Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Nighttime Sleep Issues {Revised and Updated}


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

All people, babies included, wake throughout the night. There are lots of possible reasons for baby to come fully awake and request some assistance. Here are some strategies for dealing with nighttime sleep issues.

BABY WAKING CONSISTENTLY
If your baby is old enough he "should" be sleeping through the night, but he is still waking, what should you do? First, we want to identify the reason for waking. You can't apply the proper "how" until you have identified the "why."

Why?
  • Habitual: First, watch for his time he wakes in the night to be consistent. If it is all over the map from night to night (one night it is 5:45, the next, 4:15, the next, 5:15...) I don't think he is waking out of habit. But not out of habit doesn't necessarily mean the child needs a feeding in the night. What do you do it if is habit, you need to try to break that habit. You can do that by trying the wake to sleep idea from the Baby Whisperer. Something I did with McKenna was purely by accident. One night, we had friends over so I didn't do her dreamfeed until midnight instead of 10ish. That night, she passed over her habitual waking time and never went back!
  • Hunger: Be sure you are getting enough feedings in the day. If your baby is waking at night, you shouldn't be moving past a 3 hour schedule. Conquer the night first. If you don't get enough food in the day, baby must take it at night. Some babies, however, will sleep better in the day after moving to a four hour schedule, so if your mommy gut is telling you to try it, go ahead! You can always go back to three hours if it doesn't work out. Also, be aware of Growth Spurts that can cause night waking, especially if baby is not fed in the day when hungry.
  • Pain: Does baby have reflux or gas? These things will prevent baby from sleeping through.
  • Wet: Please do not gloss over this bullet! Is your baby wearing a big enough diaper? If my kids are close to the weight limit of a diaper, I put them in the next size up at night. You have to buy two sizes, but you will eventually buy the bigger size anyway. Many people find that moving to a bigger diaper size or something like Huggies Overnites solves the waking problem. I know it did for both Brayden and McKenna. See diapers for more.
  • Sleep Needs: Is your baby getting too much sleep in the day? Review your Babywise book and review the number of naps usually needed for your baby's age. Is your baby not getting enough in the day? Sleep begets sleep, so if your baby is not getting enough sleep during the day, it can affect night time sleep.
  • Bedtime: Keep bedtime early enough. A too-late bedtime will cause an early riser. This might seem counter-intuitive to you, but when you think about sleep needs, it makes sense. If you consistently don't get enough sleep, it is hard to sleep. At some point, you crash and get lots of sleep. Most babies have bedtime around 7-8 PM.
  • Quirk: Is your baby just waking and talking? A review of page 132 in Babywise tells you that around 2-3 months old, many PDF babies will wake and talk to themselves for up to an hour, and that phase can last over a month. This isn't something specific to Babywise babies, either. This happens with many babies.
  • Expectations: Watch your definition of "night." Kaitlyn often woke in the 5 AM hour, which to me was still night, but she had been asleep for 9 hours. BW says to be careful about letting your baby sleep more than 9 hours if you are BF. If your baby is young, I wouldn't really worry about a 5:30 wake time.
  • Temperature: Be sure your baby is dressed warm enough or cool enough. Keep your house at a good temperature as much as you can. Don't underestimate the importance of dressing appropriately. Kaitlyn didn't sleep well with socks on her feet. McKenna doesn't sleep well without socks on her feet. Make sure you are Dressing Baby for Sleeping in the best way for your individual baby.
  • Noise: Is there some constant noise waking your baby up? If baby is waking at a certain time, evaluate what is going on at that time. When Kaitlyn was a newborn, she would wake at a certain time no matter how long it had been since she last ate. I realized it was around the time my husband got up for work. That is when we moved her to her own room. White noise can help with a baby waking from noise.
  • Social Visits: I have read that some children will wake at night even if they don't need to because that is when they get attention from their parents. This is rarely true in oldest children, but more likely to happen with additional children. If this could be the case, you would want to give as little attention as possible in the middle of the night. I read this before Brayden was born, so I was always careful to not make nighttime fun for any of my children. I didn't make it miserable, I just kept it business :). When I fed Kaitlyn in the middle of the night, I didn't talk to her, smile at her, and I avoided all eye contact. It could be really hard when she sometimes tried to strike up a conversation :). I found this policy to be easy with Brayden. He and I got plenty of one-on-one in the day. But with my girls, the day could be hectic, so I treasured those night visits. It was quite time for us to be together; it wasn't, however, something I wanted to keep up forever :). If you suspect social visits, don't socialize in the night and you would also want to make sure she gets the one-on-one attention she needs from you in the day.
  • Sun: The sun was such a problem for all three of my babies. They would wake with the sun. Room darkening shades or dark blinds can help. With Kaitlyn, she just needed her blinds shut. See Early Morning Wakings and the Sun.
BABY WAKING SPORADICALLY
Now let's identify some possible reasons for sporadic waking.

Why:
  • Part of Progress: If your baby sleeps sometimes, then wakes sometimes, your chances are you are experiencing something normal. It seems a lot of babies do this off and on until they eventually stop and just sleep. I would guess the younger the baby is when they start STTN, the more often this would happen. Kaitlyn and McKenna were both this way, especially McKenna. Not fun, but just the way it is. Progress is a Spiral.
  • Hunger: If your baby suddenly starts waking in the night again, try adding more feedings, adding solids, or adding more food at each feeding. One night I woke up at about 2:30 AM STARVING. I was so hungry my stomach ached. I had eaten as I always do the day before. I managed to fall asleep without eating, but it made me realize that sometimes babies could wake up in the night who normally sleep through and be legitimately hungry for no apparent reason. They might be able to go back to sleep, or they might not. Night Hunger.
  • Growth Spurt: You also have to be mindful of growth spurts that disrupt nighttime sleep for some, though not all. If you resist a growth spurt in the day, your baby will likely seek the food she needs at night. For some babies, even adding feedings in the day isn't enough, they need more at night, too.
  • Drop Nap: Too many naps in the day? Maybe it is time to drop a nap, or shorten one.
  • Teething or Sickness: Your baby might be teething or sick. These are things that can be disruptive for some babies at night.
  • Disruptions: Did you have a wacky day? By that, I mean did you have a disruptive day to your normal routine? If so, that is fine, we all have days like that, but it could explain the night waking. See disruptions for more.
  • Sun: Is the sun rising around the time your baby is waking? See Early Morning Wakings and the Sun.
  • Wonder Week: For some babies, they wake during the wonder week developmental leaps.
  • Sleep Prop: You might be experiencing a sleep prop gone wrong. Babies can start off sleeping just great with props, but then come to depend on them and can't make it through transitions without help.
Be wary of the idea that if they did it once, they could do it always. I didn't start BW with my first until 9 weeks old, and when he was only three weeks old I remember there being nights he would sleep 8 or 9 hours straight. Other nights he would be up a couple of times. I remember distinctly when he was 7 weeks old there was a day he nursed 4 times in the day. I say that to illustrate that a baby doing something one day doesn't mean they can always do it. When it comes to STTN, sleeping longer stretches gives you the indicator that they are moving toward it, but I think most babies sleep through, then will revert back and wake up, then sleep through, then revert back....

SOLVING THE PROBLEM
Now that you have an idea as to why, you can work on how to fix it.

How

Let me note, it is a good idea to take things one at a time. You might suspect more than one thing. I suggest you change one thing at a time. Address hunger and pain first. Then move on to comfort. It is possible more than one thing is contributing to the problem. This is a time when keeping a log is quite handy.
  • Address Problem: Pick the appropriate how for your why. If baby is cold, dress her warmer. If baby is hungry, try adding feedings to the day. See linked blog labels in the "why" section for more on a topic. I have lots of posts on all of these issues.
  • Increase Food in Day: Try adding a feeding. If you are on a four hour schedule, go back to three. If you are on a three, add a dreamfeed or cluster feed.
  • Decrease Food at Night: You can try decreasing the amount eaten in the night. If you bottle feed, offer less in the bottle. If you breastfeed, decrease the amount of time spent nursing, or offer only one side, or both. That is what I did with Kaitlyn, and this fixed the problem so we didn't have to do CIO. Do this only if your child is not in need of food at night. You have to decide if your child is ready or not. How do you know? One obvious way is if your baby isn't really eating in the night. Another is if baby is eating in the night but then not eating for the first feed of the day.
  • Cry It Out: I think once you are sure your child doesn't need to wake up and eat in the night, it doesn't hurt anything to give it shot at Cry it Out (CIO). Many people do it with success, so if you want to, give it a try. BW says that to CIO in the night can take as little as one time, but some kids might take at least two weeks. Something you might consider is if you would be as willing to stick with a CIO for several nights if necessary, when you know that you could be up only 20 minutes at the most instead if you fed him, and then you would be back on your way to dreamland.
  • Help Soothe: You might not be able to do CIO in the night. If so, I don't blame you. I haven't ever done it at night. You can try helping baby fall back asleep by shh-ing, patting, rocking, etc. Some moms use pacifiers. Some do Pick Up/Put Down by the Baby Whisperer. Sometimes just getting baby used to sleeping through helps her get over the hump so she can do it on her own. We really like The Four S's from Hogg.
  • Other Ideas: Check the Naps: Troubleshooting post on this blog and run through possibilities there. Too hot/cold, noise, etc.
Pay attention to what is going on when baby wakes. Be analytical and introspective. Trust your instincts. Best of luck!

RELATED POSTS/BLOG LABELS

128 comments:

Amy said...

This article comes at a good time, however, I'm still at a loss for what to do with my 5 week old. My goal is to have a wake-up time of 7:30. My LO is getting up two times at night after her "last" feeding of the day. Recently, I tried moving her from a 3 hour to a 2 1/2 hour schedule so she is getting more during the day. For example, yesterday she ate at 7:30a, 10a, 12:30p, 2:30p, 5p, 8p and 10:30p - this being her "last" feeding. She then gets up consistently at 2a and 5a. Is there some way I can get her to wake up only once at night? Yesterday was our second day of 2 1/2 hour schedule - should we just give it more time or is there something else we can do?

Thanks,
Amy

Kenny and Jen said...

Thanks for this post. My 6 month old has be STTN since early on, but just recently started to wake a few to several times at night. Usually I am able to get in there and give him a paci and he drifts right back to sleep. It makes it hard for me to get a good nights rest though waiting and wondering when he might wake up again (some nights he still STTN fine.. strange kiddo!).

I was hoping to drop his dreamfeed, but now am afraid it might make it worse. His naps have been somewhat sporadic as well so I am hoping it is just a "Wonder Week" and he is having trouble sleeping because he is learning to crawl and sit on his own.

Anyway, thanks for the post. It helps to know that sometimes babies revert for a while.

The Kendall Family said...

I am just curious about size/weight when sleeping through the night. We did BW with my first daughter and she slept through the night at 8 weeks. She was 6lbs.7oz at birth. We are now doing it with our second daughter. She was only 4lbs14ozs at birth so she is much smaller. She is almost 11 weeks old and is still waking up at night. She is a little less than 9lbs, so I am thinking she won't sleep through the night for a little while because of her size. Any thoughts?

Rebecca M. said...

Wow, I will make sure my 11 month old son and all this little baby friends read this very informative post, not to mention the BabyBible, oops, I mean BabyWise. Who knew that God created babies with little alarm clocks in them?? Amazing stuff!

Victoria said...

That's definitely one thing I appreciate about BW is the way the authors stress meeting your baby's needs; if he is hungry feed him. I know I wish they had told me a little more in the hospital, as a first time mom, than feeding on demand. If I followed everything my baby threw my way, he would play all day and all night until he wails out of exhaustion. And truly the most wonderful thing about being a mother is finding what is best for you and your child. God bless.

