Please Note: There is now a newer version of this post. See Nightime Sleep Issues–Revised and Updated. For that reason, comments are turned off for this post.
While daytime naps are something we all want down, nighttime sleep is something we all NEED down! The better rested the baby is at night, the better rested we are at night, and the more emotionally stable we can be for the challenges of caring for a baby. Here are some strategies for dealing with nighttime sleep issues.
Baby Waking in Night Consistently
If your baby is old enough he “should” be sleeping through the night, but he is still waking, what should you do?
- First, watch for his waketime in the night to be consistent. If it is all over the map from night to night (one night it is 5:45, the next, 4:15, the next, 5:15…) I don’t think he is waking out of habit. But not out of habit doesn’t necessarily mean the child needs a feeding in the night.
- Be sure you are getting enough feedings in the day. If your baby is waking at night, you shouldn’t be moving past a 3 hour schedule. Conquer the night first.
- Is your baby wearing a big enough diaper? If my kids are close to the weight limit of a diaper, I put them in the next size up at night. You have to buy two sizes, but you will eventually buy the bigger size anyway.
- Is your baby getting too much sleep in the day? Review your Babywise book and review the number of naps usually needed for your baby’s age.
- Is your baby just waking and talking? A review of page 132 in Babywise tells you that around 2-3 months old, many PDF babies will wake and talk to themselves for up to an hour, and that phase can last over a month.
- I think once you are sure your child doesn’t need to wake up and eat in the night, it doesn’t hurt anything to give it shot at Cry it Out (CIO). Many people do it with success, so if you want to, give it a try. I was sure Kaitlyn didn’t need the night feeding when she stopped eating well for her first meal of the day. Once I cut back the night feed, she started eating well for “breakfast” again.
- Before you do CIO, you can try decreasing the amount eaten in the night. If you bottle feed, offer less in the bottle. If you breastfeed, decrease the amount of time spent nursing, or offer only one side, or both. That is what I did with Kaitlyn, and this fixed the problem so we didn’t have to do CIO. My first would not have been ready at that age–he needed that extra feeding. You have to decide if your child is ready or not. BW says that to CIO in the night can take as little as one time, but some kids might take at least two weeks. Something you might consider is if you would be as willing to stick with a CIO for several nights if necessary, when you know that you could be up only 20 minutes at the most instead if you fed him, and then you would be back on your way to dreamland.
- Watch your definition of “night.” Kaitlyn often woke in the 5 AM hour, which to me was still night, but she had been asleep for 9 hours. BW says to be careful about letting your baby sleep more than 9 hours if you are BF. If your baby is young, I wouldn’t really worry about a 5:30 wake time.
- I have read that some children will wake at night even if they don’t need to because that is when they get attention from their parents. This is rarely true in oldest children, but more likely to happen with each child. If this could be the case, you would want to give as little attention as possible in the middle of the night. When I fed Kaitlyn in the middle of the night, I didn’t talk to her, smile at her, and I avoid all eye contact. It could be really hard when she sometimes tried to strike up a conversation :). You would also want to make sure she gets the one-on-one attention she needs from you in the day.
Baby Waking in Night SporadicallyIf your baby sleeps sometimes, then wakes sometimes, your chances are you are experiencing something normal. It seems a lot of babies do this off and on until they eventually stop and just sleep. I would guess the younger the baby is when they start STTN, the more often this would happen.
- Hunger? If your baby suddenly starts waking in the night again, try adding more feedings, adding solids, or adding more food at each feeding.
- Too many naps in the day? Maybe it is time to drop a nap, or shorten it.
- Teething? Sickness?
- Did you have a wacky day? By that, I mean did you have a disruptive day to your normal routine? If so, that is fine, we all have days like that, but it could explain the night waking.
Be wary of the idea that if they did it once, they could do it always. I didn’t start BW with my first until 9 weeks old, and when he was only three weeks old I remember there being nights he would sleep 8 or 9 hours straight. Other nights he would be up a couple of times. I remember distinctly when he was 7 weeks old there was a day he nursed 4 times in the day. I say that to illustrate that a baby doing something one day doesn’t mean they can always do it. When it comes to STTN, sleeping longer stretches gives you the indicator that they are moving toward it, but I think most babies sleep through, then will revert back and wake up, then sleep through, then revert back….
