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Is my 5 month old normal or is she a terrible sleeper?(12 Posts)
Hi, I have a 5.5 month old lovely baby girl. The longest stretch that she has ever slept is 3 hours since she was born. She is exclusively BF and not on solids yet.
I always have to carry her with white noise for her to fall asleep. My back and neck really hurt. She is 16 lbs and getting heavier. She can't sleep on her own at all. If I put her in the cot, she will roll over and get stuck on her tummy and yell out for me. If I don't respond she will whine and fuss and eventually cry a lot. Tried sleep training and it didn't work for us.
She will wake up almost every night at the same time and every 1.5 to 2 hours. I have tried to wait a few mins to see if she quietens down and she never does. She always wants to go on my breast. I pick her out of the cot and bring her to me for a small breastfeed. She will feed, fall asleep and I put her back in the cot. She doesn't need a bounce or rock in the middle of the night. Recently, she wakes up 5-6 times a night, but each time for a short while.
So my question is, is she quite normal or is she a particularly bad sleeper? Am I actually lucky in that every time she wakes up, she falls asleep pretty quickly after a feed? Could it be worse? I often feel very sleep deprived and low in morale especially when I have to carry her for ages.
I think it's normal for breastfed babies. Not that this makes it easier of course. Have you considered a bottle of formula?
I think normal for an exclusively breast fed baby. Not the complete norm as I'm sure there are EBF babies at that age who do sleep well (although I've yet to hear of one) but friends with EBF babies have had very similar experiences, certainly of the length of sleep stretches.
Hard work for you OP but I don't think unusual at all.
I would definitely say she's a bad sleeper OP. My babies were EBF btw.
Bad sleeper and mine were EBF.
You’re making it harder on yourself by being indulgent. She’s a bit young for sleep training but the idea she ‘can’t’ sleep unless carried around with white noise is a bit silly. Of course she can.
Fretting a little won’t hurt. Having a nap with her to catch up your sleep won’t hurt.
Soon she’ll be weaning and more likely to sleep better. I’d not advocate swapping breast for bottle because you’re so near the point of being able to drop night feeds anyway. The end is in sight. Another few months and try sleep training again. Meanwhile minimum fuss is she wakes at night.
Bad sleeper. Plenty of mums will tell you it’s normal and I would say it’s not unusual, but that does not mean it’s great or normal. Drs will generally tell you that babies that age and weight without underlying health issues do not medically NEED to be fed at night and the feeding will almost certainly be contributing substantially to the waking. How you deal with it depends on what you’re comfortable with but you almost certainly do not have to continue as you are. I’m a pretty strong proponent of if baby sleeps better, it’s better for everyone but not everyone agrees with any form of sleep training, night weaning etc. I’m sure someone will be along to tell you cosleeping is dreamy and you just need to suck it up... but you don’t, if you don’t want to.
The last few days she has been waking up 3 times a night. Would that be normal? She does seem to want to feed as well and is not satisfied with cuddles.
I like the idea of sleep training but it doesn't work for me! My baby is so strong willed. She always wakes up when I put her down before 5 mins. The she will scream. Drowsy but awake just doesn't work at all! If she is drowsy, as soon as I put her down she will be wide awake and start to roll and babble/protest and eventually start wailing.
I decided not to use formula because I didn't want it to impact on my milk supply.
Did we do things wrong by carrying her to sleep when she was younger? Is it just due to the baby i.e. all babies are different?
My baby is similar. He’s a month older but has been waking often all night to feed
I have decided to gently wean off so many night feeds. Now aiming to only feed every 3hrs overnight, so if he wakes before then resettling without feeding.
He isn’t best pleased, but is generally going back to sleep with us gently patting his back or shoulder. He just gets angry being carried around and rocked to sleep now, so is better if he stays in cot if not too unsettled
Bad sleeper - I have one too! DS is a few weeks younger but we have wake ups every 1-2hrs. DH has mastered the drowsy but awake settling for when DS first goes to bed but it’s made no difference to how long he sleeps. We’ve also introduced 2 bottles during the day which hasn’t changed anything (except the return of af ). We’re clinging on until 6 months and then we’ll probably try some gentle sleep training.
Probably not helpful but just letting you know you’re not alone!
Bad sleeper. Sorry OP, hope things improve soon
I'm no expert, my daughter is around the same age and a terrible sleeper, but it sounds within the range or normal to me. Definitely on the bad sleeper side of things though. If feeding her back to sleep is working for you just carry on. If you're finding it isn't working for you anymore try and reduce by one feed a night to start with, maybe the 1st wake up as you know that she is less likely to be hungry and is more seeking comfort. If possible try and get her dad to resettle so she won't smell the milk and get frustrated. If this works, try and cut the next feed. I think if you don't want to do the crying methods of sleep training you have to go very slowly and be very patient in order to see change.
I'm with you on the sleep deprivation and low morale though, i was finding myself getting really frustrated with the night wakings until I decided I dont want to try cc yet and have resigned myself to poor night sleep until I'm ready. I now try and catch up an hour in the morning before husband starts work and at the weekend. Its exhausting!
Good to know I’m not alone in this!
@Restingpotato thanks for the tip! I’ll try to get daddy to hold her for the first wake up (although she doesn’t like it when daddy holds her for sleep!). My husband looks after her for 1-2 hours after she wakes up. It is a lifesaver for me!