Plowmanators said...

Rebecca, that is impressive that your son can read already, but I think you have some reading comprehension issues.

Also, did you know that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit?

Plowmanators said...

Amy, I would just give it more time. I think at that age, McKenna was waking twice, too. See the newborn summaries to follow that.

Plowmanators said...

Kenny and Jen, it is possible it is a wonder week. It is also possible it is some other disruption (see 5-8 month sleep disruptions post). It is possible it is the pacifier...Also, it is possible the dreamfeed is causing problems. It can start to interfere with continuous sleep, so you might try dropping that and see what happens.

Plowmanators said...

Kendall Family, I can't say definitively. Some sources say baby needs to be 11-12 pounds to sleep through the night. Others say weight plays no role. With McKenna, I was very patient with her night sleep since she was born small, too. I would just not worry about at all until your baby reaches 11-12 pounds.

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Victoria!

NaomiO said...

Thank you so much for this post. I have been having wake up issues with my 6 month old on and off for... ever. We dropped our night feeds about 2 months ago, and he is easy to put back to sleep with a pacifier, but I always need to get up.... so thank you so much! I have tried moving him to a larger diaper, and I did my first dream feed tonight, we will see if that makes a difference.

I also want to thank you so very much for all the time you put into this blog. Even the fact that you have posts on so many of my "problems" is encouraging, because then I see that I am not the only one! I appreciate your concrete answers!! You are such a gift for me and my babies.

NaomiO said...

Help. I don't know what to do anymore. I have tried switching to a bigger diaper, the temp is good in the room, we have done dream feeds a few nights, they make no difference. I was up EVERY HOUR last night. Joshua is almost 7 months old, so I know this is ridiculous. I love my boy so much, so really don't mind seeing his little face in the night, but I am exhausted, and am having a hard time making it through my days!!! ANY more suggestions????? I think I would like to pay you to come over and "Fix" the problem for me!! :)

Rebecca said...

Thanks so much for this blog! I really appreciate it.

I am a first time mom to a 9 week old little boy. He's a cutie and likes to coo and smile at me all the time. I have a couple issues with sleep that I'd like to see if you have any ideas of how to address.
First the bedtime issue. My son has his last normal feeding at 7:30 PM and has a bedtime of 8:30. He consistently will not go to sleep at 8:30 (he's maybe done it 5 times total) and will just stay awake fussy until 9-10 when he will want to eat again. I want to move this "dreamfeed" later for our schedule and actually get him to sleep between the feedings. He used to do this "stay awake between feedings" later in the evening and we successfully moved it earlier. He has 7 scheduled feedings a day and I cluster feed at 3PM, 5PM and 7:30PM.
Any suggestions for getting him to go to sleep on time instead of staying awake till the next feeding?
The second issue is that he is slill waking at least once in the night. He was getting pretty good at sleeping 6 hours or so last week, but in the last 5 days he's cutting his sleep time shorter and shorter. When he wakes I try to get him back to sleep, but he acts hungry. When I feed him he will not take a full feeding, but will eat 5-10 minutes and then go back to sleep. Sometimes he will also not eat a full feeding at 7AM when I wake him up.
Should I try cutting down the time he is eating at night? Any other ideas for this?

Thanks so much!

Plowmanators said...

NaomiO,

I would first suggest you see the label "wonder weeks." That might give you some insight.

Also, it might be that the pacifier is interfering with sleep. I think most babies learn to find it and reinsert by 8 months, so at this point you might just want to stick it out. See the label "pacifier" for more on this.

Also, see the post 5-8 month sleep disruptions. Let me know how it goes!

Kelly said...

I thought I left a comment a couple of days ago, but I can't find it. I love your blog and love all of your helpful hints. We have been doing Babywise with our first two kids and it has worked really well with our family. The only struggle I have right now is that my 7 month old keeps waking up with poopy diapers. She wakes up early in the morning and all throughout the day with her naps. We didn't have this problem before we started feeding her solids. Now she wakes up early from many a nap. Any suggestions?
Thanks for all your help that you provide to me and many other moms (and dads). :)

AnnDee said...

Hi! I am hoping I can get some help. I'm getting so frustrated, and feel like a failure! (I'm sure that's also a normal part of this first-time-mom thing!) My son is 9 months old. He has been STTN since he was 5 months old. The only problem is . . . he won't go more than like 4-5 days of sleeping through the night. Some of the days he'll wake up and talk for a while and go back to sleep, some days he'll cry for 10-45 min. and go back to sleep. Or some days he'll scream until I feed him. When will this end? Is it normal to only get him to STTN consistently for only half-a-week and then revert back to waking and crying? He also has the problem of waking around 5:30 or 6:00 and crying until his wake time of 7:00. What do I do? He just can't seem to be consistent from day to day, and that is really hard! Some days his naps are great, others they are only 30-45 min. Some days he'll STTN and I'll have to wake him at 7:00, and some days he wakes up 2-3 times a night crying and fussy. I am just not sure what to do. He is so different from day to day that I just don't even feel like there is a norm with him. He's never been the same long enough! His waketime is also just as varied--some mornings he'll stay awake for 2 h. 15 min., but others he starts getting grumpy at the 1 hour mark. This makes for a different schedule every day, and I am really having a hard time being able to get out and do anything with or without him. I'm wanting to drop his dreamfeed, but every time I think he's ready (the DF is only at 8:00-8:30!) and feed him at 7:30 and put him down to bed, he will wake--without fail. (I have no idea how 1/2 hour can make a difference!) Anyways, I love my baby, but I'm starting to feel rundown and like I'm a walking zombie! Any suggestions, or ideas? I know some of this is normal, but is there anything I can do? Thanks so much for all you do for me and the other moms on this blog--it is a true blessing!

Heather said...

Hi. First off - thank you for this blog! It has been a true blessing. I have been doing BW with my son since birth and he has been STTN since 10 weeks. This past week has been rather unusual: waking early in the morning, 45 minute naps...basically all the classic signs of a growth spurt. We are still on a 3 hr schedule (maybe 3.5 somedays) and I did try to feed more milk and solids during the day to compensate. Now that the growth spurt has seemed to pass, he is still waking early. I've tried everything!!! I have read, and reread most of the links on this blog - and am feeling like such a failure! He's 6 months old, and is learning to sit on his own and just discovered grabbing his feet, is this normal? He's always been a good sleeper - 11 hrs at night and good naps during the day. I've dropped the 3rd nap to a lil cat nap (he still needs it!). I've stayed home and kept things "calm"....etc etc. Is this just a phase? Anyone else with a 6month old having the same problems?
Does it ever end? Will my BW baby go back to being a BW baby? Feeling very very very discouraged.

Heather said...

Wanted to also add that, now that the growth spurt seems to be over, he's not waking and crying right away. Now he is waking and playing. I can see on the monitor that he is tired...droopy eyes and yawns, but he won't fall back asleep. Bedtime is between 8 and 830 (so he can see his dad for a few minutes each day). Ideal wake time is 730. Thanks.

Plowmanators said...

Rebecca,

Is he having witching hour at night when going to bed (or not going to bed, rather :) )? If so, see witching hour blog label. If not, I would move bedtime earlier.

I would try to get him going to sleep earlier in the night before addressing night issues. He might be just overly tired and waking more in the night, so if you get bedtime right, it might fix nighttime waking. Good luck!

Plowmanators said...

Kelly, this is a hard problem and really common for that age group.

The hardest answer is just that you have to wait for her body to get used to pooping when awake.

There are other things you can do to try to help. You can feed her foods that cause pooping in the morning rather than night. For example, prunes get McKenna moving, so I NEVER feed them to her anytime other than with breakfast. Bananas back her up, so she has them with dinner each night. Hang in there!

Plowmanators said...

AnnDee, it sounds like there is something that needs to be done about his overall sleeping.

How consistent do you keep your days? Do you try to start at the same time each day? Are his waketime lengths correct? Is he getting enough food in the day?

Does he have some medical issue like reflux or gas pain?

Some reverting is normal, but it sounds like there is something that just hasn't clicked, and I really wonder about pain of some sort.

Plowmanators said...

Heather,

It is a phase that they go through over and over. I would suggest you see the blog label "wonder weeks."

Not sleeping is common when new skills are being mastered (see "Nap Disruptions:Crawling, Standing, Rolling, etc."). Hang in there!

sugarplum said...

Help, help, help!!! I am having sleep issues with my 6 month old son! He has been consistanly been waking up between 2-4 times a night for a while now! He has never been a good napper. His typical nap is around 45 min to an hour long. Occasionally he'll go longer, but this is extremely rair! He is still on a 3 -3 1/2 feeding schedule and is breastfed 6 times a day. He has also started getting solids with he breakfast & dinner for a little while, so now we're throwing in lunch now too. He has never been a gassy baby and I don't think he is too hot or too cold at night. We have had a consistent bedtime at around 7:30pm. We have an evening routine of eat, bath, lotion massage, and bedtime. His last feeding is a dreemfeed at around 9:30pm. The night hasn't been going smooth for a while. I know he's capable of sleeping through the night because he has done it before, but not anytime recently. When he wakes up I'll first try to let him self-soothe & sometimes he does, but if not then I try the paci... this will sometimes turn into a game for him and when he's done with the game then he gets upset so I'll try rocking... next I have inconsolable crying where only nursing him will work! I try to hold off on nursing him till after 5am, but sometimes if he's too inconsolable I feel like I don't have a choice! I have tried making his bedtime earlier at 7pm instead of 7:30, but the nighttime is the same. I don't know if I should try to drop the dreamfeed, drop a nap, consolidate his naps, or what? His last nap is between 5-6pm and is only about 30 min long. Help please!!!

Stephanie Powell said...

Oh, thank goodness I found your blog! I am up in the middle of the night searching the Internet for BW advice... I've been doing BW since birth with my son. He started STTN at around 10 weeks. Yay! However, when he turned 12 weeks, I went back to work and he started daycare, his sleep schedule has degraded significantly. First week after daycare, he began waking at 3:00 a.m. every night. I changed daycare programs (not because of the sleeping issues) and now have a friend watch him in my home during the day. When I did this, my 4-month old son initially went back to STTN. However, two weeks later and he is now waking sporadically at all hours - 3, 4, sometimes 5 times a night. Initially I thought it might be a growth spurt, but he'd fall asleep within 5 minutes of nursing. Now he seems to be waking with each sleep cycle and not able to put himself back to sleep. My husband and I take turns going to his crib to give him a pacifier - something we never did before daycare - and it puts him back to sleep immediately. But I am so TIRED and FRUSTRATED. I know he can STTN and am not sure how to get him back on track. Could his problems be the result of an inconsistent schedule due to multiple daycare providers? I'm hoping I can get him back on track b/c I can't take waking every hour or two to put a pacifier in his mouth. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Plowmanators said...

sugarplum,

If he was STTN and then stopped, I would wonder about a growth spurt.

If I were you, I would first try feeding him every time he wakes early from a nap and the first time he wakes in the night. Just get lots and lots of food in him. Give that at least a week and then see if he starts to sleep better.

Plowmanators said...

Stephanie,

I would have to wonder what is different about his day with his provider. Does she use a pacifier to put him to sleep for naps? How is his day different from when you were the one watching him?

I think that will be your answer. But also see the blog label "wonder weeks" and "4 month sleep problems"

Stephanie Powell said...

Thanks for the input and advice! Starting last week I am able to be at home again with my son full time (no more daycare) and I've already seen vast improvements in his sleep patterns. He's STTN for 5 of the last 8 nights and seems to be getting better at self-soothing. He even took two 2-hour naps yesterday - something he's never done before. I do think you're absolutely right - the inconsistency in routine and various providers really interfered. I'm confident now that we are back on track!

jamie said...

