies don't need to eat as often. I would think it has more to do with metabolism. My son has a very fast metabolism and he was (is) really active. He didn't move to 4 hour schedule until about 6.5 months.

Keep in mind that BW says to not worry about moving to 4 hours. Wait until baby is ready.

If he is hungry, it is always right to feed him.

He is at an age where most drop the fourth nap, so you might try that and see what happens.

The Spanns said...

I just wanted to comment that for us it doesn't seem to be a calorie problem -- he still goes 10 hours without eating at night, however, I think it is a development-milestone issue. He moves in his sleep - A LOT - and is waking up frequently (4 times last night) bc he has either worked himself into a corner or gotten to his stomach and wakes up alarmed by it. So, I am thinking he will just eventually outgrow it. Do you have any suggestions? -Jordyn

Community Shares said...

Hi! At 4 months and 1 week my daughter is only sleeping about 8 hours at night. We are still on a 3 hour schedule and I can't seem to make her stretch it out. A few weeks ago she slept a whole week through the night 10-7, but then start waking up at 5AM talking to herself, Babywise warns about this and says not to go to the crib. So we would just let her talk to herself at 5 and usually by 6 she would go back to sleep. Well then after two weeks of that (this is now week three of sort of STTN), she started crying at 5ish and I wouldn't go in there until about 6 to feed her. She was starving! I don't know what to do that week of her STTN was awesome. Do I continue to just let her go as long as she can through the night and feed her when she wakes. (this seems to be 10PM-6AM) or should I "hold her off" until 7AM which is our start time for the day? Another thing I wanted to mention was that my husband seems to think the dreamfeed just interrupts her sleep and does not really help her go longer. I know this is the point where she should not be having a dreamfeed, so should I drop it, and expect her or hope for a 7AM waketime or start feeding her in the night again if she wakes at 3-4AM? Thanks!

missyd said...

HELP!!! I have been doing Babywise since our son was born and it has been great until about a month ago. He will be 5 months old tomorrow our schedule has gone crazy. A month ago he was on a consistent 3 hour schedule and (7,10,1,4,7 and dreamfeed at 10). He started having a hard time with that fourth nap and finally dropped it a few weeks ago. He was also very hungry, but we had to wait for our pediatrician's approval for solids. So 2 weeks ago we started him on solids and we noticed he is waking up early in the morning. I guess we have a hard time knowing what to do with the evening time. After the 7 feeding he would not be able to make it until 7 in the morning. We think he is a 10 hour sleeper at night so we do lots of stuff to keep him up until 8:30-even though he is soo tired. We have tried lots of different things to try to get him to 7am (feed at 4, solids at 7, and then bottle at 8:30 or feed at 4, wait until 8 to feed and put him down at 8:30, even feed him 4,8 and dreamfeed at 10. The problem is he wakes up early (first around 5:45, then 6 is on and off until 7). We always wait until 7 to get him and he seems fine and not even starving. However, it throws off the time for his first nap because he has been up. Should we go in and feed him when he seems to wake up at 6:30 and how can we do the evenings to keep him up and not make it so taxing on everyone? I am sorry this is so long. I have not slept in 2 days worrying about all of this. Thank you for all the work you put into this blog. It is a great resource.

Plowmanators said...

Wow, for some reason I haven't been getting notified of comments on this post.

Spanns,

If it is a milestone thing, see this post:

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

Plowmanators said...

Community Shares,

My guess is that she started STTN, then started a growth spurt. Always feed baby if she is hungry. You can try to add more feedings to the day to prevent night waking.

Some babies do sleep better without a dreamfeed, so if you think this might be true for her, you can always drop it and see what happens.

See also this post:

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

Plowmanators said...

missyd,

Something to keep in mind is that sleep begets sleep. Have you tried putting him down after the 7 feeding at the time he is tired? He will sleep better if bedtime is at the right time for him. See:

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

Consistent Bedtime : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2009/02/consistent-bedtime.html

TheKorthuis' said...

Hi, I am a mom of a LO who is experiencing the 4 month sleeping problems. Her nights are pretty good - 9-5A or so. But her naps have been affected. As the day progresses, her naps get longer. So for example, her first nap (her wake time is only 50 minutes still), which is one of four, she likes to sleep 45 mintues to 1 hour, then the next would be 45 minutes to 1 hour, the third being 1.5-2 hours and the fourth being as long as I will let her go. The fourth nap starts anywhere from 4-5P. After reading these posts, it seems like my LO is backwards. Help. I have tried the shorter wake times in the morning to see if I can get her back on track - it has not helped. Also, I started her on a little rice cereal at her last feeding around 8P. Could this somehow be affecting her mornings?

Plowmanators said...

TheKorthuis',

It is hard to say. There are many possible factors. She definitely does have it backward! That is interesting. Have you tried longer waketimes at all? I don't think the rice at night would cause a short morning nap. 50 minutes is pretty short for a 4 month old; I would try for 60 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes and see what that does.

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Rachel Stella...I missed yoru comment until now. I must be blind :)

Plowmanators said...

C-lee,

That is a good way to look at it: A fun problem solving adventure :)

Grant's mommy said...

Hello. I love this blog and I'm thankful you've created it. I had no idea where to post this, so I just went for it. Grant has just turned four months old. He has been the PERFECT BabyWise baby. No problems whatsoever, until now. I think our only regrets are swaddling (for every nap and nighttime sleep) and letting the pacifier become a sleep prop. Overall, no complaints! HERE'S THE PROBLEM...Grant recently decided that ONLY at nighttime, he wants to be on his tummy. Once he's there, he'll sleep for a short time, then awaken screaming. I tried turning him back over, but he flips right back. Is this just an adjustment? I'm only part of the way into BabyWise II, so I don't know if this will be addressed. Last night was horrible. I was up every hour with this. I tried letting him CIO, but he becomes frantic. He's been sleeping through the night since 9 weeks with no interruptions. Until this rolling over thing started, he was sleeping from about 8:30pm through 6:30-7:00am. I hope you or someone else has gone through this too and that you can just tell me it will pass. Thanks a bunch!

