Babies: 3 - 6 Months

Sleeping at 5 months

How long can a 5 month old go without eating? My DD will usually eat around 8:30 and then is asleep by 9. We are trying to sleep train her and have been letting her CIO. When is the point that I say it's been long enough and go in to feed her? How many hours should a 5 month old be sleeping at night? How long do I let her CIO for? Thanks in advance.

Re: Sleeping at 5 months

  • My twins go down at 7, V (my son) will sleep until 6am, E (my daughter) will wake up during the night. If its after 4am I'll feed her, if not I give her a paci.

    CIO- we started a few days before 5 months. It was hard at first, but it's been well worth it. First we started by putting them to sleep after their bath and bottle.. We wanted to stop rocking to sleep. So now we just put them in their cribs to sleep. This took four nights to get adjusted. Now they wimper for 30 seconds.

    Our rule is, once down we don't pick back up. We sooth while their in the cribs. Picking up would just piss em off even more. The longest we ever let them cry was 12 min. It didn't go longer. If she wakes up before 4, we let her cry.. If its over 10 min l'll go in, 9 out of 10 times she goes back to sleep without me going in. (I have a video monitor so I can see everything is okay). After 4 am, I nurse her.

    A five month old is supposed to sleep 11-13 hours/night.

    Our pedi told us to cut out the midnight feedings, said they had enough at their 645 feeding to last through the night.

    This is what works for my family. Good luck in whatever you decide! My babies are 23 weeks. HTh!
    TTC 10/2010 DX with PCOS 01/2012 Metformin 05/12. Clomid 07/12 50mg- Bust,no response. 8/12 100mg 0 on CD20=BFP. 9/24-56 9/26-125 10/1-2100 B/G Twins, EDD 05/2013 "It's funny they give you a drug to help get you pregnant, but it makes me not want to have sex with you" -DH. Lilypie Pregnancy tickers
  • Few questions (FYI you're going to get some people that think this is not only too early for CIO, but that you really shouldn't deny your child food MOTN)
    • why are you sleep training? was she waking multiple times a night or just 1-2x for food?
    • How much is she eating in the day?
    • how much was she eating at night? full bottles or just tiny sips?

    If she was only waking 1-2x a night and taking full bottles, STOP with the CIO. Just don't do it. she is hungry, and at 5 months still needs the bottles.It is too early to even think about weaning from the night feedings. Just please, continue to feed your baby right now if this is the case.  If she's waking 4-6x a night and only taking tiny sips from the bottle, then maybe CIO is a good option (I never had too so i personally have no opinion)

    as for your questions
    How long can a 5 month old go without eating? 
    this varies baby to baby. some kiddos are still up every 2-3 hours, some can STTN. YOUR baby still may need to eat 3-4 hours into the night even if someone else's baby can go 12+ hours
     When is the point that I say it's been long enough and go in to feed her
    if you think she needs to eat? RIGHT AWAY. The moment she stats to cry, if you think even for an instance it's because she's hungry, feed her. she should NEVER be denied food,  especially for "sleep training". Sleep training only applies to babies who wake up constantly, not for hunger but because they need help going to sleep. Sleep training is about teaching babies how to fall asleep on their own and not need help, so that they get more restful sleep as do you. its is NOT to "teach" babies how to sleep longer without a bottle. 
    How many hours should a 5 month old be sleeping at night?
    this varies but typically a 10-12 hour span with any where from 2-3 wakes up would be considered normal
    How long do I let her CIO for?
    if she's hungry? 0 minutes. if she isn't hungry and you are trying to get her to fall asleep without your assistance, i would research different styles of CIO. There is Ferber, with comfort checks. There is the extinction method, with no checks. Figure out what will work for your baby.

    BUT, and I'm sorry i keep repeating myself but for the sake of your baby, DO NOT LET HER CIO IF SHE IS ACTUALLY HUNGRY.  CIO and all sleep training is NOT for babies who only wake up to eat, it is for babies who wake up every 1-2 sleep cycles and need help going back to bed OR for babies who need help transitioning to their own sleeping space.

    BabyFetus Ticker Little Riley-our first little girl coming March 1st, 2013 (or sometime around there;)
    mrsmichiganderLolalipsy
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  • Venti29 said:
    My twins go down at 7, V (my son) will sleep until 6am, E (my daughter) will wake up during the night. If its after 4am I'll feed her, if not I give her a paci. CIO- we started a few days before 5 months. It was hard at first, but it's been well worth it. First we started by putting them to sleep after their bath and bottle.. We wanted to stop rocking to sleep. So now we just put them in their cribs to sleep. This took four nights to get adjusted. Now they wimper for 30 seconds. Our rule is, once down we don't pick back up. We sooth while their in the cribs. Picking up would just piss em off even more. The longest we ever let them cry was 12 min. It didn't go longer. If she wakes up before 4, we let her cry.. If its over 10 min l'll go in, 9 out of 10 times she goes back to sleep without me going in. (I have a video monitor so I can see everything is okay). After 4 am, I nurse her. A five month old is supposed to sleep 11-13 hours/night. Our pedi told us to cut out the midnight feedings, said they had enough at their 645 feeding to last through the night. This is what works for my family. Good luck in whatever you decide! My babies are 23 weeks. HTh!

