My 5 month old is still up 1-2 times per night. He wants to eat and then goes right back to bed. He has started rice cereal, as well as fruits. He is bottle-fed breastmilk during the day and has 1-2 bottles of formula before bed. I breastfeed him when he wakes up during the night. I know he is capable of sleeping straight through the night because he has done it once before. Any suggestions?

asked 15 Feb '11, 10:28

MeganD's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Can your baby fall asleep on his own, or might he be using the breastfeeding as a way to fall back to sleep after he wakes?

If he really is hungry, you should decrease the amount of time he's feeding a little every night to see if that works at eliminating the wakings.

HOWEVER, unfortunately (I learned this one the hard way), this is just one of those things you learn as a parent that you might not be able to control, no matter how badly you want it!

Even though there are many babies at five months of age who do not need to wake up and be fed in the night AND even if your baby has slept through the night without feeding once before, it's is not an indication that he is able to do so every night at this point in time. Just like walking, talking, potty training, etc., it doesn't matter HOW ready the parent is, the child will do it at his own pace.

My son woke up in the night for a bottle until he was one year old(!!)- FINALLY at that age, I had to cut out the bottle by force because I KNEW he was old enough and was eating enough in a day that he didn't need it. At around four or five months old I, too, was eagerly awaiting the time when he would sleep through the night- I waited and waited and waited and was so jealous of my friends who had babies who could sleep 12 hours straight without eating. And then I finally gave into the fact that, as far as babies go, you simply get what you get :)


answered 15 Feb '11, 14:16

DazedandConfused's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

Thank you for the info, I will try that. He does fall asleep on his own every night. It seems he really is in fact hungry when he wakes up because when I pick him up out of his crib he starts mouthing at my face and shoulder. Then he eats and goes right back to sleep when he is done.

(15 Feb '11, 15:56) MeganD

+1 Well said DazedandConfused -"you get what you get :)"

(15 Feb '11, 16:02) Tammy ♦♦

+1 for "just because he slept through the night once doesn't mean he's ready to do it all the time". You never know when a new growth spurt etc might throw your previous "schedule" into limbo.

(15 Feb '11, 22:53) Kate

"To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem." Even very small people you love more than the world. Only one of my four kids slept through the night before they were a one year old (and my 2 year old only manages it once or twice a week now). It helps me to reframe it from "stealing sleep from me", to "our special quiet time, just the two of us in a big dark quiet world." If you can pull that trick off you can make some great memories. Provided your not too sleep deprived to remember them later.

(16 Feb '11, 03:38) Neen

I read that for babies 6 months and older it could help to give your baby a bottle of water instead of milk. He will not wake up at night anymore, 'cause he'll know it's not worth to wake up for some water.

If he's really hungry, see DazedandConfused's response:

If he really is hungry, you should decrease the amount of time he's feeding a little every night to see if that works at eliminating the wakings.


answered 18 Feb '11, 03:25

Fisherman's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

edited 23 Feb '11, 07:35


We were always told never to give water to a baby under the age of 6 months. The following links explains how it can be harmful

(18 Feb '11, 21:47) Tammy ♦♦

this was in an article for children of 6 months, so you are probably right about that.

(21 Feb '11, 04:29) Fisherman

As the question is asking about a 5 month old, I'll edit your answer to reflect that.

(21 Feb '11, 09:21) Tammy ♦♦
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Asked: 15 Feb '11, 10:28

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Last updated: 12 Jun '16, 23:25