You also have to be mindful of growth spurts that disrupt nighttime sleep for some, though not all. One night a couple of months ago I woke up at about 2:30 AM STARVING. I was so hungry my stomach ached. I had eaten as I always do the day before. I managed to fall asleep without eating, but it made me realize that sometimes babies could wake up in the night who normally sleep through and be legitimately hungry for no apparent reason. They might be able to go back to sleep, or they might not.
Check the Naps: Troubleshooting post on this blog (http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/naps-troubleshooting.html) and run through possibilities there. Too hot/cold, noise, etc. Also for nighttime sleep, is the sun coming up at the time baby is waking (not an issue in the winter when I write this, but a real issue for both of mine their first summers)? Pay attention to what is going on when baby wakes. Be analytical and introspective. Best of luck!
Poll Results: Did Baby Seem to Experience Any Kind of Sleep Troubles Around 4 Months of Age?
Yes! Naps!: 23 votes (42%)
Yes! Night!: 9 votes (16%)
Yes! Naps & Night!: 19 votes (35%)
No: 3 votes (5%)
Total of 54 votes
95% of responders experienced sleep problems around 4 months of age.
- NOLAMOM said…
Your blog is great resource! I have a question I thought I could get some insight from you. We have been doing BW from birth but I am not as good with CIO. I will let her cry but no longer than 20-30 minutes. We have been on a 3 hour routine and that has gone reasonably well. She started sleeping 9p-7am a few weeks ago. Bliss! She is 15 weeks old and exclusively breastfed. We started with a sitter during the day so I could work. I pump during the day. She has stuck to her routine and feeds. She has a little trouble taking the bottle but eventually will from the sitter. However, my daughter is now waking at least once a night – not at a consistent time – sometimes 2, 3 or 4. This has been going on for 3 days and I am so disappointed. The only thing that soothes her is nursing and she is nursing for 15 minutes. I feel like all my hard work down the drain! Do you think she is looking for more mommy time since breastfeeds went from 6/day to 3/day? Or growth spurt? Any advice?January 25, 2008 1:56 PM
It is entirely possible that your baby is looking for some more mommy time. I have read about that happening. If that is the case, I would make sure she gets good mommy time in once you are home. Another thing could be feeding. Is she allowed to eat all she will, or is she restricted to X amount of ounces per bottle? I have read that at around four months, babies need an increase in food. So she might need more food in a day. If she isn’t able to nurse more often to increase supply, she might need to wake at night to get the extra food. You might try pumping more often to get more milk going. There is also a possibility that things just aren’t the same with the sitter, so her day is different. There are a lot of new factors to try to figure out 😉 Good luck!January 25, 2008 4:40 PM
- eva said…
My 13 wk old boy is waking at all hours of the night for the past week. I am exhausted and need help. 2 nights at 1:30, then 2:00, 2:50, back to 2:00, then 1:15. Plus after I feed him he wont go to sleep, he either CIO or babbles and complains for an hour or two, only to fall asleep for 30 min and wake up crying again. Could he be thinking its daytime? How do I fix that?January 25, 2008 8:18 PM
I would go through the list and pay special attention to the warmth of baby at night. Is he cold when you get him? If it were a hunger issue, I would think he would go back to sleep after being fed. Do you use a pacifier? The pacifier can often become a culprit around this age of sleep problems.January 26, 2008 8:27 PM
- sarah said…
I have a question about night sleep with my 4 month old breastfed baby. He sleeps happily from about 7:30 p.m. until 4-5 a.m., wakes up to eat, and falls back asleep until 8:30. Is it unrealistic to think that he may sleep until 8:30 anytime soon without waking up? Lately he seems to be pushing back that 4-5 o’clock time until after 6, but I don’t want that to be his waketime for the day and if he eats then, it screws up his 8:30 wake time. What should I do? Everyone always says not to wake a sleeping baby but the schedule he has works well and when he strays from it and sleeps a little later, we both pay for it.
January 28, 2008 12:55 PM
Sarah,It is unlikely baby will sleep 7:30-8:30–that is 13 hours. BW recommends 10-12 hours. I would especially avoid that because you are breastfeeding. 13 hours of sleep would mean more than 13 hours between feedings.So first, I would change either your waketime or your bedtime so your projected night stretch is 12 hours. So bed at 8:30, or wake at 7:30 (or in between at 8). Next, that is a great question about what to do when baby wakes at that point in the night. I will do a post on it today.