Thank you sooooo much for this blog!! I tell every Mom I possibly can about it, so thank you for all the time you invest in it.
My 6 month old daughter is an extremely happy contented baby. We just haven't ever been able to get her to sleep through the night. She takes a 1.5-2 hour nap in the morning, a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon, and a half hour cat just after dinner. She then goes to bed between 8 and 9. She's on solids three times a day and nurses five times a day, plus a dreamfeed at between 10-11pm. Anytime between 3:30-5:00am she'll wake up. She seems truly hungry, and is super eager and almost desperate when I finally nurse her after trying to soothe her back to sleep first. So she'll take a full feeding then and also at 8:00am when we wake for the day. What should I do? All the ingredients are there for her to STTN I would think :) Does my milk not contain enough calories to get her through the night maybe? Thanks again!!!

Stephanie Powell said...

Jamie, Your 6-month-old sounds exactly like my son did a few weeks ago - napping wonderfully, eating solids, being an overall very happy baby. How much cereal (or other solid) is your little one eating in a day? I had only been giving my son 1T of cereal 2x a day and then read that some babies need more. I increased the amount to 2T 3x a day and to my surprise, he gobbled it all down. I also added a few teaspoons of carrots at lunch and dinner. That very first night after upping his solids he STTN! It's been 4 days of increased food and he's STTN each night so far. Just a suggestion you might want to try! Good luck.

jamie said...

That is awesome!! You're right, that's what I thought too about increasing solids. I thought for sure she would snooze right through once I started!

She started on a Tbsp or so at 5 and a half months, and since then the amount has increased to 1/4-1/2 cup three times a day plus some babyfood too. Maybe she needs more still? Something I've been wondering too is if I should see if she'll take more formula after nursing? She hasn't liked her cereal mixed with formula, but maybe I should try again for more calories? She doesn't seem to really enjoy nursing that much, like she wants to get it over with, bobbing on and off. I've got a super fast letdown and after the initial rush of milk she doesn't like to work for the rest. For the first four or five months she only ate off of one side - I could never get her to do the other and she was gaining weight well. Now it's rare that she takes just one side and has to do both since about the last two months. Her weight gain has been good and she's still super content/naps super well in the day. Although I haven't weighed her in the last few weeks. Hmm...what to do? Thank you so much Stephanie!

Rebecca said...

Does anyone have a 12 month old baby with sleeping problems? My daughter Noelle has been sleeping really well. She started to STTN at 10 weeks. When she was 9-10 months she was perfectly content and slept extremely well. Around 11 months she started waking and crying 1-2 times each night. I thought it was just a short period, and after a few weeks it stopped and she was pretty much okay. Now she has started to wake up again. Last couple of mornings she has also woken early in the morning. She doesn't have too long naps during the day, I'm pretty sure of that. I've been thinking about nightmares. She seems to be fine after I lift her up and sit with her and pat her on the back. She sleeps good for her daytime naps. Another thought is if it's a developmental thing, that it has to do with her starting to walk soon or something. Can't they have sleeping problems during those times?

Plowmanators said...

Jamie,

Typically, adding forumla feedings creates the liklihood supply will be compromised. I am not sure what that is like once solids are introduced, though. I personally wouldn't do that unless you knew you had an inadequate supply.

There is a post called 5-8 month sleep disruptions, and that might have a reason for you.

I would actually suggest an earlier bedtime. Most babies need to go to bed in the 7PM hour, and a bedtime that is too late will cause night wakings. I would try it sometime between 7-8 and see what happens.

Plowmanators said...

Rebecca, it could be developmental or a nightmare thing. It could also be any of the things listed in this post, and at this age, teething.

If you suspect nightmares, pay attention to when it happens and the factors of the day that could impact that. I would not allow any television at all and avoid overstimulation, over tiredness, as well as too hot and/or too cold.

heather said...

Seems as if i am revisiting this tab all too often lately! (Big Sigh).

I'm nearly at the point of breaking down and would appreciate anyone's advice or to know if any other moms/dads are experiencing the same problems.

My LO is 9 1/2 months (born a month early tho) and for the past 2+ weeks has been waking early in the morning. His normal waketime is 7, but it gradually started to get earlier, and earlier(630, then 615, then 6). Most days he woke up happy and could play until i went to get hime. I dropped the 3rd nap, put him to bed earlier, and for the first two nights he woke later in the morning. Ah, I thought I had fixed it....it continued, though, basically waking at around 6. I know 10.5 hrs at night is nothing to be complaining about, but some days he wakes up crying, then seems to take a longer morning nap to compensate. I feel like I've tried everything (more solids, not sure its a growth spurt since poop seems the same, he's not overly wet, his room is fairly dark but not black and i although i've tried i cannot make it any darker, the wonder week has come and gone so i question as to why the problem is continuing, he hasn't seemed to learn any new tricks, i.e, standing, crawling, etc). The only thing I can attribute it to is teething, but can this really go on for close to three weeks???? He has no teeth yet but definitely shows signs. I am very consistent with his feeding/nap schedule, so at this point, I am not sure what I am doing wrong!!! The problem is that when he wakes early....be it 30 minutes or an hour, he wants to eat and its really hard to divert his attention till its "food time". I'm sure my frustration is exasberated by the fact that I am 5 months pregnant (unplanned) and have yet to feel the 2nd trimester revamp.

Anyone else experience this. Do I just accept and move on?

Joy Sonju said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
heather said...

Joy,
I totally feel your pain. I've resolved myself to the fact that its a stage and there is nothing I can do about it. I've read, reread, and read again the posts on 5-8 month sleep disruptions and nothing seemed to fit or work if I changed just one thing. So, thats why I've concluded that maybe its not me. ;)

Things on my end have gotten better the past week+. We are back to waking in the crib happy and playing and I can hold him off till its time to wake up. I've also turned off the monitor sound and told myself that I cannot look at the video screen until 630. It sure does help with MY sleep. What I have noticed is that although my son could not crawl about a month ago (and still can't) he has been making progress getting up on his knees and reaching farther for objects...so maybe it was a combintation of things that I could not see and his frustration that he could not express. Rather than shorten his naps (his dad gets home late so I try to push him till as close to 8 as possible, and I'm pregnant and enjoy the time during the day), I have tried to add more activity/exercise during the day. Not sure if that has helped but at this stage of development, getting overtired from overstimultion is probably not possible. Maybe the opposite is true.

So take heart...it will pass. My son did the same thing for a month at 6 months and went back to "normal" for months 7 and 8. I'm thinking its the same thing now and ENJOYING every day that life is "normal".

Crossing my fingers for you!!! :)

Plowmanators said...

Heather, I am glad you have seen improvement. I thinke exercise was a good idea. Time outside seems to be helpful. Also, teething can take quite a while--especially the first set. Pains can last months.

Plowmanators said...

Joy,

When you have to go in and get her because of her feet, I would try doing your sleep routine again just so she knows for sure it is sleep time. So if you sing a special lullaby, I would do that again. It might help.

Tara said...

Hi! I have read this post dozens of times over the past month and I still don't know what to do. I'm hoping you can look at my situation and give advice (please?).

My son has been on BW since he was a week old. It went great! He was STTN at 9 weeks and it was smooth sailing from there. He slept 10 hours straight every night, napped well, etc.

At 4 1/2 months he started to wake up early, then he'd wake up at 2am or so. I fed him, thinking it was a growth spurt. I added more feedings during the day. By 5 months we had reverted back to a 3 hour day routine plus I was feeding him 3-4 times at night.

Finally, at 5 1/2 months I added solids to his feedings. He has been doing so well...eating lots, nursing, napping perfectly, always as happy as can be. But I am still dealing with these night wakings.

I don't think I can handle CIO. We try but only last a few minutes. It is hard because we have a tiny condo and he sleeps in our room. If I don't nurse him, he throws a fit. Not the paci, nor rocking, sshing and patting work. PU/PD just makes him even more upset. I am honestly so exhausted, I can't stand it and always end up nursing him.

Is there anything else I can do that doesn't involve CIO? He is 6 months old now and I am more tired than when he was a newborn! :( I feel so awful because all our hard work implementing BW seems to have gone down the drain. I'm glad he naps well and is happy, but I need my sleep desperately now that he is older and getting even more active.

I am going to be moving him into Huggies overnights now just to see if that will help at all.

Here is what our night was like:

Went to bed at 7:30 after nursing. Woke up at 10pm to eat. Woke up at 1:30am, ate. Woke at around 4:30am and I managed to get him to go back to sleep with his paci. Woke up at 6am to eat. I got up at 6:30am to get ready for church.

If you have any advice/insight, I'd appreciate it. He always wakes up at different times, although it's always around the same (like 1 or 2am).

He had ONE night this past week where he STTN and I was shocked. Sadly it was an isolated incident! :(

Thank you for your help!

heather said...

hey tara,
i know what you mean about CIO - I've done it (with success) but it was torture and it took a long time with my son. Maybe boys are more resistant. I also found that going in during CIO (for naps) made things worse...I had to be non existant and let it pass, or move to a swing, or feed, and reset the schedule.

I dont have much experience w/ the night time wakings....but if you are breastfeeding you could try to wean him so he learns that its not worth it to get up early.

This worked when my son was on his way to sleeping till my desired wake time. I cut nursing sessions down....first by 10 minutes, then down to one breast, etc etc, until we got wihtin a 30 min of our desired wake time. Not sure if it will help, but you never know.

Good luck to you!!! ;)

Plowmanators said...

Tara, something I wonder about is if your baby is waking because of noises from you and your husband. I would suggest you put a humidifier in there or a sound machine.

Some people who live in small places will put baby in a walk in closet or a bathroom if it is large enough.

Tara said...

Thanks to both of you! I will try that...we have an air purifier in there but I can try an additional machine. It really is a bummer because we have no closets or bathrooms large enough for even a small bed for him. Our place is so, so tiny.

Plowmanators said...

Good luck Tara!

Rachel said...

Hey there! I've followed your blog w/ both kids and it's been awesome. Right now I have a situation that I just can't seem to fix and everyone I've talked to is stumped. My LO is 4 mo now and we cannot get him to go to bed. He cried every night and if we don't intervene he will just escalate into an all out scream and not calm down until we walk him to sleep. It's horrible. OT is what comes to everyone's mind, but putting him to bed earlier or later doesn't change the story. It's the same every single night with a few scattered nights of him falling asleep w/o us having to intervene. His daytime naps are a cinch. Goes down w/o a peep, and if he happens to wake early, always goes back to sleep until I wake him. His current routine:
7am wake and eat (sometimes he wakes around 6:30)
8:50/9 nap
10:30 wake eat
12:20/30 nap
2:00 wake and eat
4:00 nap
4:45 wakes on his own
6:45/7 bedtime routine. Gets vitamins, diaper change, book, nursing, bed.
This is where it goes to pot. He nurses and gets so drowsy, I put him to bed. He either falls asleep or is quiet for a few minutes, then begins to whimper which escalates eventually. Sometimes he'll go to sleep, usually not. We've tried moving this routine up considerably, as early as 6. Doesn't change a thing. So far, the earlier we've done his routine, the harder he's cried and the longer until he's asleep for the night. He rarely goes to sleep before 8, well, never. We have tried to get him down by 7. Never works. We feel lucky if he'll sleep by 8. He's not in pain, not gassy, not scared. We've tried so many different things from pat/shush (worked for a few days), to just letting him CIO and stick w/ the same thing for 4 days or so. I don't understand why he goes down for naps so well, but won't sleep at night. He also will only 30 min nap if I cut his wake time down. He only began to nap well once we lengthened it. He's so happy during the day and is thriving so well. He started cereal recently which hasn't changed anything for better or worse, he was just ready. He wakes up once in the night to eat, anywhere between 2-4:30 (never the same time). He's had a handful of nights where he's slept through from 8-6:30am. I really don't know what we need to do to figure this out, but my husband and I are so tired of having our evening consist of crying and taking shifts soothing. Sorry this is long. If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them. We've tried everything from your troubleshooting sleep tips. Thanks, Rachel

Rebecca said...

