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6 Month Old Not Sleeping

I have a six month old. We are on a pretty good night time routine.  We bathe, bottle and are put in crib awake at 8 pm sharp.   He wakes up around 2 or 3 am for a bottle and then right back to sleep.    Should we stop giving him that middle of the night bottle & let him cry it out?   Also we had a really good nap routine.  Two hour nap in morning & two hour nap in afternoon.  Our son just kinda fell into this & we just stuck with it.  However, recently he has started to fight his naps & throwing the biggest fits.  Now maybe he will nap for an hour after a huge battle to get him down.   I'm sure there schedules change but he's not wanting to do any kind of nap.  We've tried white noise, making his room dark, we watch for his first signs of being tired... I wouldn't mind if he shortened his naps if he wasn't in a horrible mood. I'm not sure what to do anymore.

Overall, it sounds like you have done many of the right things and your son is really close to sleeping well. For now lets focus on the nighttime sleep. As you have already observed naps tend to “fall into place” after good nighttime sleep habits are established.

I define sleeping through the night as consistent 6 to 8 hour stretches at night. Once this is accomplished, most children will gradually sleep longer stretches as they grow larger and become more active. I realize that consistent 6 hours stretches that end with you waking up at 2am may not leave you feeling content and well rested.

3 things that should help:

1.) Space out his daytime feedings. How often does he eat? Babies who eat frequently at night wake more often at night. A healthy, six month old should only need to be fed every 4 hours. If he is eating more frequently slowly space out is daytime feedings.

2.) Move his bedtime later. I prefer 10pm a bedtime. An 8 hour stretch from 10PM until 6AM is much better than 8PM until 4AM. see moving bedtime

3.) Space out nighttime feedings. We need to transfer is nighttime calories to daytime. Begin by stretching out his longest “feeding free” period. It sounds like your son sleeps his longest stretch after his bedtime routine. Set progressively longer goals on how long he can go without eating. Meaning - When he wakes up a 2 AM try to make it to your goal time (say 2:30AM for week one) without feeding. Give him a pacifier, re-swaddle him or even hold and bounce him. This is tough work, but it will really pay off.

Follow up 1 weeks later!!

We have been going by your advice & trying to get him to eat more during the day. He now eats every four hours. He has been doing really well with that. He has started sleeping for about 8 hours at night. Thank you so much. It's so nice to see it start working so quickly.


Written October 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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