Jessica said...

Grant's Mommy -

How old is Grant?

We had the same problem with my daughter except she would only flip over near the end of her nap, nighttime sleep, etc.

When this occurred with her I knew it was time to stop swaddling, she was 4 months. I was not optomistic about the first nap she took unswaddled, I was sure she was going to wake after 45 minutes, she didn't, she slept for her entire regular nap.

Have you unswaddled Grant yet? If not, he is telling you it is time. He may very well be screaming because he wants free.

My daughter is also a tummy sleeper and has a paci. She has slept on her tummy since she was 3 weeks old. She still uses her paci at sleep times although, generally, if she looses it she doesn't need it to go back to sleep or stay asleep.

Here is what I would do in your situation...
1. Stop swaddling.
2. Personally, I would allow the paci usage because of the decreased SIDS risk, but that is your decision.
3. As to Grant's screming, see if being unswaddled helps that, if not try to CIO. When my daughter gets hysterical I go in to her, calm her down and lay her back down, it may take 3 times but she finally gets the picture and goes to sleep. I think sometimes they get themselves so wound up that it takes them a bit to settle in order to sleep.

Grant's mommy said...

Thanks for responding. Grant is almost 17 weeks old. I stopped swaddling him a couple of weeks ago. I figured it was too risky since he was starting to roll over. He needed his hands free. I do still allow the pacifier, which might be what's freaking him out. When he's on his tummy, he can't seem to keep it in his mouth. I really hope this will pass. Last night was my first peek into what life would have been like without the babywise plan (sleepless nights) and it wasn't pretty! :)~

Plowmanators said...

Grant's Mommy,

Hopefully you have this figured out by now. One thing to keep in mind is that many babies go through a problematic period around 3-4 months old when they use a pacifier. Not all do, but a significant number. Some moms take that as their cue to stop using it. Some moms decide to just wait it out until baby can find it and reinsert it himself (which is typicallly around 6-8 months old). For more on that, see the blog label "pacifier."

I haven't had major disruptions from rolling, but there is a post on it. See:

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

Plowmanators said...

Jessica, great tips! Thanks!

Rachael said...

My baby boy will be 4 months in a couple of days. About 2 weeks ago we dropped the dreamfeed and he was taking his last feeding around 8:30 p.m. and then going right to sleep, sleeping through the night until around 8 a.m. the next morning. The past three nights he has woken up about 45 minutes to an hour after putting him down, which leads me to believe it is the 45 minute intruder. I am going to try feeding him again when he wakes up and see if he is interested. My question is, if he does need an extra feeding, does that indicate that he is ready to start solids? Or should I just add an extra nursing session? The question of when to start solids is a confusing one for me ... I have heard such mixed opinions on it. As a mom with a 4 month old baby who has just started waking up early (and fussy) out of daytime naps, and who is waking up 45 minutes into his nighttime sleep, I will keep close track of what, if any, of these techniques make a difference and post again.

Plowmanators said...

Rachael, When to start solids is something you need to decide with the guidance of your pedi and yourself. From what I have read, starting solids isn't supposed to help baby STTN. I don't know if I believe that, but that is what "they" say.

This is a fussy time of life for babies. You should check out the Wonder Weeks website. See yesterday's baby summary post for a link to it. You might find it interesting. Just be sure you are treating something treatable, and treating the right problem. Good luck :)

Amanda said...

DS is driving me bonkers!! I really need some advice! He will be 5 mo old next week, exclusively breastfed, has been sleeping 12 hours at night consistently since 13 weeks, eats every 3 hrs, takes 3 naps & no solids yet. Now all of a sudden for the past week, he can't seem to go more than 3 or 4 hours at night! & he won't settle back down or go back to sleep without eating, & he always takes a full feeding. He has NEVER cried because of a diaper, so I don't think that's it. He's not too hot or cold. I've suspected some teething, but he shows no signs of discomfort & I tried Tylenol anyway but that didn't help. I know he is hungry, but I'm not sure if he's waking because he's hungry, or if he's waking up for some other reason but then realizes he's hungry too (the same way we would). Should I try CIO? Should I try starting solids (I kind of wanted to wait till 6 mo, but our ped. said we could start any time between now & then)? Maybe he needs more calories? Growth spurt (although this seems like an odd time for one one)? I think he's already gotten over wonder week 19, could this be prep for week 26 (he's 21 weeks)? I really don't know what to do & I don't want to start a new pattern or bad habit with this. He didn't even wake up this much as a newborn!!

Plowmanators said...

Amanda, It sounds like a growth spurt. I would feed more often in the day or start solids.

Plowmanators said...

Amanda, It sounds like a growth spurt. I would feed more often in the day or start solids.

Matt, Jennie, and Noelle Ours said...

Our LO is 15 wks old adjusted age - born 6 wks early - so we think we're running into 4 mo feeding issues. She has always slept until 7-7:30am but is now waking at 6am hungry. For the past three mornings we have fed her and started that as her wake time and let her go to a combo 3-4 hr schedule (just going 4 hrs that morning to make it back on schedule - she will sleep for 2.5-3 hrs). Sample schedule is:

7a feed - 6a if wake early
10:30 feed
1:30 feed
4:30 feed
7:00 feed
we were doing dreamfeed at 9:30 and are going to be dropping it since she barely eats.

I'm afraid feeding her at 6a will start being her wake time . . . how would you handle?

