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how can i get my baby to sleep through the night?

She used to sleep through the night, but now she wakes up every few hours. She's 4 1/2 months. The doctor said she's probably hungry so he suggested I start adding cereal in the breastmilk for her last feeding, but it doesn't work. His concern was that she's gaining too quickly. She was born 10lbs so she was already a chunky baby, but waking twice a night to nibble on breastmilk isn't helping her-the doctor said she should have less feedings, but thicker with the cereal. I don't know if she's hungry or just used to me getting up to feed her-I don't know, all I know is she wakes up too many times, and eats (even if it's only for a few minutes to go back to sleep). I realize she needs to learn to fall back asleep upon waking up-but how do I get her to do that without feeding her! HELP!

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Asked by ThisIsVee at 2:08 PM on Jul. 1, 2008 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (8)
  • Do you co-sleep w/your baby? I do & she's sleeps all nite (she's been sleeping all nite since she was 3 wks.) My dd is 7wks. now & has a nice schedule. Maybe thtat could be an option for you. Good luck!!

    Answer by krisstencarmela at 2:33 PM on Jul. 1, 2008

  • That cereal thing is a myth. It's absolutely normal for a 4 1/2 month old to wake twice a night. You are lucky! Some babies wake up every 2 hours until they're a year old! She probably wakes up hungry because breastmilk is quickly digested. She probably really is hungry!

    Being a parent is exhausting work. It's an around-the-clock job that you don't get a break from. Cosleeping is a simple solution, but it's not for everybody. Maybe you could move her crib beside your bed or into your room so you don't have to walk as far when you get up at night.

    Answer by ellaura at 2:48 PM on Jul. 1, 2008

  • Your doctor is giving your horrible advice!

    You cannot overfed a breastfed baby. Nurse on demand and she will grow and gain weight as fast as she is supossed to. It is very common for breastfed babies to be "chunky" at first compared to formula babies and then slim down when they become more active.

    She should not be given cereal until she is 6 months, when the gut closes. Human milk is the only thing that the open gut is designed to process.

    Nursing at night is perfectly normal and natural. Not only does breastmilk digest quickly because it has no unhealthy or unnecessary fillers, but it has been proven that babies who wake during the night have a much lower rate of succumming to SIDS.

    Answer by jaycee1124 at 3:20 PM on Jul. 1, 2008

  • The cereal mixed with milk is an old wives tale and I'm very surprised your doctor suggested it - especially if she is gaining weight too quickly! All it will do is pack on even more pounds!

    Since she used to sleep through the night, this may be a growth spurt or it may be a learned behavior. To find out which, try giving her a bottle of water in the middle of the night for 3 nights. I know, I know... we've all been told how horrible water is for a baby. You say she eats for only a few minutes and then falls back asleep - the few ounces of water she drinks in the middle of the night will not hurt her. If it doesn't stop the nigth wakings in a couple of nights or she isn't satisfied with the water (drinks it and wants more, wakes up after an hour or so), then she is probably growing and needs the milk. At least you'll know.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 3:58 PM on Jul. 1, 2008

  • i did the cereal thing and it did work, so i guess it just depends on your baby. but all three of my kids were sleeping through the night at 3 months.

    when we would have our real fussy evenings a long splashfull bath helped alot. then i'd lube them with lotion with a little message and then read a bit or cuddle infront of the TV (a little down time before bed) then it was bedtime, they were worn out and comfy, and they would sleep very nicly! :D

    Answer by dannersmell at 4:34 PM on Jul. 1, 2008

  • your drs a quack. Healthy sleep habits, happy child., buy the book now get it rush delivered and read it cover to cover. My son was sleep trained by 4 months. He sleeps from 7:30pm to 7:00 am. 2 naps during the day for a full hour each. Buy the book!

    Answer by ChasesMommy0115 at 8:40 PM on Jul. 1, 2008

  • shes not going to starve, at 4.5 months, its a comfort bottle, not cuz shes hungry

    Answer by ChasesMommy0115 at 8:42 PM on Jul. 1, 2008

  • With my daughter she is now 2 months old, she is formula fed, and she only wakes up once during the night. What i do is i will start getting her ready for night night time around 9 and she will fall asleep around 10 but the trick i learned is since they have a need to suck on something, give your baby a pacifier to fulfil that need and it will help your baby sleep a lil better knowing he will have something to suck on if he wakes up again...this worked wonders for me and my daughter only wake up at 6

    Answer by kim132 at 10:25 AM on Jul. 3, 2008

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