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Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime

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2013 update: There is a newer version of this post titled "5-6 AM Night Wakings." Please see that post for more information. For that reason, comments have been turned "off" for this post.

It seems many babies get to a point where they start waking for food in the 5 or 6 AM hours, much earlier than waketime, but they just aren't quite ready to make it through the night without eating. Here is what I have done.

With Brayden, I just continued to feed him until he started sleeping through on his own. I know he needed that feeding because he always ate breakfast well and eagerly.

At some point, Kaitlyn did not eat breakfast well. She would eat sometime in the 5 AM hour, but then not really be hungry for her first meal at 7:30. I knew then that she didn't need to eat at that point in the night. Here are some strategies for dealing with meals at this time.

While Baby Needs Early Morning Feeding
  • While your baby continues to need that feeding, feed her and then put her straight back to bed. If she eats at 5:30 and your waketime is normally 7:30, you can wait to get her up until 8:00 and still be in your 30 minute waketime window.
When Baby Does Not Need Early Morning Feeding
You will know baby doesn't need that feeding because she won't eat well at breakfast. This then causes a ripple effect problem because she will then be hungry for the second meal of the day early. So you will want to stop that feeding.
  • One way to stop the feeding is to do Cry It Out (CIO). Babywise states it takes, on average, 3-5 days for a 9 week old to "establish unbroken sleep cycles" (p.132).
  • Be sure you haven't extended daytime feeding cycles before the night has been established. " not lengthen the time between daytime feedings until your babies are sleeping at least nine to ten hours at night" (p.182). If you have extended feedings, cut back to the three hour schedule.
  • You can cut back the amount eaten at the early morning feeding over time. This is what I did. Kaitlyn sleeps right next to my son. I didn't want her to wake him up in the CIO process. I breastfeed. She ate for 10 minutes on each side per feeding during the day. So at the early morning feeding, I cut back one side to about 7 minutes. Then 5. Then I did the same with the other side. Then I cut one side out all together. She eventually started sleeping through as her body grew accustomed to eating little then and more at 7:30. It took longer than CIO, but this was the preferable option for us with our sleeping arrangement. Another nice thing for me was that my milk supply slowly compensated. I don't remember exactly how long this process took before she slept through. I think it was 2 weeks. It might have been as long as 4 weeks. If you bottlefeed, you can simply reduce the number of ounces eaten at this meal.
Here is to happy sleeping!
Reader Advice:
  • Gabby said...
    When I was trying to drop my son's last middle of the night feeding around 2-3:00 AM I used a pacifier for a couple of nights. I held it for him since he never really kept a pacifier in well, but it calmed him down without nursing. After about 3 nights I let him CIO and it took very little crying to drop that feeding. It might be worth a try. :)
    April 1, 2008 7:29 PM
Reader Comments:
  • John and Amanda said...
    Great advice (as always)! And the timing couldn't have been better! I've been thinking about how to break my little man of his 4:30am feeding! He doesn't respond well to CIO... he is a persistent little guy! I love the idea of reducing the amt of food offered! I will have to keep that in mind! It appears though, that for now at least, my little guy has sleep trained himself and has been sleeping through that feeding for the last 5 nights! :) BREAKTHROUGH!! :)
    January 28, 2008 11:38 PM
  • Nanny4Two said...
    the 4 month old i nanny, his mom breastfeeds him @ 6:00, then he goes back to bed right away.thankfully he does not require middle of the night feedings, but he has been waking up as early as 4:00 or 5:00 to feed.
    January 29, 2008 7:14 AM
Reader Questions:
  • bethers21 said...
    I'm having a similar problem with my 4 week old (sorry for all of the questions, but I just discovered your blog and LOVE IT). I've just started letting him sleep at night and waking on his own for about a week. Prior to that I had to keep him on a 3 hour schedule at night to gain weight. He sleeps between 3 1/2-5 hours at night. If his 1st feeding is at 7 am, what do I do if he wakes up hungry at 5-6am? Also, I'll need to adjust his schedule to 6 am when I go back to work. Should I start this now? I like being able to feed him at 7pm and 10pm. We haven't started a good bedtime yet. At times my husband works late, and like you it's important that my son gets to spend time with his daddy so if he naps after 7pm we let him. If not, he gets more time with daddy. Any thoughts??
    January 30, 2008 5:52 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    I am glad you like the blog! When do you go back to work? If it is in a couple of weeks, I would probably start to adjust it now. I would for sure do it one week before. It would be good for him to be accustomed to his schedule before you go back.
    January 30, 2008 6:33 PM
  • IzzysMama said...
    I found your blog a few weeks ago and Im addicted!!! Keep em coming! My lo is 3mo and is still eating every 3hrs at night. She doesnt seem to be eating as much at the 4/4:30 feeding or at the 7:30 feeding but she is still eating. Is it possible she still needs that feeding or does it sound like a habit??? I ebf and have always been paranoid about her getting enough to eat so I worry about cutting out feedings even though my gut is saying it might be time to try.
    January 31, 2008 1:52 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    You sound like me! I am that same way.I really think if they are not eating much at the first feeding of the day, they don't need that night feeding. I liked my method for slowly cutting down with Kaitlyn. Think it through, you probably already know that you she doesn't need it. Then convince your emotional side of the fact. Then choose your course of action and go for it!
    January 31, 2008 2:24 PM
  • bethers21 said...
    Val, I know you get lots of questions about this topic. This issue last night was my LO woke at 5:30 am. His first feed is at 7am. He's 7 weeks so he's not STTN most nights. He was definitely hungry so I didn't let him CIO. Would you just rework the rest of your day or should I have tried to wake him up again at 7am?February 20, 2008 8:09 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    There are a couple of options. One would be to try to get back on track by the afternoon by having longer naps in the morning. Or shorter, but an extra feeding.I personally would wake him up at 7:30. Then you are within 30 minutes of normal waketime and can have a normal day.
    February 20, 2008 11:38 AM
  • mommynik said...
    I read Babywise with my 1st - a girl, but she was a natural sleeper and is still on a great schedule at almost 3 yo. I have forgotten things though & with my 2nd - a boy - being a different sleeper, I wonder about these night nursings. My boy will wake at 11p, 3a & 5a. Not all of those are good feedings, but my question is, if I even just do 1 or 2 of those night feedings, aren't I messing with the concept of CIO? I mean, I know I could do scheduled awakenings, but the wake-up varies for him from night to night. Since I've been CIO for 1.5 weeks, I've also thrown that schedule off.
    Can you tell how confused I am? I don't know which way is up. I held him until very recently, just to let him sleep. But then he started to get inconsolable even when I held him, so I started doing CIO in his crib. He stiffens his body, so a swing is out, and hubby doesn't help much through the night so it is all me.I'll keep looking through your index though, b/c finding some good ideas. I just don't know where to start. From a different comment I wrote, you responded that I should start with night sleep and I think that's what is best. I will try to get his night time sleep to maybe not even need a feeding, and just let him sleep when he's tired during the day. If that means more short naps in a day, I think that is okay as long as he is getting in about 3-5 hours. I just can't torture him 24 hours a day with trying to make him sleep.
    February 21, 2008 10:46 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    You would have to determine if any of those feedings are necessary for him. You don't want to have him crying if he is hungry. One thing a mom I know recommends is to go in and comfort baby back to sleep (just for one night) to see how it goes. If he goes back to sleep and sleeps fine, then you know he is waking for comfort and not food.The 11 feeding could be a dreamfeed. But then I would think at most he would only be hungry for one other feeding in the night--and at his age possibly none. You could also feed at the 3ish time and see if he sleeps well after that. If not, he isn't waking for food. If you are responding to a hungry baby, it isn't going to teach him bad CIO habits. Good luck! There are so many factors! I can be really overwhelming. Just pick one thing at a time and work on that. Baby steps!
    February 21, 2008 10:57 AM
  • bethers21 said...
    I have the same frustration. Two nights ago he slept 7 hours. Last night, we were up every 3 hours again. I don't know whether to CIO or keep feeding. The times are variable and his hunger is variable. This is slightly off the subject, but how do you know how much sleep your LO needs at night? For example, how do you know they're on the 10 hour end or 12 hour end? I think the answer is pretty obvious. I'm just too tired and need someone to walk me through it. We've not had a good nap yet today!!
    February 21, 2008 10:58 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Keep in mind that progress is a spiral (see Progress is a Spiral: ).You will know the nighttime sleep needed based on when your child wakes up. My son usually slept 10 hours at night. When we dropped the 3rd nap, he extended to 10.5 hours. When we dropped the morning nap, he moved up to 11.5 hours. It is another one of those things you have to experiment with. My daughter has been a 12 hour a night gal for a long time. SSo the answer is expiriment, and at some point, you will know.
    February 21, 2008 1:26 PM
  • Gabby said...
    I just found you blog and wish I had sooner. :) I have a 5 1/2 month old BW baby. He has been sleeping about 8 hrs since 3 1/2 months (except for the 4 month growth spurt and a couple of other set backs). He just started waking at 5-5:30 AM. Our waketime is 6:30. We are still doing a dreamfeed at about 10:00PM. Do you recommend dropping the dreamfeed yet, or holding off the early AM waking feed. I've tried to let him CIO with no luck (at this time). He just seems awake at 5:00, but not starving, If I feed him he always falls back asleep. Thanks for the help!!
    March 17, 2008 8:22 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    I am glad you found us! I personally wouldn't drop the dreamfeed until baby is sleeping from dreamfeed until desired waketime consistently.However, some moms have found that dropping the dreamfeed actually helped baby to sleep better at night.If you want to try it, you always can. If it doesn't work, you could re-instate the dreamfeed :)
    March 17, 2008 11:03 AM
    Gabby said...
    I just wanted to follow up on my little one. He was on a different schedule Friday after stating with my mother in law. He ate at about 8:30 in the evening and went to bed right after, so I did not wake him for a dreamfeed that night. He slept until 6:00!! That's very close to our 6:15-6:45 wake up window. I've adjusted his schedule to feed him later in the evening ( about 8:00) instead of waking him up to dreamfeed. I guess I was disrupting his sleep because he has made it three nights now. Yeah! We had to comfort him one night at about midnight, but it was not hunger that woke, so he went right back to sleep. I just thought I would share what worked. Thanks for your advice!
    March 24, 2008 3:12 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks for sharing your success!
    March 24, 2008 10:15 PM
  • bethers21 said...
    Val, quick question...I'm headed back to work/daycare. Booo! Kai is 11 weeks and sometimes STTN. His new wake up time is going to need to be around 6:45am. As he starts to extend his night, I'm worried he's going to be waking up at 5ish. Would you feed at 5:30 and 6:45 if he seems hungry? I just don't have the luxury of reworking his day or making sure he gets good naps anymore so I want to be as consistent before/after daycare.One more question, as he starts to extend his nights and/or need more sleep because of daycare, should I just play with moving his bedtime up to see how much sleep he needs? I suppose I just need to be looking for cues to know how much earlier to move his bedtime up?Thanks for all of your help. I check your site almost daily and always look for your responses on Maya's Mom :) Both have helped me get through a lot of anxiety!!
    March 17, 2008 12:05 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    That is a tricky one. If he starts waking around 5, I would try to feed very little, and then feed again at 6:45. I think this is the order I would do things:1-feed at 5 when he wakes. Then feed again at 6:45. See how he eats then at 6:45. If he is totally not interested, I would then move on to other plans.2-slowly decrease amount fed at 5. Feed only as much as he needs to get back to sleep. 3-Hope he starts to sleep through on his own with no further work on your part.4-If he doesn't, wait for a weekend and do CIO at 5.If his waketime is 6:45, you will want bedtime anywhere from 6:45-8:45. Test it and see what he needs, and be ready to change it as needed if necessary. Good luck!
    March 17, 2008 3:18 PM
  • Susanna said...
    Valerie-By what age did your babies drop the late night/early morning feeding? I thought we had made good progress with my 8 week old since he would go from his 10:00 p.m. DF till about 6 a.m. (Our established waketime is 7 a.m. but that has been hit or miss depending on the day). In the last two days, he's been up around 4 a.m., 5:30 a.m., etc. I went ahead and gave a full feeding both times. Today, I started our day at 7:30 a.m. (since he fed at 5:30 a.m.) and noticed he didn't take a full feeding. My question is 1. would there have been enough milk since it was only 2 hours since he last ate? (5:30 a.m.) and also 2. is 8 weeks too early to start CIO to phase out that feeding? Thank you so much!
    March 21, 2008 8:08 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Susanna,You are describing something that is very typical for a baby first learning to STTN. They make it to say 6, then randomly wake up at 4 then 5 then back to 6 then 3! All over the place. I didn't start BW with my first until 9 weeks, so you are already far ahead of where he was at 8 weeks. Kaitlyn also still had a night feeding at 8 weeks. I can't remember her exact age, but by 3.5-4 months she was done with night waking to where I knew with confidence she wouldn't wake in the night.1-there wouldn't have been as much milk two hours later as their would have been otherwise. And ther likely was a lot of milk at 5:30, so he wouldn't have been as hungry at 7:30. But you did the right thing.2-I personally would say yes. I like to wait until 12 weeks before considering CIO at night. I like it to happen naturally so I am confident they aren't hungry in the night when crying. 15% of BW babies don't start sleeping through on their own until 12 weeks. I haven't ever done CIO at night. I don't think there is anything wrong with it, but I just haven't.I do have a friend who did CIO with her daughter at 9 weeks with great success.So it will be up to you to decide what you want to do. I think I would wait another week though. It sounds like he is getting it. My friend's daughter was waking at the same time every night. Your son is still all over the place. Also, keep in mind that statistically boys take longer to STTN than girls.
    March 21, 2008 10:09 AM
  • momtobobby said...
    Great advice! I am so in love with this site! This is exactly what Bobby is doing. He is 11 weeks and he wakes between 5 and 6am and I feed him. I put him right back to bed and he sleeps until 10am. When he wakes up at 10, he is not hungry. He won't be interested in eating until almost 11, so he is missing a whole feeding in there. It sounds like I should let him CIO until 7am. Would you agree?
    March 31, 2008 2:32 PM
    momtobobby said...
    Okay the more I read on this site, the more I realize that I have been doing BW all wrong!! This is my sample schedule: Bobby wakes between 5 and 6 and I feed him and put him right back to bed. He then sleeps another 3 or 4 hours making wake time around 9 or 10am. he is usually not hungry until 45minutes after he wakes up. We then do feedings every 3 hours. Usually 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm. He takes 3 naps. Two 1 hour naps and to one 2 hour nap. He then goes to bed at 8pm and I give him a DF at 10pm. I think that I am letting him sleep too long in the morning. If I cut back on that morning sleep, Do you think he will sleep from 8pm through the night to 6am? Should I cut back on his naps as well? I'm soo glad that I found this blog, you have no idea:) I am constantly consulting BW thinking that there will be something in there that i have missed. This site is heaven sent!
    March 31, 2008 3:07 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    You can definitely give CIO a try and see how that goes. It sounds like he doesn't need that 5-6 feeding since he goes so long afterward. I would first work on that feeding. Once it is dropped, you can evaluate to see if he needs the dreamfeed. At his age (until 15 weeks), you don't want him sleeping more than 9-10 hours if BF and 11 if bottlefed. Don't worry, there is a lot to remember. Your first time through, you seem to miss a lot :) Keep consulting the book and site for more ideas. It sounds like he is doing quite well.
    April 1, 2008 2:13 PM
  • Firecracker said...
    My son has been consistently waking up at 4 a.m to eat for the last week or more. I know he's hungry at this feeding, but his wake time is at 6 and he will barely eat then if I have fed him a full feeding at 4. I can't let him CIO since I am staying with my Dad right now, so I wanted to try to wean him off the feeding. How exactly did you do it with Kaitlyn?And how long did it take? And about how old was she?
    March 26, 2008 9:40 AM
    Firecracker said...
    How exactly do I wean my son off the 4 am feeding? I have been trying to cut back the time. I have gone from him eating about 8-10 minutes. To about 4-6 minutes. But if I try to do anything shorter than that he will scream when I pull him off. BUT if I give him a full feeding he won't eat well at 6:30 (his wake up).Babies are so funny. Just when you think you got them figured out they switch things up on you. Ha ha ha. How long does the weaning process take? I have been doing it about a week now. (starting week 2)ThanksDanielle
    April 1, 2008 2:25 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Weaning takes longer than CIO. It took my daughter about 3 weeks of weaning. CIO typically only lasts 3 days (though it can be longer). Hang in there! Just expect it to take some time.
    April 1, 2008 3:08 PM
    Gabby said...
    When I was trying to drop my son's last middle of the night feeding around 2-3:00 AM I used a pacifier for a couple of nights. I held it for him since he never really kept a pacifier in well, but it calmed him down without nursing. After about 3 nights I let him CIO and it took very little crying to drop that feeding. It might be worth a try. :)
    April 1, 2008 7:29 PM
    Firecracker said...
    Thanks! I'll give the pacifier thing a try too. My son has never really taken one, but I'll try holding it. by-the-way Plowmanator, Thanks to your advise I was able to move his schedule to 30 minutes later at night in only a week! Thanks so much for everything.Danielle
    April 1, 2008 10:35 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks for your added advice Gabby--and Hurray for Danielle! Thanks for sharing your succecss.
    April 1, 2008 10:47 PM
  • Annie Haymans said...
    Hello..Not on pacifiers but another sleep question. My 6 1/2 month old finaly started sleeping through the night again (we went through a rough stage) but he is waking at 5 or 530am. Do I get him up and start his day or do I feed and put him back to bed until 7?
    October 8, 2008 4:47 AM
    vicko said...
    My daughter always seem to wake up at 5:30. I leave her in her crib to talk and try and pacify with a pacifer and try and to prolong her to start her day closer to 7.
    October 8, 2008 9:54 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Annie, this is up to you. BW talks about options. See this post: Also, 5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions : You can also try Vicko's suggestion. Good luck!
    October 9, 2008 1:19 PM


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Gabby said...

