Nighttime Sleep Interrupted

I have been very lucky to have had a lot of friends to become mothers before me…and share their wealth of knowledge and experience with me. Since I have a number of friends who have just had a baby or are about to have a baby, I thought I’d share one of the “pearls” that was passed down to me:

  • At around 4 months old, 6 months old, & 9 months old, your child will wake up in the middle of the night for no reason at all…sometimes for days or even weeks!
    • These are typically during growth spurt periods. Beware…your baby might be sleeping through the night for weeks (hopefully by 4 months old you are blessed with a baby who sleeps through the night) and BAM they are crying every hour, on the hour. You’ve changed their diaper, checked for a strand of hair wrapped around their toe, aspirated their nose, and even thought about feeding them…they must be hungry right? DON’T FEED THEM! The older they get, the more they realize their surroundings, and the more they just want to get up and play. If you start to feed them in the middle of the night once they’ve already learned to sleep through the night, guess what? You have now added a feeding…one that you’d already gotten rid of! So if you feed your child in the middle of the night, this will become a new feeding time and a new sleep schedule for your baby – and for you. I know it’s going to be a rough few nights, but if you let your child cry it out (after you’ve deduced that they’re not in pain, need changed, or sick) it will be worth!
    • If you feel that your child is definitely hungry – wait. Just let them get through the night and then feed them more at each feeding (add 2 ounces of milk or formula to each feeding during the day). If they are hungry, they will eat more – most likely at their breakfast or dinnertime feeding.
    • Call me if you have any questions or trouble getting through this phase!

One Response

  1. Thanks, Jess. This posting happens to be very timely for us. Alec has woken up at 3 a.m. the past three nights. This morning I tried feeding him and putting him back down to sleep, but he just wanted to be up and play. I have been giving him the benefit of the doubt because he picked up the rotavirus at daycare and was terribly sick last weekend, then I was terribly sick. We were all off our schedule and in survival mode. I got really dehydrated and I think my milk supply decreased, because he has seemed fussy and dissatisfied during and after feeding times. I think we’re finally back on the upswing. Thanks for the post, though. It definitely is something for me to consider.


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