Hi Rachel,
My son had the same issue from about 6 weeks till 3 or 4 months or so. What we finally figured out was that he was just really hungry in the evenings. I added in an extra feeding to do cluster feeding in the evening and tried to feed him more if he woke again and had either fallen asleep eating before bed or didn't seem to get enough. Sometimes he just wasn't focused enoug on eating the first time, but was still hungry enoug that he would not sleep. Hope you figure it out!
-Rebecca

Rachel said...

Thanks Rebecca! It's good to know I'm not alone ;) But, for us it doesn't seem to be food related. He goes into bed calmly, but just doesn't seem to want to go to sleep. Once he's asleep after we help settle him, he doesn't wake again until his middle of the night feeding and there is no other time that he requires intervention to fall asleep. So weird. If I could get him to take an extra feeding to solve the issue, I'd do it for sure. As of now, he only eats on one side at a time because I tend to have an oversupply.

Plowmanators said...

My best guess would be that he needs more time before bed. I would try adding 5-10 minutes to the amount of time before you actually put him in bed. If that doesn't work, try adding 5 more and continue on and see if something works.

But also be aware of overstimulation--are your evenings rowdy and busy? If so, he might be getting too much sensory overload.

I agree that it is strange he does naps fine but not bedtime, so it has got to be something that is specific to that time of day. Pay close attention to how that time of day differs in every way. Could he have allergies or something to the vitamins? Is his room hotter? Is his waketime wrong? Think through every detail.

Rachel said...

Thanks so much for the advice. Later wake time seems to be the culprit but he's already got a longer wake time than most babies his age so it made me nervous to try it. But then here's where it gets weird. For the last 7 days, he has gone down without a fuss on his own, no intervention from us except tonight and I only had to pick him up and hold him (not rock or anything) for about 2 min. We haven't changed a thing about our routine. His vitamins don't seem to be a problem as we had stopped them for a while last month and it didn't change anything. The only different thing is dad is home, and part of me suspects he wants more face time with dad. My husband has been doing more of the bedtime routine and handing him off when it's time to nurse so maybe that was it. He is a very social and talkative baby. Now though, he's slowly transitioning to a 4 hr routine. He's 'nearly' there, but when he gets 2 naps of around 2 hrs, he doesn't want a catnap now. He's 20 weeks tomorrow and it seems really early to be transitioning off a cat nap, but it wouldn't surprise me. I will keep offering it (it's been hitting about 4:30-4:45). Thanks again for your great blog!

Plowmanators said...

Thanks for the update Rachel! Keep the "wonder week" in mind, also. The worst wonder week is at that age.

Sophie said...

my baby is 7 months, and i've always been obsessed with your blog. my husband teases me because whenever we have a problem, here i am glued to the computer trying to find an answer. but i need your advice. he's a great baby, textbook for sure. lately at night we've been having problems. he is still having the dream feed, and finally we tried to drop it and used your suggestions on a post i read. we got to about 8 30 pm with waking him up and cutting him down to 2 ounces. but no matter what we tried he still woke up. finally after a bought of sickness we just decided we'd let him sleep until he needed us and didn't wake him for the df. he slept for 3 nights in a row without waking! i was ecstatic!! but now it's been terrible. he's waking randomly in the nighttimes taking 10 ounces when he's only a 5-6 ounce at a time drinker. after 6 ounces in the middle of the night now he'll cry and cry till we feed him more. i bf him every 4 hours in the day, and i even added 1 new feed (with formula, i don't produce enough breast milk even when i pump to give him more) along with solids as of a few weeks ago when all this started, thinking he just needed more to sustain him through the night. but nothing is helping. i am worried he either isn't getting enough breast milk during the day as i've always been worried about my supply. i've never gotten a lot from pumping and he's always been a funny eater. what should i do? help. you always seem to have an answer. thank you!

psw said...

Please help. My oldest son will be 3 in November. We have had him on a Babywise schedule since 1 week old and he adjusted great to it. He slept through the night at 6 weeks. But his naps were always tough with him. They were here and there wether you would even sleep through them or not.

I now have a 6 month old and he has never slept through the night. I have had him on a feeding schedule since birth, but did not implement the sleeping schedule till 2 weeks old.

He naps beautifully. Really, never fusses at his naps. If he does start to fuss, we just give him back his pacifier and he is out like a light again.

He just does not sleep through the night he is up every three hours. He gets up at 12 am so I feed him hoping that will sustain him through the night.

When he gets up at 3 or so I just give him his pacifier and he usually goes back to sleep.
When he wakes around 6 he gets mad if I try to just give him pacifier, he wants food.

His wake time is 7 am.

It's hard to let him cry it out because his brother is down the hall and when I'd let him cry it out at night it usually disturbed his brother.

I have tried EVERYTHING I know; CIO, a bigger diaper, less clothes, more clothes, feeding some solids before bed.

PLEEEASE help. I have to end this. If I have to let him CIO for more than one night in a row I will.

Here is his schedule:

7am - wake, feed
8 am to 10 am - nap
10 am - wake, feed
12 pm to 1:30 - nap
1:30 - wake, feed
3pm to 4:30-nap
4:30 wake,feed
6pm to 6:30- nap
7:30 or 8:00 -feed and bedtime


Thanks for the advise

Plowmanators said...

Sophie, first of all, pumping will not give you an adequete picture of how much milk you have. So don't rely purely on that.

Second of all, I would offer him as much solids as he wants in the day and even consider cutting back to a 3 hour schedule for a few days--maybe even two weeks. If you are having a supply issue, that would help. If he is hungry, that would fix things.

If night didn't improve, however, I would look into other factors waking him up. Look at the list in this post. He might be waking up for a different reason, but eating when offered. Even adults can (and will) eat a full meal in the middle of the night if it is offered. So eating doesn't necessarily mean hunger.

Plowmanators said...

PSW,

If CIO is what he needs, it will most likely take more than one night. Unfortunately there is no guarantee as to how long it will take.

The trick is finding out why he is waking and addressing that. Is he waking because he is hungry? If so, feed him more all day long. Is it cold? If so, try a space heater in the room to keep temperature more consistent. Is he incapable of soothing himself without the pacifier? If so you either take it away or wait it out for him to be able to wake up, find it, and go back to sleep (which usually happens by 8 months).

Go through the list on this post and address one at a time that you think could be the culprit. Good luck!

Elizabeth said...

My 5 month old baby was sleeping great through the night, but has recently (as in the last week) begun to wake approximately one hour after being put down for the night. I'm sure he sleeps for that one hour, but then he wakes up. I've realized I used to go in right away to resettle him, and he'd go to sleep quick again. But I stopped doing that the other night and made him CIO. When it didn't work after 20 minutes (which is unusual, he doesn't need to cry long before falling asleep) I went in and he had flipped onto his back. Just to warn you, he has been able to sleep on his tummy for a couple months, and is really strong on his tummy, so I'm not concerned about that....but now that he's big enough to flip onto his back it's waking him up (I think).
This is the second night he's flipped, and I'm wondering, is that really what's waking him? Or if I soothed him sooner maybe he wouldn't have time to get so riled up that he flips over?
The fact that he wakes up at all bothers me. He hasn't dropped his nap, he still takes roughly 4 naps, but the last 2 naps of the day are 1 hour or less. So I know he needs to drop one, but he doesn't seem to be able to stay awake longer than 1 1/2 hours during the day without needing a nap.

Am I just ignorant and need to be with him to encourage him to be awake longer so that he will drop a nap? Will that keep him from waking up one hour after bedtime? Or is it the flipping over? (Again, I don't know if he flips in his sleep or if that happens after he cries for a while.)

Thank you! Looking forward to hearing an answer.

Plowmanators said...

Elizabeth,

There are several possibilities here.

For the flipping, see Nap Disruptions: Rolling, Standing, Crawling, etc: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/nap-disruptions-rolling-standing.html and for the other common reasons for poor sleep at that age see:

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

jill. said...

So, I just posted on another entry and realized maybe this entry was more fitting to my issue. And also realized maybe I should give more information.

So, my DD has been doing BW since the beginning. She just turned 8 weeks. For the past 2 weeks or so, I've had her feeding between 3 and 3.5 hours (occasionally 2-2.5 if we need to adjust for church or last feeding or if I think she' hungry). She has regular naps after about 1-1.5 hours of feeding lasting at least one sleep cycle. Her last feeding is between 8:30 and 9:30 (sometimes this feels like a dream feed, but I've been waking her up at this time to get a FULL feeding).

The problem is she consistently wakes up at 1am or 2am depending (usually 4 hours after her last feeding), then she'll wake up 4 hours later and its pretty much morning.

What I'm asking is should I try dropping that 1am/2am feeding...she barely eats - it seems pointless given what I think she's eating. I exclusively breastfeed. I normally give her a bottle of breast milk for her last feeding so I know she gets a full feeding.

She really doesn't have any sleep crutches for night time (and rarely for naps)- doesn't need a pacifier or music. But I'm starting to wonder if I should try one of the 2 or both when she wakes to try and sooth her through that time. She has the potential to be a GREAT sleeper. I can't tell if its habitual or not, my gut tells me it is.

Any help, please. I need to get my own sleep. Thank you thank you in advance!
~ Jill

Heather said...

jill,
i felt like i could have written this post myself! my son is the exact same way, same age, same everything.
i'm at a loss for what to do because i do believe he is still waking cause he is hungry.
at the moment, i am waiting it out for another 2 weeks or so to see if i can combat the problem.
wish i had more advice, but just know you are not alone!!!
-heather

Plowmanators said...

Jill, I would try soothing her back to sleep without feeding her. If she falls back asleep, see what she does. If she wakes an hour later, then she is hungry. If she sleeps well after that, then she can go longer.

I would also do a 3 hour schedule with no 3.5 hour cycles. Then you could work in a dreamfeed around 10/10:30.

The Lommori Family said...

My 6.5 mo son has been on BW since birth, (CIO at 5 weeks) He started STTN around 12 weeks but it has been hit or miss since then, slowly waking more and more nights and for the last 2 months he has woken 1-3 times a night. He is not waking out of habit, he usually wakes once between 1-4 am and always once between 5-7 am but not at the same time every night. He's on a 4 hour schedule, feeding at 8, 12, 4, 7:30. Nap from 10-12, and 2-4, sometimes 6:00p for 45 mins. Bedtime between 7:30 and 8:30p. Breastfed but eats a lot of solids (3X day, 1 jar each time and oatmeal). No signs of pain or sickness or teething, isn't hungry when I try to nurse @ night, just wanted to be held it seems like, diaper isn't wet, temperature seems fine, he has blackout curtains and a sound machine. Falls asleep on his own for naps, we are having troubles with the evening catnap, he is fighting it, sometimes cries the whole 45 mins, in that case I put him down at 7:30, if he takes it he isn't really tired until 8:30 so that makes bedtime a little inconsistent. Tried CIO for the last two weeks and he will cry for hours (video monitor shows he's not stuck) I have given CIO at night two solid weeks and we went down to just waking once a night between 5-7a, (so that is some success) he will either talk or cry until I get him at 7:30/8a. I really want his waketime to be around 7:30/8, maybe he just doesn't need 12 hours? Should I move bedtime back to get 8a wake time? How do I do that? That would put bedtime around 9 or 10p, is that too late? If they aren't sleeping 12 hours at night what does the evening schedule look like? Longer evening catnap? He's already fighting that nap! Any suggestions would be great!

