Baby's First Year

Baby Sleeping through the Night

Baby O first slept through the night at 3 months old.

8 pm to 6 am. A whooping 10 hours.

When Daddy K and I woke, we wondered: “Did we sleep through his cries?”

Baby O has always been an early sleeper, taking his longest stretch of sleep from 730 pm onwards. So even though he had been doing a good 6 hours stretch from 2 months, we still gotta wake in the wee hours around 1-2 am. No matter what we did, we can’t seem to move his bedtime habit.

I tried dream feeding. (What is a dream feed?)

It didn’t work. He just woke up in scattered hours.

After that well-rested night, he regressed a little, again waking at 12 plus- 1 am crying and sucking his thumbs. Here’s how we got him to stick to his 10 hour regime:

1. Regular schedules in the day

Baby O doesn’t wake at the same time everyday. However, we made sure he does a steady routine of eating every 3-4 hours before bedtime so he will be hungry enough to finish his meal yet full enough to last through the night. Eating too early might encourage a snacking habit. He could wake in the night feeling juz a tad hungry and demand to be fed. You prepare 120 ml but he just takes 60 ml and goes back to sleep. Milk wasted, sleep wasted. Unless your baby has reflux issues, eating too little during the day also means he will need to feed during the night. We want him to finish at least his minimum intake so he doesn’t go to bed only to wake again not long after.

For Baby O, we realised no matter how much we feed him during the day, he will still wake up after sleeping his longest stretch about 6 hours later. It seems more like a habit than pure hunger. Instead of feeding him, we tried coaxing him back to sleep.

2. Help Baby develop his ability to sleep on his own

We started from 2 months when I was weaning him off the pacifier. This is so when baby wakes in the middle of the night not due to hunger, he can soothe himself back to sleep without our help. If your baby is on formula milk, you can check whether he is taking enough in the day with this calculation: Total Daily intake (ml/24 hours): (Baby’s weight in kg) x 100 (min intake), x 150 (max intake). 

Baby O sucks his thumb to self- soothe. Sometimes, all it takes is to re-position him (he will turn sideways and get stuck) or tuck him back into his blanket for continued good sleep.

3. Core night

We roughly followed the core night method (?), which basically means once your baby shows he can sleep a certain length of time through the night, you don’t feed him in this period anymore.

When Daddy K was doing the night shift, I suggested not to feed baby immediately when he woke and allow Baby O to soothe himself to sleep. If he is still crying after a while, (either baby is too persistent and we gave up or we are too tired and gave up) we feed him anyway and try again the next day.

A few weeks after his first “core night”, he consistently slept approx 10 hours during the night into his 4th month.

Like us, you might encounter so called sleep regressions from time to time. Baby might be sleeping through but suddenly wake in the middle of the night again. If hunger is over-ruled, it probably is just baby’s way of dealing with another milestone. More info here: Sleep regression

I still wish Baby O will choose a slightly later bedtime and wake-up time. But for now, I’m just contented with getting enough sleep 🙂

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Baby Sleeping through the Night

  1. Yup DF doesn’t seem useful in this instance. I am thinking of dropping it too & see what time baby wakes up after his long stretch… Instead of every hour after his long stretch!

    Like

  2. Agreed about the DF, i don’t think is working for me either. Did you have a sleep routine or baby O when he was 12weeks old? & how long was his nap last? My son (RS) can go for 2 to 2.5 hrs each nap, and there are 3 naps before his goes to sleep for the night (around 6:30 – 7:00 pm), however he is a terrible sleeper around 4 to 6pm, & am not sure why? Do you think he’s sleeping too much? Its so hard to plan your day with his routine at present, so all suggestions are most welcome.

    RS milk intake is 900 ml/day (6 times/day) & his 7.1 kg, so i guess my next Q is how do i wean his night feed? Should I increase his milk intake before he goes to sleep around 7pm? He also has reflux, which make thing a bit more difficult.

    Like

    1. Hi Meli! Yes, I started O on a sleep routine when he was around 3 months old. He’s a terrible napper, taking about 2-3 times 30 mins naps in the day (i know right? I was a walking zombie). It was not only when I weaned him off the pacifier that he took a longer nap of 1 hr or more (See the post here: https://oliversmile.com/2011/10/08/weaning-baby-o-off-the-pacifier/).

      Babies at this age usu need 13-15 hrs in a 24 hr cycle, from your description, he is taking 6-7 hrs of nap in the day, which means he’ll need another 7-8 hrs at night, which sounds perfect to me! And my guess is that he’s getting irritable at the end of the day, that’s why the 4-6pm naps are slightly more annoying for him. If his evening nap is too close to his night time sleep, you might want to reduce the evening nap time as well?