January 28, 2008 1:32 PM
- Rob & LeAnna said…
My little guy is 7 weeks old and I have been waking him @ 1 a.m. and then again at 4 a.m. to avoid the 5 a.m. because our day starts at 7. Last night I fed him @ 1 a.m. wanting to see how long he could go without and sure enough he woke up at 5:20. Should I try dropping the 1 a.m. feeding so that his last feeding is at 10-10:30 and see how that goes? He is my third child; I don’t remember having this trouble with the other 2 so I am at a loss, any advise would be great.January 30, 2008 7:08 AM
Dropping the 1 AM feeding sounds like a good idea. Just as a reminder, be sure to get at least 7 feedings in a 24 hour period until baby is 9 weeks. By the end of the 13th week, baby can have 5-7 feedings in a 24 hour period.January 30, 2008 9:41 AM
- Krystal said…
This doesn’t have to do w/ this particular post, but I had an idea and I was just wondering what people thought. My daughter (almost 5 mo.) has slept through the night since she was 8 weeks. She didn’t wake up early, or have any problems. But around 3 1/2 mo. she started waking up during the night. Now there is not any nights that go by that she doesn’t wake up between 5:30-6:30am. Her morning doesn’t start until 7:00. So I lay in bed listening to her whine from the other room. She hardly ever full out cries, she just kinda whines, letting me know she is awake. She is bottle fed on a 3 hr. schedule, so I have tried giving her an extra oz. in ea. of her bottles (so she is drinking 6oz.) thinking she wasn’t getting enough to eat during the day. Sometimes she drinks the full 6oz. other times she only drinks 5oz. So I am pretty sure she is getting enough to eat, so then why is she waking up before she is supossed to? She also gets the DF at 10:00. Before she started waking up I was working towards moving the DF back to 9:30, but since she started waking up, I have reverted back to 10:00pm. I was thinking today, maybe she is getting to much sleep during the day. She takes 5 naps (she eats 6 times) w/ those naps ranging anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. I was waiting to move her to a 3 1/2 hr. schedule until she started sleeping continuously w/o waking, but I think I might try to move her up anyway. That will not only cut out a feeding, but it will also cut out a nap. So what does everyone think of my plan? Do you think it might help? Any suggestions or comments would be great!February 6, 2008 11:54 AM
Krystal, I have a few thoughts for you. If you look at page 132 in your BW book, you will see that many PDF babies wake up around 5-5:30 and talk to themselves for up to an hour, and this phase can last longer than a month. This could be one reason she is waking early.
Another thought, some moms have found their babies sleep better without a dreamfeed. She has been sleeping through the night long enough that you can work on dropping it. See the dropping the dreamfeed post for more info on that: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/dropping-dream-feed.html
Finally, it is entirely possible that she is getting too much sleep during the day. You can drop a nap without having to move the schedule–you can just drop the nap that is between your 4ish and 7ish feeding. There would be no sleep between these two feedings, and you might need to move them closer together. I would drop the dreamfeed before you extend your schedule.
February 6, 2008 2:28 PM
- annbo said…
I’ve always found such sound advice from your blog!Btw, my girl has “graduated” from CIO Sleep School. She usually cries 5-10 mins (or less) and sleeps on own. She can sleep MUCH longer in her naps and not wake as much. This is so great! However, we met some hurdles and I’ll like to pick your brains and experience again. She went through 2 rough days of growth spurts (rough for me) cos she wakes A LOT during day AND NIGHT. After the spurt, she didn’t “exactly” went back to normal. She’s perfect during the day, but at night, she still wakes 3 or 4 hourly. Which is fine, but she’ll feed, go to sleep, cries hard 5 mins later and if I feed her the other side, she’ll sleep mostly. But that took a long time per feed. You said you didn’t do CIO at night, so what do you do if your children wakes more often? (like 3h or more?) Do you still feed? I have a feeling I fed her too much, cos she became disinterested after a while and only needed that to sleep (or poop)We are not sure about CIO at night cos we live in close proximity with neighbors. Did you children naturally move to 7-8h nights? Should I wait? Or should I help her, but not feeding her that often(since I think she can do it)? What were your experiences? Thank you so much for reading this LONG LONG que…
March 21, 2008 7:57 AM
That is great! That is fast progress!It is a hard call. With my son, I didn’t do CIO because I didn’t think he was ready to not have that night feeding. With my daughter, at one point I thought she was ready, but my son sleeps in a room right next to hers. At that point her night waking was around 5:30-6:00, which I was sure was too close to morning for my son to wake up, see the sun (it was summer) and then go back to sleep. This post should give you some ideas for it:http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/early-morning-feedings-before-waketime.htmlYou baby might be young enough that her cries wouldn’t be loud enough for neighbors to hear in the dead of the night. The first time she wakes, I would feed her both sides so you are sure she is as full as possible. If she is waking from hunger, you want to make sure she is completely full so she is less likely to wake again in the night.It will come! Keep plugging away!
