Common Schedule Difficulties for Babies 0-6 Months

Typical difficulties parents face as they work to have their baby on a schedule. These are common problems faced in the first 6 months of baby’s life.

Mother and baby in bed

In chapter one of The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems, Tracy Hogg lists common complaints she hears from parents of babies ages 0-6 months and the solutions to those complaints. I thought I would list those that I also hear often.

0-6 WEEK Old Baby Difficulties

Below are some common difficulties parents of newborns face along with the top tips for solving these problems. 

Baby Wants to Eat Every Two Hours

(page 26)

  • First, be sure baby isn’t going through a Growth spurt . If so, feed baby. If not, move on to other solutions (this is not a suggestion of Hogg’s, but the number one suggestion of mine).
  • If baby weighs less than 6.5 pounds or has jaundice, he might need to eat more often right now.
  • Be sure baby is taking in a full feed when eating.
  • Be sure the latch-on is appropriate.
  • Check your milk supply.
  • Be sure baby isn’t using you or the bottle as a pacifier (again, my suggestion).

Baby Acts Like He Wants To Eat, Then Only Sucks For a Moment

(page 26)

  • Baby wants to use you as a pacifier.
  • He isn’t taking in full feeds and just wants to snack.
  • Milk supply might be low.
  • Let down might be slow (my addition).
  • Let down might be too forceful (my addition).
  • Baby might have Reflux (my addition).

Naps Are Inconsistent

(page 26)

Baby is Up Frequently At Night

(page 26)

  • Baby has night and day mixed up.
  • Baby is sleeping too much in the day (but don’t keep her up to the point of overstimulation).
  • Baby is not getting enough waketime in the day (my addition).
Schedule difficulties for 0-6 month old baby pinnable image with a picture of a mom and baby in bed

6 WEEKS to 4 MONTH Old Baby Difficulties

Here are some common reasons for some difficulties faced in the 4-6 month old stage. A huge one is Wonder Week 19, so be sure to read up on that. 

Baby Won’t Sleep More Than 3-4 Hour Stretches At Night

(page 30)

Baby Was Sleeping Through The Night, but Now is Up Often

(page 30)

Baby’s Naps Are Short

(page 30)

Pinnable image with a mom and baby in bed

4 TO 6 MONTHS Old Baby Difficulties

Baby Is Eating So Quickly; I Am Afraid He Isn’t Eating Enough

(page 35)

  • This might not be a real problem. Babies get to be much faster nursers/bottlefeeders as they get older.
  • Baby might not be hungry enough and is ready for a four hour schedule
  • If baby seems unsatisfied, check your milk supply (my addition).


As you parent, you are sure to come across many difficult situations. These common problems faced by parents can help you to recognize what is normal and the steps you can take to quickly get through the difficulty. 

Related Posts

19 thoughts on “Common Schedule Difficulties for Babies 0-6 Months”

  1. Angela- You can check your milk supply by pumping a full feed. THats one way my lactation nurse told me to do it, anyways.I’m so thrilled to have this resource now. My pediatrition told me yesterday at my (1st) daughters one month well check about this site and I really feel a renewed confidence to move forward with the principles. A question for you though (and forgive me if its been answered, i’ve checked everywhere but didnt find it yet… big sight though!). My daughter (Rhyan) has a harder time doing wake time in the mornings. We start our day at 7am (this is new… i was starting whenever she woke based on what a lactation nurse had suggested but i really see the benefit in a regular schedule now so we’re making the switch) but she has a harder time staying awake until after her 1pm feeding, after which she is very alert and has a harder time doing naptime. Not always, but sometimes. Again, i’m just starting to try to be more consistent so i cant say i know it all about her patterns, but this is something i’ve noticed. Is it normal for babies to be sleepier in the mornings after feeds (and during) and if so do you have tricks for waking her/keeping her awake? I think her optimal sleep time is 2 hours based on a 3 hour feed schedule, but when I cant get her to really wake up for eating/waketime, she sleeps until about 30-45 min BEFORE her next feeding. How can i work to correct this starting with the first feed? because otherwise, its hard to do the sleep/feed/wake cycle if we dont start off on the right foot!

