Babies: 3 - 6 Months

FTM... Am I doing something wrong...

I know this is my billionth post about sleeping issues etc.. My son is 4.5 months old.. Up until about 2 weeks ago he was sleeping great, waking up one time at night for a feeding. He now wakes up about 4 or 5 times a night either from rolling on his tummy and waking up or wanting to be held and sleep on my chest. 

 He goes down at 8:00 and wakes up many time at night.. I get up at 4:30am to get ready for work, I wake my son up at 5:30, I'm exhausted.. I get maybe 2 hours of sleep if you put all the mins husband could sleep through a bomb so unfortunately it's me getting up with him. 

My son eats 4 oz every 3 hours or so during the day he is over 15lbs now.. So I find it hard to believe that he's waking up ever hour because he's hungry. My question is, am I doing something wrong? Should I be feeding him more? Putting him down earlier? Should I try to sleep train at this age? Should I just let him CIO at night if I know he's not hungry? Should I move him when he flips on his tummy at night and cries?

Sorry to ask so many questions I'm just at a total loss right now and need some advice I hope this doesn't last long.. Between getting so little sleep, working overtime and doing house stuff I'm exhausted. 

Re: FTM... Am I doing something wrong...

  • I'm a FTM too, so it's not like I'm an expert, but it sounds like the 4 month wakeful.  To test the MOTN hunger level, give him a pacifier and put him back to bed.  If that works, then he wasn't hungry.  If he's not satisfied with the pacifier, then he's probably hungry.  DS was STTN, had one night where he was up every 2 hours, and now he's back to once a night.  But he's nursing a full meal at that time, so the pacifier isn't working for me right now. 

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  • It might be the 4 mo wakeful, but he may need a little more food. 

    Eventually they outgrow their eating schedule and need more food.  So try calculating how many oz he's getting over 24 hours and see how much he'd have to eat every 4 hours to meet that amount.  Then start increasing his volume by one ounce increments to train his belly to eat the larger volume.  This should help him increase the time between feedings.  After that is achieved, start adding an additional ounce every other feeding to get him to eat more over a 24 hour period of time.  Making these transisitions is tough at first, especially if you want to space out the feedings a little more.  4 hours during the daytime with larger bottles should eventually get you to longer sleep stretches.  I find with my kids 6 oz is the magic volume :)

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  • My son is 15 lbs and is taking 6 oz now. You might want to up his day time food. The4 month wakeful is more about activity and stimulation than hunger. 

  • Also a FTM and I'm sorry you're going through this but I'm sort of relieved to hear that someone else is experiencing the 4 month wakeful as badly as us. DD is waking every couple of hours at least and for us I don't think she's hungry every time. I still feed her around 2 and around 5, which is when she woke to eat before all this started. For all the extra wakings in between I comfort back to sleep.
  • my LO is almost 16 lbs, and eats 28 oz over 4 bottles-anywhere from 6-8 oz per bottle.  

    At 4 oz every 3 days that may not be enough.  Try stretching the time that he eats to 3.5-4 hours and see if he'll take 6-7 oz. 


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  • First of all, you aren't doing anything wrong - they don't come with instructions! I agree with PP that you may need to up the ounces. It took me a while to figure out that's what my little bruiser needed. During month 4 he went from taking 6 ounces per bottle, to 8. :P 


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  • tig594tig594
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    I'm not sure how it will work for you, but trying to increase the time between feedings would absolutely not work for DD.  She has been pretty good about sleeping through the night the last few weeks or only waking once for her bottle (usually too close to when the alarm is about to go off if you ask me).  She only fusses or cries when she is hungry and when she's hungry I let her eat as much as she wants.  Sometimes it's 4 ounces and sometimes it's 8.  Sometimes it's every few hours and sometimes she breaks up her bottle into smaller meals over an hour or so.  Last week she was diagnosed with an ear infection in both ears so her schedule and intake have been a little off.  Anyway, if she's hungry I'm not going to make her wait to eat and I wouldn't limit the amount she eats at this stage in her life, especially since she's maintaining a healthy weight.  


  • No, you're not doing anything wrong.... Just try adjusting how much you give him. My 15 week old eats 6-7oz every 4-5 hours during the day and then 7oz right before bed time and sleeps through the night....
  • Nope, no mistakes here. Sometimes babies just go through periods where they wake up a lot more often. A theory is that it's because they're more aware of their surroundings at this age, and their bond with you has really deepened. Because of this, they're wanting to spend more time with you/or see the environment more. Developmentally, it can be read as a good sign...but it's not necessarily a bad sign if a baby sleeps more during this time.

  • i would just go through trial and error.  my LO had a few weeks like this and then we realized it was the swaddle. he had outgrown swaddling so we stopped swaddling and his night time sleep tremendously improved.   then he sleep regressed so we tried setting the room to a cooler temperature and his sleep got worse so then we figured maybe he is cold? so we switched him from a long sleeve onesie and sleep sack to a footie pajama outfit and sleep sack and his sleep improved immediately.  i know its so hard because they can't tell you what is wrong but you have to just go through the list one at a time and see what works.  FYI my LO is not sleeping through the night either. he sleeps from 8pm-1:30pm i feed him then he wakes up at 5am i feed him again.  then he is up for the day at 7am.  
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  • I'm glad I stumbled on this post - I posted something very similar up above... thanks for all this info.
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  • from 3 months to 4 months 1 week DS was a horrible sleeper it peaked at its worst that first week of being 4 months.  I just hung in there and did what I could and then... whamo!  he figured things out and started STTN.  Only thing I take credit for is letting him stay up later until really tired out.  DS goes down at about 11pm, but sleeps to 6-8am now.  Feeds once and goes straight back down for another 1-2 hours.  It means we're not morning people, but we were never to begin with. when he first wakes up I try his wub a nub and 50% of the time now he'll continue sleeping more even!.

    Good luck.
    *** DS born February 21, 2013 - Toronto, Canada  ***
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