Also, how do you drop the 4th nap and still keep feed/wake/sleep?
Thanks!

Plowmanators said...

If it is a growth spurt issue, then you would want to try to get an extra feeding in there in the day. So you could drop to 2.5 hour schedule instead. But by now, she should be over the growth spurt.

See the post "early morning feedings before waketime" for ideas on how I have handled that.

If you see the blog label "dropping naps" you will find posts on how to drop the fourth nap. You don't keep the feed/wake/sleep cycle if you are dropping it and staying with a 3 hour schedule.

The Larson's said...

Thank you so much for this website! I am finally at my wits end. My daughter is 4 1/2 months old. I have followed BW from the beginning mosty because I had such a great experience with it with my 1st daughter. My 4 1/2 month old has never slept through the night, maybe a night here and there but never consistently. She still feeds every 3 hours during the day and her wake up time is at 7:30 a.m. I usually feed her at 7:30 p.m. and then put her down for the night. I was doing a dream feed at about 10 p.m. and then she would wake up between 3 to 4 a.m. to feed. I have tried to make her CIO, but everytime I have done that she is still crying strong an hour into it. She still drinks about 6 oz of formula at the 3 to 4 am feeding. In BW it talks about letting them CIO if they are disinterested in the food and they were just wanting you or they are stuck at that wake up time, but says nothing about when they are eating a full bottle at that time. I have also tried not doing the dream feed because someone thought that maybe I was interrupting the sleep cycle, that did not work. Now she is struggling with going down for naps. I am so frustrated. What am I doing wrong? BW worked so perfectly on my 1st daughter and now I feel so confused.

The Larson's said...

Any info or ideas would be great...Thanks!

Jessica said...

The Larson's,

Does your LO eat breakfast well, at 7:30 a.m.? If she does, possibly she still needs the 3-4 a.m. feed.

What is her weight like? That could be a factor as well.

Have you started solids yet? She may be ready for more. I know some parents really want to wait until 6 months, but some babies are ready before that. I remember that happening to my SIL with her son, he started waking in the MOTN to eat and stopped once solids were started.

My daughter was never a 12 hour sleeper, she has always been a 10-10.5 hour sleeper, but has always had long naps (2, 2 hour naps and now 1, 2.5-3 hour nap).

In your situation, I think I would keep her schedule the same and try starting some solids to see if that helps satisfy her hunger.

Abbi said...

Hi, my son had major naptime issues around 4 months (waking at 45 min during EVERY nap), and I believe that the problem for us was needing to introduce solids. I started him on solids 1 week after he turned 4 months, but I think I should've started 2 weeks prior to that. I even tried to start the 4-hr schedule to help his naps, but it went terribly. Looking back he was ready to start a 4-hr schedule, but he needed the additional calories/substance of solids to make the transition. Once he'd gotten the hang of solids, and was taking them at 3 meals a day, I transitioned to the 4-hr schedule by just dropping a bottle feeding, and he took to the new schedule in 1 day!! His naps were full length at every naptime by the 3rd day. I stressed and stressed about that transitional time around 4 months, but once he'd gotten solids down, everything was totally fine. Just persist with introducing solids, and the transition will happen naturally!

CMills said...

ok I am going to repost my questions as I do not see them on here and the response I got was apparently to someone else's post so here goes:
We have a 4 1/2 month old. He has never quite STTN consistently. He started to around 3 months but would only do it about two days a week. The rest of the time he would wake up between 4 and 6. I finally got tired of this and we decided to CIO. We did this for 7 days, some days we would give him the pacifier after an hour of crying and some days I would nurse him on one side and put him back down. Then after the seven days he started getting up at 2 and 3 and random hours but we decided that was a growth spurt and he stopped doing that after about a week and a half. But he is STILL getting up between 4:30 and 6 almost EVERY day. Right now he woke up a 4:30 and he has been crying for an hour. I have changed his diaper and re-swaddled him. My questions are as follows:
When he wakes up at 4:30, should we have him cry until 7 which is our starting feeding? That is what we have been doing with no luck.
I thought CIO was supposed to last for 3-5 days. We have been doing it (besides the one week he got up at 2 or 3) for over a month now and we don't have any results. (Yes sometimes we give him pacifier after an hour of crying and sometimes I nurse him on ONE side only and put him back down).
What are your suggestions?
Thank you.

CMills said...

To add to my previous comment:
We are now trying to drop the last feeding as per our pediatrician and BW. We have bumped it back to 10:45 putting him down at 11:15 and now he wakes up at 2 am every morning. He has started rice cereal and give him rice cereal with 5 oz of breast-milk as the last feeding. I am lost beyond words.

Plowmanators said...

CMills,

BW says to not drop the dreamfeed until baby is STTN consistently, so don't feel like you must to it. Though I will say some moms find baby sleeps better without it.

I suggest you see these two posts:

Nightime Sleep Issues--Revised and Updated: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2010/01/nightime-sleep-issues-revised-and.html

and

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

a patriotic expat and her findings said...

My baby is 14 weeks old. We have done BW from birth but circumstances out of my control have made it a little less than normal. We lived 6 weeks in Scotland, visited Florida for one month (big time change), then moved to Australia when she was 10 weeks (huge time change). We've been driving around looking for houses, etc. and haven't had a babysitter so she's taken many a nap in the car or stroller (very bad I know). Now, she's 14 weeks, will go to bed at 8 and sleep until 8:30 but want to feed at around 1:30-2 and again at 4:30-5:00. I dropped the 10:30 feed before she was sleeping 7-8 hours because she would never wake up for it and I was exhausted trying every 1/2 hour. For one week around 11 weeks she slept 7-10 hours a night, but no more. SITUATION NOW: She wakes up from anywhere between 30 minutes to 1 hour while napping. I try to let her CIO but when I feed her she eats ita ll up. At night she doesn't feed too terribly long, but does get antsy if I try to take her off after only a few minutes. She has never sttn really... and now I"m wondering if my milk is wrong. HELP!

