Single mother of 2 wanting to help my baby sleep through the night
by Elizabeth W.
(Hempstead NY )
Question: My 5 month old will not sleep thru the night and I cannot spend 3-7 nights without sleep trying to get him to "CRY IT OUT" when i have to be awake ALL DAY LONG WITH A TODDLER!!!
I dont have backup I dont have someone who can switch shifts with me and I need this monster to sleep!!! What can I do to get him to sleep without killing myself??
Heidi's Answer: Hi Elizabeth,
I am sorry to hear you are going through difficult times, I know it is tough.
I am not sure if by sleeping through the night you mean for your son to sleep 8 or 12 hours straight or if you are referring to him waking frequently or not being able to settle.
To start with, at 5 months old, many babies wake up at least 1 or 2 times per night, to feed or for reassurance. Many wake more than twice, and some do sleep through, which is then typically a 6-8 hour stretch.
The first thing is to work on self settling, see my gentle self soothing method for help with that.
Of course, you will want all the sleep through night basics in place before anything.
Check and double-check also if there is not a classic infant sleep problem bothering him and if so, relieve as much as possible (relief and sleep tips on each page from there).
Avoid any 'simple' disturber as well, such as too dark or too light, too hot or too cold (a right-size right-temperature sleeping bag can work wonders, street noise, ...
And finally, if you do worry about a more serious sleep disorder do not hesitate to consult your doctor.
Good luck, take care,