Plowmanators said...

Lammori Family,

It sounds like you have things pretty well covered. Have you tried giving tylenol or mortrin to see if it might be pain?

One thing to try is to have him see the sun around noon each day.

He might not need 12 hours...but I wouldn't put him to bed later than 8 or 8:30 for sure.

Be sure to check out the "5-8 month sleep disruptions" post.

I would also suggest you keep a log on this. I would track:

1- what he wore to bed
2-what daytime naps were like--especially the catnap
3-bedtime
4-morning waketime
5-night wakings
6-daily activities to track if certain things help him sleep better or make him sleep worse
7-amount of phsyical exercise he gets

Good luck!

Rochelle said...

Valerie!

Thanks for the great post, as always. :)

Set Up: My son is 11 months. We have a set bedtime (7:30) and a set wake time (7:00) and he nurses at 7/12/3or3:30/7 with meals of table food at 7:45/12:20or30/3/6. He is 20 lbs and has an excellent appetite. I'm still nursing him and plan to keep these feedings for 3-6 months depending on next pregnancy (not yet pregnant),etc.

Problem: Between traveling (two weeks in Dec) and illness (2 weeks in Jan) and teething (3 teeth over the holidays) we've struggled. He's NEVER consistently made his wake time. For most of the fall I just nursed him at 5 and adjusted and got him at 8. This was fine, but set us up for a more snacky (2-3 hour) day...eating at 5/8/11/1/3/5/8...and I was going a bit bonkers since, as you and I know, that's quite a lot of nursing for a 9 or 10 or 11 month old. About 2 weeks ago I said, ok, let's just push through this now that you are well. So I've for a couple days I let him cry...this was rough. Then one or two days I had huge guilt (and was engorged) and got him at 5. Set back. For about a week I've been consistent about getting him at 7, but he's waking at 5:30/5:45 and I'm going in and tucking him in with blankets and his music. Today he was up from 5:30-6:45, with some crying, some thumb sucking and probably some dozing. Then he fell back to sleep 6:45-7:30 (I let him sleep because he'd been up and I wanted to start the day after he'd had a little rest; opened the door to wake him at 7:10 and he was out cold). So, I know he can go back to sleep. Is this a time where I need to just be consistent about wake time, and ride this out, like I think, or could it be some other issue? BTW, we moved lunch later because he wasn't very hungry at 11.

Thanks!

Plowmanators said...

Rochelle,

I would be sure there isn't something waking him (environmental factors). I might go in and comfort him or simply tell him "it is still night time, you need to go back to sleep." But I wouldn't feed him before 7 and I wouldn't get him up for good before then. Best of luck!

Eric, Kyla and Owen Metzger said...

My son is 4 weeks and is on a 2.5 to 3 hr feed
Schedule during the day. When can I implement a bedtime and what time? My 2 yr old started sttn after we set a 7pm bedtime so u am sure it helps.

Plowmanators said...

Kyla, I would start a bedtime now. Having a consistent bedtime (within 30 minutes) is a huge contributing factor to STTN. Most babies go to bed in the 7 PM hour. There are a few posts on bedtime if you want more info.

Minx said...

I have a 11 week old son, we having been doing BW since week 4. He eats every 3-4 hours during the day and takes a morning 1-1 1/2, 1 hour nap in the afternoon, and a 20ish minute early evening nap. I would eventually like to get him on an 8:30pm-8:30am schedule. for a few weeks I put him to bed right after his 8:30 feeding, we would take about 20 mins to fall asleep swaddled without crying and then wake up around 2am, 4am, and 5:30am hungry. I cannot get myself to go to bed at 9pm with him, I go to bed around 10 or 11. which means I get only a couple hours here and there and if he has gas or a fussy night I get only an hour or here and there. I tried doing a dreemfeed but just could not get him to wake up at all, or if I got him to wake up he did not want to take the bottle. I bottle feed him breastmilk and supplement sometimes with formula.
For the last week I have been keeping him up till I go to bed at 10 or 11, sometimes I feed him them if hes awake enough, sometimes I dont and he will almost always sleep till 4am to eat then again at 5:30 to eat. (he has always woke at 6:30 or 7am to start his day, cannot get him to stay in his bed later then that) so I am at least now getting 4 or 5 hours of solid sleep at night which has been nice but I know I need to get him to bed at a decent baby time like 8:30 and he is sooo sleepy around that time too, I feel bad keeping him up but I have been getting sick and going crazy over sleep deprivation. I am only feeding him now 1 ounce at each nighttime feeding.
My question is how can I get him to go to bed at 8:30 and sleep till 4 or 5? I want the best for both of us.
I have tried CIO but the few times Ive tried it he cries for 40-60 mins and I just cant do that again.
Any suggestions?

Plowmanators said...

Minx,

The first thing to do is to get him eating every three hours in the day instead of every 3-4 hours. You don't want to go four hours in the day until he is sleeping through the night.

A baby needs so many ounces per day, and if he is eating less often in the day, he will need to wake in the night to get it.

Start there and see how it goes.

Beth said...

My second child is nearly 17 weeks old and has yet to sleep through the night. I'm at a complete loss as to what to do since her older sister began sleeping through the night at 6 weeks and I have done BW with both.

I keep to a consistent 3 hour schedule during the day:
7am Eat
8-10 Nap
10 Eat
11-1 Nap
1 Eat
2-4 Nap (Last hour of nap in swing)
4 Eat
5:30-6ish Nap
7 Eat and then straight to bed
10/11 DF

Her naps are sometimes perfect and other times she wakes up 45 min-1 hour early. I typically let her CIO or transfer her to the swing if I know she is overly tired.

Since birth she has woke up 1-2 times/night and the times vary. At first I treated it as a hunger problem, but over the past few weeks I have tried the tips you've given. I've tried to soothe her back to sleep, but then she wakes up again 30 minutes later. I've changed her diapers and tried different types of diapers, I think she's getting the proper amount of naps, but I'm not sure how to get her back on track when she's overly tired from CIO, I've given her Mylecon for gas, Tylenol for teething, tried the decreasing the nighttime feeding, and done CIO for the past 5 nights. With CIO she will cry 1-2 hours and not soothe herself. This is odd since she rarely cries when she goes down for a nap during the day. After the 1-2 hours of CIO, I'm so tired, that I finally give in and nurse her on one side just to get her calmed and content to go back to sleep. I know that hunger isn't the initial issue because she won't take a full feeding at waketime when I do this. Sometimes nursing will calm her back to sleep, other times, it doesn't...

I have no idea what the issue is, but know we're exhausted and can't keep doing this. Any suggestions? Please help!!

jake's space said...

My daughter is 8 months old, eating solids (fruits, veggies, meat, cereal) 3 times a day (along with being nursed 4 times a day). A month ago I dropped her last feed at 11pm and she did fine...sleeping through the night (as she has been since week 5). In the last 2 weeks her schedule has not changed. She naps most days just once and a couple times a week 2 naps. I give her cereal for her last feed after nursing her but now she has been waking through the night at random times. She is fed last at 7:30ish and sometimes wakes between 9:30-10:30, then around 2:30 and then around 5:30 and wakes for her wake-time at 9 (which is quite late for her). It is very frustrating as i feel like she's a newborn again. I have tried not feeding her at those times and she screams so I resort to feeding her and she falls asleep after a full feed. Should I be doing something like supplementing her at her dreamfeed at 10:30pm? Should I increase her feeds during the day? She is a healthy weight size so I'm so surprised she is not making it through the night. I've checked her temperature in her room, noise and light and nothing seems to make a difference. My first child was slightly smaller in size and never had this issue. I'd love to hear what you would suggest.

Plowmanators said...

Beth, I would guess it is either hunger (since she wakes 30 minutes later after you rock her to sleep) or some sort of physical issue (pain, too cold/too hot).

I would experiment. Keep a log. Try feeding her for a few nights and see how she sleeps after that. If she sleeps several hours (vs. waking 30 minutes later when soothed to sleep), then my guess would be feeding. However, it could be that she was too cold and eating warmed her up.

Plowmanators said...

jake's space,

First, I wouldn't let her sleep in until 9:30-10--she needs the same waketime every morning to help facilitate sleeping through the night.

If you suspect hunger (it could be a growth spurt), I would try feeding her more in the day and even adding the dreamfeed back again.

You also mentioned that you recently added the solids in the evening, so that might be waking her up--either discomfort, need for bowl movement, or blood sugar too high (some babies can't eat solids later than 4-5 PM).

She might also need the third nap dropped if she still has it.

Or it could be teething.

Good luck!

Michelle said...

First of all, thank you for this wonderful resource! I read BW before my now 4 month old was born, but have found that in practice I have lots of questions even after rereading the entire book. This blog has been a great resource as questions have come up.

We've been following BW from the get go with a fair amount of success. Early on our baby slept 7-8 hours straight, but at about 3 months instead of that period gradually getting longer, he started waking up in the middle of the night, usually between 1:00-2:30 and then between 4:00-5:30. He always takes a full feeding at these times, so I have assumed these wake ups have been from hunger. So now I am trying to understand how to fill my baby up during the day so that he can hopefully sleep better at night.

I have read a couple places, including here, to try to feed more often during the day. Is this true if you are breastfeeding? I am wondering if that would just mean less available milk for each feeding, or would my body just make more milk quickly? (I am just nervous about trying an approach that would backfire into snacking). Should I try cluster feeding, dream feeding, or just more feedings spread out through the whole day?

Thanks in advance for any ideas, and thanks again for the great resource!

Plowmanators said...

Michelle, you would make more milk. Feeding more often can boost supply and if baby takes more, your body will continue making more.

Tyler and Elizabeth said...

Hello, I have a question about my 8 month old daughter. We do the Babywise method and she is a great sleeper. She has been on a 4 hour schedule, two naps a day which are 1.5 to 2 hours long, and she goes to bed at 8 and wakes up at 8am. Lately, she has been waking up at night at sporadic times. All she wants is for me to come in and hold her hand. She seems to just want reassurance that I'm there. She will start crying if I let go of her hand, unless she is completely out. What is going on?

Plowmanators said...

Elizabeth,

I would wonder if she is having separation anxiety. I would suggest you read up on that and decide if you think it is that. Otherwise I would say she enjoys your visits :)

Celia said...

My baby is 8 months old and was 6 weeks early. She has been small all along, weighs 14 lbs now. I never did the dreamfeed because when I tried it didn't decrease how often she woke to eat. I recently let her move to a 4 hour schedule as I was waking her from almost every nap and then she wouldn't eat. She eats solids 3x a day and bf 4x. She is a good eater and I try to read her signs as to when she is full. She still spits up, because she is very active, aka will not ever hold still. She goes to sleep at 8:30pm and wakes once to eat at sporatic times each night and then wakes for good between 7:30 and 8 am. Because she is skinny I have always worried that maybe she just can't go all night without eating. She CIO for naps and has no problem soothing herself to fall back asleep during naps and when she wakes before I go to sleep. I tried CIO during the middle of the night and I only lasted 45 minutes. She takes a full feeding during the night and first thing in the morning. Is it safe to say she is just hungry?

Amelia said...