Plowmanators said...

It might be a growth spurt. I think it is a good chance it is that since she is eating so much. Just stay as consistent as you can at home--eat, play, sleep. Start each day at the same time. Have a regular bedtime. Give her a few weeks and it will all come as she gets some consistency.

A very happy woman said...

My baby is 17 weeks now and he's been having issues for about 2-3 weeks now. It started with waking up early from naps, so I treated it as the 45min intruder... but then it turned into the norm. So he has some days that are "catch up" days, because he's so exhausted, but he's naps have been all over the place. Just now 3 days ago, he started waking up 2-3 or 3-4am. He 1st feeding is 6am, but he's never really made it to 6am, he always awoke at 4-5am and talk/cry, until I fed him. Now that he wakes up at 2-3, I feed him about 4oz and get him to bed as soon as possible, he still wakes up at 4-5 and wakes up angry. I know about the growth spurt, but how can I tell what's normal for him if he never really made it to a consistent 3 1/2 to 4 hour schedule? If I increase the ounces he doesn't take it. He's drooling all over the place, so I think he might be teething, but I know his crankiness is due to him being s exhausted. Also, he stopped being able to be placed down for a nap awake, he will cry and cry until he's red and so irritated he can't fall asleep. What should I do? I don't think he's ready for solids, but being formula fed might actually make him want another source of calories (since formula doesn't adapt like breastmilk does). Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'd like to know how to troubleshoot his problems and save my sanity. Thanks.

Plowmanators said...

I would say there is a good chance he cant fall asleep on his own because he is overly tired.

I would give him tylenol to see if that helps his sleep. If so, then you know teething is interfering.

I would also assume it is a growth spurt for a week and just feed as soon as he wakes up and see if he eats well.

hlaboe said...

HELP! my 3 1/2 mo old boy started waking 60 min into his morning nap. I tried to let him CIO but it didn't work. Today I tried feeding him after about 20 min of crying. He took a full feed, but then fell back asleep. Do I let him keep sleeping? Do I force wake time? Do I feed him again immediately after he wakes from this nap? I just found this blog and I love it! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am sending the link to all my friends with little ones. :)

Plowmanators said...

hlaboe,

It is likely a growth spurt. In that case, I would feed him at 2-2.5 hours after the last feed--or sooner if he asked for it sooner. I wouldn't force waketime. Glad you like the blog!

kerihow said...

hey! i have a question about my son- he is 16wks 3 d. we are pretty well following a BW 3hr schedule, and i do the 3 hr schedule starting at 730, bedtime right after 7/715p feeding. DF at 1030. He usually does about 50-55 min waketimes during the day except the first nap. At wks 10-11 he was STTN (6-7) hrs, then we flew the inlaws, had daylight savings and hit a growth spurt around 12w. whew. we're still not going more than 5, if that, at night between feedings. he wakes up around 3, depending on when i fed him last. he is also waking up (even for naps) around 2 hrs after i feed him, (an hour after going down). He can self soothe and does go back to sleep on his own, but he is consistently waking up, so at night, although he's only eating once, i'm also waking 2-4 times. do you think this is a sleep issue, or possibly a food issue?

The Russells said...

I am also very confused and frustrated with BW. I have been using it since week 2 with my son who is now 21 weeks. I have yet to put him down for a single nap without crying. I have tried not keeping him up so long, and keeping him up longer. He cries at the top pf his lungs anywhere from 10-25 minutes. It is killing me, and I am so frustrated! He does seem to be teething, so I have been giving him tylenol, but he is too young to hold on to anything and actually stick it in his mouth to chew on it. Trust me...I have tried! He will not suck on his fist, fingers, or thumb, which would comfort him. He sleeps on his back and is now formula fed (since 13 weeks). He eats 4-5 times(trying to break the dream feed of 10 pm) a day and absolutely will NOT take the bottle sooner than every 4 hours.

Also, I cannot get him to take more than an hour nap without waking himself up. This has been going on since he was about 14 weeks old. I leave him in there and he cries himself back to sleep, but it is so frustrating when I have to listen to him wailing at the start and in the middle of each nap. I am still requiring 3 naps a day, because he seems fussy. Any suggestions? Has anyone else experienced anything like this with the BW method? I have been so "by the book" What else can I possibly do?I am thinking about chunking the book out the window!

Plowmanators said...

Kerihow,

I would start with food. Since he is waking at different times in the night, it wouldn't be a habit.

If it isn't food, it is possibly being cold or uncomfortable. It could also just be getting back in the swing of things after all of the disruptions at once. It could be that he needs to be awake five minutes longer before his nap. Just take things one at a time and work on it. See the naps, troubleshooting post for ideas and work through them. Good luck!

Plowmanators said...

Russells, it makes me wonder if there is a pain issue involved. Does he have reflux or gas pain?

mrs. martin said...