March 21, 2008 10:18 AM
- annbo said…
Thank you for your reply! The post on early feeding is very helpful.The problem with her is that she used to eat 8pm (last feed) then about 12 or 1am (I tried dreamfeed, she won’t wake to have full feed), then 4am or 5am. She could go 5 hours at night. But since the growth spurt, she has been waking at 12am and then 3+am, went back to sleep, and woke again at 4+ and would always have problem sleeping since then. Sometimes I would then feed her again out of confusion, or I’ll rock her to sleep, only to wake 5 or 6 again to feed. It’s frustrating cos the wakings has been so consistent and I’m not sure if she REALLY needed that 3am or 4am feed. Used to be she’ll wake at 5 or 6 to feed and she’ll have a mighty hard time to wake at 8 (our first feed) and she doesn’t feed that well. Now she’s just not sleeping well from 3onwards and can be fully awake at 7+. I’m confused. She GOES to sleep very well at naps, not crying long. These 2 days she doesn’t have long naps either. She’ll wake 2+h from wake time and cry and cry and cry. If I let her, she’ll cry till 3h mark. If I picked her up, she isn’t rooting or showing hunger signs. She has already known HOW to sleep on own and has experience of sleeping long and even went back to sleep during transitions. I feel that this is like a step back for her. CIO at night is just not easy. We live in the city, so I can even hear my neighbors snore (that’s how horrible our “sound protection” is)What do you think happened?
March 23, 2008 3:18 PM
There are always steps back–it is a normal part of the process. See this post:Progress is a Spiral: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/progress-is-in-spiral.htmlSince you can’t do CIO, I would try soothing her to sleep at night some other way if you can, just to get her metabolism adjusted. This might affect her ability to self-soothe, but that depend on her personality.
March 24, 2008 10:13 PM
- annbo said…
Thank you so much for replying!! I forgot to tell you I read your blog on progress is a spiral and every time I felt a step back, that encouraged me. Things took another turn (don’t they always?) She slept well at night now. haha. She slept a 6h, then 5h yesterday. But her naps were horrid.She would go to sleep herself, wakes up 1+h and cry cry cry. I’ll let her…for 30-40 mins…then I know she’s not going to settle herself back. So picked her up. Sometimes she slept, sometimes not.I’m so afraid I’ll mess her up. What I’m most afraid of is growth spurt. I don’t want to miss another and get all the crazy feedings at night! If she wakes early and shows no hunger sign, am I right to say she’s not hungry then? So confused…
March 27, 2008 11:39 AM
It is hard to tell. You are going to have to figure out her cues. Have you seen the growth spurt post? Growth Spurts: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/growth-spurts.htmlThat might help you get more cues as to that.
March 27, 2008 2:41 PM
- MattAndKori said…
My baby girl wakes up from midnight to 6am every 20 minutes and cries for 10 minutes. I have started feeding her every 2 hours during this time, and she takes a full feeding. I am breastfeeding, should I think about giving her a bottle of formula for her last feeding. Would that possibly tie her over until her 2 1/2- 3 hour feeding?
April 1, 2008 3:33 PM
If you give a bottle, you run the risk of compromising milk supply. What is her age? Have you checked the growth spurt post? If it is that, then you could shoot feeding more often in the day in hopes of avoiding that in the night.
April 1, 2008 10:19 PM
- Lynae said…
Hi Valerie, I love your site. I haven’t read Babywise yet, but would like to start using the methods before I can get to the bookstore. My almost 9 week old son I believe is constantly overtired. I thought perhaps you would have some advice on two problems:
1. I’ve started the 3 hour feeding schedule which is going relatively well, but the only way he will sleep more than 40 minutes is in his swing. When I tried to do CIO for his naps for 3 days in his crib, he ended up only sleeping for 30 minutes or less and then waking up screaming again. I thought it would start to get better, but it never did. I hated to keep going with this method because he was becoming an over-tired screaming mess.
