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How can I encourage my 4 month old to sleep longer?

I exclusively breastfeed and he sleeps in the basinett of the pack n play in our room. He sleeps at most 3 hours at night and then wakes every 1-2 hours after that. Should I give him some water instead of milk at night? I really need some more sleep!

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Asked by AngZacc at 6:28 PM on Feb. 5, 2011 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 14 (1,515 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • No, do not give him water. He wakes because he needs to. Keep things brisk and businesslike when he wakes, and try to keep him up me in the daytime... but you're doing better than you think you are. Three hours? That's a long sleep for most new moms!

    Answer by gdiamante at 6:31 PM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • No, do not give him water instead of milk. He's only 4 months old, milk is all he needs. There's no way to get him to sleep longer, he will when he is ready.

    Answer by CraftingMama at 6:31 PM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • cosleep. you both will sleep better. at 4mo they still need to eat at night. Giving an infant under the age of one water to drink can cause infant water intoxication, which is the leading cause of healthy infant seizures. Just google infant water intoxication for more info on the topic.  Go on and type in sleep for tips.  It's a great breastfeeding website.


    Answer by Lynette at 6:36 PM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • breast feeding and bassinet in your room is best way to sleep the most
    when wakes, feed and nothing more
    white noise as in soft music MAY help baby, may help you more
    try to move as little as possible when you have to get up, just feed and nothing else
    reading helps me get sleep

    just when you get used to lack of sleep, baby will sleep longer
    no worries at 4 months, you are on the backstretch - hang in there mommy

    Answer by fiatpax at 6:42 PM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • This time is ghastly for many mothers and may last for years. Feed him. Hold him. During the day take him for walks in the pram. This can be part of your healthy living plan. It may be the only part!! Talk to him. Sing to him. Find some music you really like and that relaxes you and play it. You are actually becoming more and more tense because you are tired. That is the only way you can keep going. If you relax enough then your arms will feel different to him and he will relax. Then he will sleep a little longer. Some mothers resort to putting the baby in the car and driving until he is asleep. Then they go home and fall into a sleep themselves. Change your diet in case there is something there that is upsetting baby's system through the milk. Absolutely no caffeine, cocoa, chocolate, tea, coffee. Avoid the windy vegetables like cauliflower, peas and cooked cabbage. No bought ice-cream. No alcohol. No smoking of any kind.

    Answer by MLM247 at 6:44 PM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • Be aware, many moms can eat ALL the foods MLM lists with no ill effects. I wouldn't drop a food unless you see a reaction. You can keep a food diary. But honest? Baby is very normal. MLM was too kind when she said the ghastly situation can last for years..... as moms, we are guaranteed never to get a full night's sleep EVER again! It's always gonna be something!

    Answer by gdiamante at 6:49 PM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • This is totally normal behavior for a 4 month old! What helped me was to bring them into bed and nurse lying down. That is how I managed to get the most sleep!

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 7:22 PM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • Unfortunately for parents, babies decide when to sleep.

    Cosleeping kept me from losing my mind; I was able to doze or sleep while my daughter nursed.

    Answer by rkoloms at 10:22 PM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • Thanks ladies..I do most of the items suggested. Was just hoping there was some magical cure! :) DS1 didn't STTN until 18 months or later. Was hoping #2 would be easier!

    Comment by AngZacc (original poster) at 10:33 AM on Feb. 6, 2011

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