Hi Val,
First of all, your blog has been SO helpful for both of my babies! Thank you!
Ok, now to business:
My first baby (little boy) was text book, any issues were solved using the methods that you and the book recommend. He is now 21 months and still doing great.
My little girl, however, is now almost 5 months old and we just CANNOT get her straightened out! We are trying everything, waking at the same time every morning, following sleep cues for naps, measuring how much she is eating to make sure she gets enough calories, my husband is a pediatrician and he has checked her out completely to make sure there are no health issues but we cannot find any rhyme or reason to the mess.
So the problems are:
Her naps are all over the place. We wake at 8 a.m. on the dot every morning (The only thing that she is totally consistent with) and immediately eat. Then the chaos starts. She won't take a morning nap! I've tried just letting her cry and now she's to the point where she is totally fine just laying there in her crib from 9 until her next feeding at 10:30-- wide awake and "talking" the whole time.
So then she feeds again at 10:30 and may or may not scream until her nap time at 11:30, then may or may not scream for that nap. This part is crazy as well... if she does take a nap till 2, it's great, our day goes a little better. But that rarely happens. She usually does the 45 minute thing and then screams because (I assume) she is overly tired from not sleeping that morning.
I won't go through the whole chaos of the day, I'm sure you get the idea. The schedule is SUPPOSED to be:
8 wake/eat
9 nap
1030 wake/eat
1130 nap
1 wake/eat
215 nap
4 wake/eat
630 eat
7 bedtime
9 dreamfeed

Also, she always wakes at least once during the night anywhere between 1a.m. and 4 a.m. It's never consistent and sometimes it's more than once.

I'm at a loss...
So I guess my question directly is, should I just be a nazi and lay down the schedule and let her CIO the whole day for a few days till she gets with the program? My husband and I both know that crying is not going to hurt her what so ever and are both totally on board with CIO and ready to do it 100% if it's what needs to happen, I'm just not sure if that's how I should do it. Or should I try to rock her to sleep to try to get her in the habit of sleeping at certain times? That method would be more difficult because I don't have the time to do that for all of her naps with my 20 month old little boy running around. But I'm willing to do whatever it takes! Like I said, my little boy was as close to perfect as they come where sleep is concerned-- perfect naps, STTN at 7 weeks.
Our little sweet girl is throwing us for a loop! Thanks in advance for the help!

kerihow said...

@ mrs. martin,
i'm definitely not Val and she has a lot more experience, but the first thing that came to mind was maybe adjusting her wake time? is it possible she's up too long? for my son at that age- sometimes even 5 minutes too late would mean no nap! we typically did 45 min for the first wake time and then 50 to 55 as the day progressed. good luck- i know you're ready for some rest! :)

mrs. martin said...

Thanks Keri, it's so hard not to feel like they are sleeping a ton by putting them back down after an hour, isn't it? But you may very well be right! This morning we woke up at 8 and I put her back down at 9. It's 9:24 now and she's still talking :) But I'm definitely going to try your suggestion for the rest of her naps today and see what happens... Thank you for the help, like I said, I'll try anything with this little sweet sleep-fighting girl!
Oh, It's 9:27 and she's quiet! Let's hope it's sleep!

mrs. martin said...

So I did end up putting her down an hour after getting up from each nap yesterday to see how it would go. I say "after getting up" because she was already awake most of the time. It went alright... she did sleep more than she usually does (still not perfect, but I'll take what I can get). This morning, I put her down at 8:50 to try Kerihow's suggestion... it is now 9:43 and she is still awake in there. I'm going to just keep trying to do the same thing for a few days (as long as she's not screaming the whole time) and just let her "talk" in there the whole nap time and see if maybe she will learn that she's going to be in there either way, may as well just sleep. Is this the right thing to do? It feels right, I guess I'll feel more confident doing it once I hear what you have to say so that I know I'm not completely crazy :)

Thanks for all the help!

p.s. I'm just working on getting her naps down at this point... I feel like the wakings in the night will be easier to smooth out once I get the naps straight.. is that correct thinking?

Plowmanators said...

Mrs. Martin, if she takes a long time to fall asleep, she likely was put down too early. It could be a waketime issue.

It also could simply be an issue of her being one of those babies that takes short naps. My oldest took 45 minute naps until he was 6.5 months old. Some do that longer.

I would suggest you consider your own diet if you are breastfeeding. it might be that she is intolerant to something as small as caffeine. Kaitlyn was that way and I couldn't even eat chocolate (I don't drink caffeine at all--but even chocolate made it so she didn't sleep well. So I might look into common irritants. It didn't do anything I could see in Kaitlyn that was bad (like no weird stools or anything), she was just more fussy. Let me know how it goes!

mrs. martin said...

Wow. You totally hit it on the head! For the past couple days, I've been waiting until 8:45 to put her back down (rather than 7:45) and she's been sleeping till 11. Thank you SO much. This makes all the difference in the world.
Since 4 months is (from what my husband tells me) when "object permanence" sets in and she knows I exist when I'm not there, I was thinking that maybe she just wanted me to play with her rather than napping. This might still have had something to do with it, but your solution or keeping her up a little longer totally fixed the problem. Thanks again!

mrs. martin said...

I forgot to add: as of 2 weeks ago, we now wake her at 7 (rather than 8) since we have dropped her dreamfeed. So her schedule is now (since your suggested adjustment):
7 wake/eat
8:45 nap
11 wake/eat
etc...
It's working SO well :)

Plowmanators said...

So good to hear Mrs. Martin!

Melissa M. said...

I am new to Babywise Scheduling and my husband and I are trying our best to make it work! We didn't start Babywise until he was about 3.5 months and now he's only 4 months old.

He was doing REALLY well with this schedule:
7:30am-Wake, Eat 6oz
8:30/9am-Nap for 1.5-2 hours
10:30am-Wake, Eat 6oz
11:30am/Noon-Nap for 1.5-2 hours
1:30pm-Wake, Eat 6oz
3:00pm/3:30pm-Nap for 1-1.5 hours
4:30pm-Wake, Eat 6oz
*No cat nap but very fussy
7:30pm-Eat 6oz
8pm/8:30pm-Bedtime

But lately he's been teething and has been extremely fussy. Also, he's been waking up pretty regularly at 6:30am instead of 7:30am. He still doesn't eat until 7:30am, but we're not sure why he started waking up earlier?