2. So I’m trying to get him well rested before I try putting him down awake again in his crib. In the swing now he takes two 2 hour naps, one 1 hour nap and one 45 minute nap. I even get him back to sleep within 45 minutes or so because he is so overtired – yawning and fussy. But then getting him down for bed is a nightmare. I start at 7:30ish and he’s in and out of sleep/crying until 12 or 1am. I’m wondering if it’s because he is over-tired/over-stimulated that he can’t fall into a deep sleep. I just don’t know what to do about it because then he starts the day over-tired again! Any advice?Thanks,Lynae
April 1, 2008 1:12 PM
Your son is the age mine was when we started BW. See this post:Starting Babywise Late: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/starting-babywise-late.htmlAlso these:CIO Bootcamp: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/11/cio-bootcamp.htmlWaking Early From Naps/Won’t Fall Asleep For Naps: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/waking-early-from-napswont-fall-asleep.htmlBe sure to visit the index so you can look through the posts to find everything I have written. It is a whole lot! :)http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/index.htmlPlease don’t hesitate to ask questions.
April 1, 2008 2:54 PM
- Cristine said…
My 13-week baby is still waking up in the MON. He goes to sleep at around 8pm, has a DF at 10pm, wakes up at 3am, than between 6:30-7am.I cannot CIO because I live in Brazil and my house is extremely close to our two neighbores, you can hear everything really loud. They would kill me. :)I don’t know how to make him stop eating in MON. He just recently started a 3 hour schedule (I had a hard time with BW because my newborn would only wait 2 hours…than after a while I finally was able to extend it to 2 and half…now finally 3.On the night he completed 3 months he slept the whole night, but it was only that night! That day he hadn’t slept much.He is also taking 45 min. naps only…I’ve tried letting him CIO, but he usually just cries until it’s feeding time (sometimes he’ll sleep again). I read here that I’m supposed to feed him when he wakes, but won’t that mess up the whole routine?I also don`t know if something I do is good…when I put him to sleep and he cries, I wait for him to cry a bit, than I go in and give his pacifier and he sleeps right away. Is this worse?Sorry all my confusion!I really need some advice!
April 11, 2008 6:22 PM
Cristine, My guess is that your culprit is the pacifier. Since he needs it to nap in the day, my guess is he needs it at night. That is also likely affecting his naps. He needs it back in to transition. Your options for that are based on what you want to do. One is that you would cut the paci out of his life for the day for now. You would then need to cut it out at night (once he was good in the day). Another is that you continue to reinsert it until he is old enough to do so himself (possibly around 6 months, though sometimes later). I would start to wean from the night feeding, gradually decreasing as mentioned in this post. Good luck!
April 14, 2008 11:00 AM
Thanks for the advice! The last few days he has been sleeping better during the day…because I started putting him in his crib 1 hour and a half after his eating time. He is more tired and sleeps more (until next feeding). Although I have to be careful not to let him stay awake too much or he gets over stimulated and has a hard time sleeping. I do think I need to slowly stop giving the paci. I will start trying.I will try gradually decreasing during the night, but I suspect he will start waking up earlier because of it. There were a couple times he was too tired and only ate for 5 minutes, but than woke up around 5 intead of 6-7. Does this mean he still needs the MON feeding?April 16, 2008 6:20 AM
Cristine,I would say yes; if he eats little and then wakes earlier than he would, then I would say he does need to eat.
April 20, 2008 5:09 PM
- cchudson said…
Not sure if this is the right place to post this issue, but I’m a bit frazzled! My 6 week old is on a 3 hour schedule, and the 7p feed is the last feed before he wakes up on his own. Usually wakes up b/w 11p-12 and takes about 4 oz formula, and then wakes up b/w 3-4 and takes 3-4 oz of formula. The past 7 days, he as been waking up 1.5 hours to the exact minute (seriously) from when I put him down after the feeding– for instance, put him down at 3:30a, and he wakes up at 5a or put him down at 4:30 and he wakes up at 6a. I would like for 7a to begin the day…what is going on?!!! Should I start to let him cry it out? I should also mention that I have tried to feed him when he wakes, and he only takes 1 oz at the most.
April 14, 2008 7:27 AM
Have you ever tried a dreamfeed? For you, that woulc come around 10 PM or so. Here are a couple of posts for you to review. Babywise Milestones: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/babywise-milestones.htmlThat will help you review where your baby should be at his age as far as sleep and eating go.Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/early-morning-feedings-before-waketime.htmlThis will help you deal with waking earlier than waketime.Time Change Strategies: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/time-change-strategies.htmlThis can help you shift your schedule.Once you have tried to feed him when he wakes and he won’t eat, and you have checked his diaper and you are sure he isn’t too hot/cold, then just put him back to bed. Good luck!