This seems to be a common struggle...
About 3 weeks ago I fixed this by dropping the dreamfeed and adjsuting the evening schedule. It worked for a little while, then I had to let him CIO which took 3 nights, textbook :). He was running a fever and not himself last week and it started again. I have let him cry and ended up starting our day early for 5 days now. (up at 6:00 after the crying, instead of our 6:15-6:45 waketime).
We are working toward a 4 hour schedule, but are not there yet, so him 3rd nap ends around 4:00(he always wakes then). I tried keeping him up later the last couple of nights, but he gets soooo tired. Is he sleeping too much? I'm just not sure how to stretch the waktime. I know it's only an hour, but who wants to get up at 5:30. I wouldn't start the day at 6:30 if it wasn't for my 7 year old having to get to school. :)
Any advice will help. Sorry for the long post. Thanks!!!

Plowmanators said...

Gabby, how old is your baby? I am wondering about teething or growth spurt. I would of course check all of the things listed on these posts:

Naps: Troubleshooting:
Nighttime Sleep Issues:

I don't think I would work on the four hour until the night is consistently slept through and the 4 hour schedule requirements are ment (though some moms do move sooner).

Gabby said...

He is almost 7 months. This weekend he actually slept well. He woke early both days, but I heard him "talking" and not crying, so I waited until it was really waketime. This morning he woke up a little early, but we had a late night last night visiting with grandparents. I think it could have been a growth spurt, but it was over after 2 days.
It's amazing how a couple of good nights are so encouraging, but a few bad ones and the exhaustion gets the best of you. :) Thanks for the advice!

Plowmanators said...

So true Gabby! I have found that to be very true.

wlankford75 said...

I have a 3 month old that was consistently sleeping from his 10:30 feed til 7ish. Now it seems that he's waking at 4 to talk and then again at 5:30 or 6, an hour and a half before normal wake time. What should I do? I've tried CIO, but it doesn't seem to work for this morning wake up.

david, blair, and sadie beth said...

Hi Valerie,
I hope you are having fun on vacation with your hubby and not missing you little ones terribly. Sadie Beth is 7 months old now, breastfeeding and on a 4 hour schedule with 2 naps and the occasional catnap. We have had a rough few weeks with teething (she has 4 and is working on another) and she also had a staph infection on her scalp that has caused all sorts of problems. We've been working on solids for almost a month and she has had a bit of a tough time adjusting to this as well, digestively speaking - though this seems to be getting better. Also, we've dropped the dream feed finally.
In the last month we have been dealing with night-waking and REALLY early waking (5-6:30am, established waketime was 7:30am). It is hard to know the cause of this due to the teething, staph infection, solids, etc. Also - aroudn this time her naps have started to work themselves out, going from 2 or 3 45 minute naps to an AM nap of 1-1.5 hr and a PM nap of 1.5-2 hours. Woohoo!, right? :)

Do you think she might be not needing as much night sleep since her naps are better? Should I try shortening her naps? She goes down between 7-7:30pm. This doesn't seem to effect her morning wake time. I am afraid though, that she might be trying to compensate for early waking by sleeping too long in the AM nap. Should I let her do that as long as I wake her for her feeding time? If we are trying to get back on schedule, should I let her sleep longer to her regularly scheduled eating time?

I'm sorry I'm so full of questions! Thanks for your help though.

Plowmanators said...

wlankford75, 3 months is a growth spurt time. Have you tried adding a feeding to your daytime routine? If you do that, you might eliminate the need for night waking. Good luck!

Plowmanators said...

Hi Blair,

This is a hard situation. The problems are likely a culmination of all of your difficulties. I would limit the naps to the 1.5-2.5 hour increments. Waketime in the day ensures sleeping at night (though you also don't want them overly tired). Also, if she isn't eating solids well, she likely is hungry and therefore not sleeping as well. Babies need more calories as they get older. She should soon be able to have finger foods, which might help. As the solids get better, sleep should be better.

It is also possible that nighttime sleep doesn't need to be as long as her naps get longer. I would only experiment with one thing at a time. Good luck figuring it all out!

T said...

Hi - love your site and so glad I found it! I have a 9 week old and she is no where close to STTN! I do a DF between 11pm-12am and she always wakes at least twice - once between 2a-3a and once between 4a-6a. She always takes a full feeding so I am so torn as to what to do. I am usually so tired that after her early morning feeding I will let her just wake up naturally (usually it's around 9am). My questions are this:
1) Am I totally messing up by not having a firm first morning feeding - I have read what to do about weaning the early morning feeding so I will try to do that and establish my firm first morning feeding.
2) Why is she still waking so much in the night? Sometimes she wakes every 2 hours - 2am, 4am and 6am!! It's all over the board! I'm about to go crazy for 4 solid hours of sleep - please help me!! What should I do?


Plowmanators said...

Hi T, Glad you like the site!

1- Yes, establish a start of day. In BW, they say that is one of the most important things to do and not to understimate it.

2-There can be so many reasons for it. If she isn't proficient at self-soothing, that would likely be a big contributor. Be sure to see these posts for more ideas:

Naps: Troubleshooting:

Nighttime Sleep Issues:

khadija said...

Hi there I need help.
my son is 8 months old and he is still waking up twice at night for feeding. he goes to bed at around 7:30pm or latest 8pm then wakes up at 1:30am then at 4am both times he wants to just nurse then fall right back to sleep. how can get him to sleep longer and not wake up until the morning. another question about feeding, he is on solids now, but if he eats solids he refused to nurse right now he only nurse 3times a day , one in the morning before his nap, one in afternoon before his nap and the last time before bed at night. if 3 times a day enough for him how can I get him to BF more. thanks a lot

T said...

Hi there, I have a couple of more questions. My daughter is 14 weeks old and has NEVER slept through the night. She has never gone more than 4 hours at a time. We are on a 3 hour schedule and I am exclusively breast feeding. I give her a dream feed between 11pm-12am every night and she always wakes around 4am. I have tried for 4 nights in a row to let her CIO and she cries off and on for about an hour before settling down and then wakes again at 5:30am so I feed her then. We get up and start our day at 7 or 7:30am. She always seems hungry and always takes a full feeding. I have tried pumping and feeding her about 2-3 oz at the Dream Feed because I felt like that was more than she was taking in on her own because she will hardly wake up to eat.

Also - my second question is how many hours per day should she be napping and could this be interfering with her night time sleep? She is usually awake for about an hour before getting fussy and wanting to down. But sometimes she will sleep the whole 2 hours and sometimes she wakes up after only an hour and then I try to settle her down and get her to go back to sleep until her next scheduled feeding. Should I do this or just let her get up? If I let her get up after sleeping only an hour then she is exhausted and tired right at the next scheduled feeding and wants to go to sleep right after nursing. I'm at my wits end, please help!

Plowmanators said...


As far as the nighttime thing, all of my suggestions would be in this post. See also:

Nighttime Sleep Issues:

For the breastfeeding, are you nursing before you feed solids or after? If it is after, I would for sure switch to before.

Plowmanators said...


I think if she is wakeing at the same time no matter what time the DF is, I would move the DF up so you can at least get more sleep straight.

If she is waking at the same time, then there is a chance she doesn't really need it. In that case, follow the suggestions in this post to drop it. If she does need it, then you obviously just need to feed her.

Your waketime sounds right. See these posts for decided what to do about her waking early:

Waking Early From Naps/Won't Fall Asleep For Naps:

Waketime When Baby Wakes Early :
Waketime When They Wake Early:

Naps: Troubleshooting:

45 Minute Intruder:

LEM said...

I'm in the process of trying to get rid of the middle of the night feeding but I wanted to make sure I was understanding things correctly. I have 5-week old who is on a 3 hour schedule starting at 6am. So he eats at 6, 9, 12, 3, 6pm and then I do a dreamfeed at 9pm. He wakes up between 1am and 3am for his middle of the night feeding. I have several questions that I wasn't sure where to post so I'm posting it here.

1)How many weeks does he need to be before this middle of the night feeding is dropped to ensure he's getting enough feedings?

2)Once that is dropped, then I will work on dropping the dreamfeed at 9pm. I was reading that you can slowly move it does that mean I would feed at 8:45, then 8:30 and so on? How far back would I go?

3) After I feed him at 6pm he gets a bath and I put him to bed around 7:30. By slowly moving the dreamfeed back does this mean he would be fed at 6, then bath, and then fed again right before bed at some point?

4)He seems to sleep so much better after his dreamfeed because I let him sleep as soon as he's done (not try and keep him awake like during the day). Am I doing the bedtime routine wrong? Like I said in #3, should I give him another bottle right before bed?

As you can see I am really confused and just want to make sure I am following BW correctly! Thanks for your help!

Plowmanators said...


1-BW says that baby might start to sleep 7-8 hours around 7-8 weeks old. Prior to 5 weeks, he should have 8 feedings at least in a 24 hour period. He should have at least 7 feedings weeks 5-8. Then he might be able to do 6 feedings after 8 feedings. It sounds like he is getting 7 right now, so I wouldn't suggest you trying to drop that feeding until he is 8 weeks old.

2-You can drop it like that, but there are also a lot of other ways. I would move it back until you are about 2 hours from the previous feed if your schedule is the same as it is now.

3-That might happen if his waketime is long enough.

4-No, I would continue as you are.

A said...

my baby is 8 weeks old and quite often resists the 2 1/2 hour to 3 hour schedule. I sometimes wonder if it is because she does not get enough waketime in the day. The yawns often start rolling in at after being awake for 45 min (including feeding). So I often put her to bed and she easily falls asleep within 15 min with little to no crying. Sometimes she makes it an hour before the yawns roll in. Is this enough wake time? Will she naturally start extending it, or should I be trying to extend it (and risk missing the "window" to get her down to sleep without over-stimulation)?

Also...if she wakes up early from a nap and just won't go back to sleep (after crying it out)....if she doesn't appear hungry should I just let her have waketime until the next scheduled feed? OR should try to feed her and then rework my schedule? I worry if I were to feed her then I am encouraging "snack feeding".

Plowmanators said...

Your waketime is totally normal for this age. It will extend in time, but for some it is a long time until it is longer than one hour.

Waketime: Length, Extending, and Calculating:

Extending Waketime :

Hard call on the second one. See these posts:

Waketime When Baby Wakes Early :

Waketime When They Wake Early:

Waking Early From Naps/Won't Fall Asleep For Naps:

ckim56 said...

I wondered if you could help me with my problem...My son is 6 months old and was sleeping through the night but he has always gotten up at least a half hour if not an hour before it was time for his breakfast feeding. I would just leave him in his crib until it was time to eat and he was fine with that.

about 4 weeks ago i dropped his dreamfeed so that he now gets 5 meals a day. At first he would wake up early (about 4am) but after a few days he stopped and would sleep. for the last 2 weeks though he gets up between 4-5am every morning and he is moaning and crying, not just talk to himself. I thought it might be because it is getting light out earlier now so the sun was waking him, I covered his windows but he still woke at 4 am. How can I remedy this?
Thanks so much for your blog and help!!! :)

Plowmanators said...

I would try reintroducing the dreamfeed and see if that is the reason. See also this post:

5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions :

Carli said...

My daughter is 11 1/2 weeks old and she has been on a 3 1/2 hour schedule for at least 3 or 4 weeks now. When we first started BW (at 7 weeks), she did 3 1/2 hours between each feeding except for the evening one. She'd eat at 5ish and then need to eat again at 7:30 or 8ish. We would then get her up at 10:30 for a dream feed. This was fine, she was pretty much sleeping through until wake time, we might have to re-swaddle or give her a pacifier a couple of times, but she wouldn't need to get up until 6:30 or 7. However, the last week and 1/2 she dropped the late evening all by herself. She just kept sleeping, so we would wake her up at 9 or 9:30 for a dream feed and then put her down for the night. It seems like ever since that happened we have a hard time keeping her asleep until 6:30 even. She wakes up about 5ish and kind of sleeps on and off with us giving her her pacifier many times. So, I'm thinking that even though she dropped a feeding all by herself, maybe she isn't really ready to. She's not a huge baby (at her 2 month appt she was 10 lbs 8 oz), maybe 11 1/2 or 12 lbs now. So, I'm wondering if we should re-introduce that 8pm feeding and the 10:30pm feeding even though we will have to wake her up both times. What do you think?

Plowmanators said...

Yes, I would reintroduce it. Remember also that around 3 months is a typical growth spurt time.

If she is going to drop a feeding, I would have her drop the 10:30 one first.

Carli said...

That didn't work. The last two mornings she has woke up at 5:30a hysterical until I fed her.

So, originally our schedule looked like this: 6:30a, 10a, 1:30p, 4:45p, 7:30p bath & bed, 10:30p & straight to bed.

Then since she started sleeping longer at the 5 feeding, it started looking like this: 6:30a, 10a, 1:30p, 5p bath & bed (1 hr 1/2 wake, 1 hr 1/2 sleep), 8p (only 45min wake while eating) & 10:30p (only 45min wake while eating) straight to bed.

Do you think the problem is that she's sleeping too much in the evening? Maybe we should move the bath to after the 8p feeding? Then she'll only get an hour nap between the 8p & 10:30p???

Julie said...

My 3 1/2 month old son has been waking up about an hour early in the morning. He usually wakes up around 7:15 - 7:45 a.m. but for the past 2 weeks he has been waking up at 6 a.m. I try to let him cry it out - but that has not worked - so I usually go in and re-wrap him cuz his arms came out, or stick his binky in his mouth and he will go back to sleep until about 7:15. Do i just keep doing this? or how do I get him to stay asleep till his normal awake time? I am feeding him 5 times a day right now at 7:15, 11:15, 2:00, 5:20 and 8:30. He has slept great through the night until two weeks ago. Do I need to feed him more during the day?

jencwu said...

I'm wondering how to get my son back on his schedule after something like this. For instance, if he wakes up wanting to be fed, and I wait awhile and he still is hungry, I might feed him 1/2 hour before his scheduled feeding (7am is his first scheduled feeding of the day and I feed him every 3 hours). That means his waketime would be from 6:30-7:15 or 7:30 approximately, which mostly consists of feeding, changing, and getting dressed. His normal wake time would be from 7-8, so he gets a 2 hour nap (in theory--he cries a good portion of that time!). If I put him down for a nap at 7:15 or 7:30 though, I'm afraid he won't sleep all the way till his next scheduled feeding at 10 since that's longer than 2 hours. But he shows tired signs and I don't want to extend his waketime to the point it prevents him from sleeping. I hope this makes sense... please advise!

bradysmom said...

I don't know what's goign on with mine. He is now about 29.5 weeks. He was sleeping fine, and his normal wake time was 7:30. He has now consistently been waking early, for about 3 weeks now. I tried upping his solid intake during the day, but he won't take more and sometimes doesn't finish his bottles. He does take a third nap, but we have dropped that back to 25 - 30 minutes. He has a very hard time putting himself to sleep fro this nap and I usually ahve to rock him a bit. The problem is, he can't last 4 hours being awake. And anytime I've put him down earlier than 8:20, he definitely wakes early. Do you think I should take the 3rd nap away?