On top of that, I'm going back to work in July, and would really like to switch his schedule so that he eats at 6:30am and naps around 7:30am-9am. Is there a way to adjust his current schedule (or what's left of it) so that this happens?

Thanks for any advice you can give!
~Melissa

Molly Zemek said...

My son just turned four months and has consistently been taking 45 min naps for the last three weeks. I have tried shortening and extending waketime. He seems to need 2 hours wake time, since if I put him in the crib sooner he will stay awake until the 2 hour mark. Because of this, he has stayed on a 2.5/3 hour schedule because his naps are so short and I try to feed him when he wakes up. I know he should technical;y be moving to a 3.5/4 hour schedule at his age but how, given the short naps?

He used to be a great night time sleeper, waking up once sometimes twice in a 12 hour stretch. But lately he has been waking more often at night. Last night was the worst when he woke every two hours on the dot. He would eat for half the time of his usual feeds and go back to sleep.

He has been great at self soothing in the past so I have not let him CIO, b/c I assume if he is awake then it's a hunger issue. But he is not hungry for a full first feeding.

What do you recommend doing about these night wakings. Do some babies, even if they are self soothers early on, get to a point where they need to CIO to get through STTN again?

We don't do a dreamfeed b/c when I tried this early on I found it disrupted his long block of sleep and would cause him to wake more frequently at night. Should I go back to trying a dreamfeed?

Thank you!
Molly

newmama said...

My little guy was sleeping through the night at 3 months from 8/830p-7/730a; basically 11 hours every night.

Two weeks ago (around 4 months, 1 week)) he started waking up in the middle of the night crying. Thought it was a growth spurt and fed him. When it went on for a week, I realized it was something else, so I started dressing him warmer at night (we live in Cali and it gets hot; he was in a onsie, now he's in footie pj's).

The first night I dressed him warmer he slept through the night, though woke early around 6:30am.

He has not slept through the night since!

I did a dream feed a couple nights ago and he still woke at 2am but I was able to rock him to sleep.

Last night I didn't do a dream feed and he woke up at midnight hysterical and I fed him. He then slept until 6:15am.

I was wondering if any of the moms that had posted previously had thoughts or suggestions. I saw your poll and see that how long this lasted varies.

I'm grateful to be getting 6 hours or so of straight sleep, but I'm just confused as to what could be happening.

He also used to go down easy for naps and lately it seems like it takes a lot of effort on my part to get him relaxed enough to drift off.

Anyway, think I just needed to vent, but any input, thoughts, and feedback is appreciated.

Jewels said...

I've babywised both of my kids from day one, and my firstborn babywised like a champ. My secondborn is 5 months old and has yet to STTN. He's still waking up to eat, even though I've weaned him from his dream feed about 13 times. When I don't feed him he wakes up 2-3 times between 4-7am, so to save my sanity I've gone back to feeding him at 4am so I can get more sleep. It seems that weaning down to 4-5 minutes of feeding time is the shortest amount of time he can feed and go back to sleep, but anything less causes him to wake multiple times. I've tried to let him CIO, but our apartment situation is such that it makes it difficult (he has a very loud, angry cry)(maybe it's also just an excuse since I can't really handle it :). I'd attribute it to 4 month sleep issues, but it's been going on for, well, 5 months... He's not on solids yet, but he's eating and gaining weight fine, and I've tried nursing and giving him a pumped bottle (2-3 additional oz) at his 10pm feeding, but even skipping the 10pm feeding doesn't seem to phase him--he still wakes up at the same time. He's a pretty good napper, and still takes a short 4th nap most days. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I'm that mom that has to sleep or I become Momzilla.

T Gary said...

Hello. Thank you for all you do to inform and help all of us so we can help our babies!

My daughter turned 4-months Dec1. She's been an "Angel" baby...(still is my angel). At 6-weeks started sleeping through the night on a 3- hr schedule, we dropped the dream feed her first week of 3-months and she did better, and two weeks moved to a 4-hour schedule (7-10-3-630) with no problems! She takes 3 naps anywhere between 1.5-2.5 hours depending on her sleepy cues.

As of this week, she wakes up at 5:45am and only once has fallen back asleep. This is not like her. She hasn't cried for me to get her. She will lay and talk till 7 and try to sleep but just can't go back down. So because she's not crying I don't think she's waking up needing to eat then.

So then I will feed her at 7, but she's really tired by then, and its taken 1-1.5 hours to et 6oz. By the time she gets to the sitter (i work) she not falling asleep till 845-9am! Then she naps bad and is exhausted for all her feelings cause her wake time started off too long in the morning. Her last feeding I start at 630pm and she will keep falling asleep cause she's so tired that she didn't get her bottle (6-7 oz)down till 830pm, which is too late.

Any thoughts on how I can start the morning better so it doesn't carryover thru the day and into her last feeding?

Thanks. You're a blessing!

tg

Dawna Ozark said...

Please help, I have been trying to establish baby wise since birth, it worked amazing with my first son. Bit my second now 4 monts old, is very difficult, he wants to eat every 2 to 2.5 hours till and has 4 short naps a day all only 40 mins long, he can only stay up for a max of 1.5 hours before becoming cranky, not sleeping through the night and very unpredictable if he wakes up at night soother and cuddling wont sooty him he wants to nurse back to sleep. He as a feeding at 5:00 to 5:30 at night, and then I give him a botte of formula at 6:30 or 7 before putting him down for the night, I am still trying to breastfeed but give him formula for last feeding because my flow is slow and he cries and cluster feeds at least 3 times if breastfed. Please please help, I hate waking up in the middle f the night with him it is hard on our family to have such an unpredictable and demanding little one I need help. What can I try? Should I let him cry it out when he wakes up in the middle of the night? (Between 1:30 and 3, and again around 5).?