Hi, my son is 9.5 months old and has never been a great sleeper, night or day. He fights sleep because he wants to be up and interacting. However, in the past couple of weeks we have finally(!) gotten into a 'normal' daily schedule. He wakes around 7, naps at 9 and 1, bed around 6:15 or 6:30 (he began waking up later when he dropped his 3rd nap for good and we moved bedtime up a few weeks ago). The issue is now that we are trying to encourage him to drop his nighttime feeding, which is affecting his wake-up time. He is a big baby (25 lbs) and had begun to wake at consistent times (sometimes as early as 1 AM) and not want to go right back to sleep after nursing. I am making sure he lots of food during the day - 3 solid meals and a solid snack in the afternoon plus 5 nursing sessions. After a couple of weeks of CIO (only thing that has ever worked with him), he is finally consistently waking around 5:15 AM for the first time at night. I try to put off feeding him until 6. When I have fed him at 6, though, he won't go back to sleep, which makes for a long morning until nap time, even though I have moved it up to 8:30. I am concerned that he is not getting the extra sleep he needs in the morning, and he has never taken consistently long naps to compensate for lost night time sleep. Should I push and not feed him until 6:30 or 7 and expect him to get used to that in time? Or maybe try feeding him in the 5 o'clock hour because he is more likely to go back to sleep? I am concerned that our nice, consistent schedule is about to go back out the window! Any help is greatly appreciated!

Plowmanators said...

Celia,

i would guess she is hungry.

May said...

Hi, I was reading your posts on McKenna's schedule "Baby Summary: Week 19" and "Baby Summary: Week 28", and I'm wondering how and when you dropped McKenna's 5:00-6:00 AM feeding. My LO is 20 weeks, and she has been waking up around 6 almost every morning (may be 1 day a week she would wake up at 8), but I want her first feeding to be at 8:30 AM. I have been feeding her when she wakes up at 6 and then again at 8:30. Actually, she used to wake up between 7:30 to 8:00 when was 11 to 16 weeks old. Over the last few weeks she has been gradually waking up earlier and earlier. Any thoughts on what I should do? Thanks!

Plowmanators said...

Amelia,

I would feed him a bit in the 5 hour--moving the amount back over time. Or you could try to soothe him back to sleep. I have a post called "Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime" that will give you ideas on how to deal with this early feeding.

Plowmanators said...

May, I don't think I did anything in particular with McKenna, but the post "early morning feedings before waketime" will give you ideas on what to do with that.

First time mom said...

I've been searching through your blog to see if I can find someone else with this problem, I hope I didn't miss it. I have a just now 4 month old son. He's my first. I have had him on Babywise since he was 2 weeks old and things have been going great. Just a few snags here and there. However, I cannot get him to sleep more than 8 hrs a night. He supposed to begin 9-10 hours, but he just won't do it. He wakes up at 6am, then I feed him every three hours, the last one at 9pm. He goes to bed at 10pm, and wakes up again at 6am. I had thought I could move back his evening feed time, but it just made him wake up earlier. Do I just keep feeding him like this until he sleeps longer on his own, or do I let him CIO in the morning? I tried letting him CIO this morning, but he cried for half an hour and I couldn't take it anymore, so I fed him. I know he's definitely not ready to move to a 4 hour schedule, he wakes up from his naps just in time for his next 3 hour feeding. I've also noticed many moms feed their child the last feeding at 7 or 8pm. Should I be feeding him for the last time that early? Because that would be awesome! I appreciate any help you can give!

Plowmanators said...

First time mom,

Move his bedtime up. So you feed him at 6. Put him down at 7-7:30. Then do a dreamfeed around 9:30-10:00 PM. If bedtime is too late, baby will wake up early. Good luck!

Kelly said...

Hi! My daughter just turned one year last week and I want to start weaning her from the breast but first am trying to tackle a sleep issue. For at least the past 6 mos she has been going to bed consistently at 7pm, waking consistently for a very brief dream-feed at 5:30am, then falling right back to sleep until about 7:30am. How do I get rid of the 5:30 feeding? I've tried CIO several times and she will continue to fuss and cry until her wake time. She is a great eater, consuming 3 full meals of solid/finger foods with a little milk out of the sippy at mealtimes plus she nurses every 4 hrs. Surprisingly she has always been low on weight at about 10-15 percentile which is why I've been reluctant to cut out the 5:30am feeding for fear she's hungry. I also wonder if it's normal to expect her to sleep from 7p-7a and have tried to push back her bedtime but she still woke at 5:30am. Not to mention it's really tough to even keep her awake past 7p as she gets really fussy, starts sucking her thumb and just wants to go to sleep. She usually takes two daytime naps about 1.5 hrs each. Any suggestions are appreciated!

Brant and Rachel said...

Hi!

Thank you so much for this blog. I refer to it quite a bit and tell all of my friends about it as well! It has been very helpful to me. I know someone else has probably already posted a similiar situation to this (probably not quite as crazy though), but I'd like your input to our specific situation. And I"m sorry, it's going to be long!

We started BW with our daughter at 8 weeks old (as soon as I heard about it!) and she is now 8 months old. She slept through the night (10-12 hours) starting at 10 weeks old until she was 6 1/2 months old, soothing herself and not crying at all when we put her down. At that time, we went through a TON of transitions over the next 6 weeks weeks until where we are today...

1. We travelled from Pacific Time Zone (our home) to EST overnight (to visit grandparents), so she lost a good night's sleep and took a few days to adjust to the time zone. (This was the beginning of it all 6 weeks ago!)

2. We spent the next month visiting family in this new time zone. She was also not on her "normal" schedule due to visiting relatives, friends, GRANDPARENTS!! (:-). I had a hard time putting her down for bed at her normal 7:30 when grandma's friends were "stopping by" just to see her after dinner! Or, we would be out to dinner with friends, home at 8:30.

3. She started solids.

4. We then left that time zone and took a 10 day road trip to our new home of residence (where we slept in a new place every night). Also spending anywhere from 6-10 hours a day in the car (inconsistent napping times).

We are now in our new state of residence (6 weeks later), and have been for a week, although we are still in "temporary housing" until we find a permanent house. She is now 8 months old and cutting her 2 front teeth. We spend anwhere from 2 - 4 hours/day "house hunting". We do not know anyone in our new town, so of course, she is riding with us, again, inconsistent nap times. Although, we do try to time the trips during her nap times so she can at least nap while we're driving.

Since we took the overnight flight to visit family 6 weeks ago, she has not slept more than 5 consecutive hours a night and wakes anywhere from 1 - 3 times per night and is ONLY soothed back to sleep by nursing (we've tried other things-rocking, patting, cio for about a minute). Sometimes she nurses for 5 minutes, sometimes 15and always goes back down to sleep, no problem, only to wake a few hours later. We do not give her sleep props, we do use a sound machine, we pay close attention to her temperature.

It is so frustrating, becuase I know it's probably due to the inconsistency of our lives over the past 6 weeks, and I feel like all we've worked towards has been lost, and we are back at square one. I knew it would be a transition for her, but I didn't think it would be 6 weeks of waking up several times per night!!

I have not had the opportunity to let her cio as all of places we've stayed have been in close quarters with others and I jump to soothe her immediately to avoid waking others. She has also been sharing a room with us this entire time of transition (in her pack n play of course), next to us.

Am I crazy to think that she should be sleeping through the night at this point through all of these changes? Just typing this out reminds me what she's been through over the past few weeks! Are we just going to have to start totally over once we finally get "re-settled" and have more consistency to our lives? Have we "lost" all we've worked towards?

THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!!

Plowmanators said...

Kelly,

I would try getting her to go back to sleep at 5:30 AM without feeding her. Whatever method you choose--rocking, swing, CIO--whatever you feel comfortable with and will work.

Then you need to see what happens. If she falls asleep and stays asleep until about her normal wake up time, she doesn't need to eat teat 5:30. If however she wakes up 30-45 minutes later, she is likely hungry. In that case, you want to get more food in her in the day.

Plowmanators said...

Brant and Rachel,

I am sorry to have to say that I think what she is doing sounds totally reasonable considering her circumstances.

The good news is that once you are settled, she won't take as long to get back to where you want her to be (most likely). For now, it sounds like there isn't much you can do about it, so just continue to do the best you can and don't stress (easier said than done I know :) ).

Rachel Colosimo said...

Hi! Your blog is great!!! It's been so helpful for me. Maybe you can help me with my latest frustration. My son, Enzo is 7 months old. We have been following babywise since 6 weeks old and he's been sleeping through the night since 4 months old. Only now, for the past couple weeks, he started waking up at 5am. Every day is different, sometimes 5:30, 5:45,6am. But the only way I can calm him down is to nurse him. I tried nursing only a little, but as soon as I stop, he gets fussy again. I thought it was just a phase, but now he is waking even earlier, some nights at 3am. If its that early, I can get him back to sleep by only nursing him on one side, but he will wake up again before wake time. Any suggestions? He is taking 2 (2hr) naps and bed time is 8:30pm, wake time is 7:45am. He is nursing 4 times a day and getting solids 3 times a day. He nurses really well but he doesn't always finish his cereal, fruit, or veggies. I struggle to get him finish most meals of just 2-4 ounces. The best feelings are right before bed and first feeding in the morning. Any thoughts on how I can get him to sleep through the night again?

Rachel C. said...

An update. Enzo slept until 6am this morning!!! I decided to put him to bed at 8pm instead of 8:30pm and maybe that helped?? Not sure. We will see if it continues. At 6am, I nursed him and he went back to sleep until 8am. I actually had to wake him up which hasn't happened in a really long time.

He is also eating much better this week.

One other question I have is about his naps. They also seem to be disrupted lately. He will wake after about an hour. Do you think an hour nap is sufficient?

Any other suggestions you are thinking about night time sleeping or napping would be greatly appreciated!

Plowmanators said...

Rachel,

I have a post that will publish this week about early morning wakings that has info from Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. He says that for a child your baby's age, the most common reason for early waking is that bedtime was too late, so I think you moving bedtime up was a great idea and you probably will want to try it even earlier. You can also consider the sun and noise--and also consider growth spurts.

For naps, see my post on naps: troubleshooting revised and updated. Also, this could also be a growth spurt issue. Or teething. I have a post on 5-8 month sleep disruptions that can give you further ideas.

tracy white said...

Thank you for the help. We cut our son down to three hour feedings from four, then i pumped and we fed him bottles at night to see how much he was eating each time. Then decreased from there till we got to 2oz, then cut the bottle all together.had a cio for four or five early mornings for less than 20 minutes. and now he sleeps thru the night. took a little over two weeks to do this.

tracy white said...

oh, and he is now 4 months. we started this at 3.5 mnths. he goes to sleep now at 6:45 and sleeps till 6:30.it was a long haul, we had to stay consistent, was TOTALLY worth it.Thank you for the tips and for responding to my questions.

Plowmanators said...

Great to hear Tracy! Thanks so much for sharing your success story!

Caro said...

My twins are 6 months and have been STN since they were 2 months. Now, they are starting to cry and wake up in the night. I'm guessing teeth, but they're way overdue for dropping a feeding and nap. Can you look at my schedule and see what changes I should make to help this sleep problem. I should also say that one of them really fights naps now too.

5:30 a.m. Feed (No wake time, just eat and bed)
6:00-8:30 (they play quietly in bed when they wake up until 9:00)
9:15 Feed
11:15 Nap (good nap)
1:15 Feed
3:15 Nap (good nap until about 4:00)
5:15 Feed
7:30 Nap (crazy time - not wanting to go to sleep)
8:30 Feed (I have to wake them up for this one but if I don't, they don't get 24 oz.)
9:30 Bed (crazy time - not wanting to go to sleep)

Jana Alexis said...