He does the talking to himself thing from about 5:30 - 6:00, which I thougth they should stop by now. Then he seems to be waking anywhere from 6:30 - 7:30.

His diaper is usually pretty wet, and maybe that is why he is waking. However, he is in a size 3, which go up to 28 pounds and he is 21.5 pounds. I put him in a size 4 at night, so he's in a bigger size.

I have also started giving him a little bit of solids (usually some baby yogurt) around 7:30 pm, then his bed time routine starts at 7:50. He is in his crib by 8:20 at the latest.

I have done pretty much everything I can think of - except for taking that 3rd nap away. I am really getting frustrated about this and don't know what to do!

Please help :0)

bradysmom said...

One other thing to add to my comment above....I have a hard time knowing if mine is hungry or not. He has never been a fussy baby for anything. He has never fussed when he was hungry. He was always just on his schedule and that was it. He would eat whenever I gave it to him and would not fuss. The only time he did this was when he was very little and it had been a while (due to us being out or whatever). Then he would cry, but only if it had been way past time and I knew it.

So - if he's waking because he's hungry I don't know it. Should I try to get him up and just feed him? Then just adjust the schedule the rest of the day??

Thank you so much for your help.

Plowmanators said...

Carli, I don't know that I would do that unless you want her bedtime to be later into the future. Keep looking through possible reasons for the disruption and trying to solve the problems. Good luck in your problem soliving!

Plowmanators said...

Julie, There are a few possibilities:

1-Growth spurt

2-Pacifier interference: Pacifiers :

3-Common 4 month sleep disruptions:
4 month Sleep Problems :

Plowmanators said...

Jencwu, I would put him down when he needs to, then hope he sleeps even a few minutes extra at some point. See this post for more details:

Waketime When Baby Wakes Early :

Waketime When They Wake Early:

Plowmanators said...

Bradysmom. I would suggest this post:

Common 4 month sleep disruptions:
4 month Sleep Problems :

Plowmanators said...

Bradysmom, I would definitely try feeding him to make sure it isn't a hunger problem.

bradysmom said...

The only thing with feeding him is that ever since he was probably 4 months, he has never been that hungry and not a big eater. He rarely finishes his bottles in the morning. So that's the only reason I dont' think he's hungry.

This morning he woke up at 7:15, and he was absolutely soaked. His diaper was useless, and his PJs and sleepsack were soaked. I think that's why he's waking. But tomorrow I can try feeding him and see what happens.

Stephanie said...

I have read a lot about "wake time". How do you determine when your baby's wake time is? My baby wakes up anytime between 5-6am, but after I feed her, she goes back to sleep for another 2 hours or so, almost always at 8. Does that mean her wake time is 8am? But if I didn't feed her at 5 or 6, wouldn't her wake time be earlier?

Stephanie said...

Ok, I have another question. As I'm reading through everyone's comments, I'm getting a little more confused. People are mentioning when feeding their baby early in the morning, maybe around 5am, they sometimes don't eat a good breakfast at their normal time. Does that mean that even if you feed the baby at whatever time in the early morning, you would still feed at the normal waketime even if it hasn't been 3 (if you're on a 3 hour schedule) hours yet? I also read that if they don't take a full feeding at the normal waketime, then they may not need the feeding in the early morning, but why would they take a full feeding if it hasn't been 3 hours yet?

And another question (sorry). I know I just asked this question on the previous post, but I'm thinking I need to ask it a little differently. Again, after reading people's comments, most everyone is saying that their babies are waking earlier than their normal waketime. So, they're saying, for example, that their baby was sleeping until 7, but then all of a sudden waking at 5 or 6. Obviously since they're baby slept until 7 for a while, that's the normal waketime. But how do you establish a waketime if your baby has NEVER slept later than 5 or 6 from the beginning? Now, my baby (7 months) does go back to sleep for several more hours after being fed, almost always waking between 8-8:30, but she has never slept later than 5am since she was born. What would her normal waketime be then? And if she doesn't have one, then how do I get one (that's preferably later than 6, because even on the rare occasion that she does sleep until 6, she's still tired and not happy like she is when she wakes at 7:30-8:30)? Thank you SO much for your help! I'm so confused...and tired!!

bradysmom said...

So it definitely isn't a hunger problem. For the past week, he has now been waking at 6:30am, when his normal wake time is 7:30am. It is not a hunger thing - I have tried feeding him a couple of times when he wakes at 6:30 and he barely takes his bottle. His diaper is wet, but he's not soaked through his clothes. I'm not really sure what to do at this point. Do I get him up, or keep him in there until 7:30 to reiterate that is his wake time? Also, what do I do about adjusting his schedule the rest of the day. Technically, if he wakes at 6:30, he should go down for his nap at 8:30. But if I get him out of his crib at 7:30, taht only gives him an hour of true wake time.

Also, he has really been having a hard time with his bottles. He always eats his solids. I give him a bottle, then solids. I have tried the solids first then bottle and he doesn't take it. He used to be taking 7-8 ounces a feeding, and 10 ounces for his last feeding. Now, for his 7:30 and 11:30 feedings, he takes anywhere from 3-7 ounces. Is this OK? I worry that he is not getting enough in his bottles but he just won't take it.

Plowmanators said...

bradysmom, if you are positive it isn't hunger, then you don't need to feed him. Have you tried the larger diapers at night?

Plowmanators said...

Stephanie, you decide when wake time in the morning is. You need to have a goal and go for that. If you want it to be 8, then it is 8 and I personally wouldn't consider her to be STTN until she sleeps until 8 every day. But not all kids will sleep until 8. If you didn't feed her at 5-6, yes, her waketime most likely would be earlier, at least at first. See this post:

What Time Should I Start My Day:

Plowmanators said...

Stephanie, yes, if you read through this post you will see that you need to have a set waketime each day. Babywise says this is one of the most important things you can do to get your little one to sleep through the night. This means you feed sooner than 3 hours if needed because your waketime needs to be consistent. See:

Consistent Schedule: Start Your Day Right:

If baby is waking because he has a growth spurt or something, he would take a full feeding at both times.

A post I linked above in the previous answer will tell you about establishing a waketime. This is something you decide, not baby. You decide it based on baby's patterns, but you don't wait for baby to do it for you.

Plowmanators said...

bradysmom, I might consider that he might need to have a 7 AM waketime rather than a 7:30 one. My son couldn't go later than 7 for a long, long time. If you want to leave him in bed when he wakes at 6:30, I would get him at 7. If you wait a full hour, you will really throw your day off. If you get him at 7, consider that you might need to put him down at 8:30 still, but he might be able to go a little longer. Just watch him and see.

I would talk to the pedi about ounces from bottles; I breastfed so I don't have any knowledge about it :)

bradysmom said...

Yup. Brady is 22 pounds. He is in a size 3 during the day, which is 16-28 pounds. At night I have him in a size 4, which is 22-37 pounds. I only use Pampers. I have tried Huggies, and generic brands and he has leaked through all of those. Pampers are the only brand he hasn't leaked through.

The times when I have gotten him write up when he woke early, and fed him - he has only taken 3-4 ounces. And he wasn't that interested in that. He definitely is not very hungry when he first wakes up.

I have a feeling that he is teething, definitely. However, when he wakes early he is not waking up crying. He is just starting to coo, and talk to himself and I hear him doing that in the monitor. No crying whatsoever.

So - do I leave him in the crib until 7:30, or get him up when he wakes up?

bradysmom said...

Sorry, just saw your last comment!

The other issue is that Brady cannot go longer than 11 hours at night. Every time I have tried to put him down a little bit early, he'll wake almost every hour for a good 3-4 hours.

Maybe I will try a 7:00 wake time and adjust our day schedule. The only thing is that he did have a normal wake time of 7:30, and he was doing fine with that. It's only been about the last month that this has now been happening consistently.

Thank you for all of your help!!! I am getting pretty frustrated because i just don't know why he's waking early now! I bought the Baby Whisperer book and he is across between angel and textbook. Always been a great baby and has been on his schedule since about 2.5 weeks! So this is really throwing me off!!

Thanks again.

momtobobby said...

Hey Bradysmom,
Just wanted you to know that my son was doing exactly the same thing as yours since about 5months and he is 7 1/2 months now. Just the other day he got his first two teeth and he is angelic again, finally!!! Teething was definitely messing him up. But I will say that when he wakes up early, I do not go in b/c I don't want to encourage him waking early. I only went in if he was crying and I would comfort him, give him a paci and leave. After a few days of this, he started to sleep to his normal waketime again. Just wanted you to know what worked for us:) Tami

bradysmom said...

Thanks momtobobby!! That helps! I know that he is teething, and I had a feelign that is what's going on with him, considering he's not hungry when he gets up.

So did you just get him up then at his normal wake time? How did you adjust the day when he was doing this?

momtobobby said...

Yes, I would just go get him at his normal waketime. We are still doing a 3 hour schedule, so I just adjusted the rest of the day accordingly. He would usually get an hour of waketime after I went and got him up including feeding time. That would make his first naptime around 8am. He would usually sleep until 10am, but if he woke up earlier than 10am I would go ahead and feed him so that we stayed on the eat, wake, sleep cycle. I stuck to the eat, wake, sleep cycle, but I was more flexible with the times that he ate and that helped both of us a lot. I hope that helps:)

Aliciaz said...

Hi! Thanks for your blog. It has been very resourceful for me. I'm having a night time sleep problem with my three month old. She started sleeping 9-10 hours a night at 9 weeks, but at 11 weeks started having problems nursing. I can rarely get her to nurse well in the evenings which has significantly cut down on the amount she sleeps. She has started to wake around 3 or 4am and will eat extremely well then! I've treated it as a growth spurt and offered more feedings, but she won't take that either. I've also tried decreasing the amount I feed her at that time and CIO. Nothing seems to be working... She's very good at CIO, but will not dreamfeed at all because she sleeps so deeply. How do I get her to eat well in the evening so she doesn't wake so early?

Carli said...

Aliciaz -- I'm not sure this will be a popular answer or even anything you are interested in, but . . . I had the same problem so I started to give my little girl a bottle of breast milk during her dream feed. It's obviously much easier than the breast, so she had no problems eating as much as she needed.

jencwu said...

Like Carli, we also use a bottle of breastmilk for the dreamfeed. My husband actually feeds it to him. We've been doing this since our little one was about 2 weeks old. By doing that, we know he gets in a full feeding, his daddy can spend some time with him, and I can get to bed earlier :)

Stephanie said...

Hi again! :( I think I saw this mentioned somewhere on here, but I can't find it again. So sorry for the duplicate question. I just recently started putting my 7 1/2 month down for naps and bedtime awake (I know, BW's #1 rule! I didn't even realize what I was doing until I couldn't figure out why she kept waking in the middle of the night and couldn't fall back asleep on her own). Since doing that, she has stopped waking several times in the night, and if she does, she falls right back asleep. There is also NO crying at all when I lay her down. But for the past few mornings, she has been waking sometime between 4-5am. She starts out talking very softly and it sounds like she'll just fall back asleep. I have fallen asleep and woken back up, half hour to an hour later and she's still making noise, but it's more of a whine/cry as apposed to just light talking. If I go in and pick her up and lay her right back down still awake, she'll fall back asleep and sleep for another couple hours (depending on what time that was). Any ideas why she's doing that? It's not like I'm putting her back to sleep because her eyes are wide open when I lay her back down. Is it possible she just needs to know we're there? I finally got out of going to her room a million times in a night; I don't want to create any more bad habits, but it seems if I didn't go back in, she'd do that forever! THANK YOU!! You are a life saver! :)

Plowmanators said...

bradysmom, just keep troubleshooting, and try to keep perspective. He is doing great to have only been off that long, so while it isn't enjoyable, ALL babies get off at some point. So just hang in there!

Plowmanators said...

Thanks for your tips Tami!

Plowmanators said...

Aliciaz, you are welcome! First, have you considered that you might be low on supply at that time of day? Have you tried pumping to see how much you get? I would look into if she is just refusing to eat (if so you might try moving that feeding back some) or if there isn't enough food for her to eat.

Carli's suggestion is a good one; it is one the Baby Whisperer suggests doing to give mom more sleep and dad a chance to get involved. It might also do the trick to get her to eat and make it through the night.

Plowmanators said...

lol jencwu, I hadn't read your comment before I made my last one. You do it for all the reasons she lists!

bradysmom said...

Thank you! I'm borderline obsessive compulsive about being organized and schedules :-) I do need to remember to keep things in perspective! THank you for all of your help.

One thing I have noticed (and this might help others out there...) I have Dr. Weisbluth's book 'Healthy Sleep habits, etc' which I don't really like. But I looked up waking early in it and he said the most common sign of waking early after 6 months was a too-late bed time. So, the past couple of nights I have been experimenting and tryign to put Brady down at 7:30. Normally I would try to stretch him be falling asleep around 8:15-8:30, because I didn't think he could make it 12 hours. Well, the nights I have put him down right around 7:30 he has done much better and wakes at almost his normal time.

Plowmanators said...

Stephanie, this is a hard one. I think you are right to give her some time, but if she doesn't go back to sleep after some time on her own, I think it is a good idea for now to go pick her up and put her back down. Do it for a while, then go in and just rub her tummy and tell her to go back to sleep, then stop going in. Hopefully you won't have to get that far and this is just something she is doing while she is learning to soothe herself completely.

Of course, if you find this disrupts her and is causing a problem, stop going in.

Plowmanators said...

Bradysmom, thanks for sharing that--hopefully that will help others!

bradysmom said...

So the past 2 mornings he has been waking at normal time. I think it's because I stopped going in there. A couple days ago, I told my DH that we just had to stop going in there and see if he would fall asleep, because now he may just be used to us coming in to give him a binky to get back to sleep. So, we did. After about an hour of him talking to himself, he did fall back asleep until his normal wake time. And the past 2 mornings there was no sound until his normal wake time!

So, either he was just going through a phase, or it he was used to us going in there. Either way,something worked! Also, I know that you have said before that sleep problems happen before a developmental leap. Well, 2 days ago he started saying consonants and ma-ma, and he started clapping. So taht could've been it also. Who knows! Just wanted to share in case anyone else was experiencing it.

Stephanie said...

I asked a couple questions about this before, and things started to get better, but seem to be going backwards again. I have a 7 1/2 month old and she has been waking between 4:30-5:30 every morning. I used to feed her, but with being so old, I didn't think it was necessary to feed her at that time anymore, so I tried the CIO, but she would just go on and on for over an hour. (She goes to bed at night and down for naps awake and never cries.) Then I started going in and picking her up and then lay her back down awake, and she would go back to sleep for another couple hours. BUT now she doesn't seem to go back to sleep no matter what I do. I know she's still tired because she does fall asleep as soon as I pick her up, but when I lay her back down, she starts crying again. I tried feeding her just one side and although it wasn't long enough to put her fully back to sleep, after laying her back down, she did fall asleep for another 2-3 hours. My question is, if I continue to just feed her a little, will she eventually stop waking? I thought when she was 2 or 3 months that she was going to sleep through at any time and now almost 5 months later, we're still doing it. I don't mind doing it, as it's quicker than waiting to see if she'll fall back asleep on her own, but I also don't want this to last forever! I have heard horror stories of moms who are still waking early or in the middle of the night with there 1 or 2 year old. I do NOT want that! I did read that with your girl, you lessened the amount you fed her and eventually she stopped waking. The other problem is that every morning is not the same. For example, this morning she woke at 4:30 and I went in almost right away and picked her up and just sang a quick Jesus Loves Me and then laid her back down awake and she then slept until 7:15 (although even then, I think she was woken up from the other people in my house). But yesterday morning, she woke around 5:15-5:30 and she wasn't falling back asleep so I fed her a little and she then slept until 8:30. If the time she wakes every morning is different, will it ever work??? Thank you so much! I honestly think this has been the hardest part since she's been born, trying to figure this out!

Jennifer said...

Stephanie, I feel you pain! My baby was doing great at night until we had a bunch of vacations during the summer and we got stuck in the rut of that 5-5:30 am feeding. A few weeks ago, I tried cutting down the amount of time I would let her nurse (it's only ever been on one side) and then 4 nights ago, she slept until 7 am and has every night since! My baby is just over 7 months I did want to do CIO at that time of the morning because I'm too sleepy to stick to it. I don't know if she grew out of it or if cutting down the nursing time did it, but hang in there! One thing to note is that I used to have to wake her up for our 7:30 am wake time after doing an early morning feeding. Now that she's sleeping, she's waking at 6:55 or 7:00 am. Definitely on the early side of our half hour wake time, but worth it for continuous sleep! Good luck!