      As for weaning him off the night feed, (I took this from Gina Ford’s book) add 25 ml to the 1st feed of the day, take away 25 ml frm the dreamfeed/nightfeed. You might also want to give the dreamfeed/nightfeed half an hour earlier. On the 4th day, add 25 ml to 1st feed, 25 ml to 2nd feed, take away 50ml from dreamfeed. By the 7th day, add 25 ml to 1st feed, 25 ml to 2nd, 25 ml to 3rd, take away 75 ml frm dreamfeed.

      I didn’t follow this exactly, but the principle is the same, basically I juz gradually add to the amt that he can take during the day to make sure he hit his ensured “milk quota” before taking away his night feed altogether. By the end of 3 months old, he was having 5 feeds per day, 150ml for the 1st four feeds, 180 ml for the last feed (my baby is a huge eater). Hope this helps! ^^

      Like

      1. Hi,

        Thank you for replying 🙂 I have been looking for online chat for a while now, & so glad to come across with your blog! Sorry, if I’m rant a bit on your blog….

        He used to be a terrible sleeper for the first 6 weeks of his life, & oo my….it was hell for me back then, but thank God he turned around…. He’s only 11 weeks, but he was one week late when he was born, do you think I should see him as a 12 weeks old baby for his development, behaviour, & his milestones?

        He’s on pacifier also, which helps his reflux (from what i was told), i also noticed he starts to sucks on his fist in 9/10 weeks mark, but because he’s swaddled/wrap, & he cant access his thumb, and do you think I should get rid off his swaddled, so he can sucks on his thumb instead of paci?

        I thought about reducing his late arvo nap, but if I reduced his late afternoon nap (4-6pm), he’s becoming restless, & harder for him to fall a sleep at night…so its a catch 22 for me. So, daily pram walk it is then for me for the time being until he grows out of it…sigh!!!

        Also, how do you go out during the day with baby O sleep routine? I found it difficult for me to go out during the day, because it will ruin his whole day sleeping routine, & he’s becoming grizzly baby 😦 (and believe me i tried, and the result is not worth it) How long did baby O take to established his sleeping routine?

        My baby is a big drinker too, he’s on 150 ML 6 times per day, & he’s not really 3 months just yet, & he’s already 7.1kg… I am scared that he’s too big, but I cant really put him on diet since he’s not even on his maximum ‘milk quota’ for the day….what do you think? Would he loose all of that once he start to get mobile?

        I dropped his dreamfeed a couple of nights ago, and I let him demand his nightfeed (1AM) instead & it lasted him 5.5 hrs from his last feed, & the issue I have now is he wakes up at 5AM demand his next feed, & if i didnt feed him, he will cries and cries, so yesterday I gave him 120ML, & today 90ML…it seems to satisfied his hunger until he wakes up at 7:30…. So, do you think I should try to wake him up half an hour before his nightfeed at 1AM, & start to reduce this bit by bit?

        Thanks again 🙂

        Like

      2. Hi Maddie,

        Its me again 🙂

        Do you mind to tell me what was your feeding and sleeping routine/schedule for Oli when he was 3 & 4 months old? I.e what time was his first meal, nap, and so on?

        Thanks Heaps
        Mel

        Like

      3. Hey Mel! Sorry for the late reply, and I can totally understand your pain, I didn’t have a life for the first year when O was out. It did become better gradually, but every time I want to bring him out, I’ll get more stressed out because like what you said, it’d tamper with his sleep schedule and he’ll get cranky and cos usually I’m alone with him in the day, I tend not to go out much until he was able to walk, like 10 months old? That’s when I don’t have to carry as much stuff around as well because he can start eating some solids.

        I’ve never actually heard of pacifiers helping with reflux issues, you might have to ask your ped for that, and it really depends on you because the reason I had to wean baby off pacifier was ‘cos he was getting too dependent on it. I’d rather he suck his thumb than staying by his side the entire day just to help him put the dumb thing back in when it falls out.

        And can I just congratulate on getting your baby’s sleeping schedule down pat first? LOL~ Cos really, you already know that he gets super irritated if you cut short his evening naps so if it’s me, I’d probably be just like you, wait out til he can put up with some adjustments for his nap time.

        O had a sleeping routine by the end of 3 months old, meaning that he didn’t need to get up in the middle of the night for his feed. But he’s a super early riser ok, his feeding schedule goes something like this (4 mths):

        530 am- 150ml
        10 am- 180 ml
        1 pm- 150 ml
        5 pm- 150 ml
        7 pm- 180 ml

        He sleeps at around 730-8pm until the next morning, 530 am. 3 naps a day, 11-1230, 2-3, 4-445 (roughly).

        For the feeding part, yes, O started slimming down a bit once he gets mobile, not as much as I wanted to, but he’s always been on the heavier side (7.45kg at 3 mo, 63cm), the ped told us not to worry as he’s rather tall for his age as well.

        I’m not too sure about the dreamfeeding part bcos it’s pretty much trial and error on my side as well. Hope this helps! ^^

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s