  2. I found your blog a few weeks ago, and it has helped me ALOT!!! I have been having nap problems (too short) with my 4 month old. It was a great comfort to ready the posts on naps, learn fixes, and most of all to know that I am not alone in this problem, and that there is nothing “wrong” with my baby! Anyway, I would like to ask your opionion on sleep positioners. I have been using one in the crib since birth (placing her on her side in it). How long should I keep doing this? She can turn on her back and the opposite side in it, but it otherwise keeps her immobile. She weighs about 12 pounds now and cannot roll all the way over yet. Since I am always having nap problems, should I not try to wean her from the sleep positioner until she is taking good naps consistently?? We are going on a trip soon and we need to pack as light as possible. I would like to not have to bring it with us! Thanks!

  3. I am desperate for some HELP!! I have a 7 month old daughter who still does not sleep through the night and her naps have shortened from 20-45 minutes. I think she should be ready for two naps a day and would like them to be an hour and a half! Please help me on how to do this?!?! She has slept through the night several times before just not consistently. I am to the point where I am thinking about letting her CIO but I just don’t know what to do anymore! She does feed-wake-sleep great. Please if anyone has any advice let me know… I am about to go CRAZY!!

  4. Hello! I have not been on here since the birth of McKenna because babywise has been going so well since March! So congratulations! Question: Ace is 8 months old, been a babywise child since birth and is a textbook baby (which is still odd for me since DS1 was a angel baby) Anyway, for the past 4 months his schedule has been 730am wake and eat930am nap1130am eat130pm nap300pm wake (gotta pick up brother at school330 eatsometimes a catnap at 530 (45 min)730 eat 800pm bed He stuck to this almost to the T.then the past few weeks he is waking at 530am every morning and b/c he just wants to play but cries for attention. We have kinda tried CIO for this (we have used CIO before) but he is wide awake and up for the day….the strange part is that he still will eat breakfast at 730 and still nap at 930 like normal but the early waking to play is not fun for us! He is reaching a lot of milstones and teething so I amnot sure I need to do CIO since I don’t think he will go back to sleep….and it makes his runny nose sooo much worse after crying for even 15 minutes…..My question is should we stick to CIO in this situation or is this just something that is normal right now and it will pass we just need to be patient. I just hate to do CIO if it is not the right time but I also do not want to backtrack on all the babywise we have accomplished this far. I feel like I have searched the site for an answer and I am sorry if i missed it, I know you are super busy!! Thank you!!

  5. This is an update to my post above. A friend of mine who is also a babywise family suggested that Rhyan may really need more wake time even at this young of an age (5.5 weeks) and to try letting her stay awake for more than an hour. For 3 sleep cycles now, i've kept her awake for about 1.5 hours, swaddled her (at your suggestion) and laid her down awake and after a few minutes of grunting, she has gone to sleep. She may fuss for a few minutes, but no more than 10 thus far. CRAZY. So i guess we'll keep trying more wake time. Maybe she just doesnt want/need as much sleep. A nurse at my peds office suggested that since she was born at 6:47am that sometimes morning born babies stay awake during the day better than night born babies, but that they also sometimes sleep better… which she does sleep great at night. So who knows???

  6. Angela, there are a several different ways to do this. The Baby Whisperer and Babywise both have ideas. One thing is to monitor diaper output and baby's growth.If you are concerned about supply, I would check and also talk to a lactation consultant to get ideas for how to check milk supply. Thanks Kelly for your idea.

  7. Kelly Ford, that is very interesting! That is really long for a baby that young. If it works for her, that is great :)Just a note, if since then she isn't sleeping well again, babies (and children) can get a sleep deficit that takes a while to show. So they might do fine with a certain waketime for a while, but after a week or two, it starts to be a problem because they aren't getting enough sleep.