Rizley Family said...

Love the blog! I did babywise with my now 2 year old twin boys. It worked well for them, but they were bottle fed. I now have a 3.5 week old baby girl, who I am breastfeeding. Totally different scenario! Anyway, she is a great sleeper. She will sleep from about 8:30 until 4 or 5am (with a DF at 10:30pm). It's fantastic that she sleeps so long, but when she wakes up at 4 or 5, she is wide awake and I have a hard time getting her back to sleep. For the past few nights, she has woken at 5 and then just not fallen asleep at all. Her next feeding is a 8am, which is fine, I just don't to wake up and stay awake at 5 am. Any suggestions for how to get her back asleep?

Stephanie said...

Thank you Jennifer for the support! It's nice to hear other people's success stories. My daughter is now 8 months old and at this point, it doesn't seem to be getting any better. I try to have hope that it will one day stop, but it's been 8 months already!! I remember when she was 3 months old, my mom and other people were telling me she'll probably stop waking so early to eat at any time...uhh! I have a question for you though, if you even read this. What time do you put your baby to bed at night and when is the last time you feed her? Thank you!!

Jennifer said...

Stephanie: How frustrating that this has been going on for so long. My baby usually finishes her last nap around 5-5:30 pm and then has a bottle and solids. Then at about 8 pm we give her a bath and then I nurse her right before putting her down about 8:30 pm. I haven't been writing down what happens each day, but it seems like when she gets to bed late (like 9 pm) she tends to wake earlier. Doesn't seem to make sense, but that has happened a couple of times.

It's funny, the day after I wrote my previous comment, she woke up in the early morning again for two days--it was frustrating, but then she went back to sleeping all the way through. It's true that progress is a spiral.

Good luck!

Corzine family said...

I really need some advice. Recently my lo (17 wks) has had some night sleeping issues. He was previously sleeping 10-10.5 hrs a night then started waking sporadically. I dropped his 4th nap and started putting him down earlier which has seemed to help a lot since he isn't waking at all hours of the night anymore. Since then though I haven't been able to get him back to the 10-10.5 hrs he was sleeping previously. The problem I am having wow is with early feedings/waking before waketime. He goes to bed around 7pm and wakes anytime between 4:45am-5:30am. Our normal waketime is 6:45/7am. I have been just feeding him and he eats really well and goes back to sleep but then doesn't eat so well for his 1st 7am feed. I have tried to feed him less (like Val suggests) but he won't go back down without a full feeding. I would do CIO but the couple of times I've tried that he has cried until his 1st waketime. What other options do I have? Should I keep doing both feeds in hopes that he will just get it eventually and start sleeping through? I'm not much of a paci user (he already is a good self-soother at naps and bedtime) but I will use it on occassion if we are out in public and he is tired and fussy. Should I try using a pac in place of the feed or will that just create a whole new set of issues?

natcase said...

Hi there! love this blog and have ready sooo many posts but still confused.

I have a 10 week old. from about 7 weeks she started STTN from 10:30 feed till 6:30am. I had never really established waketime but 6:30am worked for me so i've been using that.
but in last week and a half she's been waking up at 4 or 4:30 and will really fuss. then she moved on for past 4 days to waking at 5:15am and i would wait till 5:45am or 6am to feed her (get as close as possible to her waketime before she got really fussy and couldnt take it anymore).
I think she is hungry because she takes the full feed (versus falling asleep at the boob).
so she eats from 5:45am till 6:30am and then i put her to sleep easily and i wake her at 9:30am for the next feed. normally she takes a full feed at that time. and then feed at 12:30; 3:30; 7pm; 10pm DF.

but i really want to get her back to waking at 6:30am on her own. which i think would i think mean somehow getting her back to a 10:30pm feed instead of a 10pm one?
or what do you suggest?

should i just feed her at 5:15am till 5:30am and then put her down and pick her up again at 6:30am and feed her? i cant have her CIO at that time because husband and my brother are sleeping in prep for the work day.

should i squeeze in another afternoon feed to load her up on food earlier in the day?
ie. 9:30; 12:30; 3:30; 6:30; 8:30; 10:30? it will mean shorter naps. but she hasnt been a great napper for past two weeks either although that is on the mend thanks to your advice on other posts.

natcase said...

Sorry just to clarify -- my goal at this point is to get her to sleep from 11pm to 6:30am (ie feed at 10:15 to 11pm). Versus the 5:15am wakeups we've been experiencing lately.

do you think more feeds would help during the day? or do you think i just have to retrain her with the 5:15am by making her wait till 6:30am by either having small snack and attempt to put her down to sleep (she's a big crier/screamer so a little scared she will wake up the whole house without a full meal).

help! so confused and unsure

Plowmanators said...

Thanks again for sharing Bradysmom!

Plowmanators said...

Stephanie, sorry i am so late in getting here. I didn't realize these comments were here.

One thing I would recommend is picking a consistent waketime each morning. Be it 7, 7:15, 7:30...whatever is realistic for your daughter to consistently reach. Wake her at that time each morning. BW says to not underestimate that important step in achieving STTN.

See also this post for ideas:

5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions :

Plowmanators said...

Rizley Family,

How are her waketimes in the day? For a newborn, usually if they don't sleep in the night, it means they are not getting enough waketime in a day. It is common for a baby that young to refuse to stay awake any longer than it takes to eat, so working on having some real playitme (though not too much) should help.

Plowmanators said...

Corzine family,

I don't know that you have a lot of solutions before you. There is feeding less, CIO, the Baby Whisperer Paci idea, moving to a will have to decide which one works for you best.

I might try getting him back to sleep without feeding one night (rocking or paci) and see how he sleeps. If he sleeps fine until your first feed, he doesn't need that night feed. Try to get him past the habit of waking and he should start sleeping later.

Plowmanators said...


She is at a growth spurt age. One thing, I would feed her right when she wakes in the night. Then let her sleep until 7 AM and get her up.

Also, try to get an additional feed in the day in hopes she won't need the night one.

natcase said...

I'm at the end of the rope with BW. Nothing seems to be working - i do think Loralei is a stubborn baby but i also think CIO might have ruined her.

She stopped STTN - after only really doing it for less then 2 weeks (7weeks to almost 9 weeks). Now waking at different times for a week at a time (4am for one week, then 5am for one week, now back to 4am again).

But what is worse is naptimes. i've been putting her down for naps within the BW guidelines (50min - 70 depending on her cues and her previous nap success). and its been two weeks of that with 5 naps a day and we still havent achieved anything. she cries aggressively every single time. sometimes 10min and sometimes 15min.
and sometimes she screams her head off and i can't stand it and sometimes she falls asleep instantly.

any fresh ideas? she is 11 weeks old.
i'm thinking of trying to rock her and lay her down for the rest of the week. new technique. because CIO hasnt helped bring about any consistent success. unless 10-15min of aggressive crying each time is what others are calling success..

i'm just so confused. And i'm just scared i've created a crier. people always comment "does she always scream like that?"

any ways - any other ideas?

she's a happy go lucky baby during waketimes and goes to sleep at 11pm on her own without intervention and even goes down on her own after the 4am feeds. so she's a great kid. i just feel like i'm pushing her to CIO to achieve naptimes when rocking etc might be the only thing that works for her.

momtobobby said...

Natcase---Just want you to know that you are not alone! My Bobby who is 9 months old is a very loud crier as well and always has been. What other people would consider screaming is his normal cry. Also, he has always cried when being laid down for a nap for minutes on end like your little one. In the beginning for like 30 minutes and sometimes more. Now, he will lay there silently for a few minutes and right before he starts to fall asleep he screams bloody murder--That's how I know he is about to fall asleep! I have never been able to take the bloody murder scream, so I go in and give him a pacifier, turn on the mobile and he falls asleep soon there after. He enjoys being comforted. Your little one might be the same way...

In retrospect, I think this is just has been his personality coming out since birth--He is a "people" person and he enjoys being comforted. I think he has been such a crier because he is saying, "hey, I still want to hang out with you!!!!" But it is necessary for him to nap and be on a good schedule, as well. I do not ever regret doing CIO with him, because I think if I didn't do it he would be running my life in a major way right now!! I just want you to hear from someone else that has a "loud crier" as well. I stuck to it and it is much better now.

I also remember 11 weeks being a growth spurt for Bobby and feeling like we were going backwards. By 13 weeks he was sleeping 11 hours straight without the dreamfeed. I know it can be hard, but it does work.
Hugs! Tami

natcase said...

momtobobby! you are the best!
thanks for the reassurance. i think i'm in the same boat as you -- she's very social and people always comment on how alert she is etc.
so i think she tries to stay up especially if there are people around.
And yes the screaming does subside but i guess i just expected that after 9 days and 5 times a day of CIO - that she would have transformed into the self assured baby that BW talks about. cause its hard to tell people - oh, don't worry she cries like that every time she is going to sleep. everyone looks at me like i'm hurting the baby and thats why i started to question myself. and yes - losing the STTN also made me feel like everything is falling apart.

this morning i stayed with her in the room while she screamed. i sang to her and cleaned up her room. and she fell asleep after 10min.

so i think i'm just going to mix up the approaches. unless you think routine is better?
i was going to try rocking her until drowsy - especially in the evenings (5pm and 8pm naps) when she is crankier.

whats your advice - stick to routine of CIO with singning. or is it ok to change it up depending on her mood?

thanks again for your message!

Plowmanators said...

nutcase, how long have you done CIO? It usually takes about 2 months before crying is gone all together, and some kids need to cry for a few minutes even longer than a year.

Tami gave you some good thoughts on this.

Now that I see you have done CIO for 9 days, I have to tell you that you seem to be having huge success. 15 minutes afer 9 days is really not bad. It will slowly improve. She will start to have some naps that are better while still having some that are "bad."

It is good to mix things up until you find what works, but once you find what works, stick with it.

Amy said...

Hi Valerie,
I wondered if you could give me some advice or tell me if I'm doing something wrong...our son turns 13 weeks on Thursday and he's still only sleeping from about 10:45 p.m. (after his last feeding) until 5:00 or 5:30. He always wakes up around that time but I know he's not hungry. For quite awhile, he didn't really act hungry for his first feeding. So around 11 weeks, we started just letting him cry it out or going in and giving him the paci. He would eventually go back to sleep and get up between 6:30-7:30 a.m.

Ok, I thought things would get better after 5 days, like Babywise says, but it didn't! He's still waking up around that time and we always have to go in and give him his paci, calm him down. And sometimes change his diaper, too. So what do you think? Am I doing anything wrong? Any suggestions to get him to stretch that time longer and not always wake up around that same time? Is he already used to us coming in and giving him the paci? :>)

By the way, he's eating 6 times a day, about 5 oz. each. Our doctor said that's perfect for his weight and age. He didn't really want me to feed him more than that. Also, he's still on a 3 hour schedule (which works well for him, I think) and his bedtime is usually 8:30. (Dreamfeed at 10:30).

Thanks Valerie!


kristin62181 said...

Hi, i am new here but have read the bw book and am trying with my son who is 10 wks old. he has been on a schedule appr. 2 1/2 to 3 hrs since he was born. its pretty much 7am to 7pm then a dreamfeed at 10pm. at 6 wks he started sleeping from 10 to 4 or 5 am and then i'd just wake him at 7am no matter what (i have to takemy other ones to school) anyway for the last week he has been waking up at 2 and 3 and then again at 5 or 6am. my question si what do i do? was is a growth spurt or should i let him CIO? if so, should i do it just for the 2am feeding? should i change his schedule during the day at all? help!!

Plowmanators said...

Amy, I think the paci is a possible culprit. Many (though not all) find it to be a sleep hinderance around this age.

Something might be waking him and he wants the paci to get back to sleep. Maybe it is a bit cold or something.

See these posts for help in diagnosing the problem. Also, take an honest evaluation of the paci:

Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime:

Nighttime Sleep Issues:

Plowmanators said...

Kristin, it is a definite possible growth spurt. One idea is to go in and see if he will soothe back to sleep with help, and if so how he sleeps after that. If you can get him to go back to sleep and he sleeps until a normal feeding time, then it is a self-soothing issue. If he falls back asleep but then wakes soon after or before a normal feeding time again, it is likely hunger. If he just won't go to sleep, again, likely hunger.

I like to err on the side of caution and feed first. You hate to have them be hungry unncessarily. Treat it as hunger first, then if that turns out not to be it, go from there.

Does he self-soothe in the day? Make sure he does that for naps before attempting it (cio) at night.

kristin62181 said...

okay, thanks for helping. i just wanted to comment back. he was waking at night after 3 to 4 hours instead of 6 hrs like he was doing before. i think it was a growth spurt tho b/c he took full feedings. he cries when i put him down for his naps during the day but only for maybe 5 minutes and then falls asleep. so i guess my question is when is a good time to start the CIO at night?

Plowmanators said...

I like to wait until the baby is 12 weeks old at least, OR you are positive he doesn't need that feeding at all and he is waking out of habit rather than need. I also think it is a good idea for baby to have the ability to self-soothe, which it sounds like he does in the day for his naps. I would be sure the growth spurt is over (which it should be by now). Also, wait until you are fully comitted and sure it is what he needs. You will be more tired and emotional at night, and the minutes will seem to creep by. If you try it and decide he just wasn't ready after all, there is no harm in stopping and trying again later if needed, but just don't go into it wishy-washy. Good luck!

Alison said...

My 12 week old goes to bed around 9p. We do a dream feed at 12a. He wakes at 6a.-7a. to eat but his first morning feed isn't till 8a. I am trying to drop the 6am feeding because he is starting not to be hungry for breakfast at 8a. How many hours can we expect a baby this age sleep at night? At what point do we drop the dream feed, if ever?

kristin62181 said...

Question: I have been applying the BW principles for my 12 week old all along. He's done very well. How long do you do the eat sleep wake thing for. should he be taking four naps a day. he does usually do this but it seems like if i just put him down for 2 he might sleep longer. whats the rules for a 12 week old on naps. should i still be putting himn down after 1 hour of being awake?

Plowmanators said...

Alison, those questions would be answered in these posts:

Babywise Milestones:


Dropping the "Dream Feed":

Plowmanators said...

At 12 weeks, he should have at least 3, probably 4 naps. Most drop the 4th nap at 4 months and the 3rd at 8 months, though ages do vary.

Waketime also varies from child to child. See this post:

Optimal Waketime Lengths :

see also this about the EWS:

Eat/Wake/Sleep Cycle:

Jackie said...

Glad to find this blog. WE have been trying to do BW from day one. Our LO never would do a 3 hour schedule we started at 2 and it has been a battle to do 2 and 1/2 hours. He wakes up at least one hour before time to eat. Then we try to occupy him or distract him from eating too early or he cries. He takes 30 -45 minute naps and once in awhile he will take a 1 1/2 hour nap. He still wakes up for a middle of the night feeding and an early morning feeding even though he ate 6 oz. to prepare for bed. He is 3 1/2 months old. Help?!

Plowmanators said...

Jackie, I am a bit unsure of what you are asking. You said he wakes an hour before is he up for an hour, sleeping for 30 minutes, then up?

Here are some posts that might help you, but I am not really sure exactly what you are asking:

Waketime: Length, Extending, and Calculating:

Waketime When They Wake Early:

45 Minute Intruder:

Naps: Troubleshooting:

Eat/Wake/Sleep Cycle:

MRW said...

I just love your site. It has been so helpful. I have looked through posts for answers to my questions, and unless I missed it, I can't find it. Here's my dilemma:

I have an almost 8 month old. She's never been on a "schedule" but more of a cycle. She has just switched from a 3 hour cycle to a 4 hour cycle - where she sleeps, eats, plays, then sleeps again. She sleeps great at night and goes down at 7:30 religiously. My problem is that she wakes up at inconsistent times in the morning. Lately she's been waking around 6:30ish to feed, so I have been getting her up and starting her day. In the past, I would feed her and put her back down. However, with her now being on a 4 hour cycle, I feel like I need to get her up then in order to fit in all of the necessary feedings and naps. She's also on solids too - so that has to fit into her schedule as well. I want her wake up time to be 7. But I don't know what to do when she doesn't seem she can go that extra half hour to feed. If she wakes up, then she seems to cry and whine until she's fed. If I let her stay in her crib until 7, she gets very upset and she's still up, so that really messes up her wake time. I hate to not feed her when she's hungry, but I can't feed her and put her back down at 6:30 - that just messes up the rest of the day. When she gets up at 6:30, it works out for a great schedule. I would really like her getting up at 7. Anyway to get that consistent wake up time? Your suggestions will be much appreciated!

