SUBJECT: baby waking too often
Please could you give me some advice on my 5 month old baby boy who is actually get worse at sleeping at night rather than better with age. I put him down around 7pm, sometimes asleep and sometimes awake and he usually wakes within an hour and then so on throughout the night.
I'm breastfeeding him and I feed him every 2 hours when he wakes. If he wakes before that, me or my husband, just settle him back to sleep. I'm totally exhausted and would be most grateful for your advice. x Charlie x
I would love for you to flip through the section on feeding and schedules in my book, Jo Frost's Confident Baby Care, which is available in any bookstore. As you will see in the book, a baby of five months old should be feeding every four hours, and your feed should be between 20 and 30 minutes long. This is the equivalent to a bottle-fed baby having six-eight ounces every four hours.
Your baby certainly knows if he wakes up he will receive you and so there is a good chance that every two hours he wakes he could be using you as a pacifier (and you'll know this if he falls asleep within minutes of being latched on).
The bigger picture is to look at his overall schedule. Is his food intake enough? Have you introduced pureed foods and do you have him taking consistent daytime naps? All of this comes into play at this age. I know once you have answered these questions and read through the sections of my baby book, things will make much more sense to you and your family will rest well.
P.S. Proper rest for you helps produce appropriate breast milk levels so rest for you is especially important.