Sleep deprived 5 month old

  • Hello...I think my 5 month old is sleep deprived...and me as well! He has only slept through the night 3 times since he was born and for the past 2 months he has been waking up every 1 to 2 hours, now its almost exactly 1 HR and 45 MIN. I have tried a little music, I have left a vent fan on for "white noise", I have let him cry it out, I give him a bath and have used the bedtime lotion, I put him to bed the same time every night, but he still wakes up like clockwork every night, every 1 to 2 hours. He is my third child and my other two are 6 and 7, which they were both sleeping through the night by this time. I just don't know what to do anymore and would love some suggestions.

  • Missy-

    It sounds as though your little ones need a little help with his sleep schedule.  I think that sleep issues are one of the most common things that members post about.  Part of this has to do with the fact that, just like you are experiencing, children are individuals and although the majority meet certain milestones at similar ages-every baby is an individual.  This has much to do with genetics, health, metabolic and nutritional needs, growth and and a variety of other variables.  In regard to your baby it sounds like you are a well experienced mom and have really done a good job with his sleep hygiene.  What I can add to this is that it may help to not allow him to wake up all the way.  Now this being said if he is wet, hungry, cold, ect then you are going to need to intervene to keep him safe and comfortable.  One thing that I talk a lot about in posts here at strongmoms is helping infants develop methods to self sooth.  This is something that many adults don't have down so if you can start this now you are giving your child a great start in life!  The term self soothing refers to ways in which your baby can comfort himself without your having to go in pick him up and comfort him yourself.  Infants are actually quite capable of learning this.  The first thing I suggest to parents is finding a comfort item for their baby.  Some examples are binkis, a favorite (quiet) toy, a blanket, ect.  Then have your baby sleeping in a crib.  When you hear him wake, go immediately to his side, get him rebundled or covered and offer him the comfort item you have selected.  Use a quiet and low tone of voice if you need to talk to comfort him.  Do not make eye contact, do not turn on the lights.  You can gently rub him back or pat it (some find this very comforting) for a minute or two, then leave quietly.  If he wakes again or stirs let him be.  You want to be assured that he is safe, so it's on to check on him if he continues to fuss.  Give him back his comfort tool (for ex. his binki), then quietly leave.  He will soon fall asleep easily with that comfort tool at his side.  Now, you may be needing to give him a bit more volume of feeds to last longer than the 2 hours that he is used to.  However you will find that once he is lengthening his sleeping/non-feeding time he will drink more at each feeding.  

    I hope that this helps some.  Take a good look through this board (Baby's First Year) at the other posts as there are a ton of posts about sleep that you may find helpful.  The other resource is the American Academy of Pediatrics webpage.  They have a search tool at the top right side of the page and have very good parent education.  The link to this page is:


    Please let us know how things are going.  Good luck!

    :) -Jess


  • does he sleep well in your arms? i know its not conventional but try to sleep with him and see if he sleeps any better, you can always move him to his own bed after he falls asleep,  or try car rides everyone tells me car rides (which for me wont work because i have two older children that are still fairly young) and have you asked your doctor what they think or suggest?

  • Have you spoken to your doctor about this? Sometimes there is a medical reason why babies are waking up so often. He could have reflux or something. I would have him checked out by your pediatrician and ask her what advice she recommends as well. Is he eating enough during the day? If not, babies will wake more frequently through the night to get all of their "calories" in. Good luck and let us know how it goes. 

  • Missyk888 - so sorry to hear about your sleep troubles! It really makes you feel exhausted, doesn't it?? Does your little guy eat every time he wakes up? It could be that he is/was going through a growth spurt and trained himself to get up that often to eat. Have you tried holding off on long naps prior to bed time? JessBabyRN has some great sleep training tips, as well. I hope you find some answers and some sleep soon!!!