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4 month old still never slept through, still wakes every 2-3 hrs!!

(36 Posts)
MummyOnTour Wed 20-Jul-11 13:07:19

Can anyone share any advice/experience - my 4 month old is still yet to sleep through the night and still wakes every 2-3 hrs every night like a newborn. I've noticed a lot of people saying that their babies have regressed at this stage but my LO hasn't ever even got to that stage in the first place, just doesn't seem capable of it! I'm exclusively BFing but tried a big bottle of formula before bed last night but even that made no difference. I had him settled inbed by 9 but then he was up at 12 (till 1), then again at 3, 5 and 7. He doesn't take long naps/sleep excessively during the day and we've even tried leaving him to cry it out several times but he gets himself worked up into such a state we always end up picking him up and I feed him again (we have a daughter so also reluctant to leave him too long not wanting to disturb her!). Any suggestions gratefully received!!

iMemoo Wed 20-Jul-11 13:11:47

Sweetie it's perfectly normal for a 4 month old to still be feeding every 2-3 hours. I know it's exhausting but he will sleep through at some point.

EnSuiteShed Wed 20-Jul-11 13:13:30

Do you think he is in pain maybe?

Or just wanting fed?

I think it is entirely normal for a breastfed baby to wake up this much in the night at 4 months.

It's a decision only you can make, but how about maybe expressing and giving him a bottle before bed.

Can you get your DH to try to settle him at night maybe over the weekend so that he doesn't smell your milk?

EnSuiteShed Wed 20-Jul-11 13:14:42

Sorry, I should have added that's if you want to wean him off feeding in the night.

cherub59 Wed 20-Jul-11 13:17:15

OP it's unfortunately perfectly normal for a 4 month old. My ds3 is just 4 months and all 3 have been the same.

Sleeping through at this age means sleeping for 4-5 hours not sleeping 7-7!!! That's what they DON'T tell you before you have kids!!

I know it's tough but it will pass. There is a growth spurt at this age as well which means for a few days baby will demand more milk more regularly and when your body catches up he should start going longer again!!!

There is a march 2011 babies thread - we are all going through the same thing!

HumptyDumpty1 Wed 20-Jul-11 13:37:33

My 4 month old is the same smile can't wait for her to sleep longer!!

haloflo Wed 20-Jul-11 14:14:45

My 4 mo DD is exactly the same. I often wonder whether she can sleep long stretches as we have only ever had one 5 hour stretch and 2-3 hourly stretches at night are the norm. My Bf counseller advised trying to settle her with a hand on her tummy for naps then hopefully moving towards using that at night. I don't think its going to work somehow but I'm going to give it a go.

My DD is huge though (17lb 9 at 16 weeks) so definatly does not need 5/6 night feeds.

Its hard not to compare at groups etc but it definatly is normal, just the rubbish sleep deprived end of normal.

One thing to consider is if she is only having short naps can you extend them? They need to sleep during the day so they aren't overtired as that can impact on sleep.

It's not easy though - my DD mostly does 30-45 minute naps no matter what I do. Right on cue she's awake...

Wigeon Wed 20-Jul-11 14:18:53

No magic answers I'm afraid but just to say that hardly any babies I know (including my DD - now 3yo) slept through at 4 months. And DD went from waking once a night to several times, from 3 months to 8 months. And only reliably slept though at about 12 months. The sleep deprivation is awful, I feel your pain.

We tried a book called the No Cry Sleep Solution but it still felt like it took ages to encourage her to sleep for longer periods at night. Might be worth having a read of that book - it's gentle ideas for encouraging better night time sleeping.

thebabytrainer Wed 20-Jul-11 14:53:24

Four months is a tricky time , baby starts to get ready for solids and needs more food. The bottle of formula is a great idea but anything new takes about 3-4 days to work so don't give up . Have a look at your day time routine and make sure baby is getting enough through the day , no sleeping on the job ( whilst feeding that is) . 5-6 feeds between 6/7.am to 11.pm. Keep in place the dream feed , 11.pm . I know it's late but once they sleep through the night you can bring it forward. Also try leaving baby for 2min once they wake to see if they can re-settle themselves. give baby an hour for each feed and make sure you get that wind up . Good luck . Hope is of some help.

bex2011 Wed 20-Jul-11 15:34:49

My 17 wo Ebf Ds is the same. At 15 weeks he went from feeding once in the night, sometimes twice, to waking every 2 hours. Its a killer. He has also been a lot worse at sleeping in his cot. Im putting it down to growth spurt and getting ready to wean. Im reluctant to wean too early as I've got digestive probs (coeliac disease) and have read that weaning too soon can cause probs

As others have said, comparing to others doesn't always help. I read a post on here once that said if you don't have expectations etc for hitting milestones, then you cannot be disappointed when they are not reached! It helps to a certain extent, but not always at 2, 3, 44 o'clock in the morning!

matana Wed 20-Jul-11 16:03:00

At that age my DS was still waking twice/ three times. He started going 7.30-6.30 around 7.5 months after a period of several weeks when he went till 4/5am. All of a sudden it just clicked - and i ended up waking up anyway just to check he was ok!

fififrog Wed 20-Jul-11 20:47:43

Hey mine too, 3 hourly feeding again (was down to 2 feeds a night) and now she rolls onto her tummy and gets stuck so we have plenty of screaming wake-ups that can take an hour to settle... :-(

PippiLongBottom Wed 20-Jul-11 20:49:20

4 months? Pah. My 4 YEAR old has never slept through!