  8. Redheads,We used a sleep positioner with Kaitlyn for the first few months since she had reflux. I would guess by 4 months, (now five) your baby can stop using it. I am glad you like the blog!

  9. Judd Family,Check out the posts under naps and also STTN (blog label on the right). Once you have gone through those, you should have some good ideas of what to do. See also "45 minute intruder"

  10. Lindsay, I am sorry this is so late. This is a hard call. I think it is a situation to go with your gut. I could see some doing well one way, and some doing well the other.One thing to consider is that the sun might be waking him.Another thing to keep in mind is that you won't undo all of your hard work. It doesn't take long to get back on track. But I would avoid just getting him up at 5:30.

  11. I Love this Blog!!! My girlfriend turned me on to you! You do such a great job at updating! However I don't know how you find the time… you go girl! I have a question for you I have both Babywise and Baby W but neither one can help me with a problem I have. Our scheds are so very different from what the books say to do. We have our baby on a very late sched because my husband is so blessed to be able to play baseball for a living so I bring my baby with me to the games which makes his bedtime around 10-11pm. Somedays he goes 6 or more hours. But instead of wanting him to drop a dreamfeed we need him to drop the early morning feed to get him to a 10-12 hour sleep time eventually. He is almost 4 months and does have severe reflux when he wakes at night he doesn't appear hungry so I don't feed him we just put the paci in. Do you have any ideas how we could make it work?keep up the good workBlessingsTara

  12. Tara, Thanks 🙂 I don't know how I find the time, either :).Unfortunately, you are most likely not going to be able to get him to sleep 10-12 hours from 10-11 PM. You might be able to get him to sleep until around 8. It is natural for a baby to wake around 7 AM. It is also natural to go to bed around 7 PM (give or take), and the later they go to bed, the earlier they will likely wake in the morning. I have a few suggestions. If you want to go to the games, I would suggest you try to get a nanny or babysitter or something to stay at home/hotel with baby so he can go to bed earlier. You could take him to one or two games a week, but you don't want to do much more than that so it isn't so disruptive for him.Another option if you don't feel comfortable with the nanny thing is for you to stay home with him. I know that isn't super fun, but the season is almost over. It would be a short time period. Conversely, it is a short time period, so he could continue to go to the games until then. You could work on the night sleep once the season was over. Good luck!

  13. Thanks so much such great help. If I do go less until the end of the season will he adjust better next year when the season starts? When he is a year old is it easier to adjust his schedules? It is interesting because during the offseason we will be in Texas so 2 hours behind where we are here. What about traveling to different time zones? Thanks for the reply!!

  14. Tara, for time zone things, see the blog label "time change." Honestly, it might not be easier to adjust his schedule when he is a year old. But it might be easier for you to find someone to watch him when you can because he should be going to bed at bedtime (anywhere from 7-9, depending on your family), and sleeping until 10-12 hours later. So you wouldn't have to worry so much about him; he would just be sleeping. It is hard because baseball is a really long season.My honest thought is that unless you can have a nanny that travels with you, you are going to need to have some give and take. You can likely attend all home games without a problem (babysitter), but you might not be able to attend all away games. You can certainly go sometimes and just have a later night for him sometimes, but you will have to let him have his normal routine, also.Once he hits two, it should be significantly easier and he will be mor flexible with his sleep.