Felicia said...

this is my first time posting a comment . . . i love the site so far. i have a 10 week old and we started BW when he was 2 weeks. he had pretty severe reflux and jaundice which delayed starting a good eat/play/sleep routine. anyway, he started sleeping 6 hours/night last week and did well for an entire week. this past weekend (i think he was going through a growth spurt) he started waking up in the middle of the night, about 3:30, for a full feed. he's been waking up every night since then. i've tried the paci but it hasn't worked until last night but he was only calm for 20 mins, then he wanted to eat. he didn't take a full feed though and he didn't take a full feed 3 hours later at his normal wake up time (7:00). does it sound like he might be able to stop his middle of the night feeding again? should i just continue what i've been doing? any other suggestions?

hmm716 said...

I'm just now starting BW as my 10 week old isn't sleeping well at all. We've been doing the eat/activity/sleep routine loosely for the past couple weeks, but just today I started CIO with his naps. It has gone decently. He took an hour and half nap this morning, then an hour nap in the early afternoon and then slept for 45 minutes in the later afternoon. Right now he is finishing that 45 minute nap in his swing. My question is regarding waking at night/early morning. He wakes up constantly at night, but isn't hungry. I'll put his paci in and he'll suck away for a few minutes, fall asleep but then wake up 20 minutes later. I've offered bottles, but he doesn't even really eat. Do you think I should try letting him CIO tonight? I do a DF typically b/w 10 and 11, though now I'll start trying to always do it at 11, so he should be able to sleep until wake time at 6:30. If not, I could always feed him the first time he wakes, but then CIO the rest of the wakings. I just know he isn't hungry b/c his 'breakfast' feeding hasn't been going so well, he'll barely eat! Please help :-) Thanks!

MRW said...

Things have actually gotten worse with my 8 month old daughter. She is getting up earlier and earlier each morning. This morning she was up at 5:55. I really want her wake up time to be 7 - but we are no where near that and I'm wondering how to do that. She was waking around 6:30 before (and I thought that was early). She's on a 4 hour schedule now. She seems to be waking up hungry in the morning because she cries right off the bat. I breastfeed her 4 times a day with a bottle of breast milk at night. She's eating solids, 3 times a day - cereal at breakfast and veggies & fruits at lunch and dinner, with finger foods too. She goes down at 7:30 every night. If I feed her when she wakes and put her back down, that messes up the schedule for the rest of the day. Right now she's napping for 1.5 hours in the am, 1.5-2 in the afternoon and a 45 minute catnap from 4-5. She doesn't sleep any later than 5. Would eliminating the catnap extend that morning wake up time? Should I go back to a 3 hour or combo schedule? How would that look since she's able to stay awake for 2 hours at a time? Should I let her CIO in her crib until 7? Please help!!

bradysmom said...

MRW - I had that problem w/ mine also. I don't know if this will help, but he started waking anywhere from 5:30 - 6:30 (with his normal wake time being 7:30) crying. I eventually just said that we were not going in to get him and he had to CIO. It took about a week - but it stopped. The other thing I found is that he has an exact bed time. If he's in bed at 7:25 - it's perfect. But if he goes down any later than that - he would wake up early crying.
So - for what it's worth I would turn down the monitor but keep it on so I could still see the lights. That way I knew how long he would cry for before he finally went back to sleep. Then, when he went back to sleep I would wake him if he was still sleeping at 7:30, to enforce the 7:30 wake time. Everyday the crying got shorter and shorter until it stopped! I hope that helps. I know it was hard for us!

MRW said...

Thanks so much for responding. I was thinking that she wasn't ready to get up yet, but she seemed hungry - and it really does mess everything up when it's so close to your intended wake up time. I'll have to let her CIO. It's hard though because my husband is up at that time getting ready for work and she hears him. Did you go in every so often to check on your son while he was CIO or not since it was so close to his wake time? Thanks for the input!

bradysmom said...

Well, when it first started happening I did troubleshoot and went through all the options of what it could be. When I decided it wasn't any of those - I really couldn't figure out why he was waking out of a dead sleep - crying, we started to give him his binky because we knew he would go back to sleep, and I wanted to sleep!! But of course that created a habit.
So we just said - he's just going to have to work through it. I think this whole thing went on from about 7 or 8 months - 9 or 10 months old. It's been about a month now that he has not been waking at all. From what I have read, it seems like this is a common problem at this age.
Anyway, I just told my husband we can't go in there at all any more. He's fine - we had ruled everythign else out - and decided he just had to learn to go back to sleep. And he did. Like I said - it was about a week, but that's all it took. And I did keep the monitor on, and would lay in bed and look at it so I could see that he was eventually going back to sleep. And everday that crying time got shorter and shorter until it didn't happen any more :-)

bradysmom said...

Sorry - I don't think I really answered your question. Once we decided to let him CIO - no, we didn't go in.

MRW said...


Would your son always fall back asleep until the desired wake time? If not, would you count that time as "wake time" or start fresh when you got him up? Then would you start your day and run it as if he got up at the desired wake time?

I think my daughter is teething - she's got her 2 bottom teeth in and her top gum is really swollen and red. She was very fussy today, always having something in her mouth - so that may be the cause of some of this. I don't want to have her CIO until I'm sure she's done with teething or we ruled everything out as you said. Thanks so much for all of your help.

Plowmanators said...


BW says to start your day within 30 minutes of a certain time. Since you want 7 AM, 6:30 is within 30 minutes of that. I would just get her up, feed her, and move on with your day. 30 minutes isn't difficult to make up throughout the day. You could let her sleep an extra 30 minutes for a nap, or an extra 15 for two, or get some extra time in naps and put her to bed a little early if needed. I would just be sure during this time you don't ever let her sleep past 7.

There is a chance it is a growth spurt and a chance she just needs 11 hours of sleep at night now. If she still has a third nap, consider dropping it. If not, I would probably wait until the time change in March when we move our clocks forward. Then I would change her schedule by 30 minutes rather than 60 and just plan for 11 hour nights rather than 11.5.

Plowmanators said...

Felicia, it does sound like he is ready to drop that feeding. I think I would do the slow-weaning approach just for your peace of mind.

Plowmanators said...


I would do what you are comfortable with. Some moms can't take the crying at night on top of the day, and night usually follows day--meaning once they learn to self-soothe in the day the night follows.

If you are sure he doesn't need to eat in the night and he is waking and you are willing/able, you can certainly do CIO at night. It kind of sounds like that is your best option since he isn't hungry (which I assume means he won't eat?) and the paci isn't helping.

Plowmanators said...

MRW, dropping the third nap will help if the third nap is the reason she is waking (which is possible).

If waking early coincided with moving to the four hour routine, then she might not be getting enough food. She could be having a growth spurt right now. You could go back to three hours or see if she will eat more at each feeding in the day.

You could also get her up at 6, feed her, put her back down, and then get her up at 7:30.

There is also a good chance she is waking because of noise your husband is making. See if he can be a bit quieter and consider putting something in her room to help drown out sound (noise machine, humidifier, etc.).

It also could be the teeth. Like bradysmom said and you agreed, rule everything else out before moving to CIO. See this post for a list of common reasons 5-8 month olds stop sleeping well. It sounds like you have a lot of possible reasons for this waking:

5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions :

Piper said...

Okay, I have not read through all the comments on here but plan to throughout the day. My baby is almost 8 months and the issue I am having I created :). We start out day at 8am (because I can't do any earlier). For the first 4 months she would sleep until 8 with an 11 dreamfeed. This was beautiful! Then we had 4 month sleep issues that took me forever to work out. She would do the dream feed and started getting up for an early morning feeding and then started getting up for good at 7. I am not huge on cry it out but will do it if needed--but this causes me to waiver sometimes if I am not ready. Anyway, so between the 4-6 month range we dropped the dreamfeed and the 4th nap(that happened around 4 months). In the last month she has dropped the 3rd nap but still does a little catnap sometimes if we are out. We also have moved to a 4 hour schedule during the day and she did this all on her own. Our day looks like this:
530am nurse (this is the problem and my eventual question) back to bed
8am nurse +solids
10-12 nap
12pm nurse +solids
230-4ish nap
4 nurse
530 solids (dinner)
8pm nurse then bed
Okay, so for a long time she has woken at 530-630am to nurse. She drinks a TON. When I am that full and pump I can get at least 6oz on a side and she drains both sides. She would go right back down and then get up at 8am and eat just fine. I created this because if I let her cry it out she goes off and on for CIO sessions until 7-730 when I break because I know she is hungry. To me it is worth 2o mins to feed at 530 for an extra hour of sleep for us both. But, now she does not nurse well at 8 (she does eat solids well).

I am looking to start cutting back on the amount she gets to see if I can get her to nurse well at 8. What do you think? Sorry I am always so long winded with these, but I just think you may need some background info.

Plowmanators said...

Yes, I would cut back on the feeding at 5:30 and see where that leads you. That is what I did and it worked out well.

Todd Kortus said...

My 11 month old goes to bed at about 7:30, wakes at between 2-4 am to eat, and then sleeps until 7:30 when she has breakfast. She naps well and we use babywise for most all of our day, but we were never (for various reasons) able to get her to sleep all the way through the night. I saw your comment that if a child can't make it through the night, you shouldn't move past a 3 hour schedule. I am (and have been for months) on a 4 hours schedule. Should I go back to 3, even at 11 months old?

Plowmanators said...

Todd Kortus,

I wouldn't go back to a three hour. The reason for doing three hour if they aren't STTN is that it would be an indicator that they aren't getting enough in the day to make it through the night. But by 11 months old, I don't think the reason for waking in the night would be a hunger issue. So being on a three hour schedule most likely wouldn't fix that.

Kristin C. said...

Hi, I have a question which I think I know the answer to, but want to confirm with your opinion. My 3 month old (14 weeks) has slept through the night (10pm-7:30am) about 7 times now...only once was it two nights in a row. If he doesn't sleep straight through he only gets up once between those times...usually 4:30ish - 6ish. He does not eat much for breakfast (7:30am) when he gets up once at night. I usually let him try to resettle himself before getting him to feed him and that works sometimes. I also only feed him from one breast when I do feed him in the early mornings, and he still doesn't eat much for breakfast. I usually can keep him on schedule though even if he doesn't eat much for breakfast. I feel that he is ready to start STTN consistently but have a hard time letting him cry for more than 20 min or so (the emotional side of me I guess). With all this information I gave you would you agree he is ready to give that middle of the night feeding up? And if you were me, would you be patient and continuing just feeding with the one side hoping he'll sleep through on his own soon? Or should I just do the CIO? I guess I am afraid that the weaning will not work and then it will be harder to do CIO down the road when he's older.

Kristin C. said...

Update...he is sleeping through the night on his own now...the weaning worked :) Just wanted to let you know so you didn't have to respond!

Plowmanators said...


I am glad it worked out :)

luvmygirls said...

I NEED HELP!! I hope this doesn't sound redundant, but I feel like I am having an issue I can't get answered in the other posts. this site! My DD is 3.5months. We have been doing BW since birth. We used BW with my first, now 2, and loved it. My little one isn't taking to it as well. About 3 weeks ago she slept through the night for 4 days. From 10-7:30 which is her wake time. She dreamfeeds at 10. After that, she started waking for feedings again. She is eating every 3 hours during the day and taking 3-6oz each feeding. I pump exclusively, so we see how much see eats. I have also had to supplement formula the last month or so because of surgery. She usually eats around 5oz each feeding until full. After her dreamfeed, she has been waking anywhere from 3:30am to 5:30am, every night. She takes a full feeding and then eats a full breakfast as well. I know she can go through the night, because she has a few times, but I don't know why she wont. And she is eating up to 7oz in the middle of the night, even though she is eating a ton during the day. She is 15 1/2 lbs. Also, after she eats in the middle of the night, she is wide awake and doesn't want to go back to sleep. We don't let her CIO because we don't want to wake the toddler. This is exhausting. She only naps 1-1.5 hours max for each nap, and sometimes only for 45min. She naps after every feeding, for the most part. Are we doing something wrong? She has also been very fussy lately. More than normal. Any suggestions? Thanks SO much for your time.

Brynn said...

I am at a complete loss of what to do with my 9 month old. He has been a disaster to try to get to sleep through the night and finally the last two months he has slept from 8-5 or 6 and then he goes back to sleep until 7:30 or 8. He is a big kid and is hungry a lot so I think his struggle has been his hunger at night. Once we started solids I noticed he started sleeping longer and longer at night. Now here is where I am stuck, how do I get him to sleep through the early morning feeding and sleep until my desired waketime? Some mornings he will sleep until 6:30 and eat and fall back asleep until our waketime at 8, but then he won't eat again at 8 so he is missing one whole feeding and doing fine. I'm afraid to let him cry it out because if he doesn't fall back to sleep then his schedule will be a mess the rest of the day. I don't know if I should just redo his schedule and change his wake time to an earlier time, or just not get him up until at least 7:30. Also I'm worried if I do just get him up earlier that he won't be getting as much sleep as he needs. I assume he needs the 12 hours of sleep if he is going back to sleep after I feed him at 6 am. I just want him to be able to go the whole night without waking up before he gets to old. I don't want it to become to much of a habit. I've also thought about just saying I won't get him out of bed until 6:30 and then once I have him sleeping to that point move it to 7 and then 7:30. Does that make sense? I have searched through a million posts to find an answer and found some good ideas but I'm still not sure exactly what would work! Oh also I have tried to not feed him as much in the early morning feeding but he freaks out if I stop him so weaning him off probably won't work. By the way, I think my husband knows you, he saw your picture on your profile, do you know a Nathan Eyre? Anyways I hope you have some hints for me.

jamie said...

my 6 1/2 week old is doing well extending her sleeping through the night. my last nursing is at 930pm and she sleeps until about 4am. her wake up time is 630am. i'm trying to figure out if i've dropped the wrong feeding first. should i have dropped the middle of the night feeding before dropping the 1230am? i was originally on an every 3 hour schedule starting at 630am. i realize she's still young for sleeping through the whole night but i want to make sure i'm dropping the correct feedings at the right time. i don't want to have to completely retrain! hopefully this makes sense....

Plowmanators said...


Have you tried adding 7 ounces to her bottles throughout the day? There are a couple of factors I see here. One is that she is at a growth spurt age and approaching the age of needing just more food overall. Another is that she is now getting breastmilk and formula. Many formula fed babies struggle around four months because they need more calories, but formula has only X number of calories per ounce. It doesn't change. Then they can't drink enough ounces to make up the calories they need (their tummies can't hold that much). So she might need more calories than she can get in the day.

Another thing, she might be waking out of habit and you are helping the habit along. I totally understand why you are doing it; that is why I never did CIO with Kaitlyn at night. But you can try the methods described in this post to get her to drop this feeding. Good luck!

Sarah Jane said...

Okay so My husband and I have been doing babywise since about 4 weeks. She slept through the night one time at about 10 weeks and then we started traveling it took us a few days to get her back on track, but she still is not fully sleeping through the night at 16 weeks. I have let her CIO several nights, with little success. I know there is a small % of babywise babies that need additional time to sleep through the night. What do I do to help her get through this phase? She is a fairly good with naps and I try to make sure she is getting good rest during the day. I am trying to be strong in the hopes that it will happen and it is frustrating because I know she CAN do it, since she has done it before, but letting her cry for and hour and half is not good for her or me! Please help!

Plowmanators said...


I think one answer is definitely to change the waketime. Brayden would never go later than 7 AM. You should change your schedule to something you can be successful at. Then, remember you can be within 30 minutes of your waketime, so 6:45-7:15 (or 6:30-7:00 or 7-7:30) would be a success.

You might want to check out the Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems to give you ideas. She has lots.

YES! I know Nate. We grew up by each other. He is my 3rd or 4th cousin, too :) I need to get your contact info!

Plowmanators said...

You know what else, Brynn, we must have met once. At a super-bowl party in 2006.

mamatree said...

Hi, I just found your blog last week and I am so thankful you have invested so much time and energy into helping parents.

