View Full Version : HELP! What is NORMAL for a 4.5 month old for sleep?

03-09-2007, 07:51 AM
My 4.5 month old breast-fed baby will not sleep more than 2-3 hour stretches at night. With an 8:30pm bedtime, he still gets up at about midnight, then again at 3-4am. Starts the day around 7:30 am.

Everything I've read says he should be sleeping at least 6 hours straight a night, which he only does in his infant carrier. We've had him in his crib for the last 6 weeks and he has YET to sleep that long straight.

His naps are terrible as well. His 1st 2 naps of the day are only 30-40 minutes long and in his crib. When he's in his stroller while I am running errands, he sleeps for an hour and a half.

I'm sorry for this being so long...I am just like all the other mothers here...just wondering what is normal? When should I Ferberize? Is it too early?

One thing to note: We moved from the U.S. to Paris when he was 2 months old. At 2 months, he was already sleeping 6-8 hour stretches. We moved to Paris, and his sleep has been messed up ever since. I thought it was just the move, but now 2.5 months later...his sleep is still terrible.

HELP! Any advice? I could really use some support from other mothers out there, especially since I am in Paris all by myself with no friends and no one to really ask.

Thanks in advance,

03-09-2007, 11:37 AM
Yes, it is too early to "Ferberize" (and that isn't the only option to get more sleep :)). The advocates for that method suggest 6 months.

Have you considered waking him to nurse before you go to bed? That way you don't get that midnight wake-up call and you can hopefully get a longer stretch of sleep? It helped us.

My ds is 4.5yo so I got out my baby calendar to remind myself of his sleep back then. He was not sleeping well at 4.5 months (also bf). He was sleeping well from 2-4 months though. Teething, possible separation anxiety, learning a new skill (rolling, crawling), travel, some hectic days where is daily routine was thrown all off...I think they just all hit right around that time. Any of those could disrupt sleep.

It did get better though. :) There are many cycles for sleep during that 1st year but most babies really do get it after that. Always be prepared for change as some weeks will be better than others.

So you can compare and contrast sleep methods and philosophies, this is the Dr. Sears' link. I think that the "8 Sleep Facts" article is really helpful so at least check that out. There are other articles linked there that may help too. One of the 31 tips to get baby to sleep and stay asleep may be just what you need. :)

GL! Your baby does sound like mine back then. So, either we just stumbled upon each other or that sleep pattern is normal for that age baby. Remember though that every baby will be different. Your's is doing what is normal for him. :)


03-09-2007, 11:57 AM
BETH! Thank you so much for your response!! It made me feel tons better. I am off to check out those articles you recommended!! Your post was exactly what I needed.

This forum is such a blessing!

03-10-2007, 12:14 AM
I have had international travel can REALLY mess up a baby and it can take a few months for them to adjust.

I think your DS will settle in and sleep longer again soon.

One thing I would suggest is that you should do whatever it takes to get him to sleep, even if it means using the infant carrier for a little while or going for long walks. While this might be demanding for you, it'll be harder for him to relearn how to sleep if he is overly tired. I have heard of parents driving around until their baby is asleep and then putting the carrier IN THE CRIB so their child would wake up and see the crib and associate it with sleep. No joke.

I thought Weissbluth was nuts when he wrote that sleep begets sleep, but I found it is true of our DS. When he sleeps well at night, he naps better. If he misses a nap, it's almost impossible to get him down at night. He is just way too cranky. So for a few nights we threw everything out the window and just did anything we could to get him to sleep. Once he caught up on a little sleep, we went back and rebuilt some of the routines.

And also...what's normal for a baby anyway?? teehee...

03-10-2007, 03:49 PM
OK...possibly feeling a bit stupid now! Well...last night, I found the beginnings of a TOOTH in his mouth! NO WONDER he's been fussy as of late and drooling all over creation. Although the sleep problems have been bad for the past month! But it's just one explanation right?

So does this mean he won't get a full nights rest until he's done teething??

THanks for all the responses!

03-11-2007, 08:07 PM
AHA! DD was super cranky the day before I found the first little tooth and it all made sense ;)

As far as sleep and teething goes, I think all babies handle it differently. DD's sleep was kind of messed up for about a week and then it was over. She's teething again now (after 4 months w/o new teeth) and she had one rough night, but otherwise the normal routine.

Good luck!