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5-month-old DS, when will he sleep more??

(19 Posts)
Marabou Tue 18-Oct-11 13:59:33

Ok so I'm sure that from time to time this board is filled with sleep-deprived first time mummies with similar questions such as mine, but please bear with one morewink...

DS is 5 months old and exclusively breastfed and hasn't started solids yet. He is a very happy and bubbly little boy and hardly ever complains about anything so we get along very well for the most part. But, as you guessed it, his sleep routine is getting me quite tired.. He naps very well during the day: two 1.5h naps every two hours or so and one catnap of usually about 30-45 minutes in the late afternoon and he goes to bed at 7pm-7.30pm. He then wakes up every two hours to eat throughout the night and wakes up for the day around 7-7.30am.

We co-sleep, which helps a little, but some nights he doesn't like nursing lying down next to me, so I have to get up and breastfeed him on the feeding pillow. Also, some nights he practices turning and crawling next to me and his excited shrieks aren't exactly lulling me back to sleepgrin!

Now I know all of this is normal, part of them hitting their developmental milestones, growthspurts and changes in their sleep cycles etc. BUT, when do they generally start sleeping longer streches?? I know it probably varies and every child is different of course, but I would really like to hear some of your experiences (with reassurancies that it does get better eventually of course smile!).

Shaz2011 Tue 18-Oct-11 14:15:55

Well with ds1 he was bf for 3 weeks feeding every 2 hours & than I put him on formula thinking it was going to help but it didn't he finally slept nearly all through the night (waking up once) when he was 7 months old & on solids.
With ds2 bf for 3 months & he was waking every hour and a half for a feed so put him on formula but he is still not sleeping all the way through but is waking every 4 hours for a feed but I did find if I gave him another bottle on top of bedtime he would sleep for about 8 hours but I am now starting him on solids at the end of the week so we will see if that makes a different.
When u feed him do u feed him from both sides or the one? And how long does he feed for ?

Marabou Tue 18-Oct-11 14:55:35

Hey and thanks for your reply. Gosh, 4 hours of solid sleep sounds heavenly at this point!

Admittedly DS only feeds on one side and for about 10-15 in the night. I've tried offering the other side, but he's usually asleep by then and can't be bothered with it anymore. Then again, I feed him BM from a bottle once a day so he can get used to it for when I go back to work and DH will stay with him, and he finishes a 5oz bottle in about 10 minutes and seems quite content with that, so I'm thinking he'll get at least the same amount with 10-15minutes of breastfeeding...

I was thinking that maybe he's ready for solids due to his increased appetite and tried both BLW-way (a piece of boiled carrot) and a bit of mashed banana mixed with BM, but he just wasn't interested so I've decided to wait a week or two. He's now 23 weeks...

Octaviapink Tue 18-Oct-11 16:46:29

11mo DS still waking every 2 hours during the night for feeds... Sorry!

Solids make no difference to sleep.

Marabou Tue 18-Oct-11 17:11:22

Oh noooo shock!

I feel for you...

Amarilis Tue 18-Oct-11 20:45:58

I have to just share what I know - take it or leave it.

IMHO, Your baby has way too much sleep in the day. They need no more that 2.5/3 hours MAX in the day. Try a strict routine and Read Gina Ford's 'Contented Little Baby' book - she'll save your life, but you'll have to stop co-sleeping.

This was my routine with my 5 month old:

Up at 7am (no matter what, no matter how tired)
and Full breast feed
0930 - nap of 30/45 mins - no more
11.00 - soild 'taster' - mashed fruit or veg
11.30 - full breast feed
12.00 - 1400 - nap
1430 - full breast feed
1700 -half breast feed (1 boob)
1800 - bath
1830 - rest of breast feed (other boob)
1900 - Down for bed (no later)
2200 - full breast feed

Breast feed whenever awake at night.

Hope this helps.

MadameJ Tue 18-Oct-11 20:53:53

Have you considered trying him in his cot rather than co-sleeping, DD was like your LO (probably worse) when we were co-sleeping and only really changed when I moved her into her own cot and room at 5 months. I think my LO would smell the milk during a light sleep cycle and just think "why not!!!!" - Just a thought x

Marabou Tue 18-Oct-11 21:22:41

Hello all and many thanks for your thoughts and advice!

Just in the nap front, today he surprised me and just had two naps (9:30-11:00 & 13:30-15:30) and wasn't too tired by bedtime at 7:00pm, so yes perhaps he's getting to a stage where he's comfortable with just two naps...

On the co-sleeping, funny enough we only started fairly recently, as I was getting tired of picking him up from his cot. However, we don't currently have an extra room for DS, so his cot is in our bedroom. Hm, maybe I should try the cot again and see how he gets on...

Octaviapink Wed 19-Oct-11 08:03:51

Amarilis I slightly doubt whether someone who's been co-sleeping and taking a baby-led approach is going to start taking a GF parental-convenience approach at this point!