Question for you: My son is 5 months old now. We finally decided to let him CIO after I found your blog. We were hesitant because he was born with a cleft lip and palate and he had other medical issues. However, he is doing really well during the day. But nights are still not good. I'm not sure if his naps are too short during the day or if it's something else. His schedule is: Eating 8, 11, 3, 6, 9, and dream feed at 12. He is awake after each feeding. I've been following your advice to watch for his cues and it has been so much better. But, he will still wake up between 12 and 8. Last night he woke up at 4. I didn't feed him. I let him CIO and then I went in and comforted him and put him back down. He cried until 5:30am. He has about 5-6.5 oz. of breastmilk each feeding. So, he's having enough, right? What am I doing wrong? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Help?

Plowmanators said...


12:30 AM is considered a night feeding, so I think it is fine to have dropped that one first.

Plowmanators said...


I would suggest you get the daytime down before starting CIO at night. Usually once the day is down pat, the night follows. I personally would continue with CIO in the day, and then feed him that one time he woke in the night. Once he gets better about self-soothing, the night should fix itself. I also think I would move the dreamfeed from 12 to 11 or 11:30.

Brynn said...

I have another question! I took your advice from earlier and changed his waketime to 7 am and it worked great. He has been doing awesome and sleeping until 7:15 or so and then after a week he all of a sudden started waking at 6 am. I let him stay in there in talk for a while but I cave after about a 1/2 hour and go in and feed him and he usually goes back to sleep until after 7. Should I just let him CIO (I guess he isn't really crying just talking) until 7 and then go in and get him or do I need to change his waketime again? I really don't want to adjust his schedule again and 6 just seems way to early! How can I get him to sleep that extra hour until his waketime. It seems like 2 or 3 nights of the week he will make it until 7 but the rest of the time he wakes at 6. I keep racking my brain to figure out what might work! Any ideas or advice would be great! I have noticed if he goes to bed later than 8 then it seems like he wakes up earlier in the morning, it could just be a fluke but maybe I should put him down a little earlier? Thanks so much. Oh Nate would love to get your contact info. His email is!

maggie said...

first of all, i love the blog. Unfortunately, i havent had much of a chance to get through all of the posts, but working on it. I have a few questions, i hope you can help me. i recently purchased on becoming babywise and read it in 2 days... been trying to put all of it together, but...
my daughter is 5 weeks, and so far so good. she is a good eater and a great napper. she is usually fussy between 7-10 and has her feeding at around 10-10:30 and then she's out for the count. but she wakes up every morning, like clockwork, at 4:30 am and takes 4+ oz. and then keeps me up fussing (i use this time to pump) until around 6:15-6:30 am. then, she's up by 8 am...doesn't want to each much, but stays awake until about 10:30 when she screams to be fed, eats and then goes back to sleep.
how in the world do i break this routine where she can sleep until 6:30-7:00 or more, and we can rest as well. i don't mind getting up at 7 am... but from 4-6 and then again at 7... i'm barely napping inbetween.
the book was a bit confusing to me (short attention span) - so maybe you can help me
i am breasfeeding and pumping, but the 4am feeding is formula
any input is greatly appreciated
thanks!!! keep up with the blog, it's great!

Cori said...

I have a 12 week old baby (born three weeks early and still under 10lbs). I know she can sometimes go 5-6 hours at night, because if I miss the df for various reason she will sleep from 7-12 or 1am. When I do the df she only sleeps 3-4 hours after that waking consistently at 1-2am(ish) and then again at 4-5:30am(ish) and up for good between 7:30 and 8:00am. I follow a three hour Eat, Wake, Sleep cycle throughout the day and it goes pretty well, despite the 45 minute intruder. When she wakes at night she truly seems hungry b/c she eats a full feeding and goes right back to sleep. Will she naturally extend or give up her nighttime feedings when she doesn't need them anymore, or do I need to help her extend them myself? I am really looking forward to sleeping more than 3 hours at a time!

Plowmanators said...

Brynn, I would just leave him until 7 if he is happy. Then remember your 30 minute window. You said he was going until 7:15, so you could have your window be 6:45-7:15 and can get him anywhere in that window.

Most babies will wake up earlier in the morning if bedtime is too late. So, you can try an earlier bedtime. If that doesn't work, I would just leave him. It could also be the sun :)

I emailed Nate. Hopefully I got the address right :)

Plowmanators said...


She needs a shorter waketime in teh morning. At most one hour, even by now. So if she is up at 8, she should be down somewhere around 9.

For the night waking, that sounds totally normal for a 5 week old to wake at 4:30 AM after eating around 10-10:30. It sounds good. So far as the fussing, as she gets better at self-soothing, that should go away quickly at night.

Plowmanators said...

Cori, it could go either way. Check for her waking out of habit. If it is at the same time each night, then it is likely habit and you can help her. You can also try to decrease the length of time nursing (or number or ounces) so she will slowly stop needing that food in the night and start taking it in the day.

I have also read that a baby cannot STTN until she is 11-12 pounds, so I think I would be patient until then.

Julie said...

My 4 week old bottle fed boy went for his well baby check up yesterday and we were told by the ped. that he is physically capable of dropping one of his middle of the night feedings based on his weight of 10lbs. 1oz. Per her advise, she thought we should drop the 4-5am feeding since he was not taking much at that feeding anyway. Is he too young to CIO at 4 weeks through this feeding? The doctor advised weaning him over several days, but #1: he is already down to 1 or 2 ounces at that feeding and #2: he would not take the more water/less formula cocktail she mentioned. Part of me wonders are we forcing him to do something that in time he will do on his own? I should also mention that he is on a 3 hour schedule during the day and usually take 3-4 oz. per feeding so he is getting anywhere from 18 to 24oz. during his 'predictable' day time feedings.

Plowmanators said...

Julie, I personally would just keep doing what you are doing and wait for him to drop it on his own. You could also try cluster feeding during the evening. See the blog label "cluster feeding" for more on that. That is what got McKenna to drop her 2 night feedings down to 1.

Keri said...

Thanks so much for you website. What an enormous help to many parents. I have a 8 week old son who is generally on a 7, 10, 1, 4 schedule. I have 2 questions:
1. The issue I have is that he doesn't fall asleep right away sometimes, even though I know he is very tired. I rock him to sleep. He then throws off his schedule, so I have been letting him sleep an extra 1/2 hour if he is still sleeping doing a combo 3, 3 1/2 hour schedule throughout the day. Is this ok to do to adjust the schedule depending on how long he naps? 3 1/2 hours seems to work best for feeding at times because he has reflux and tends to spit up more at 3 hour feeding times. When should he naturally move to a 3 1/2 hour consistent schedule?

2. His last nap of the day, supposed to be 5-7, is a terrible nap he ends up crying alot and sleeps maybe a 1/2 hour. We end up just getting him up and put him to bed 1/2 hour to an hour early if needed. Is this a good plan? Makes for a different bedtime (within a 1/2 hour) He won't sleep in the swing..

Thanks for your advice!

Laura said...

Hi! I have heard that formula-fed babies may sleep longer because it takes longer to digest the formula. Also, that mom's milk supply is often lowest at the late afternoon/early evening time. I feel like my milk is low from early evening until about 11ish. My son (5 weeks) is getting more fussy during the evening hours (witching hour?) - maybe due to low milk supply. Swing, sling, etc not so effective and most evening wake time is fussy/crying. I would also love for him to sleep for about 7 hrs at night (not sure if this is realistic at this point?).

Question: So what do you think about giving a bottle of formula as a dreamfeed, to try to get him to sleep longer (usually will sleep 3-4 hrs w/ BF as dreamfeed). I feel like the bottle will also allow me to ensure that he is getting enough (could also give him expressed BM, but trying to build up reserves for when I return to work). Any ideas on pros and cons of formula as dreamfeed? Thank you!

Plowmanators said...


1. Yes, it is okay to adjust schedule as needed. I don't know that many babies ever are on a straight 3.5 hour schedule. When (if) he does that, it will just be dependent on his ability.

2. That is a good plan. It is 100% normal for the last nap of the day to be 30-60 minutes, so it is nothing to worry about.

Plowmanators said...

Laura, I personally would advise against it if you want to continue breastfeeding. Supplementing with formula regularly is a common casue in loss of supply.

One author said it is fine to give a bottle of formula consistently because your body will make what it needs to make.

However, if you are feding around 7, then DF around 10 and he goes 7 hours, that puts you at 10 hours between feedings which will compromise your supply that early in the breastfeeding game. Babies should start sleeping 7 hours until 7 weeks at the earliest even if formula fed, anyway.

Reputable breastfeeding books and sites say to not supplement. Ultimately it is up to you :)

Shawna said...

My son's dreamfeed is at 10:30pm and he wakes about 4am every morning, but really doesn't seem that hungry for that feeding or his 7:30am feeding. When he wakes at 4am he isn't crying he just makes noises for about 30 min. then I go in and feed him. Should I just wait and see if he will go back to sleep on his own or should I continue to feed him. Also, after his 4:30pm feeding he isn't really wanting to nap is this normal? Should this be a catnap or a full nap? Also do these wake times look ok for an 8 week old? We are having problems with the 45min intruder at every nap.

Here is our schedule:

7:30 am 4 oz bottle (only tkaing 2.5 oz)

8:20am nap

10:30am 4oz bottle

11:30am nap

1:30pm 4 oz bottle

2:30pm nap

4:30pm 4 oz bottle

5:30 nap

6:45 bath

7:00 4 oz bottle

7:30 bed

10:30 dreamfeed

Plowmanators said...


I would not feed him in the night unless he is crying.

After 4:30 it will be a catnap.

The waketime lengths look good, but they are dependent on the individual baby.

8 weeks is 100% normal for short naps. It happens to most everyone. Just hang in there! Be sure it isn't a growth spurt.

veronica said...

My cousin recommend these blogs to me and i LOVE them. I started bw at about 2 wks..its a little confusing at times. I want to start my day at about 7-730 am. at about 5 wks old she went two nights only waking once at about 5 (after her 11am dreamfeed) and then the next day waking at 330 am.. At the time of her sleeping the straight 6 hr block of time we were putting her to bed around 930-10pm (which i thought was too late) so we adjusted her schedule to make her last feeding/bedtime 8pm. after those three days of sleeping 6hrs she reverted to waking anywhere from 130-200am then again anywhere from 430-530am, after the 5 am feed shes harder to put back the last two days ive been giving her a pacifier to push back the feeding to 6am and just starting my day. I would really like to get back to the 7am-730 range.

Naps also are hard sometimes, but i know thats due to overstimulation..and yes sometimes she only sleeps for about 30 to 45 min where she used to sleep 2 hours.

Julie said...

i need help...
i borrowed a friend's bw book and i've read some of it..and now i can't find it..

my beautiful baby boy is 4 months old. we have been implementing the feed/wake/sleep and it seems it be going great. i just have a few issues and i'm not sure what to do...

when putting baby to sleep for a nap or at bedtime we change his diaper, close the curtains, say bedtime bedtime, turn on the fan, say bedtime bedtime, turn on his ipod to classical music, say bedtime bedtime, put him in his swaddler in his crib, give him his pacifier and put his blankey by his cheek and say bedtime...
it is always the same routine for about 2 weeks now... he falls asleep beautifully...

he goes to bed at 7pm and then i wake him up at around 10-10:30 before i go to bed to nurse him again so that hopefully he will sleep through the night longer... he wakes again about 2am and i nurse him and put him back in his swaddler in his crib and his pacifier... here comes the issue... in about 45min to an hour he is awake again- so i put his pacifier back in... and then in another hour same thing.. so at 2, 3, 4 and 5 i do this... I am SO tired! what do i do?
i think that i may have this problem because at nap times i go in and put in the pacifier back in if he wakes (which he does after about 45 min) until he sleeps for over an hour
should i still swaddle him or should i leave his hands out, but then he knocks out the pacifier, and is startling himself with loose hands, should i continue putting the pacifier in at naptimes when he wakes or 4 or 5 times in the early morning? how do i stop this cycle?

Mallory said...

Hi! I just discovered your blog today and have been reading it while I'm supposed to be working! :) I have a 12-week old baby that had been sleeping through the night, but the last few weeks has decided to wake at 2, 4, 4:30, 5, and 6 pretty consistently. She will go back to sleep pretty quickly with the pacifier back in her mouth, but it is so frustrating. From reading your previous posts, I think the pacifier is part of the problem. I also think she may be hungry, so I'm going to try the dreamfeed approach and see if that helps her. Sorry this is so long! She has been in a 3-hour routine for about 6 weeks and she'll immediately go to sleep after our bedtime routine without the pacifier. My problem is I don't know when to set her official waketime in the morning. I feed her a bottle at 6 and then put her back to bed while I exercise and get ready for work. I usually scoop her out of bed right before I have to leave at 8 if she's still sleeping and then feed her at 9 when she wakes up at work. When would you recommend that her actual waketime be? Is it when I get to work and she wakes up, or should I wake her up before I go to work so she has a consistent wake time like at 730? Any advice is appreciated!

Plowmanators said...


McKenna did the same thing, sleeping later, then going back to earlier, then later, then earlier...for some babies that is totally normal. Over time, the later is more normal :) Hang in there!

Plowmanators said...

Julie, I don't have experience with the pacifier, but I get lots of questions that are basically the same as yours. For some babies, the pacifier becomes a major prop.

I wouldn't stop swaddling until he no longer startles himself.

As for the pacifer, moms who have success with it seem to either never reinsert it or reinsert it only once.

You can keep reinserting it. Some day, he will be able to find it and put it back in himself. This usually happens sometime between 6-8 months old. See the blog label "pacifier" for more.

Plowmanators said...

Mallory, as for the pacifier, see my comment to Julie above :)

As for waketime, for most babies 7-7:30 seems to be the most natural of a waketime for them.

I would think about the weekends. Do you want weekends to start at 6 AM or 7:30 AM? I would aim for whichever you prefer. Good luck!

Mark, Kara, and Emma Grace Copeland said...

My little one has her last night feeding at 8:30 and then goes to bed. She wakes up every night between 4am and 5am and eats 4-5 ounces. She goes back to sleep and wakes up 4 hours later to eat but only eats about 2-3 ounces then! She is 3 months old. Do you recommend I stop the 4-5am feeding? She isn't good at CIO...she is stubborn! But I'm willing to feed her less at that feeding to gradually transition her if that's what would be best! Thanks for your advice!

Hannah said...

I just found your blog today and I think it will be very helpful, but it is also a little overwhelming...but I am desperate. My older sisters both have done and do babywise, but neither of them have bottle fed from the very beginning like I have. Not by choice, although I am very grateful for the bottle since my son has a high palate, and was unable to nurse. But here are my struggles. My son did the typical sleeping through the night at 6 weeks. He would go to bed at 7-7:30 and wake up at 7:00. At 4 months he started waking up at 4:40 or 5:00, so I thought that he might be hungry, even though we were still doing the 10:00 pm feeding. So we started introducing him to some rice cereal (barely any at all), but that has not helped. We have tried feeding him, letting him just cry, getting him up but making him wait till 6:30 or 7 to eat, but because he wakes up so early, he is ready for his morning nap really soon, and like today...woke up at 5:00 waited till 7:00 to feed, nap at 8:00, dirty diaper woke him up at 8:45, fed at 10:00, ready for another nap at 10:15. I guess I am just trying to figure out what to do...should I go to a 4 hour feeding and if I do, what will that make his naps/wake time look like as far as length, or should I take away the late night feeding, or start more solids (he is now 5 months). Any suggestions would help. Thanks. (This is my first child)

momtobobby said...

Hey Valerie! I am back with a new baby--Brooke Eva born Oct. 1st. She is 7 weeks old and has been doing great. She has been very easy to schedule, but here is my dilemma: She goes down after her 7pm feeding, we do the dreamfeed at 10:30/11pm and then she sleeps until 5:30 or 6am. She has slept until 7am a couple of times, but mostly she wakes at 5:30 or 6. So I have been following your advice to put her right back down after the early morning feeding and then I get her around 8am and feed her and treat that as our start to the day. The problem now is that I put her right back down after the early morning feeding, but she stays awake for about an hour and 15 minutes (which is her normal amount of day waketime). So clearly she is naturally starting her day after that early morning feeding on her own. Should I just let this go and wait for her to naturally stretch out her night or should I still be waking her to feed her at 8am even though she may have just fallen asleep?

Thanks! You are such a blessing!

Plowmanators said...

Mark, Kara, and Emma Grace,

That is a little young possibly for doing that long in the night. I might try adding in a dreamfeed, then you could cut out the night feeding. But you might not want to introduce something you would soon drop. I might try cutting back one ounce at a time and see how she does. She might need you to add that ounce in during the day.

Plowmanators said...

