One of the most common questions I get from moms is why their baby isn’t sleeping through the night. At four months old, it is still completely normal for baby to want to nurse or take a bottle through the night, although at this point most moms are dreaming of longer stretches of sleep.
It’s important to remember that ‘sleeping through the night’ doesn’t mean the same for a baby as it does for an adult. Once you’ve hit the milestone of baby sleeping 6 hours straight at night, you are doing well. Let’s be honest, once you’ve experienced managing through the day on 2 hour at a time sleep stretches, you feel like superwoman when you have 6. If your baby is four to six months old and is still getting up every 2 – 3 hours to feed, here are a few things to consider:
- Your baby might be having a growth spurt. It’s completely normal for babies to eat more frequently when they are growing more rapidly, even if they slept for longer stretches before.
- Your baby might need more milk/formula before their nighttime sleep. Consider cluster feeding or feeding every 2 hours for the 6 hour stretch right before you put your baby down for the night.
- Your baby might not actually be hungry when he/she wakes up. Much like adults that get up for work at the same time each week day often wake up at the same time on the weekend, babies develop sleep habits. Sometimes these habits are associated with the comfort of knowing mom is nearby and sometimes it’s simply how their clock has been set. This is most likely to be true if when you go to feed baby he/she only takes a couple of ounces, and it tends to be at the same time every night.
I’ve had three babies, so I’ve been there. The first few months are hard for all moms. Even with friends and family to help, the first months of a baby’s life while being incredibly rewarding and full of joy, are also tiring and sometimes frustrating, pushing you to the limits of what you thought you could handle. Just remember that you are doing a great job, and the sleep deprivation is short term. I am here to help if you would like advice on your baby’s sleep patterns, or if you just need a little extra support on your journey through motherhood. Click here if you would like to book an appointment.