Octaviapink Wed 19-Oct-11 08:04:40

Sorry, I'd delete that last post if I could. It's not helpful to start yet another why-Gina F-is-bad-for-babies debate on someone else's thread.

durhambound Wed 19-Oct-11 08:58:52

To be honest I wouldn't change the routine too much. I am helping a mum with twins of 5 months and they are sleeping the same as yours in the day and sleeping through the night. Every baby is different. Could you express a feed so your partner could give it and you can have a chunk of sleep.

Albrecht Wed 19-Oct-11 12:55:35

Ds started going longer about 9 months I reckon but its still bad here - 15 months now. Developmental stuff (as you are finding) mucks it up plus the hell that is teething...

Just try and get through it whatever way you can. I couldn't function if dh didn't take him in the morninsg on his days off so I could get some sleep.

Marabou Wed 19-Oct-11 12:57:02

Thanks again for all your replies.

I haven't read that many baby books and the only one I loosely followed was the easy-routine from the Baby Whisperer books apart from her advice on feeding, as it didn't quite fit and then I discovered on here that many people found her breastfeeding advice outdated etc. So I don't actually know anything about Gina Ford, but I do think for my LO going without a nap for more that 2hrs at a time at this stage would be asking for too much. He's already quite the chatterbox as it is and I'm sure trying to have him up for 4hrs would turn him into a gremlin!

One thing I haven't managed to teach him though is how to self-soothe and put himself back to sleep when he wakes up from his nap too early. That is my fault, because usually when he wakes up 30min or so after falling asleep I'm in the middle of something and find it easier to just take 5min to help him back to sleep. Actually I'm a bit confused as to how to teach him how to go back to sleep on his own. I would never try the cry-it-out method, but to be fair, I don't think he would cry anyway, because he never does: he just wakes up and starts playing with his hands/legs and can go on like that for forever. In the night when he wakes up, he often just starts to chat to himself and plays, so many times I don't actually think he's hungry...

At the moment I'm re-introducing the bottle, because he had forgot how to drink from it after DH went for a work trip for three weeks when he was about 3 months and I didn't feed him with a bottle once! He's now somewhat got the hang of it again after I've given him the bottle once every day for about a week now, but now he won't let DH feed him confused, which is the next thing we have to re-introduce. The trouble is, DH works crazy hours and DS is usually going to bed by the time he gets home and so DH can only really spend time with him during the weekends.. I hope DS will accept DH feeding him sooner than later, as when I go back to work part-time, DH will stay home with him one full day a week and I would hate for DS to go on hunger strike! And yes, it would also be nice to be able to have an extra nap during weekends smile!

Octaviapink Wed 19-Oct-11 13:13:16

Well, he's five months now, so I wouldn't worry too much about bottles - he's old enough for a sippy cup very soon if not immediately and you might even be surprised by how well he drinks from an open cup (worth introducing at the earliest opportunity!)

Marabou Wed 19-Oct-11 13:16:16

I do have a doidy-cup, so perhaps I'll try to give him some BM from that..

hardboiledpossum Wed 19-Oct-11 13:42:46

I night weaned at 3 months and my baby did start sleeping through then but has now started waking up multiple times again for no particular reason. Do you want to try and night wean? I tackled the feed where he seemed least interested first and just offered water, it was hard for a few nights and I did need to stay up and cuddle him till his next feed but he did start sleeping through that feed fairly soon.

AliGrylls Wed 19-Oct-11 14:02:15

DS1 was a really good sleeper, ds2 was a nightmare until about 3 months ago. Here are these are the things I did:

Both my DS' slept for a maximum of 3 hours at that age and if they fell asleep within 3 hours of bedtime I would poke them awake.
My mantra when they were awake was play, play, play. The more they play the more tired they are at night.
Co-slept with DS2 for a while - however once he was in his cot it guaranteed a block of 2-3 hours uninterrupted / wriggle free sleep.

I hope you get his sleep sorted.

Marabou Wed 19-Oct-11 21:40:38

Thanks for the tips!

I might actually try the water thing now that he's old enough to have it, as he's about to start solids and can drink from a bottle. I read about it two months back and the same time read that you shouldn't give water to a breastfed baby...

With the play thing, I might try that as well, so far as he gets some quiet time before sleep, as otherwise it'll take him ages to wind down. I just looked in some cot bumpers and decided to get the Ikea-one as that seems long enough to fit all around the cot. I figured if I want to get him sleeping in his cot again I need a cot bumper to get his feet from getting stuck in between the rails - he's a real wiggler and otherwise I'd be up all night untangling him...

Marabou Wed 19-Oct-11 23:17:13

Hm, now I read on another forum that giving him water still at this stage where he is solely depending on BM would risk him not getting the nutrition he needs. So I started feeling a bit bad and selfish and decided to do what's best for him and wait until he's on three solid meals a day and can bear to go longer between feeds before I start giving him water at night if he's still getting up as often..

For now I guess I'll just try to get as much milk in him as possible during the day and try to cach a nap with him sometimes during the day if I have time .Oooh how I miss sleep thoughsad ...

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