Hannah, four months is a difficult age. See the blog labels "4 month sleep problems" and "wonder weeks"

It might just be a four month issue.

Some moms do find that going to a four hour schedule fixes things, so you can always try it and see what happens! If it doesn't work out, you can go back.

Plowmanators said...

MomtoBobby, congrats!

I think I would still start at 8 AM. It is very important to start the day at the same time (within thirty minutes) each day. Hopefully she will stretch out soon!

Jennifer said...

Valerie, you say in a post above "You are describing something that is very typical for a baby first learning to STTN. They make it to say 6, then randomly wake up at 4 then 5 then back to 6 then 3! All over the place". That would definitely be my child. What i didnt see in the comments is what to do in that situation. If the baby has shown that they can go 10-6, should they be fed prior to that on another night when they wake up? I remember reading in the book not to, but is that only after they have done it conistently for a certain amount of nights?

Plowmanators said...

Jennifer, I would feed baby when she wakes unless you are positive she is not hungry. One or even a couple of nights doesn't mean baby "can do it." Baby needs to do it consistently. Only you will be able to judge for sure if your baby needs to eat or not.

marisa said...

Hi there. Thank you so much for this blog. I'm a first time mom with so many questions and this is a great resource. My daughter is almost 12 weeks old and sleeps between 7-8.5 hours consistently, she never wakes in the middle of the night. I feed her at 7, 10, 1, 4:30, 7:30, df at 10:30...she dosen't always nap well (one to two solid naps a day) so I extend the mid morning nap to make up for the sleep she misses from the earlier and later naps. She'll sleep till 7am some days and others wake up at 6-6:45 screaming. This morning she woke a little before six whaling, I tried to feed her a small amount and put her back down. She continued to cry until 7 when I tried to feed her again, which she didn't eat. We stayed up at little longer and I put her down at 7:30ish and let her sleep till 10am so to return to our schedule (she woke up at 8:30, but got her back to sleep in the swing). What would you advise to do in these situations? Do you think that I should start pushing her df to 10:15? Thanks so much!

the lewisi female said...

I've tried to read all the previous comments to find my answers but every one seems slightly different or I couldn't find the answer...
My little girl is 3.5months old and has been sleeping through the night like a champ since 5wks or so but only started taking naps in the last month or so...
She previously woke up around 6 or 7am and I just let her dictate that time and started our day then. We dropped the late night feeding about two months ago and she kept the same wake up time... great! Then she started to get earlier and earlier so I reinstated the dreamfeed... this worked for a week and then it was back to 4 or 5 am with or without the dream feed... so now she has been waking at 5am (almost on the dot) for two weeks
Our days have looked like this
5am wake (eats like crazy), short awake time
550 nap
830/9 eat, play
10 nap
1230 eat, play
2 nap
330/4 eat, play
5 nap (usually a short nap if any)
630/7 eat, straight to bed
(was doing 930/10 dream feed but dropped it when it didn't help her sleep longer)
I would like for her initial wake time to be 7am.. how do I accomplish this? I've tried cio and pacifiers but she can't make it from 5 until 7 it seems b/c she seems very hungry.
Please help!

Plowmanators said...


Since the DF has been working well so far at that time, I wouldn't move it until she is more consistently making it to 7.

She is still quite young, and it sounds like she is really doing great.

With that situation, I probably would have seen if she would go to sleep with help. If not, I would have just given her as much food as she wanted at the time and then woke her at 7:30, then again at 10:15, then at 1:00. Or something similar. since your 1 and 4:30 feedings are already 3.5 hours apart, you could just do 7:30, 10:30, 1:30, 4:30.

If you feel like the DF needs to change times, do it. But if not, then don't mess with something that has been working :)

Plowmanators said...

Lewisi Female,

Since she is hungry, I would feed her.

But I wouldn't have waketime. I would feed her, put her down. Wake her back up at 7:30 to start your day since you want your day to start around 7.

Also, hang in there. The time change is in less than a month and 5 AM will be the new 6 AM--which isn't quite so bad :)

marisa said...

Hi there. Thank you so much for your earlier response. Things have changed again, not for the better, with my little one (she is now almost 15 weeks). She is now only sleeping an hour of her naptime (almost to the minute) and than I let her cry it out. She can get herself back to sleep for maybe 1 or 2 naps out of 4 per day (her best sleep is after the 7:30 feeding). This has been happening for 2 weeks. We are still on the 7,10, 1, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30 schedule. She was sttn from her df at 10:30pm to our start of the day at 7:15am but for the last week she has been waking at random times of the night. She seems hungry at night but than isn't very interested in her morning feeding. I thought the night waking was because she had a dirty diaper but it's still happening regardless of a soiled diaper. I don't want this night waking to become a pattern. Should I try dropping the df, since she doesn't seem very interested in it? Should I let her cio? Do you think her daytime sleep transition problem is effecting her nighttime sleep? Thank you soooo much!

Plowmanators said...


See the posts: nighttime sleep issues revised and upadated


naps: troubleshooting revised and updated

those should help you figure out the reason for the waking and tell you what to do about it.

Monica and Adam said...

Hello! I first want to say that I appreciate your blog tremendously, and I have sent several of my friends to your blog to help them with their baby wise questions.

We are currently stumped, however. Our LO is almost 11 weeks old and he's a big boy 15.5 pounds. He has been sleeping 7-8 stretches at night since about 6 weeks. Then at about 9 weeks he started sleeping 10 hour stretches. He actually slept 10 hours for 7 days in a row. Then this past week, everything changed. He started waking at 2:30, 4:30, all random times at night.

We have been CIO for naps and he has gotten to where he will only cry for 5-10 minutes then sleep for his nap. So when he started waking at night, we waited and let him cry. But he NEVER went to sleep. We waited 30 minutes one night, and he still never feel asleep, and that's longer than he ever cries for naps. I ended up just feeding him, and he ate pretty good.

The first time this happened I thought it may be a growth spurt so I tried adding an extra feeding during the day, but he clearly didn't want or need the extra feeding.

Also, I haven't noticed any pattern. For example, last weekend he kept waking up at the 5 o'clock hour. Then the next few nights he slept over 10 hours again. Then two night ago he woke at 2:30, and last night at 4:30.

We are at a loss at to what to do! Let him cry at night for over 30 minutes? Just feed him?- even though he's gone at least 7-8 hours for weeks.

He is being treated for thrush, but he was also treated for thrush at 7 weeks, and slept fine during that time. So we don't know what to do. Any suggestions?

Plowmanators said...

Monica, I suggest you see the blog label "wonder weeks" That might give you some insight.

I would probably go in to him and help him settle back down and go to sleep without feeding to see if he will sleep well after that. If not, he probably really is hungry. If so, then something else is causing the waking (which could be the wonder week).

Andy & Rachel said...

Thanks so much for your blog! It really is so helpful to read because I have SO many questions!
I am a first time mom of a 12 week old boy. I am pumping and giving him breast milk exclusively (I had problems nursing) and he's eating about 5-5/12 oz each feeding. The first 8-9 weeks we tried really hard to keep him on a 2 1/2-3 hr eat-wake-sleep cycle and were doing the dream feed and he would wake up at all different times during the night (2-3-4-5) you name it! There have been 2 or 3 random nights where he has slept about 7+ hours (11-6:40 or so)
Over the past couple of weeks he's naturally gotten on a 3 hour schedule (eating 6 times a day with the dream feed) but still waking during the night (so 7 feedings total). He was starting to stretch his sleep to close to 6 hours but lately he's been waking up only after 3 1/2-4 hours. Then every now and then he'll sleep close to 6 again. I just can't figure this boy out! I tried to soothe him the other night and he woke up an hour later again so I ended up just feeding him.
I know this is a lot of details but I just can't tell if I should try CIO or if he's truly hungry. I feel like he's capable of sleeping longer since he's done it before, but I don't want to hold him out if he's truly hungry.
The pediatrician keeps telling me it's a growth spurt but I just don't see how he can have a growth spurt every week or so!
He's taking anywhere from 35-40 oz a day! I am pumping non stop! HELP! THANKS for any advice!

Andy & Rachel said...

Just a follow up on my earlier post. I've been trying to do some "investigating" on my own and tried to soothe my son a few times in the night before feeding him.
It worked to help him sleep longer during the night (the longest it took was about 10-15 min of crying) but he was back up around 5:30. The past 2 nights he's been up between 5-6 AM. I've fed him about 3-3 1/2 oz. (usually he eats 5-5 1/2) and put him back to bed until 7:30 (desired wakeup time).
The last 2 mornings I try to give him a full feeding and he isn't eating well (meaning he seems done when he's about half way through his bottle). Is this a sign that I should try to let him CIO or just keep reducing the amount I give him in the 5-6AM hours?
Also-another question: My son tends to constantly wake up from naps about 30-40 min in crying. Half the time if I go in to soothe him he'll go back to sleep. I've tried letting him cry for 10 min first but it seems to just get him going worse. Is this hurting his ability to "self soothe"?
Sorry again for all of the details!! I appreciate your help!

Plowmanators said...

Rachel, I would continue reducing the amount he is getting around 5ish. It sounds like he is hungry at 5 or 6, but doesn't need that food since he won't eat well for the first feeding. So if you can slowly work it so he gets used to eating at 7/7:30 instead, that will be good.

As for the napping, at that age, I think what you are doing is fine. But one thing to keep in mind is to watch for growth spurts. Also, if he starts to not go down well initially, rethink you mid-nap strategies.

Andy & Rachel said...

Thanks! Last week I tried reducing the amount he got at 5/6 AM and it seemed to work. Actually 4 out of the last 6 nights he's slept until around 7! And I haven't had to feed him either, I've just given him his paci and he goes right back to sleep with a couple minutes.
As for the naps... almost all the time he goes down for a nap with no crying at all (maybe a whimper) but it's almost getting worse with him waking up early. Right around 40-50 minutes now he wakes up crying. I've been soothing him back to sleep and it's worked to get him to finish his nap, but I just don't want to have to do that for every nap! I've tried working on the awake time, changing his diaper before a nap, checking the temp, and he has a noise machine so I know it's not noises.
Is there a common age where they get over the 45 minute intruder thing? (He's 3 months tomorrow!) I've thought about doing CIO but I don't want not getting enough sleep during the day to interfere with his night sleep.
For the most part the hardest naps are earlier in the day and the evening nap he sleeps the best. Thank you for your help!
By the way-love your post on parenting being a true!

Plowmanators said...

Early waking is usually due to one of a few things:

1-growth spurt
2-was up too long
3-wonder week

3 months is a common age for growth spurts. I would try feeding him when he wakes and see if he eats a full meal. If so, you know it is a growth spurt.

If that doesn't work, then it might be a wonder week (see the wonder week blog label).

I would recommend you also the the "naps: troubleshooting revised and updated" post.

Alicia said...

Thank you so much firstly for your blog, its a great point of reference for me, thank you for taking the time to respond to all these posts.

I have a 5 1/2 month old baby boy, who is awesome, he is very happy and is so great. He is also a big boy - 18.9 lbs and 27 inches long.

As a quick background, he moved himself to a 4 hour schedule, is on solids for about 2 weeks now so we are slowly introducing different vegs, etc. He has never STTN for 10 hours, he has done 8 hour stretches but never 10 - 12 hours.

His schedule is:
7:15 - 8:15 eat/play (breast + cereal)
8:15 - 11 am - sleep
11 am - 12:30 pm - eat/play (breast + cereal + vegs)
12:30 - 2:30 - sleep
3:00 - 4:45 - eat/play (breast + cereal)
4:45 - 5:45 - sleep
5:45 - 7:00 - play
7:00 - 8:30 - eat/play (breast only)
8:30 - bedtime

He will then sleep sometimes till 11 pm, sometimes till 2 am, sometimes 4 am - it is never a consistent time. I feed him at that time as he is hungry, I've tried letting him cry it out or giving him a pacifier to distract him but he just continues to cry. I usually only feed him one side during the middle of the night and he goes right back to bed.

He is a very happy baby but I'm wondering if he is getting too much sleep during the day that is holding him back from sleeping through the night.

Any input would be great.

Michelle said...

I am currently a mother of twin boys that are about 6 weeks old (adusted age is 1 week). My question for anyone that can help me is:

How can I use the cry it out method with twins? When one cries it isn't that the other one is awakened but what kind of sleep is that for the other boy? I can't separate them because they both don't sleep and do nothing but cry when they are away from one please. Also, can someone please give me a quick explanation as to the cio method? How long can or do you let them cry?


red said...

Thank you so much for blogging about this! I have a 4 month old (she will be 5 months on October 3) that I am exclusively breasfeeding. Right now, she wakes up at about 4:30am to eat; she eats for at least 30 mintues, so I'm assuming she's getting 4-6 ozs at that time. My mother watches her during the day, & she eats again at 8am, but only 2 ozs, then again at 11am (4 ozs), 2pm (4 ozs), 5pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm (not sure exactly how much because I feed her). She usually falls asleep after eating at 7:30pm, then I feed her at 8:30pm (she usually doesn't wake up much for this feeding). She will wake up a couple of times during the night, but only because her pacifier has fallen out of her mouth & she wants it back in. My question is: what should I change? Should I get rid of the 8:30pm feeding first, or should I try to progressively stop the 4:30am feeding?

Plowmanators said...


I am on the fence. On the one hand, my girls slept more than that in the day and also slept 12 hours at night. On the other, some people say you need to shorten daytime sleep to get more nighttime sleep.

The question is, is he waking because he isn't tired or because he wants food. From your description, he wants food. If that is the case, shortening daytime sleep wouldn't help. Giving more food would.

Plowmanators said...

Michelle, for more on CIO, see the CIO Bootcamp: Revised and Updated post.

As for CIO with twins, I don't have experience with that, though friends with twins have reported that the other twin learns to sleep through it. This would change at some age, though.

Another friend with twins says that with twins, if you have one bad sleeper, you have two bad sleepers because one will wake the other.

Plowmanators said...

Red, I would go for stopping the 4:30 AM feeding.

Shawmum said...

First of all I just want to thank you for all your work in keeping up with the posts its been a GREAT reference and is very helpful. Well I feel like I have read every post possible in every area and I cant find a definite answer to our problem. My daughter is 20 weeks old and hasnt slept through the night since she was about 12 weeks when she hit her growth spurt. At first I didnt recognize this was a growth spurt so she began waking in the night around 3am when her DF was about 10 15...(she use to sleep as late as 7 somedays but Id say an average of 630). For a while I let her CIO for a half hour then would feed her by 4 ish.. then we worked this down to her waking at 4 and she would CIO till 430. I know her growth spurt ended a while ago so we have been letting her CIO longer since then incase she wakes out of habit. Anyways, long story short the last two weeks we have been letting her CIO from about 4 till 5-530 then feeding her..She is hungry but not eager. Last night I tried something different, I picked her up at 4 and held her and rocked her for 10 minutes and she didnt cry much. The point was just to calm her down. When I put her back in bed she started crying instantly. I let her cry till 4:55 then fed her. By this point she was very hungry but I probably could have pulled her off after 5 minutes. She went back to sleep and woke at her 7:30 waketime. As you can tell we have been dealing with this for a long time and were really hoping to find an end to this soon. We put her on a 3.5 hr schedule anways just to see if it made any difference (kinda felt like we didnt have much to loose) and it didnt seem to make much of a difference to her nights but shes WAY more content during the day. her schedule goes 7:30 nurse, 8:55-nap, 11:00-nurse, 12:35-nap, 2:30-nurse, 4:00-nap, 6:00 nurse, 7:30 bed then a DF at 9:30.. where she makes it till somewhere between 330 and 4 am. I thought the 3.5 hr schedule might be too long of a stretch since she doesnt STTN but she MIGHT wake up 15-20 mins early but just wants to play. When I feed her she is hungry but NOT eager. Also when I put her down for naps now she doesnt fuss at all where as before on a 3 hr she would cry for 20 minutes before going down... So my main question is, what do I do about this early mornings? Im getting so impatient and feeling like im not getting anywhere with it. Thanks so much and sorry for the long post I just thought it would be good for you to get the whole story. Thanks again!

Plowmanators said...


When she eats at 7:30 AM, is she hungry? If so, there is nothing you can do but wait until she is no longer hungry at that time. If she is hungry then after eating in the night, then she needed the night feeding. An option is to feed more or more often in the day, so you could try seeing if she would nurse longer to stimulate more milk. OR you could pump after she was done eating. But I wouldn't do more often since she is happier on the 3.5 hour schedule.