Dawna Ozark said...

My 4 month old is stuck on a 2 or 2.5 hour routine, how can I get him to a 3 hour routine? I need him to have better naps , I started supplementing with formula in hopes he can go longer between feeds with more milk, but nope no he just eats way more and still every 2.5 hours please help.

Deanna said...

I am wondering if some of the 4 month STTN problems is also part of babies being more distracted when they are eating. My ebf baby is extremely distracted while she eats and tries to 'get away with' only eating a 2-3 minutes on each side for her feedings. The few days that I allowed her to do that, she woke up during the night for a feeding. So now I am very persistent with her (and it takes a while) but I get her to eat 5 minutes on each side and she hasn't been waking up anymore. So I just wanted to mention that in case it helps someone. Currently my baby is also on a bit of a nap strike, so I've appreciated reading through all these comments to get some ideas. Your blog has helped me so much!

Kath S said...

HELP! I have several problems. My LO is 4 months old and is on a 3 hr routine. We've been doing BW from the beginning and he's been really good at going down at bedtime from early on. But no STTN! At 11 weeks he slept from dreamfeed at 10.30 till 5am and I was very excited. But he has only done that a couple times in the 6 weeks since. He did start pushing the MON feed later and later, from 2.30 t0 3.30 and sometimes 4.30. But then last week he started a growth spurt and was suddenly waking twice at night (1.30 and 4.30) as well as feeding longer in the day. I think the growth spurt has finished as his day feeds have gone back to normal, but he's still waking twice at night. I read somewhere that you can drop the dreamfeed for a while to try establish a longer sleeping period, then reintroduce it in hopes that the longer period will be from the dreamfeed till morning. So last night I skipped the dreamfeed but he woke at 11.30 and then at 3.30 (still better than dreamfeed, 1.30 and 4.30!) But I don't know if this is a good idea or not. He should have been STTN by now. What am I doing wrong that he is not?

2nd problem- naps! I tried CIO much to my mother's horror. It sort of worked but he only ever slept 45 mins to an hour. Then my mom introduced a paci which seemed to be the answer- a no-cry solution. He was very happy with his paci though still only slept 45 mins to an hour. But lately he has lain awake cooing with the paci, then started to fuss after a while, working up to a cry, and when I go in to comfort him he calms down but starts crying as soon as we leave the room. And so he doesn't get any sleep! What to do? Tried CIO but he SCREAMS! Is he just developing separation anxiety? Is there anything one can do about this?

Last question- he often wakes sometime between 5 and 6.30. If he wakes after 5.30, I give him his paci and that keeps him happy (or helps him fall asleep) until 7am waketime. Is this ok, or should I feed him? He has fed between 3.30 and 4.30 so I don't really think he is hungry.

Sorry this is long and rambling. I've been searching this site and other internet sites to find answers, but I feel like I am going round and round in circles and am getting confused. Any advice would be appreciated.

Bailey Henley said...

I now have a roller! My baby boy is 3.5 months and just started to roll from back to belly. He is still swaddled at night and naps b.c his arms and legs still startle him awake. I am thinking it is unsafe to still swaddle him if he is rolling. I want to start CIO but fear that he may start crying b.c he is face down in his swaddle. How do you suggest I drop the swaddle? Just let him CIO. Thanks so much.

Jennifer Wills said...

Hi, I am in desperate need of some help, please!

My baby started sleeping through the night (8 hours) at 2 months, and I thought I was well on my way with having a perfect BW baby! But...it only lasted 2 1/2 weeks. And for the last 2 1/2 months (my baby is now 4 1/2 months) things have gone down hill! She now sleeps anywhere from 1-4 hour stretches at night. I have a VERY gassy baby, so I believe she just wakes up with gas and wants to comfort nurse. It is not ideal but it is something I can deal with. What I having a very hard dealing with however are short naps and trying desperately to get my baby down for the night every single night.

Problem #1 - My baby only takes 30 - 45 minute naps. So instead of taking 3 good naps, she is taking up to 5 mini naps in order to get the sleep she needs and we are on little 2 hour cycles instead of 3 hour cycles. I don't know how to get her to take longer naps and I feel like I have tried everything. And that issue causes another issue of not knowing how to manage her day since her feed-wake-sleep cycles are so short.

Problem #2 - Trying to get my baby down for the night is such a struggle. Every single night she SCREAMS until 10:30 or 11 pm, when she finally goes down for the night (usually). There have been times that I have gotten her down earlier, like 8:30 or 9:30, but she treats it like a nap and wakes up 30 - 45 minutes later. This late bedtime makes it so hard to get her up at a normal time in the morning, she would prefer to sleep until 9 or 9:30am.

If you have any advice for me, it would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!

Valerie Plowman said...

Jennifer Wills,

Do you do gas drops and gripe water? I would do those if you are not. I would also look into the possibility of your baby having reflux.

Brayden took short naps until he was 6 months, so believe me I know it is challenging. For him, it was a sleep location issue. Once he was moved into a private room in a crib rather than a pack and play, he slept better.

Deise Clements said...

I currently have a 4.5 month old and have been experiencing sleep issues throughout this month. I've been reading "Your Sleepless Baby" (highly recommend!) and it mentions in there that babies have increased intelligence at 4 months which can cause them to notice changes in their sleep environment during lighter phases of sleep and wake early as a result. The book talks a lot about the importance and impact of sleep associations (positive and negative). It's been a great help for me and is compatible with BabyWise I believe.

Valerie Plowman said...

Thanks for sharing! It sounds like similar claims the wonder weeks make about why babies don't sleep well at times.

Ashley Holle said...