Emsmaman Thu 21-Jul-11 08:06:26

Hi, I read this thread yesterday when I came home from a friend's house, her baby has been sleeping 10 hour nights since 2 months old. Made me feel a complete failure since my four month old, although has occasionally slept 7/8/9 hour stretches, more commonly wakes every 1/2/3 hours during the night. So thankyou for sharing your experiences and making me realise this is perfectly normal! Do you think people lie about how well their babies slept? It seems everyone I know tells me their babies were sleeping through by 5-8 weeks yet the stories online don't seem to represent this...

cyberfairy Thu 21-Jul-11 08:14:05

My baby is five and a half months and just the same. I am trying to shush pat him back to sleep and not feed him when there is less than three hours between feeds so far with about a 50/50 success rate...

spout Thu 21-Jul-11 08:17:21

4 months is mega-growth-spurt territory, I seem to (wearily) recall. At that age they need what they ask for, IYKWIM.

If he's waking up but not actually hungry then you could try alternative soothing methods (sssh / pat for example) but if he's feeding then I think you've just got to go with it for this phase.

SleepySuzy Thu 21-Jul-11 08:18:32

Sorry for this answer but my DD is 8 mths and wakes every 3 to 4 hours. Ive stopped trying to change her as people on here seem to think it's normal. I'm just hoping she will sort it herself.

Agree that it is normal (if exhausting) for a 4 mo not to sleep through but if it continues have you considered a Cranial Osteopath? I took DS at 6.5 mo and he slept through after the first visit. Went one more time to be on the safe side and he has slept through ever since ( he was ebf too)

BumperlicicusTotalus Thu 21-Jul-11 08:20:52

Completely normal. Dd2 was still doing this at 8 months. Of course you're not a failure. It's shit though!

threefeethighandrising Thu 21-Jul-11 08:25:42

I would say that a bottle of formula might not be such a great idea. Doesn't giving formula risk messing with your own supply?

"Do you think people lie about how well their babies slept?" I expect some of them do. Or exaggerate perhaps. I think also our culture for some reason doesn't seem to allow for the basic needs of a baby. Most mums IMO are unprepared for how much time you need to spend feeding / up at night in the early weeks and months, because it's just not talked about. And sleeping through at a young is seen as some kind of achievement that we should be aiming for, rather than accepting that for most babies this simply isn't going to happen!

cantmakecarrotcake Thu 21-Jul-11 09:01:41

It's perfectly normal at 4 months for breastfed babies not to sleep through. In fact around 3/4 months my dd picked up extra night feeds.

DD is now 6 months and has only just, this week, decided she only needs one night feed. I think, this is in part, because we've just moved her to her own room. If your LO is in your room still, it might be that you disturb each other?

Formula may help, I get the impression ff babies sleep through better, but I'd encourage you to keep bf for all the obvious reasons.

IMO 4 months is too young to leave a baby to cry, I'd only do that once he's on solids and is getting enough calories in the day that you KNOW he's not hungry and needing night feeds. Go with it for a while, and hopefully by 6 months he'll need fewer night feeds.

One question, when he feeds at night, does he take a full feed or fall asleep part way through? I sometimes have to nudge DD awake between boobs so that she gets a full feed.

Flisspaps Thu 21-Jul-11 09:09:17

FF did not help DD sleep through one bit.

spout Thu 21-Jul-11 12:55:47

LostIn - I wonder if CO would work for 2yo DS who still wakes every 2-3 hours <hopeful>

Sorry OP, that's not what you want to hear, is it? grin

Lozario Thu 21-Jul-11 14:44:50

I do agree that it's common for 4 month olds to wake this much and also agree that 4 months is a tricky time in terms of coming up to weaning, but also wondered if it might make a difference getting the baby down earlier? My 16 week old is a nightmare to settle if she's overtired!

matana Thu 21-Jul-11 14:55:51

I'm not sure people lie about their LOs sleeping through - i just think it means different things to different people. Medically speaking, 5-6 hours is 'sleeping through'. For others it's a 9 hour stretch and for yet others it's the full 12 hours.

Anecdotally there does seem some support for FF babies sleeping through earlier than BF and, for the record, i do also believe that girl babies sleep through sooner than boy babies on the whole.

Giving my DS a bottle of formula at bedtime from 6 months (until then he was EBF) didn't make the slightest difference. The thing that did it for me was when he was on 3 proper and decent sized meals per day, as well as milk. He's 8.5 months and has been doing 11 hours for about 4 weeks - although we're now into the next sleep regression territory so he's started waking again. Thankfully it's not through hunger this time but trying to crawl around at night and getting stuck!

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