Also, 20 weeks is a huge wonder week (see wonder weeks blog label), so there is a chance she will start sleeping through the night once that leap is over.

Shawmum said...

Thanks for your reply! She seems to go through fazes, at first yes she was hungry for that 7:30 feed then when we introduced solids she wasnt as hungry.She is now waking between 5 15 and 6 am hungry. When she wakes to eat at 6 she isnt that hungry but of course she will eat. She is a smaller baby too, im not sure if that could have anything to do with her not STTN? I guess I just find it weird that when she was 10-12 weeks sleeping almost 9 hours straight and now she can hardly do 7. Is it normal for them to bounce back and forth? or is it something Im doing/or not doing... what do you think about cluster feeding near the end of the night for a baby of her age?

Plowmanators said...

My two girls both did the back and forth thing with STTN. They would some nights, wouldn't others.

It can be normal if they wake in the night when having a growth spurt. The trick would be to get that food in the day rather than her needing it at night--but that is only possible if she is capable of having that much in her tummy at a meal.

Shawmum said...

Just letting you know our progress, shes been sleeping pretty good through the night for the last week.. with the odd exception of the 7 am feeding. SO for about a week shes been sleeping till 730! Yay!! She did wake at 530 this morning but wasnt really hungry till about 7.. Shes also been sick the last couple days and has had a little fever with a runny nose.. and also had a change of environment aswell. So hopefully its just the cold that woke her up. But what I did was I put her on a four hour schedule and cut her third nap short and it seems to have worked! Lets hope she keeps it up, Thanks for all your help!

Plowmanators said...

You are welcome! Thanks for the update! Those are always helpful!

Shawmum said...

Hi again,
so on and off for the last week or so shes been waking at about the 6 am hour..sometimes sooner sometimes later. She usually has a dirty diaper which by the way has been a darkish green colour :S , so we change her and put her back down but then shes upset and wont usually fall back asleep. The doctor said shes teething as well...but we've given her baby tylenol but it doesnt seem to make a difference. Its starting to be a re-occurring thing now so im getting a bit worried its starting to become a habit. we also havent dropped her third nap (although this is very short, usually only 45 minutes from 5:15 to 6:00... then bed at 730-745 depending on how slow she is at dinner time. We also havent started dropping the dreamfeed yet. Ive been watching for "signs" thats shes ready but there hasnt been anything consistent. A couple times a week it takes a while to get a full feeding since shes tired and not really into it.. and most of the time she passes right out after her dreamfeed... and then about 2 days a week shes wide awake during it.. Should I start to drop the nap or df first? I just want to do one at a time but Im not sure which one she go first. Im kinda thinking the nap needs to go... What do you think is causing these early wakings? Just a little note, her schedule has been a little wonky the last week. I was sick and napping alot so I would accidently sleep 15 mins past her feeding, and with visiting family she hasnt had the best naps. Looking forward to your reply :) thanks

ashgrant said...

I have a question about waketime after the last nap.. My almost 4 month old stays awake about 1.5 after all her naps during the day.. should she stay awake 1.5 after that last nap... and that be bedtime?? or should I encourage her to stay up longer?

Plowmanators said...

Shawmum, I would drop the DF first. It might be disrupting her sleep and be the reason for the early waking. Once that has been dropped for 1-2 weeks, drop the nap. Good luck!

Plowmanators said...

Ashgrant, it depends on your baby's ability and the time it is when it has been 1.5 hours.

Most babies go to bed for the night between 7-8 PM, so if it is between 7-8 PM at 1.5 hours, I would say go to bedtime. If it is 6 PM, I would do a short nap if she needed it, but some might be able to stay awake until 7. You will have to judge what she can do.

Shawmum said...

Thanks for your advice! We went ahead and got rid of the dreamfeed. We pushed it back to 945 ..then we had a very rough evening where she was fussy for about an hour and a half after i thought i didnt want to make her sleep worse by feeding her so i went ahead and just dropped it.. and she slept! and were still doing good! We had a few early wakings at 630 or so but i think now where back to 730. Thanks for your help. On the side note of her 3rd nap.. we havent completely dropped it yet. Were having issues shes only been naping under 3 hours on and off. so about an hour and 20 minutes and the afternoon one always varies.. how long should each nap be at 8.5 months? Yesterday her morning nap was short maybe an hour or so and in the afternoon she slept 2 hours 15 minutes! I tried doing it again today (but went 10 minutes over) and no luck! what should i doo??

Stephen & Christina May Andrews said...


I have been using babywise since my son was born and he is almost 8 weeks old. He eats every 3 hours with his last feeding at 8pm and has a dream feed at 11pm. He slept for 7 hours for a few nights. For the last 4 nights he has slept for 5 hours. The first night I tried to use a pacifier, but it kept falling out and I gave up on that. The next 2 nights he cried it out until he feed at 7:30am. This morning he cried for 30 minutes slept for 30 and then cried. Does he need an early morning feed? Or should I continue to let him CIO? I am not sure what my next step should be. Thanks!

Plowmanators said...


At 8 months, she should have two 2 hour naps and possibly one nap anywhere from 30 min to 2 hours. She can take up to a 2.5 hour nap also.

Plowmanators said...

Christina, he might still need the feeding. If he is eating in the night and then still eating well for his first feeding of the day, then he still needs that night feeding.

My kids fluctuate like that, too--sleeping later some nights and waking earlier others.

priscilla said...

Thanks for your reply. She definitely NEVER takes a 2 hour nap anymore. Im not sure what to do.
heres our schedule:
730-wake feed
11-she wakes up but I keep her down till at least 11:15.
11:30-wake feed
1:45- nap (we did try 2.. but it didnt always make a difference0
then shes awake by 245 usually crying or talking in her crib. I really want this nap to eventually go from 2-4pm but Im thinking this isnt realistic with her?
3:45-wake feed
730-eat bed.
Note: Since that last nap doesnt go over well.. shes usually really cranky by 6/630 ish but wont be ready to go to sleep at 7.

Plowmanators said...

It looks like your waketime is probably too long. Try putting her down at 9:30 for her first nap. See how that goes and how her nap turns out--try for about a week. She might even need as short as 1.5 hours.

Her second waketime would likely be 2-2.5 hours from the time she wakes up until the next nap. Good luck!

Plowmanators said...

Stephen & Christina May Andrews,

It might have been a growth spurt, in which case he would either need to eat in the night or eat more often in the day. It could also be normal regression. my kids all had long nights, shorter nights, long nights, shorter nights ,etc. for a while. It wasn't the "all of a sudden" sleeping through the night like some books describe.

The Martin Family said...

Hi Valerie,
Does this post apply to babies that still have another feeding in the night? My baby girl will be 7 weeks tomorrow and she is on a 3 hr schedule. Sometimes she might only go 2 1/2 but not that often. She's formula fed and I offer her 5 oz. at each feeding. She usually wakes up around 2:00 to eat and then again around 5:00. My pediatrician recommended I try to drop that second feeding (or stretch it out), but I was wondering your opinion. Two nights ago I let her CIO, she went back to sleep after about a half hour, and I fed her around 6:00 (I think she woke at 4:30 that night). Last night (or this morning, I should say) she woke around 5:15 and I decided to feed her. Then I woke her at 7:30 (I want this to be the 1st feeding) and she definitely wasn't very hungry - ate about 2 oz. What do you think? Thank you!

Whitknit said...

My 6 month old daughter was on a 7 to 7 routine, but started waking much earlier about a month ago. I tried to feed her a little then put her back down and that just seemed to not do much. She has moved her times up an hour and is going from 6 to 6 and eats every 4 hrs. I have started solids. Help!! :)

Plowmanators said...

Martin Family,

My kids all dropped that first night feeding before that second one. I don't know if it matters in the long run which you do first, but I know I personally would rather get a longer chunk of sleep at night, which is why dropping the more 2 AM feeding first would be nice.

Plowmanators said...


See the "time change" posts for how to switch that.

Kara Shaffer said...

My baby boy is 10 months old, and I am still waiting for him to sleep throught the night! He goes to bed at 8 and wakes up at around 10- 10:30 to eat. Then he usually sleeps till 4 or 5 and wants to eat again. He wakes up at 7:30 for the day. Are these feedings just habit? He is not hungry when he wakes up either. I know you said that they don't need it, but I am wondering if you feel the same way for a 10 month old. If you think I should drop these feedings, which should I do first? Thank you! :)

The Houks said...

I have a 22 week old little boy (5 months). He has been STTN since 11 weeks. He stretched to 9-10 hours by 4 months. He naps well. Here is his current schedule:
8 am wake, nurse (BF), 2 Tablespoons cereal
9:10 nap
11:15-11:30 wake, nurse, 2 Tablespoons cereal
12:30-12:45 nap
2:30-2:45 wake, nurse
3:45-4 nap
5-5:30 wake, nurse, 2 Tablespoons cereal
7:15 nurse and straight to bed (in bed by 7:30)

He wakes between 5 and 6:30 every morning. He appears to be very hungry. I have tried to cut back the amount of time he nurses. Currently I am down to 3-4 minutes on one side. He goes straight back to sleep and I wake him at 8am. No matter whether he eats at 5 or 6:30 he won't eat well for his breakfast at 8 am (only nurses one side but will eat the cereal). I have been hesitant to do CIO because it appears that he is hungry at the early waking (rooting, grabbing my shirt and eating very quickly). He has pretty severe acid reflux and is on zantac. He has never been able to eat a lot at one setting as he spits up a lot. Should I just give him some more time?

Vivers said...

I have used babywise with all 3 of my kids but I am having an issue with my littlest one. He will be 6 months old on the 24th. He is the happiest baby and goes to sleep very easily. The problem is that he wakes up btwn 4-5 almost everyday. If we go in and swaddle him he goes back to sleep until 6:30 or 7. We have tried different blankets but he still gets up. I am nursing so I do not know how much mild he gets except when I am at work. About 3 weeks go, I switched to an every 4 hour feeding schedule and sometimes we have to wake him up to feed him. When he takes a bottle it is 7 oz and I assume he gets a similar amount from me. He eats 5 times a day with his last feeding being btwn 9:15 and 10. I would appreciate any help. We are starting to get very tired ofter not sleeping through the night for 6 months. Thanks.

The Houks said...

Just some more thoughts concerning my 22-23 week old little boy. We are still on a mostly 3 hour schedule because he doesn't sleep much longer than that. When he wakes during the day it is usually after 1.5 - 2 hours (almost always closer to 2 hours). He doesn't seem interested in eating at that time so he doesn't eat well. He is only eating on one side and then just taking a few sips from the other side where he had been eating well on both sides. If I get him and wait 15-20 minutes to feed him, he eats much better. Since he does't appear to be waking out of hunger in the day, do you think he needs to go longer between feeds? Is it possible he needs a longer waketime so that he goes longer between feeds? An emergency came up yesterday and I wasn't able to feed him until the 4 hour mark (he had been awake for 45 minutes). He slept better that night, making it until 6:30am. I hate to extend the daytime schedule though when he is still waking in the early morning. He is sleeping 10-11 hours at night though so it is possible he is just a 10-11 hour sleeper. I don't want his bed time to be later as he is definitely ready for sleep by 7:30. We had to force him to drop his 4th nap and he would still take it easily if we laid him down. Just thought more information might be helpful. Thank you so much for thinking through this with me.

Erin said...

My daughter is 11.5 weeks and generally goes to bed at 7:30 (though I'm working on pushing that to 8 or 8:30). I give her a dream feed around 10, and she typically will sleep till 5 or 5:30 (without the DF she's up at 3), at which point I feed her, but then she's up again at 6:30 and is pretty awake -- not seeming to want to eat, just awake and not really content to entertain herself in her crib (she gets bored very easily, this one, and boredom = fussing that quickly escalates to wailing). I can often get her to go back to sleep till 8 or so (8 is my target wake time, I'm NOT a morning person) but usually it takes some coercing.

If I skip the DF and she wakes to eat at 3, she still wakes at 5:30 and wants to eat (which I think is more habit than hunger) and then still wakes between 6:30 and 7. I think I'll probably end up having to move my target wake time to 7:30 to compromise, but do you have any advice for getting her to stop waking at 6:30? By the time I manage to fall back asleep after her 5:30 feeding she's awake again, so I end up being pretty much up for the day at 5:30, which doesn't work for me on a daily basis. Ideally we'll eventually get rid of that 5:30 feeding but I'd still like her to sleep past 6:30.

Plowmanators said...


Start by dropping the 4-5 AM feeding. Since he isn't hungry in the morning, that means he doesn't need that night feed.

Plowmanators said...

Houks, yes, I think more time is a good idea considering the circumstances, but by now might have been enough time. I might try rocking him to sleep and see if he will do that.

Plowmanators said...

Vivers, In that circumstance, I would first consider environmental factors. The sun, the room temperature, noises inside or outside.

But I would also consider that he might not need to be swaddled anymore. He might be uncomfortable sleeping in the same position and wants to shift, but has to fight the swaddler, which wakes him up more than a normal shift would.

Plowmanators said...

Houks, some moms find that moving to a four hour schedule helps with nighttime sleep, so you might try it.

He might also need a higher dose of Zantac. It is weight-dependent, so he might need a higher dosage.

Vivers said...

Thanks. We found him still swaddled but sleeping on his stomach which scared us. We stopped it and he has done great. He has had to CIO during naps but it lasted about 30 minutes the first day then 20 minutes the next day and now he is doing great. He has slept 10 hours straight the last 3 nights. I think you were right about him not needing it any longer.

Copa de Cava said...

Reading these questions and comments really helped! However I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for as it pertained to my son.

My son is 18 weeks (4.5 mo) and does really well at night. I usually nurse 15-30 minutes before he goes to bed which falls between 6:30-7:30pm depending on how tired he is. He usually wakes between 1:30-2:30am and I feed him. He then wakes between 5am-6am (lately closer to 5am) and I let him stay and talk to himself for 20-30 minutes until he starts to really fuss and get PO'd. I have tried the "feed him at 5am and put back to bed approach" hoping he will go back to sleep and that doesn't seem to work.

As much as I'd love to have him sleep later in the AM, I really want to try and drop the 1:30am feeding but my fear is that he needs the feeding because it would have been 7-8 hours since his last. Should I try it? And if so- what is the best approach??

Last week we started doing his naps in his crib (remaining flexible if we travel, etc.) and knock on wood it has gone well. This week I am trying to help him soothe himself to sleep before his nap- I tend to rock him before I put him down into a 1/2 sleep state, but I want him to be able to get to sleep himself for when he is older or thinking this may HELP him get back to sleep if he wakes in the middle of the night!


Plowmanators said...


Try out the post "nightime sleep issues" to see if there is anything that jumps out to you to change, but otherwise, I hate to tell you that most babies wake between 7-7:30.

She is still young, so you can definitely keep trying and keep waiting it out.

Plowmanators said...

Great to hear Vivers!

Plowmanators said...

Copa de Cava,

He might only need 10-11 hours of sleep, so that is always possible.

Have you tried a dreamfeed around 10 PM in hopes he will sleep later in the night?

You can also try the "wake to sleep" approach by the baby whisperer.

You could also treat the middle of the night feeding as I explain in this post and try the strategies here. Good luck!

The Melody Family said...

I have been reading your blog since my girl was 1 week old, she is now 6 months and a week but this is my first post. We have done BW except for the CIO as every time she has cried more than 12 minutes, she has vomitted all over! She was sleeping thru the night, 830-730 for 3 weeks and a few nights ago, she has been waking up at 100am (at which point I give the pacifier) and the new thing is 330am when she wants to play for an hour! I fed her thinking she was hungry but that was not it. She is tyring to sit up so as soon as she wakes for some reason, she is trying to sit up and in doing so she rolls on her belly and cries. I do not know what to do with these new wake up times. I went to feeding every 4 hours because she is sleeping thru the 3 hours point to feed. Maybe that is it but I do not want to wake her up to eat if she is sleeping thru that time.
Any suggestions for this first time mom?
Thank you!

Sophiesmom said...

My little girl is 5 1/2 weeks old. I started reading bw at 3 weeks then we went on vacation so I havent stared to implement a consistent wake time yet. She had developed the eat activity sleep pattern prior to vacation and reading bw without much effort on my part:) BUT week four she developed an issue with gas that totally threw her off and now the schedule is all out of whack! In bw it says that if a baby doesn't nap well...which she is having issues let them cio for 15 to 20 min. I read somewhere on here to wait and do cio around 12 weeks. Should I let her cio for nap times now or is there another solution I haven't read about on here yet?

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