April 14, 2008 2:03 PM
- krystal said…
hello. my name is krystal and i am new to the blogging thing. but, i did a search and found your page and i need help!?! i am a mom of three and my newest is 7 and 1/2 weeks old and so precious. i had been having trouble with napping until finding this page. thank you for reminding me to put him down 15 min. earlier! it is amazing how much you forget between kids. anyway, levi had been sleeping through the night. i was feeding him around 10:30 and putting him down and then he wasn’t waking until 5:30 or so. the problem was that i was still sleeping him in his carseat. well, on sunday i broke the habit and he went to sleep on his back. unfortunately, since then he has been getting up to eat in the night again. just once, but i am drained. it seems like his naps are fine (other than the evening one, but that seems to be his cranky time of day), but now he isn’t making it all night. i have tried loving on him and then putting him back down, but he isn’t wanting to go back to sleep without eating. do you think it is the change from carseat to back, or do you think he just needs to cry it out a while and he’ll go back to sleep. thanks so much for reading this and i would really appreciate your input.
April 15, 2008 5:58 AM
It is true, you do forget a lot between kids :).I think you have a couple of options here. I think it is totally normal for him to start waking since he is sleeping differently. You could either feed him for a while in hopes that he will get used to the new sleeping arrangement and stop waking, or you could do CIO. Since he is sleeping just as well for naps, you could do it either way. One thing to keep in mind is that 8 weeks is often a growth spurt time. If it were me, I think I would try feeding him for about a week then reevaluate the situation if he was still waking. Good luck!
April 20, 2008 4:32 PM
thank you so much for writing back. he seems to be doing a bit better sleeping on his back, but still waking up at night. i will give it a week like you suggested. you may hear from me again. hope that’s okay.
April 20, 2008 8:05 PM
yep, that is fine. Ask away!
April 21, 2008 6:38 AM
- heather said…
My 6 month old girl has been sleeping through the night like a champ since she was 8 weeks old. However, over the last week and a half, she has begun waking early around 5am. Her wake up time has been 7am since she began sleeping all night, so I’m so confused what’s going on! When she wakes, she never wakes crying. She wakes talking, playing, and eventually whining after laying in there for an hour plus. Any ideas?
April 24, 2008 1:38 PM
It sounds to me like she might be doing the waking early thing where they talk to themselves. See 132 in Babywise for more info.
April 24, 2008 10:16 PM
I remember her doing that when she was 3 or 4 months old. Could she be doing it again? When she did it before, she would always go back to sleep. Now, she isn’t. Something I might add, is that her naps have always been fairly inconsistent. She has never been a good 2 hour napper. We’re taking 30 minute naps…1.15 at best. Do you think we’ve got sleep issues which are hindering our nighttime as well?
April 25, 2008 7:06 AM
If I remember right, there are a couple of ages for that morning talking. Also, pay attention to the sun. Many people are sun risers (myself included), so if she is waking with daylight, that might be your reason. My guess would be there is something that is causing her to wake early. IF she has been sleeping well previously, there is going to be a reason for her waking early. The trick is finding it 🙂 Also remember that there is a 6 month growth spurt–something else to keep in mind.
April 25, 2008 9:47 AM
- jaclyn said…
My baby is 6 weeks old. He is a good sleeper at night(he sleeps for 4 to 5 hours at a time and goes right back to sleep once he has eaten). He only sleeps well though from his dreamfeed on…After his “bedtime feeding” he wants to be awake. He isn’t fussy (unless I put him down)…he just wants to be awake. Would you just keep him awake or put him down and let him cry (which he will do until the dreamfeed)? My next question: he is not a good napper. He will sometimes cry until his next feeding time and on good days he will sleep only an hour max. I guess I am a little confused about the BW cycle when it comes to naps. It says that at his age he can only be awake for an hour max (this is when he starts to show signs of being tired) and then he should only sleep 1.5 hours max, but he is on a 3 hour schedule. So he eats for 30 min, is awake for another 30 min, and then sleeps for 1 hr. Well this means he still has an hour before he eats. I am confused! Any help and advice would be great!
