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How to get 5 month old boy to sleep the whole night?

He is a very active baby that takes 2 - 3 naps a day of 15 - 30 minutes duration. We put him to bet at 7pm after a daily routine of bathing, book reading and changing/feeding. He then wakes up 2 - 3 hours later and is wide awake. Almost like he thinks its just another nap. We then have to take him out of his crib and put him in our bed. Even then, it takes 20 minutes or so to get him to sleep, he just cries and moves around a lot.

At 3 months, old he would sleep close to the whole night but that last few weeks he has decided to wake up more often.

We have heard of the Cry It Out method but are adverse to letting him cry for hours on end and would only like to do this as a last resort.

Any tips or suggestions on how to get him to understand that night time is not just nap time?


Asked by bophaking at 11:40 AM on Jul. 11, 2011 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (10)
  • This is very young to expect a child to sleep "all night" Sleeping "through the night" for babies is considered a 5 hour stretch. Try consolidating the naps to one, slightly longer mid day nap? Adjust bedtime...a little later, or sometimes a little earlier helps. The book The No Cry Sleep Solution is recommended, i see Womamhood recommended it as well. I still wouldn't expect these changes to get you a full night, but it can help maybe with longer stretches. My daughter didn't sleep through the night until after 2 or 3, and now, at almost 6 yrs, still wakes at least once most nights. I think she has night terrors though, so that's a bit different. My son started consistently sleeping through the night closer to age 2.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 1:55 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • Cry It Out is VERY dangerous when done by the book and is NOT recommended even by the authors for children younger then 6 months old. That being said he is ONLY 5 months old what do you expect? Sleeping through the night is not expected until closer to 9 months and then it is only sleeping for 6-8 hours straight. He is likely having a growth spurt and is waking up hungry so feed the little guy.

    Answer by aeneva at 12:02 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • He is. Ost likely going through a growth spurt, so he is needing to eat more. Just epdeal for a few weeks, and he might go back to sttn

    Answer by BabyBugsmama at 11:44 AM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • it is probably a growth spurt, he'll go back to his old habits soon. Here is a great article I copied over into my journal a few yrs back that really helped me


    Answer by Lynette at 11:53 AM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • He is young to sleep through the night. Mine didn't until they were over a year. I say give it time. Good luck!

    Answer by mompam at 11:52 AM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • sorry but a 5 month does not sleep all night

    Answer by MADUKES402 at 12:31 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • Treat yourself to this books asap! I found it a God send. Hugs!


    Answer by Womamhood at 12:59 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • Also, make sure that during the day, even for naps, it's bright (light can be off, but let the sun in) and still noisy as your daytime usually is. Keep nights dark, with only a nightlight if you need to change diaper etc, and quiet.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 1:56 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • Thanks for all the responses. The No Cry Sleep Solution looks like a good read and something I will try out. I realize having a 5 month old sleep through the night might be unrealistic, but after so many other people say their children sleep through the nights at a younger age, I thought I was missing something. Its reassuring to know that we are not the only ones going through it.

    Comment by bophaking (original poster) at 10:47 PM on Jul. 11, 2011

  • Let him cry... seriously. After the first time, it will not be long... and even the first time, if he cries for hours, he's not tired. The first time I let my son cry it out (he was probably your son's age or a little older), it lasted an hour and a half. It was hard, but we got through it.

    And also... does your son sleep in your room, or his own? Regardless, when he wakes up in the night after a nap's length of time, don't get him up. Leave him in his bed and he will go back to sleep - I'm sure it's dark where he is and clearly nighttime... that's really the best way to go about it.

    And if you have to, try to cut out or shorten one of the naps during the day.

    Answer by AdensMama0308 at 11:46 AM on Jul. 11, 2011

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