Author Topic: 5 month old waking up after 4 hours at night, cannot settle.  (Read 255 times)

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Offline JT627

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I'm new here and at my wit's end!  My son goes to bed great at 7p.  However he has been waking up every other night or so only 4-5 hour after going to sleep.  I pick him up, hold him and he's out cold.  The second he's back in his crib, he's up within 5 minutes. This went on from 11:30pm- 2am and I had to work the next day.  I finally took him in our bed since I needed any sleep I could get. He woke up at 545 for the day.

He's my second so you'd think I would have this figured out.  My older son is a great sleeper so I am not sure what I'm missing here.  I'm back at work so his days are split between me and my mother in law who has not had much time with him yet to master a "schedule"

Formula fed 7/8 oz at a time.  Eating oatmeal and basic veg/fruit here and there.  No real schedule yet but roughly does 3 naps only being 30-40 minutes (another issue!) and can only stay awake 2 -3 hours at a time.  He's pretty happy when he's awake, just watching his older brother, who is 3.

I'm home tomorrow so my goal is once again to try to get him in a schedule. Any advice? Maybe increase his awake time?  I'm so tired and dread the night!

Offline ginger428

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Re: 5 month old waking up after 4 hours at night, cannot settle.
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2017, 01:47:39 am »
Welcome to bw! Sorry about the crazy nights! If at all possible, please try to go to bed earlier to catch up on your rest.... temporarily, until we can sort this out. A time is usually around 2.5hr at this age so that seems fine, although, his short naps might be causing OT (overtiredness), so 3 hrs might be pushing it toward the end of the day.

Few questions for you:

Do you notice any swelling on his gums? Bumps? OT babes usually wake around 3 hrs, so since he's waking around 4-5 hrs after BT, I wonder if it's some discomfort. Laying down at night exacerbates the pressure and pain of teething.

When did this waking start? Can you think of any big changes that might have coincided with the nws (night wakes)? Is he gassy during the day? I ask because we found my son was sensitive to certain food and caused gas and probably abdominal aches due to it.  May or may not be the case here.

Is he usually waking at 5:45 or was that a one-off? How many hrs per 24 hrs does he sleep on avg?

Here are some general 5 mo loose/flexible routines that we can work toward and tweek according to your son's needs/habits:
chronological EASY samples, 4-6 months

How do you put him down for the night? It seems like an independent sleeper but the way he goes down can impact his nw's.



Offline JT627

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Re: 5 month old waking up after 4 hours at night, cannot settle.
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2017, 14:06:59 pm »
Thank so much for getting back to me. Sorry, wasn't on a computer all weekend and now I"m back at work.  I had him on a "good" schedule over the weekend until Daylight Savings, where he slept late and kind of threw it off.  Anyways, last night he was up from maybe 3:30 off and on until I took him into our bed at 5 so I could get some sleep.  He sleeps great when he's next to me so I know he's capable of sleeping, and needs it!

Over the weekend:

Wake 645 - 8oz bottle
Some oatmeal before nap
9-930 - Nap
10 - 7 oz bottle
11:50-1230 - Nap
1:00 - 7 oz bottle
2:00-4 - Nap - I had to go in once when he woke up but he did solid 2 hour afternoon naps
4 - 7 oz bottle
600 - bedtime routine - bath, bottle, bed by 7 where he goes off fairly easily.  He seems to like his side so I rub his back while he drifts off .

He's not LOVING the pacifier so he really has nothing to sooth himself with other than his hands, which just seem to wake him up. 

I can't figure it out.  He's not teething yet, he's not eating anything crazy yet.  Last night he seemed "awake" at 4am. HOping maybe daylight savings messed him up.

I'll be home with him the next 2 days and my goal is once again to focus on his schedule! 

Thanks for any tips! It seems like this is a common occurrence with the age, makes me feel better.

Offline ginger428

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Re: 5 month old waking up after 4 hours at night, cannot settle.
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2017, 18:43:15 pm »
Yes, 4-6 mo is tricky! An amazing developmental period.

Your routine looks good. Does he get any bottles in the middle of the night? When does he turn 6 mo? There is a growth spurt around there that may cause the night wakings to eat.

He may be getting accustomed to needing your help to sleep.  I completely understand doing whatever necessary to get any semblance of sleep! Perhaps start with slowly withdrawing how much you support him (rub his back) to fall asleep. You can gently switch from rubbing, to patting, to then firmly laying a hand, until you can lift it completely.Less and less over the course of 4-5 days.   If you can muster it the next couple days, try not to bring him into bed with you.  It'll begin to reinforce his need for you to fall asleep.

Offline JT627

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Re: 5 month old waking up after 4 hours at night, cannot settle.
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2017, 19:17:07 pm »
Yes good tips.  My goal is not to take him into our bed since I won't be getting up for work the next few days.  He does not eat overnight anymore since he takes in at least 35 oz a day of formula.   I'll try to patting and rubbing his back tonight.

He will be 6 months March 29th.


Offline ginger428

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Re: 5 month old waking up after 4 hours at night, cannot settle.
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2017, 19:44:52 pm »
Fingers crossed! Hope there is a lot of sleep in the forecast!  ;)
And I hope my second (if we have one) is a great sleeper like your first. My first is not.

Offline JT627

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Re: 5 month old waking up after 4 hours at night, cannot settle.
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2017, 20:14:24 pm »
Maybe you paid your dues with the bad sleeper and your second will be a dream :)   I honestly don't know what we did with our first, hence my frustration right now ha! 


Offline *Kara*

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Re: 5 month old waking up after 4 hours at night, cannot settle.
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2017, 04:12:12 am »
It really sounds to me that he may be hungry... being awake for hours on end is usually a sign that baby is hungry.  After a few hours, baby is just too tired to stay awake regardless of hunger and will sleep soundly.

I'd actually offer a smaller bottle of 5-6 ozs... if it is a growth spurt, it will come to an end after a week or so.



Offline ginger428

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Re: 5 month old waking up after 4 hours at night, cannot settle.
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2017, 13:05:54 pm »
Kara's right.  If he keeps waking, especially at random times over a few nights, it would be worth giving the night feed.  Keep it as boring as possible... no talking, no eye contact, just feed, burp, and back down. 

Or, if he hasn't woken in the MOTN lately, feed more frequently during the day.  My son did both, increased frequency during the day, and needed an extra feeding at night. 

Before starting that though, how did last night go?  And he does get a hearty 35oz already. What do you think? 


Offline JT627

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Re: 5 month old waking up after 4 hours at night, cannot settle.
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2017, 13:27:14 pm »
Hi all,  we have definitely had some improvement since I've been putting him down awake and not rocking him anymore.  He's slept through the night all weekend (like 730-5ish, but I got him back down until 630ish).  Last night he was up at 3 for whatever reason but just kind of "talking", making noise.  I only went in a few times but eventually he settled on his own.  Naps have been SO much better which may also be helping his nights. 
Maybe he was just going through a phase, but it seems to be on the up and up.  Watch , tomorrow I'll post how horrible tonight will be. 
Thank you all for your help and advice. It really helps to discuss these things and know you're not alone!!!

Offline ginger428

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Re: 5 month old waking up after 4 hours at night, cannot settle.
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2017, 15:38:25 pm »
That's wonderful news! As much as we want you, I hope you don't return! ;)

Here is the birth club for 0-6 months. To this day, I am friends with my group on fb. We still support each other!
It's more a place to commiserate, celebrate, and support one another than find solutions.

0-6 months, Part 3


Offline JT627

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Re: 5 month old waking up after 4 hours at night, cannot settle.
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2017, 15:47:10 pm »
Thank you!