Your blog has been so helpful - thanks for posting and providing feedback/help!
I have a question about my 8 wk old. He does great during the day - eat/wake for 1 hr and then sleep for 2. I usually have to wake him for the next feeding. We do the last feeding between 6-7 pm, wake time and then he goes down until a dreamfeed around 9-10 pm. But then he consistently wakes almost every 3 hours during the night (fussy and/or crying), takes a full feeding, and then goes back down without much trouble. We have yet to get more than 4.5 hours of sleep in a row and I was hoping he'd be sleeping through the night by now! Any tips/thoughts?

Lindie said...

Thank you so much for your blog. It's been SO unbelievably helpful for me.

I'm a first time mom with a 14week old son. We've had a bumpy three months - born 3 weeks early, hospitalized for jaundice, colic (as in ALL day screaming), then weight gain problems. My son finally are being treated for silent reflux and is gaining weight really well. He now weighs about 10.5 lbs.

I have really struggled with Babywise. Although we've always done the eat/play/sleep routine, a consistent schedule has been hard to establish. I've finally managed to accomplish a really consistent 2.5 hour schedule. He does better eating smaller meals more often with the reflux, I think.

Our schedule is:
7:30 eat, wt
8:00-8:15 naptime (he can't seem to stay awake AT all for this one)
10:00 eat, wt
11:00 naptime
12:30 eat, wt
1:30 naptime
3:00 eat, wt
4:00 naptime
5:30 eat, wt
6:30 nap/swing/stroller - he doesn't usually sleep much here. maybe a catnap
7:30 bath, feeding
8:00-8:15 bedtime
10:00-10:45 dreamfeed

He then wakes up anywhere between 3:00-4:00 and takes a full feeding. Then sleeps until 6:45-7:15 (7:30 is our morning wakeup).

Naps are getting better every day. We broke the 45 minute intruder last week (yeah!) and he's been taking 1 hour-1 1/2 hour naps.

I'm exhausted and desperate for STTN, but I want to be patient with him since he's doing so much catch-up growth. It seems like other babywise babies do this so much sooner. Every time we get close something pops up (reflux flare, intense 3 month growth spurt, etc.) Should I push the issue or wait? Is there anything in his schedule I should adjust?

I hope you have a great Spring break. Congratulations on your baby girl!

Plowmanators said...

Jana Alexis,

It might just be that he is hungry. Often that is a sign of not having waketime in the day, but it sounds like you are doing that. You could try cluster feeding (see label on that) to see if that helps get his night feedings less.

Plowmanators said...

Caro, it doesn't look to me like they are way over-due on dropping a feeading. It looks like you have five in a day, and at 6 months that isn't out of the range of normal.

I would suggest you set a morning wakeup time that is somewhere between 7-8 AM and wake them at that time each morning. That way, you can get them in bed earlier. Going to bed later like at 9:30 can cause night issues.

If it is teeth, you can try giving tylenol and see how they react. If that fixes things, then you know it is the teeth that is causing problems. If not, you know the teeth are not the issue. Good luck!

Plowmanators said...

Lindie,

Thanks on the congrats!

I would wait. You have a couple of factors working against STTN, and they are reflux AND low weight. Many people find the baby won't STTN until 12 pounds.

He really is still in a normal range for when babies STTN, and he has those other factors, so I would just be patient. It sounds like things are going well considering the circumstances! Hang in there!

erin m judd said...

We are first time parents and this blog has really been a life saver for us in implementing Babywise with our little girl. Thank you so much!

She is 4 months old today, and we are having some sleeping issues that I can't seem to figure out. She takes 45 min naps about 80% of the time. When she wakes up and just talks to herself I let her get back to sleep on her own. If she wakes up screaming I put her in her swing. Lately, I've had to switch her to the swing for the second half of all her naps. We tried moving to a 3.5 hour schedule, but it wasn't working with her short naps. Her waketime varies from about 45 min in the morning to 2 hrs in the evening.

She's also begun waking up at 4:30 in the morning wanting to play. It starts out as just talking, then she gets to crying. CIO has worked before (after 45 min), but sometimes she'll just cry for hours and not learn to settle herself down. And then neither of us get sleep.

I'm not sure what to do. She LOVES to play and move. Like, rolling over at 9 weeks and walking around the room holding our fingers LOVE to play and move. When she wakes at 4:30, this is what she wants to do!

I've read through virtually all of your posts and can't seem to pinpoint it, so I would really appreciate any advice you might have!

Becca said...

I am so discouraged I just don't even know what to do! My little girl is 9.5 months old, and I've been having problems with her waking at night since February. It all started when she got an ear infection around then. We didn't know it until her ear drum ruptured at the end of March. I know, how horrible is that! Anyway, ever since her infection, she's gotten in the habit of waking in the middle of the night between 12:30 and 3:00. I know her ears are fine because my father-in-law is an ENT, and he checked them out for me just a few days ago. I'm pretty sure she's not hungry. She nurses 4 times a day, and has solids 3 times a day. If I feed her she will fall asleep, but I think it's more because the closeness to mommy relaxes her. If I don't feed her she just cries and cries and cries. We're talking for a few hours. Right now, it's 1:50, and she's been going for an hour and a half. My thoughts are that it's just that she wants to be with mommy. She don't act like she wants to nurse at all. When I go in there, she'll rest her head on my shoulder and put her little arms around my neck. It totally melts my heart, but I am so mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted! My husband is in dental school right now so I'm functioning as a single mom for the most part so I would love some help! Just for a point of reference here's her schedule:

8:00 wake, eat, play
10:00 nap
12:00 wake, eat, play
2:30 nap
4:30 wake, eat, play
7:45 nurse
8:00 bed

I've also wondered if she could use a longer wake time in between her last nap time and bed. Or maybe an earlier bed time? Maybe I should drop a nap, but I really think she's too young for that. At this point, I just don't know!

Becca said...

I just wanted to add that she's a major momma's girl so that's why I wondered if it might be separation anxiety.

Lschaible said...

My two week old is consistently eating every 2 hours and he stays awake 30 minutes after eating. His naps are great. But when he wakes up in the middle of the night he will not go back to sleep after eating unless he is sleeping on one of us. We let him cry for 15 minutes but he doesn't calm. What do we do???

Plowmanators said...

He could be cold, he could have gas, he could need to be swaddled...it could also be day/night confusion which just takes time.

rachelp said...

Im in need of some help concerning my 9 wk old daughter. she still is not sleeping through the night and wakes once or two times. the second time she wakes up (anywhere from 4-6am)sometimes shes not hungry just restless and cant fall back to sleep. the only thing that seems to help is a pacifier. i have tried to cluster feed her starting in the late afternoon hours, but by the time of her dreamfeed she isnt hungry at all and will continue to wake in the night. we currently are on a 3hr schedule. starting our day at 7 or 730 with her dreamfeed at 1030pm. she also seems to be having trouble with her naps as well. she was doing just fine, but now she screams when i put her down. im sure im putting her down at the optimal time. after about 50min-60 wake time following her cues. so i assume its just a comfort issue. when i hold her she stops crying. i then would let her CIO. im not sure yet if it has helped or not since she will still wake up several times during a nap and cry. then by her next cycle she will be so exhausted she passes out till i wake her for a feed. she is such a sweet and happy baby otherwise. she is my second BW baby. my first was the perfect textbook baby. sttn at 8wks. so i guess im at loss as to what im doing wrong with my second. should i continue with the help of a paci? do i need to give more time for cluster feeding to work? should i go to a 21/2hr schedule? feel pretty discouraged and clueless. thanks for your help!!
rachel

Jo said...

Hi Rachel,
My 12 week old has started sleeping through the night for 12 hours without a feeding at around 8-10 weeks. For the past week, she has been waking up in the middle of the night (at different times, sometimes 2 am, sometimes 3 am, sometimes 5 am) for a feeding. She usually goes to bed at around 8-8:30 pm and will wake up around 7:30-8:00 am. At this age, does she still need a feeding? Should I let her CIO when she wakes up or should I feed her? Recently, I have moved her to a 4 hour feeding schedule instead of 3 as she refused to get a bottle at the 3 hour mark (or eat very little) but would take a full feeding at 4. Should I try to move her back to a 3 or 3.5 hr schedule during the day so that she eats more?

Thanks in advance for your advice. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!!

alisonw said...

Hi Val. I'm hoping that you can help by offering some insight for my 5 month old baby boy. The logical part of my brain is no longer working due to sleep deprivation :) My LO is still not STTN. We have been doing BW since the first weeks but have come against one thing after another which forced me into "survival mode". He had his first double ear infection at 4 weeks, followed by several nasty bouts of thrush, gas issues, teething, and anything else you can think of!! We are on a pretty consistent daytime routine. Our day starts at 7:30am. However, naps are not always the greatest. He often wakes up after 40-45 minutes so I will put him in his swing. Some times he falls back to sleep and some times not. He is taking usually 3 naps a day now unless he napped terribly then I will force a fourth evening nap between 5-6 pm. Bedtime is between 7-7:30. We do not dreamfeed because it makes the night awakenings way worse! I have gone through the list of other factors and made adjustments (light, sounds, temperature, etc) to no avail. He has refused a pacifier from the beginning so that is not an issue. But he is still waking up 3-4 times a night and at least one of them is for an hour or more no matter what I do. I am trying to make sure he is getting enough food during the day (5-6 liquid feedings and 2 solids). I am exhausted and grumpy!!! Is there anything I am missing?? Thanks so much.

Snappy Chin said...

My 4 months old baby regularly wakes up at about 8pm for a feed. Then he stays awake for 2 to 4 hours making various noises mixed with short bouts of crying before falling asleep. Whether we go to him or not does not seem to make a difference. We tried CIO for 8 days, but did not observe any difference either. Once he made noises for 2 hours then cried for 2 hours, by then we responded to him. He WAS hungry by then, and he fell asleep afterwards.

I have found many materials of how to deal with frequent night-wakings but none about what to do when the baby who wake up really needing a feed but does not fall asleep afterwards.

I tried to extend his morning wake times from the usual one hour. It did not make any difference.

What can be the cause of this? What can I do? I'm so worried about his sleep deprivation now. Please please help me.

Jayne

Plowmanators said...

Jayne could it be a witching hour issue? Have you looked into that? He might need to go down earlier.

Garrett and Denise Stone said...

Hello.... My daughter is 5 weeks. She'll sleep from 730 pm and usually go 4 or 5 hrs. Ill feed her and pitcher down then I hear her fussing/ crying at like. 1.5-3 hr intervals.. I know she can sleep longer between feedings, not sure what to do or if this is a normal sleep

Garrett and Denise Stone said...

Hello.... My daughter is 5 weeks. She'll sleep from 730 pm and usually go 4 or 5 hrs. Ill feed her and pitcher down then I hear her fussing/ crying at like. 1.5-3 hr intervals.. I know she can sleep longer between feedings, not sure what to do or if this is a normal sleep

Harini said...

Hi, I hope you can help me with a solution here. My son ( first baby) is going to complete 4 months on 10th Nov. he initially had bad colic issues and I couldn't put him on any sort of routine. I used to feed him when hungry, usually 2.5-3hrs ( he is formula fed from the beginning). Now being close to 4 months old, he drinks only 100ml formula max and sometime would refuse the milk even after 3-3.5 hrs. He has never slept through the night. NEVER!!
Initially bed time used to be 10 plus but he would go to sleep only by 12-1 after lots of ssh-ing and patting and crying.These days he goes to sleep by 8.30-9pm and wakes up at 12.30 and cries. I give him milk n he takes 15 mins of ssh-ing, patting, swaddling and paci to go back to sleep. He again wakes up at 2.15am , cries. I give him the pacifier and pat him to sleep. He would wake up by 4.15am , have 100 ml and go to sleep by 5.30am only. Again would wake up by 6.15am. He has been doing this for a while now. I have to change diapers once or twice but I keep it quiet. Forgot to mention that he goes to sleep with swaddle, pacifier and with lots of patting and expects the same everytime he wakes up. I am working and find it very hard to get through the day. His naps are also max 40 mins and can only sleep in the swing during the day.