April 27, 2008 11:35 AM
Jaclyn,I think I would likely give him some waketime. While my daughter would go to bed early (7ish) from basically birth, my son didn’t move to an earlier beddtime until he was closer to a year. Once your son gets older and drops naps, he will most likely be able to go down earlier–and that should come somewhere around 4 months. As for your second question, that is a weird thing with the early BW schedule. It is also something that doesn’t make sense to me. The good thing is that they outgrow that relatively fast–they move to an age of longer naps. Be sure to check out the Troubleshooting Naps post for ideas on that. I know that the newborn months seem like an eternity–those first three months are hard, at least for me–but he will soon out grow those things. He sounds like he is doing quite well. If you started from birth, he is still in the stablization period.Also be sure to note that there is a 6 week growth spurt, and it is a “hungry” one. Be sure to feed him if he is hungry. Growth spurts slow down once you leave those newborn months also 🙂
April 28, 2008 9:57 AM
- mommytoisabella said…
Isabella has been struggling with night time wakings. I would say about once or twice a week she wakes between 4 and 5. For the most part we don’t respond and she goes back to sleep. We allow 15 minutes before going into her room. When we do respond she has a very wet diaper. Now I just read about at night going up a size on the diaper. Also she is an early riser. She wakes between 6 and 7. Her bed time is between 7:30 and 7:45 and it takes her about 15 minutes to fall asleep. Is there something I am doing wrong? She just turned 9 months and hasn’t quite dropped her 3rd nap. It has been hard to drop it when at times she wake from her 2nd nap at 2:30. Because she is an earlier riser she goes down for her 1st nap at 8:40.
May 1, 2008 2:06 PM
Try the diaper first. See what happens. Then work on other things. Consider the sun being a reason for your daughter waking early. Also consider that she might just not need 12 hours of sleep. BW says 10-12 hours, and she is within those hours, so she as long as she is happy, she should be fine. Don’t worry about the third either. My daughter didn’t officially drop it until about 11 months old.
May 1, 2008 9:56 PM
Thank you for your advice. I really do appreciate you blog and the time and effort you put in to help mommies out. I have gone up a size on the night time diapers and gone to a later bedtime. The large diaper doesn’t seem to help, she is still waking at 4 am very wet, however the later bed time does seem to help. She does go back to sleep after the diaper change and wakes closer to 7 now to where as she was waking earlier. Therefore with putting her down later for bed a third nap is necessary. Thank you for the encouragement in regards to not dropping the third nap. She wakes between 2 and 2:30 from the 2nd. Could the 4 am diaper issue be due to the fact that I give her some water at dinner? Should I discontinue the water at dinner?May 5, 2008 11:45 PM
MommytoIsabella,You could try the no water at night and see if she will go for it and if it helps. That is frustrating for you!
May 6, 2008 3:45 PM
Yes, this has been frustrating to me. I would say it she STTN on average about 4 or 5 nights out of the week. Lately it has been 4. I am starting to wonder if she is waking out of habit since it is normally between 3:30 and 5:00, most of the time it is at 4:00. This morning I just didn’t respond and she fell back asleep after 20 minutes. She doesn’t cry, she just talks and our room is very close to hers. Could it have to do with her schedule? She is 9 months and this is her schedule:
7:00 wake bf and cereal some times she wake between 6 & 7
8:40 nap, she cannot handle much wake time in the am. Now if she wakes before 6:30 I put her down at 8:00
10:30 however she can wake at 10 or earlier and I keep her in her crib till 10:30 recently she has been napping for 45 minutes
10:30 bf, lunch
2:30 wake & bottle
For awhile I was dealing with the 45 minute naps and the advice you gave on the nap fix did help. However recently I have been noticing that her am naps have been shorting. Is that normal for 9 months. Is there any thing I should change in her schedule to get her past the 4 am waking and to sleep till 7:30?
May 8, 2008 3:48 PM
This is a hard call. You would hate to leave her in her bed if she is soaking wet. If she doesn’t cry, I would say leave her and see what happens. She might just be doing the wake up and talk to herself thing, and with you going in it would only add more interest to the situation. When she wakes early from her morning nap does it coincide with her waking early in the morning? If she goes right to sleep but wakes early, there is usually some reason from being too hot/cold, to a new noise, to being overly tired when going down. If they talk and play before going to sleep, they often need a longer waketime, or they are excited about some new skill.
May 9, 2008 10:42 AM
Thank you so much for your help in this issue. She went to bed at 8 last night and slept through till 7:15. It was so nice. In looking at her log, I can’t really say her early wakings from naps coincides with the early wakings in the mornings. Actually what I am seeing is the mornings that she has had early wakings she is napping longer 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Today I put her down for her nap and she talked and played from 8:40 till 9:25 and only slept till 10:30. In looking at my log, on 4/28 she woke at 7:15 and was down at 8:40 like today fell asleep right away and slept till 10:30. In looking at my logs from the past few days, in the mornings it has been taking her about 15 minutes to settle into her naps and she is only sleeping 50 minutes to an hour. I am wondering at this age in the mornings do there am naps shorten? She has been talking and playing when I put her down.
