How Can I Help My 5-Month-Old Sleep?

by Stephanie (Tucson, AZ)

Hi Kristen!

My son Eliseo had been sleeping well at night from the time he was about 2 1/2 months until about 4 months. By “well” I mean 6-8 uninterrupted hours.

About 3 or 4 weeks ago, he started waking 2 or 3 times a night again! When he wakes he cries and I breastfeed him. Usually he is hungry enough to eat for at least half an hour.

It seems like I've tried everything to help…swaddling, not swaddling, Tylenol, Ora-gel, rice cereal, noise maker, no noise maker, night light, no night light, putting him to bed later, putting him to bed earlier, etc, but nothing seems to help him back to his previous sleeping routine.

Any ideas for me?

Thank you,



Hi Stephanie,

The first thing I would check is how much he's nursing during the day. Sometimes when babies get older and we're busy about our days they don't fuss to breastfeed as much and we don't offer as much.

Make sure you're nursing plenty throughout the day and be sure your milk is letting down so he's getting that good fatty hindmilk throughout the day. This is especially important before bed, because that's what fills him up for longer.

Related to this is the time you spend cuddling with him throughout the day. Again, sometimes when we get very busy we don't spend as much just focusing on our time with our little one. It could be that he's waking to be with you.

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Are you turning on lights and things when he gets up? He may be getting used to that as a time to be up and be with you. Keeping the lights low and putting him directly back to bed may help him realize that this isn't a time to be awake.

If he's in his own bed could you bring him to bed with you so you could nurse lying down? You could then carry him back to his bed. Or you could just fall asleep with him in the bed. That way he'd be able to nurse when needed and you could get the sleep you need.

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About the author 


Kristen is a pregnancy coach, student midwife, and a mama to 8 - all born naturally! I've spent nearly two decades helping mamas have healthy babies, give birth naturally, and enjoy the adventure of motherhood. Does complete support for a sacred birth and beautiful beginning for your baby resonate with you? Contact me today to chat about how powerful guidance and coaching can transform your pregnancy, birth, and mothering journey <3

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