Hi Valerie,

I am a first time mom and my daughter will be 4 months on Wed. We have been experiencing some sleep problems at night the past couple weeks. She was sleeping 5-6 hrs at night, but then both my husband and I went back to work. She was very clingy and would always want to nurse. Once we got passed that things seemed to be looking better, but now she seems to be showing signs that she's teething (drooling, sucking and chewing on everything, etc.). Now she is waking up a couple times at night. When she wakes up they aren't hungry cries. These are different, it almost seems like she's in pain, which is again why I think she's teething. We haven't let her cry it out, but are thinking that it's time to. She is also still swaddled and doesn't sleep very well if she isn't. I guess I am just wanting some advice as to what I should be doing. We are going to talk to her pediatrician next week about starting her on solids to see if that helps. Thanks! Ashley

Valerie Plowman said...

I would try some pain killer or hyland teething tablets to see if that helps her sleep better. If she still wakes while on pain killer, you can guess it is not because of teething pain. IB Profen seems to work better for teething pain than Tylenol.

Sarah Elizabeth said...

I am writing this post because our issues started right when my daughter turned 4 months, and she will be six months next Thursday (on Thanksgiving J). My daughter has been a great sleeper pretty much since she was born on May 27 of this year. She was sleeping through the night at 6 weeks, and quickly moved to 10-11 hours of sleep every night. A couple of days after her 4-month doctor’s appointment, she began waking at night. Now she is nearly 6 months old, and we have tried everything that we know of, and she’s still waking at night. First, we thought it might be hunger, so we started her on some solids (stage 1 foods and baby oatmeal). That’s now a part of our feedings everyday (she eats BM at 7-11-3-8, 1 TB oatmeal cereal (mixed with BM) and 1 TB fruit after the 7 am feeding, 1 TB fruit and 1 TB veggies after the 11 am feeding, and ¼ cup cereal and 1 TB fruit or veggie with us at “dinner” at 6 pm). She has seemed to enjoy the solids, and her naps are even better now than before the solids (solid 2 hour naps – from 9-11 and 1-3, as well as a “catnap” from 5-6), but she’s still night waking. We then thought it might be anxiety/fear of being alone, so we left a nightlight on in her room, and (although we did CIO), when her cries just kept on we would visit her crib to give her a pacifier and rub her belly, try to calm her (without picking her up). Nothing has worked. In some moments of desperation, when we didn’t know what to do, I (the mom) would pick her up and rock her, and she’d instantly calm down as soon as I picked her up (but started crying again when I put her back in the crib). Teething? I don’t know – when she had a small cold a few weeks ago (and she was REALLY night waking during that time!), the doctor said she is definitely teething, but still no teeth have come through. She is now completely over the cold, and still night waking. Odd thing is, sometimes I will see on the monitor that she awakes during the night, and she looks around her room, talks, etc., but does not cry. Other times, she awakes, and just cries hard, loud, and long. We do CIO all the time, and I study her cries – they are not from hunger – more from pain or anxiety/not wanting to be alone, can’t get herself back to sleep, etc. A reason I don’t think it’s teething is she is totally FINE during the day – no fussiness, great naps, etc. Also, we do not put her to bed asleep; she always goes down awake, and is happy 95% of the time, just talks herself to sleep. Yes, she uses a pacifier, but she’s not attached to it – it’s just a soother. Any idea what this could be? My husband and I are exhausted. We both work full-time, and this is taking a toll on us. Oh – and we tried baby Tylenol on recommendation of the Pediatrician, and that did not work, either.

Sarah Elizabeth said...

I will add that the waking has a pattern - always 1 to 1 1/2 hours after I put her to bed, and every hour to hour-and-a-half after that, until about 1 to 4 am, then she will usually sleep well until I wake her at 7.

Vanessa Comfort said...

Welp....clearly we're not in the same boat as all the "honeymoon 4 month parents". Not at all. My little one just turned 4 months and is waking 5-6 times during the night. Sometimes she will CIO 5-10 minutes and go back to sleep. I'm feeding her just at the 3am waking and all the other we use CIO or her paci without picking her up. She's been doing this for almost 2 weeks now and before that was solidly sleeping 9am-4am or thereabouts. I would then nurse and put her straight back to bed and she would sleep again until 7:30. We don't use a dreamfeeed- as she was to sleepy to rouse when I first started to try. She currently has started rice cereal solids and I'm using 1 Tbsp twice a day mixed with 3-4 Tbsp breast milk. She eats approximately 7:30, 10, 1, 4, 7 and 8:30pm- then a 3am feeding. I give the cereal after the 7:30 and 7pm feedings. I have just started to try putting her to sleep earlier to see if that will help with her sleep issues. She's also a cat napper. Napping around 9, 11:30, 2:30, and 5:30- each nap usually only lasts 30-60 minutes. Some days only 20 minutes for one. I have no idea what to do....she's waking at 11, 1, 3,5, and 6am. We're starting the day at 7:30am. Not sure if I am just doing everything wrong or if she is just not a "perfect baby" as some seem to have. Any ideas would help!

Valerie Plowman said...

Have you tried gripe water and/or gas drops? And when she cries, is she wanting the pacifier and can't find it?

Valerie Plowman said...

It seems odd that she will sleep solid two hours in the day but one hour at night. If you work full time, you are not with her in the day, correct? Is she home? At an in-home daycare? A daycare center? I would find out what the sitter does exactly. I would try to replicate at night what her sleep environment is like in the day.

Valerie Plowman said...

Since she did sleep well and stopped, the best thing to do is think about any changes that were made to her life around the time the sleep went downhill. Then reverse those changes.

Does she have reflux? If so, does she need an increase in meds?

It also could be the wonder week thing, but that is a drastic change in sleep for a wonder week in my opinion.

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