May 9, 2008 3:00 PM
Also,do you think I should make some changes to her schedule? Like lengthening her wake time?
May 9, 2008 3:04 PM
Does she still have a third nap? She might need to drop that if she does. Also, if she sleeps well at night, she might be able to handle a longer waketime in the morning. If she wakes early, she will likely need a shorter waketime.
May 9, 2008 9:00 PM
Yes, she still has her third nap. She falls asleep anywhere between 12:30 (on the mornings she wakes early) and 1:00. She wakes between 2 and 2:45. She has been going down for her 3rd nap at 4:45 and is asleep by 5. However yesterday she woke at 2:30 from her 2nd nap and did fall asleep till 6:00. Her dinner is at 6:30. Normally this nap is 1/2 hour.
May 9, 2008 11:36 PM
- sasa said…
A friend of mine just directed me to your blog and I’m so excited that you’ve taken this time to give us this amazing resource. I hope you can help us….Our son is turning 6 months this week and has been sleeping consistently through the night since he was 12 weeks old. He’s very predictable in that he would only wake and cry if he was hungry, otherwise, he would fall back asleep without any assistance from us. The past two weeks however, he’s been waking up every night (usually twice) and I’ve needed to feed him. First we thought it was teething, then we thought possible an uncomfortable stomach and we finally chalked it up to a growth spurt. It’s just been going on for so long now that we aren’t sure what to do and are feeling somewhat discouraged. He started on solids last week and today, I tried two meals to see if that would help. He’s stirring as I type and it’s midnight. I’m not sure he’s going to fall back asleep, but we’ll see. During the day, he is on a 3 to 4 hour schedule and takes two longer naps with one occasional catnap in the evening. His daytime schedule has not seemed to cause any variance in the night time waking. Babywise has worked so well for us and to have it all fall apart now would be terrible. We would appreciate any advice you may have! Thank you!
May 5, 2008 11:03 PM
Sasa, I am glad you have found us. Babywise talks about some babies waking suddenly in the night around 6 months. There are a few possible reasons. One is the growth spurt. This can be especially true if you start solids at 6 months or later. If he is being fed in the night, he would have no reason to wake earlier in the day to get extra calories. You can try feeding him more often in the day to see if that helps. They just need more calories as they hit 6 months; it isn’t a short spurt like previous spurts. It is an increased need for more calories. So if that is his reason for waking, he will continue to do so in the night until he has his calorie needs met in the day.It can also be due to too many naps in the day, but that doesn’t sound like your situation. It can also be because of a hightened awareness of his surroundings. Good luck in your problem solving!
May 6, 2008 3:43 PM
Thanks for your advice! He finally slept through the night last night, so it must have been the calorie thing– two meals just might be my answer! Hopefully, it will continue. I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog. Any help for a breast infection? Or maybe it’s a clogged duct? Must have come on because of the lack of sleep the last two weeks!
May 6, 2008 10:28 PM
Really watch the infection. I have had mastitis twice. The first time kind of caught be by surprise. The second time I knew it was coming before it got bad. I would start each nursing session on the side that is clogged until it clears up. You can also massage the spot while nursing to help get it out. If it gets really tender, red, or hot or if you feel flu-like symptoms, call your doctor right away. Mastitis can be really serious if left untreated.
May 7, 2008 8:54 PM
And congrats on the STTN!
May 7, 2008 8:54 PM
- krystal said…
hello. here i am again needing more help. thanks for your willingness. so, now i think we have our naps down, but he has started waking up in the night again! he is 3 months now and even on nights when he doesn’t wake up, he is only going from about 10:30 to 5:30. i think my other two were sleeping much longer by now. and for the past week he is getting up in the middle of the night again. i’ve let him cry it out, but he is crying for an hour or more (with me checking on him occasionally) and then i finally end up feeding him. what can i do? i am wanting to get rid of the 10:30 feeding, but i am nervous it might make things worse. thanks so much for helping!
May 23, 2008 7:14 PM
Do keep in mind the three month growth spurt. Some babies will wake in the night rather than waking from naps early. I think I would try adding a feeding in the day to see if that fixes it. Something you could try in the night is going in and soothing him to sleep rather than feeding him and see what happens. If he sleeps well afterward, then he is likely not hungry. If he wakes up before his real waketime again, then he probably is hungry. Good luck!
May 25, 2008 8:09 PM
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?