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4 month old baby suddenly crying at bedtime

Posted by on Mar. 2, 2008 at 6:52 PM
  • 14 Replies

For months our baby went to sleep rather easily at night. We have our little bedtime routine that includes a massage with lotion, getting his nightgown on, then we read him a bedtime story.
We would then put him to bed still awake, but drowsy, and he would fall asleep within minutes.

It seems as though right when he hit the 4 month mark, everything has changed. He cries anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes before passing out and going to sleep.
My husband walks him around the house singing "the itsy bitsy spider" until he finally passes out.
We thought perhaps he was becoming overly tired and needed to go to sleep earlier, so we moved his bedtime from 8 to 7:30. This didn't help, so we tried 7 p.m., even 6:30.

This still isn't working.

Nothing else has changed with his bedtime routine, nor has his naps during the day changed.

He is sucking on his hands like mad lately, and drooling quite a bit, and I hear teething can affect bedtime habits. We don't see any teeth though, so we're not sure if teething has anything to do with it.

Has anyone else experienced this?
by on Mar. 2, 2008 at 6:52 PM
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by on Mar. 2, 2008 at 7:00 PM
My baby girl is 4 months old and my Dr. told us that she was to young to get teeth most babies dont get teeth till about 6 months so I dont think it is teething. But what it could be is at 4 months old babies are still a little young to have 1 set schdule. Also babies this age go through so many adjustments that it could be anything I think it is a fase that he is going through. Just keep your cool and things will work it's self out.

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by on Mar. 2, 2008 at 7:20 PM
Thanks for your input!

We don't really have a schedule set in stone and do indeed try to read his sleep cues, but it just seems like whether we wait until he starts to act tired, or try to get him ready before he acts tired, either way it's the "crying crazies" before he goes to bed. 

Oh well.
This too shall pass.

by on Mar. 2, 2008 at 10:11 PM
Im sorry i couldnt help more.
by on Mar. 2, 2008 at 11:12 PM

Your baby could be at the beginning stages of teething. Then it just could be he is becoming his own little person. It is really hard to have a set schedule. A little crying isn't bad. He is now getting at teh age where he realizes he is being seperated from you both and doesn't really understand why. It is almost like they don't want to be away from mommy and daddy. Believe me you are doing right by sticking to your schedule.

by on Mar. 2, 2008 at 11:17 PM

My oldest son cut his first tooth at 2 months second son and 1 month old.  It is entirely possible that your son is teething and you won't always see or feel the teeth right away.  They can teethe for days or even weeks before the tooth gets close enough to the surface to feel or see. 

If it's not teething, it could also be hunger.  How much does he eat?  Do you feed him cereal or fruits yet? 

Sorry I can't be more help...but I'm a Mommy...not a doctor. *l*  I wish you luck though, bed time dramas are the worst!

by on Mar. 2, 2008 at 11:24 PM
Have you tried feeding him cereal at night?? When Jacob was four months old he would get rice cereal and like a 2-4oz bottle to wash it all down, then he'd get a bath with bedtime wash and a massage with bedtime lotion, an 8oz bottle and he'd go right to sleep. You could also try orajel or baby motrin at night just in case it is his teeth.
by on Mar. 3, 2008 at 12:13 AM
my 3 month old is doing the exact same thing. she's not sleeping as often at night and she's knawing at her hands like a hungry tiger!!! she also gets a low grade temp ..... not the doc did tell me that she would be teething rather early. she was born with these unusual grooves on her gums and when i asked her doc that's what she told me.
by on Mar. 3, 2008 at 8:47 AM
Thanks everyone for your help!

I feed him shortly before going to bed.
He's still exclusively breastfed and doesn't get any cereal yet.

I'm not entirely sure if it is separation anxiety related because when I feed him in the middle of the night and put him back to sleep, he is still awake and falls to sleep after a minute without me in the room.
He also starts crying often times before we start the routine, so it's not always right when we put him down for sleep.
But who knows.

Our friends have a 5 month old and they said he's cutting his first tooth and having problems going to sleep at night as well. There are a lot of similarities between their experience and ours, so we *think* this might be a possible reason.

If only babies could say, "excuse me, mama. But my gums seem to be a bit tender." Or, "I don't believe I want to go to bed alone tonight, and this is why I'm crying."
It would make things a lot easier!
by on Mar. 3, 2008 at 9:06 AM
I would say he's teething... its possible for them to get teeth before 6 months.. my cousins son got his first at around 4 months. My son got his first at 6 months but was teething for at least a month before that.... maybe longer. I would say maybe give him something to chew on to help soothe his gums and just wait. Those pearly whites will start poppin' through soon enough! Good luck!
by on Mar. 3, 2008 at 11:12 AM

Yes your baby is teething. Don't listen to the doctors. My daughter was colic and fussy for the first 3 months. She then developed a fever. I took her to the doctor and she had double ear infections in both ears. I asked the doctor could she be teething because her gums were so red and she said no. When I took my daughter back two weeks later to for her check up to make sure her ear infection was gone I showed the doctor her 4 front teeth that came out over the two weeks. So yes babies can teeth and get teeth at 3 months and four months old. Give the baby teething medicine.,

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