    Not a pediatrician, or even a doctor, but this is really awful advice.  Some ADULTS don't go that long without food, let alone little babies.

    OP, maybe your LO doesn't need to eat, but maybe they do.  Please please don't not feed your LO because you want them to STTN

    BabyFetus Ticker Little Riley-our first little girl coming March 1st, 2013 (or sometime around there;)
    [Deleted User]
  • First, thank you for all of your advise and answers. Second, I would NEVER not feed my baby if she was hungry, but I know that is not the case. She is EBF and used to STTN so I know she can handle the night without eating. Also when I would go in to feed her she would only eat for a minute or two and be back asleep. Our pedi said that she can definitely handle going the night without eating and to cut out her one feeding when she would wake up. I'm not trying to teach her how to not eat. I'm trying to teach her how to fall back asleep on her own because when I do go in there she barely eats anything. I was curious as to how long they can sleep because I wanted to know when it was probably no longer I just need help falling back to sleep and when it was actually I'm hungry come feed me. Last night she slept from 8:30-7:00 with only a 15 min wake up around 12.
  • ah gotcha. Your original post wasn't clear on all that, just on how long you wait before you feed her.

    I guess i'd listen to the cries ...the few few times my LO has gotten up since she's STTN, i've just fed her because she never gets up But, I can usually tell between a "I'm hungry" cry and a "something else is going on" cry.

    again, it's different for all babies. my LO "sttn" fro 7-630/7, but she gets up at night some time and babbles then falls back asleep
    BabyFetus Ticker Little Riley-our first little girl coming March 1st, 2013 (or sometime around there;)
  • eran810 said:

    First, thank you for all of your advise and answers. Second, I would NEVER not feed my baby if she was hungry, but I know that is not the case. She is EBF and used to STTN so I know she can handle the night without eating. Also when I would go in to feed her she would only eat for a minute or two and be back asleep. Our pedi said that she can definitely handle going the night without eating and to cut out her one feeding when she would wake up. I'm not trying to teach her how to not eat. I'm trying to teach her how to fall back asleep on her own because when I do go in there she barely eats anything. I was curious as to how long they can sleep because I wanted to know when it was probably no longer I just need help falling back to sleep and when it was actually I'm hungry come feed me. Last night she slept from 8:30-7:00 with only a 15 min wake up around 12.

    Just because she used to sttn and isn't now doesn't mean she isn't hungry when she wakes up. Growth spurts definitely cause babies to want to eat more even MOTN.
    This. Just because you have been waking up multiple times per night for the past 5 months, doesn't mean you can do it indefinitely. :-)
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    [Deleted User]
  • I would allow for at least one feeding until six months.   I think that is what the healthy sleep habits book recommends.
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    [Deleted User]TexasGirl81
  • I'm no expert, and I know every baby is different, but my LO used to sleep through the night and then about 3 weeks ago started to wake up at about 1:30 am, sometimes crying, sometimes he would happily talk to himself for about 10 minutes and then start fuss and cry. 

    I do not want to deny him food, but didn't want him to get used to having to nurse to sleep either. 
    We decided to have DH go in when LO started to fuss a little. (The idea being DS knows dad won't doesn't feed him) DH picks him up, gives him some cuddles and kisses and puts him back down in his crib. LO may fuss for about a minute  and then will soothe himself to sleep. 

    There have been a few times when DH has gone in to get LO and when dad has picked him up, LO has began to cry harder.  That has been our sign that he is hungry so I will go in and feed him. 
    This has and is working really well for us. I don't feel like LO is being denied food, and LO is back to STTN most days. 

  • My son has slept 12 hours straight at night starting at 3 months.. He's 20 months now.
  • Don't do this at least until 6-8 months. Get up please and feed the baby. There's no point in stressing her/him out.

    We have our "Irish Twins"

    DD born 8/7/2013

    DS born 7/28/14

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  • Lurking .... My lo is 19 weeks. Was waking only at 3:30 from going down at 7pm. For the past week she's waking 1,3,5 and 6. Only nibbling at the 3 and 5 and up for the day after the 6. I think she's young for CIO, but she's def waking out if habit not hunger. What would you girls advise?? Sorry to high jack OP, but I'm in a similar situation with a slightly younger baby!
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  • sarbieb said:
    Lurking .... My lo is 19 weeks. Was waking only at 3:30 from going down at 7pm. For the past week she's waking 1,3,5 and 6. Only nibbling at the 3 and 5 and up for the day after the 6. I think she's young for CIO, but she's def waking out if habit not hunger. What would you girls advise?? Sorry to high jack OP, but I'm in a similar situation with a slightly younger baby!
    Do you nurse her to sleep at the beginning of the night? If she's only nibbling then probably that's out of habit, and not hunger and she needs help getting her self back to sleep. If you nurse her to sleep then that is what she needs to get back to sleep. You could try a pacifier... I personally don't like pacifiers but I admit I will give them to my DS because it helps him to sooth himself to sleep and I have heard this is a way to ween a night habit nurse. Of course, if she is taking a full feeding, don't try to deny her of that, but if she's just nibbling, then it's likely just a habit. You could help her to learn to fall asleep at the beginning of the night too, that way you can teach her to self soothe to sleep. It's not easy but the earlier you start the better- but only when you and she is ready. There are lots of ways to do it without CIO.
    image

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