3 month old sleep troubles

Question: I see a lot about how to get babies 4 mo & older to sleep through the night. However, what can I do about a 3 mo old? I don't expect him to sleep all night without eating, but he should be able to go longer than a couple of hours. We have a bedtime routine that includes feeding & he is laid down sleepy, but awake at 8:00. No rocking, pacifier, patting, etc. Starting at about 11:00, he wakes up every hour. I only feed him the first time he wakens after midnight. I let him self-soothe the other times, but he wakes constantly! I think he might be confused that he is fed one time, but not during the other times he wakens. He also wakes up for the day every morning at 5am. I do everything I can to get him to go back to sleep until at least 6am, but it is EVERY morning! What can I do?

Heidi's Answer:

Indeed there is much less about 3 months old babies sleeping through the night, and naturally so since 3 months is still quite young to sleep for long stretches, and without food in between. And if by 'a couple of hours', you mean about 3-5 hours, then that is actually not bad for a 3 month old...

What you see after 11pm, the waking up every hour, is of course a different story. Confusion about being fed or not migth play a little, but the great thing you have is that you let him self soothe (and he actually does it quite well) so as long as that remains consistent, the feeding should not be a problem.

On the contrary, I would suggest you consider a second feeding. How about you feed him at 11pm, when he wakes for the first time. Then see what happens. If he sleeps for another 3-4 hours in a row then, feed him again and you may have a completely different night. If he wakes after just an hour, do not feed, only feed from the 2-3am awakening. The idea is to give him just a bit more food, as hunger might really wake him so regularly right now.

There is plenty of time in a month or two to wean those feedings again (but there's a good chance he will do it automatically).

Through all this, ensure you have a regular daytime nap schedule as well as a simple and recognisable bedtime routine to support your good sleep habits. Self soothing practice will also become more and more important in the upcoming weeks and months.

Good luck,

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