How do I get him to nap better during the day in the crib and sleep through the night? Please help

Chrissyls said...

I have a 13 week old who was STTN consistently for about 3 weeks. She has recently started waking at random times overnight. Sometimes it's only once, some nights 3 times and others, not at all. Each time, we go in, reswaddle her and she goes right back down. It does not seem to be a hunger issue at all. I can't figure out if she is getting cold and waking because she is unswaddled or she wakes up and then gets out. I've considered getting rid of the swaddle, but she has reflux and sleeps on a wedge with a blanket under the sheet creating a little u shaped nest so she stays on the wedge. If I stop swaddling she will slide off the wedge in no time. Any advice or thought about why she might be waking and possibly dropping the swaddle. Thank you so much! I love the blog and have recommended it to many friends.

pgray said...

Hi, thanks for the blog! I have it used it right from the beginning with my son and it's been so helpful!
We are having a problem all of a sudden (age 12.5 months) with early waking. He has woken around 7 since he was about 2 months old consistently. Sometimes we even had to wake him to leave for daycare/work. All of a sudden the last several weeks he has started waking anywhere between 5:30 and 6:30, really interfering with our routine (and sleep!). Sometimes it is daylight by then, but sometimes not so it doesn't seem light related. He has a noisemaker so it doesn't seem like a noise problem. He does not eat his first meal until he gets to daycare, at 7:30 a.m. (and has done this all year) Could this be hunger? We are working to wean off the bottle and have reduced the amount of formula by a few ounces, but he seems to eat plenty of food during the day. What are we missing? Help, please!

MySavior188 said...

My 6 month old has been sleeping good since early on, but just recently started to wake several times during the night. Sometimes I feed him (he takes one side at a time) and sometimes I give him a pacifier and he sleeps for another few hours. CIO is not an option for us because we live in a small apartment and I have a 2yr old sleeping in the same room. I’ve tried feeding him every 2 hours before bed (9pm), but he still wakes. Im not sure if the problem is that he is hungry or that the pacifier is his “bad” sleep prop?Please share your thoughts! Thanks Alice

Katherine said...

Thanks so much! this article has been really helpful- i have a 8.5 month old, he is habitually waking around 2-3 in the morning, i used to just let him cry it out, but he is so loud, i have been caving and bringing him in bed to nurse, only to have him kick around until about 4 to eat again! It has to stop! And i also want to avoid the whole picking him up and rocking him to sleep, what I did with my daughter around his age (and i was miserable during the day from consistent lack of sleep). Anyways, he is on a four hour eating schedule, solids and some BM, eats 3x/day, with one extra bottle at the end of the day. Perhaps I should move him back to 3 hours....i dont know how he will take to this though... hope it works!

Lacy Smith said...

Hi I love you blog. I am not sure where to post my question. I have tried on your blog but for some reason it will not let me.
My question is do you have any tips on helping my 5 month old sleep better at night. He was sleeping 12 hrs at night and taking 3 naps. He has since learned to roll over from tummy to back. He refuses to sleep on his back. So every night I am be awakened to flip him over 2-3 times a night. CIO is not really an option since he literally would lay there and cry for hours on end. Also the third nap he absolutely refuses to take. Last night he cried for an 1 hr for the third nap before I got him up out of the crib. He is exhausted and so am I. Please help!
Lacy

Valerie Plowman said...

Hi lacy, I have a post on nap disruptions: rolling, crawling, standing etc. that will give you full advice. I published it in 2013. The short of it is that you want to teach him how to roll back over so he can do that in bed.

Maggie said...

My 9 month old has been STTN since about 8 weeks old. She had a sleep regression around 4 months old (lasting around a week) and then was back on track. About 5 weeks ago, she started waking at night again. She wakes at least 3-6 times a night. Some nights she will go back to sleep as soon as we put her pacifier back in and wake a couple hours later doing the same thing. Other nights, she will cry for 30-45 minutes a time. We try to let her CIO, but I have a toddler, so we can't let her CIO as long as we probably should for fear of her waking my toddler. She has a consistent daytime routine, goes to bed at the same time each night (give or take 10 minutes), eats 30 oz of formula and solids 2x a day. She doesn't seem hungry. she can lower herself back down if standing. She is getting 3 teeth, however, it doesn't seem to bother her during the day at all and we will give her Advil at night if we think she needs it. Could this be a sleep regression? Or have we formed bad habits? Any advice is greatly appreciated!! Thank you

Valerie Plowman said...

Maggie, I would guess from what you said it is a pacifier issue. Can she locate it and put it back in herself? I would encourage her to do that, though I would guess that it is hard to find a small thing like that when you are half-asleep--babies move all over the place when they sleep.

Valerie Plowman said...

Maggie, I would guess from what you said it is a pacifier issue. Can she locate it and put it back in herself? I would encourage her to do that, though I would guess that it is hard to find a small thing like that when you are half-asleep--babies move all over the place when they sleep.

Katherine Moody said...

Hi! I hope I'm not repeating someone else's comment/question - I only have a small window of time at the moment and wasn't able to read them all. Thank you for your blog and your feedback!

My daughter is 6 1/2 months old and has not slept through the night since her 3 month growth spurt (except for a few miraculous nights where she slept through). Since then I've kept thinking it was due to a growth spurt, then a wonder week, then teething, and now I feel like it shouldn't still be this way! Pretty much every night has been habitual waking around 1-1:30am and 4-4:30am. I've even fed her at midnight before and she still woke at these times. She is usually hungry at those wakings, although sometimes I will try to let her cry some, then soothe her, offer her paci, etc. Obviously during the wonder weeks, growth spurts, and teething, I didn't hesitate to feed her because I figured she needed it due to what she was going through. I'm pretty sure now, though, that she should be able to sleep through without waking or feeding, but maybe her body has become accustomed to eating then.
Her daytime feeding is pretty all over the place: she will only eat (BF) for 3, 4, or 5 minutes at a time (usually every 2 1/2-3 hours) and get mad if I try to feed her more. I have a strong letdown so once she guzzles that she's done. She eats solids 2x/day but not too much at a time either. She obviously is getting enough to eat; she's 22 pounds! Should I pump and give her bottles to make sure she gets enough? Any suggestions are appreciated :) Thank you!

Maggie said...

I tried to reply a couple of times, so I hope I am not repeating myself... Thanks! She can put her paci back in and half the time it's in her mouth when I go in to lay her back down. I added more solids into her day and that seemed to help for a few days, but now she is starting to wake up between 12-1am to play in her crib. She talks and walks around the crib happily for anywhere from 30 mins-2 hours! We just can't seem to get her to consistently sleep through the night anymore! Should I try to put her to bed earlier? Thanks for your advice!

Rachel B said...

Hi there I've started babywise since we came home from hospital my lil girl is 14 days old. I'm on 2.5-3 hr schedule during the day and aim to be on 8am-8pm..(still finding the right start sometimes she wakes up at 7 or 7.30am). If last feeding before bed is 7.15pm, I put her down at 8pm...she would wake up at 930pm for a feed, then 12 then 2am and 5am again.
I realized when comes nighttime she is more hungry and would wakes up every 2 hours or 2.5 max . What should I do? does that mean I should stick to 2.5 hr schedule during the day instead of 3 hr?

Valerie Plowman said...

Yes I would do more feeds in the day in order to cut out the night feeds.

Eliza Rivas said...

I have a similar issue to one commenter but I need a more specific response if possible. Like her, my baby progressed as expected on babywise system and slept through for a couple weeks at the 3 mo mark then regressed. She is 5.5 months now and is still waking twice through the night to eat. I work full time and pump. At the babysitter she eats around 930, 1230, and 3. She sleep around 2-3 hours at first nap and 1-130 hours at second nap. Her last bottle at the babysitter has been formula for about a week because I cannot seem to pump enough. We are also trying to introduce cereal but she does not like it AT ALL lol. I pick her up around 330-4 and she cluster feeds in the evening, one side per time (around once an hour from 4-8. (which is partly why I can't pump enough). She takes 1 cat nap in the evening that can last up to an hour. I feed her right before bed but lay her down groggy, not asleep. She then wakes between 11-1 and again between 2-4 to eat and takes a full feeding (one side). I also have to feed her before I go to work (around 545 because I leave around 620). If I don't, she wakes screaming around 630 and usually won't take a bottle from my husband. She generally naps well and goes to sleep easily but with other kids at home and work I am in desperate need of more than 2-3 hrs of sleep at a time. Her father usually gets her up between 7-720 to take the kids before work.
At this point, I don't know if I need to introduce more formula, cut something back or what. she does legitimately seem hungry and I feel like I am just not producing enough to fill her up. Its like she is stuck at merge 2 if not 1! I have poured over your blog, bought both babywise books and the baby whisperer book but routines do not come natural to me and I am still really struggling. I want to get this right for all of our sakes. (I have ADD and my first had no routine and we all lived to regret it!) Thank you so much for your help.

linzkayla said...

HELP! I have a 14 week old that is waking put many time at night. Every now and then he will eat but most of the time he is just up crying. I've been through the hierarchy and he is waking up all over the place. Last night he was up every 2-3 hours! He started this once I went back to work. He is getting 5-6 feeding during the day and is on a 3 hour schedule but seems to want to drop that 4thnap. Should I just do CIO? I did this last night for a few of the wakings and he went back down.

Valerie Plowman said...

He is close to being the age babies drop the fourth nap--usually around 4 months. So that could be it. But I have to wonder if soemthing is off in the day when you aren't around. Is your caretaker reliable? Is he not get enough sleep during the day?

Kristin L. said...

Hey Val,

I am encountering three issues with my 4 month old son, Blake, and am wondering if you have any suggestions...

1. He was consistently STTN from the dreamfeed at 9:30 or 10pm until 7am from 11 weeks through 15 weeks. But at the end of 15 weeks he started waking once a night somewhere between 3:30 and 5:30am. My husband goes in to try to rock him back to sleep, but since Blake has no interest in a pacifier, he won't go back to sleep unless I nurse him. This has been going on for two weeks now.

2. His OWT seems to be 50 minutes, and when he takes a standard (good) nap, he usually naps 1.5 hours. This puts us at even less than 2.5 hours since the last feeding. And even at 3 hours since his last feeding he often times doesn't seem hungry or very eat well. This is making it really difficult to move to a 3.5 hour feeding schedule and maintain feed/wake/sleep.

3. Bedtime!... when our day condenses because of a 2.5 hour routine or due to 45 minute naps, I opt to put him to bed a little early since he seems so tired in the evening. The problem I run into here is that if I feed him at 4pm and then do an early bedtime routine, I would be feeding him again at 6 or 6:30 as a part of his bedtime routine, but since its so close to his last feeding, he often doesn't eat well. But if I keep him up until his next scheduled feeding, he would become really overtired.

Some additional notes: he was born two weeks early, but has gained weight beautifully since then. He's technically 4 months on Friday (11/21) but he's already out growing six month clothing!!!!!!!!! :) Also, he recently became a really efficient nurser (5-10 minutes total at each feeding), but is happy and content between feedings, so I guess he's getting enough at each feeding!?

Any suggestions you might have on how to approach these issues or what to tackle first would be greatly appreciated! :) Thank you so much! :)

Also, have you heard of the Four Month Regression? If so, any thoughts or posts on it!?

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