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5 Month Old Not Sleeping at Night


baby sleeping at night

Our almost 5 month old has yet to sleep through the night. He slept an 8 hour stretch once a few months ago and a 6 hour stretch once. We used to be able to go 3-4 hours between night time feeds, but now he seems to wake up every 2 hours on cue. Sometimes he is hungry, but mostly it seems like he just needs to be pacified. We are breast feeding and he is 24.4 lbs. (our family makes big babies!) We just started introducing solids. While it seemed to help a bit at first, it isn't making a difference anymore. I am exhausted! Any advice would certainly be appreciated.

By 5 months healthy children should be consistently sleeping at least a 6 hour stretch.

There are 3 basic things you can do to encourage your son to develop good sleep habits.

1.) Space out his daytime feedings. How often does he feed during the day? By four months, healthy children should be feeding every fours hours (from the start of a feed to the start of the next feed). If your son is feeding more frequently, the best strategy to space out his feedings is slow change. Usually adding 15 minutes every 2 weeks.

2.) Establish a bedtime routine. Daytime should be bright and stimulating & nighttime should be dark & boring. The transition from day to night should be signaled by a rigid bedtime routine. At our home we dim the lights, feed, bath, dress, feed a little more and give a pacifier.

3.) Teach him to fall asleep on his own. While developing his bedtime routine it is okay to place him in his bed asleep. Once his feedings are spaced out and his bedtime routine is established, place him in bed groggy but awake. Given time and consistency he will learn to fall asleep on his own. Sometimes this takes “crying it out”. See crying it out”.

Changing your son’s sleep habits will be difficult. Be strong and remember that sleep is good for your family and for your son’s long term physical and mental health.




Written Janurary 2012 by
Dr. Gordon, Windermere Pediatrician


 is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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