  15. Hi,I've just found this blog and don't really know what I'm doing so sorry if this is posted in the wrong place…I'm a first time mum and have followed BW since Claire's birth – my sister did it and had the books. I even read the book and made notes before she was born. I followed everything by the book and recorded when she ate, slept, woke, pooed, weed!!! At 15wks she slept from 7pm to 6/7am for about 2 weeks and it was awesome! Then she just stopped and wouldn't do it again – she is now 6.5 months. I've tried everything (it seems)- started solids 3 times a day; keeping her up for the last cycle between 4 and 7pm; given her formula for the last feed. She followed the schedule in the day time but slowly started getting up ealier and earlier wanting the 4am feed and then the 1am feed. So I re-introduced the 10pm feed as I thought she was hungry. We did that for about 2 months – she would eat at 10pm and then get up for the 4am feed. She was only missing one feed but I had to be content with that and everyone said to keep consistent and eventually she'll sleep longer. In the last few days when I've gone to wake her for the 10pm feed she hasn't wanted anything so this week I've dropped the 10pm feed again and she's sleeping till 3/4am. Should I just keep doing this until she wants to drop that one and sleeps till 7am? I go back to full time work in 3 weeks and I'm not sure which would be better for me – feeding at 10pm and waking at 6/7am or feeding at 7pm and waking at 3/4am.To add to the confusion, Claire is still on a 3hr feeding cycle as she isnt sleeping through the nite yet and the book says not to move to 4hrs until she does. Is that set in stone? But now during the day she is not wanting to have 4 1.5hr naps during the day and I'm fighting to keep her down but cries and she stays up till the next feeding time. Then she's so exhausted that she sleeps straight after I feed her next. I read in the book that at 6 months she should only be having 2 2.5hr naps during the day but I can't do that because she's still eating 6 times in 24hrs and she's tired after being up for 1.5hrs. I have done 3.5hr and 4hr cycles during the day to get Claire back on schedule when she wakes too early for a feed so she can do it, just not for the whole day. I feel like I'm doing something wrong I just don't know what it is… I need to get things sorted so I can instruct my parents on when and how often to feed her. I'm getting worried that she's behind.Any advice would be greatly appreciated.Jodie

  16. Jodie,4 months old is a common time for sleep problems for babies (all babies, not just BW babies). It might have started as that and grown into something bigger. See the post "5-8 month sleep disruptions" for ideas for this age range.First, you can just skip your fourth nap if needed. You don't have to have it if she still needs the 3 hour schedule right now.If she is waking in the night due to hunger, then you don't want to drop a daytime feeding first…but you could always try the four hour schedule and see how it goes. The Baby Whisperer says moving to a four hour schedule will solve sleep problems.A 6 month old usually has 3 naps. I know BW book one says two, but all the other books say most have three and I have found that to be true.You can do a combo schedule. So if you find that in the morning she can always do 4 hours, but in the evening can only do 3, that is totally fine.Don't worry about her being "behind." Just worry about her being where she should be for her as an individual. Hang in there! Feel free to ask more questions.

  17. HiI have a question regarding number of feedings and lengths between feedings. I have been following babywise since my daughter was nearly a month old. It took a lot of crying for her to nap on her own, but she now does, but still even now at 14 weeks she still cries before some naps, not all. (I followed babywise for my first, and after 9 weeks her clock was stuck, so we CIO in the night, and after 5 days she was sleeping through the night.) My 14 week old seemed to be hungry and waking up all over the place during the night (even after consistently feeding her every 3 hours during the day, then cluster feeding after 5 pm, and a dreamfeed at 10 pm). She is now getting closer to making it through the night, usually waking up around 5, but sometimes still earlier. I haven't cried it out with her, initally as she seemed hungry, and now I have mastitis and think it is best to heal the more I feed. However my question is, at 14 weeks should I still be feeding every 3 hours and cluster feeding at night (for a total of 8 feedings per day) given that she is not usually making it through the night? Sometimes I feel like I am disrupting her naps by waking her to keep her on the 3 hour schedule. Any other advice for getting through the night hopefully in the next few weeks? Thank you so much, we love your blog, as well as the learning one, been using so many of your ideas!K

  18. Kim,The Baby Whisperer says to stop cluster feeding at 8 weeks, so if I were you I would stop that. If you have to wake her from all of her naps, then she might be ready for a four hour schedule. For the majority of babies, you don't want to do that before they are STTN, but some moms try moving to a four hour schedule and that fixes nights. So think about it and see if you want to try it. See if you feel good about it. If you try it and it doesn't go well, you can always go back to the three hour schedule.


Leave a Comment