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Thread: 4 month old wants to nurse all night long

  1. #1

    Default 4 month old wants to nurse all night long

    Hi all,

    Wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts on why my 4 month old is suddenly waking multiple times a night (like every 1 to 1.5 hrs) to bf. He just turned 4 months a couple days ago and up until now he was only waking twice to eat at night. He is also suddenly refusing his pacifier, which he only used for naps/nighttime anyway. His naps have not really changed at all--still taking one morning nap (1.5 - 2.5 hrs), one mid day nap (1 - 1.5 hr) and one catnap in the early evening (45 mins or so). He naps either in his swing, while being held, or occasionally in his cosleeper. I have tried adding a couple more feedings throughout the day, and cluster feeding in the evenings to try to "tank him up," before bed but the most he has slept this week without waking to eat has been about 3 hours. We bedshare, so his wakings usually consist of him rooting against me and fussing until i latch him on. I have tried other ways of soothing him (shooshing, rocking, bouncing, etc.) but those just result in him screaming and me eventually just nursing him to calm him down. I don't mind nursing to sleep or even some comfort nursing, but this constant waking throughout the night is exhausting. I guess I'm just looking for some advice on whether this is a normal stage he is going through that will eventually end, or whether I can expect that this will last indefinitely until he is weaned (no plans for weaning until he is ready). I intended to keep bedsharing, but I'm wondering if his proximity to my breasts is what is causing this frequent waking. We have an Arm's Reach cosleeper that I sometimes put him down in if he goes down before I'm ready to go to bed. I wonder if he would wake less often if I was more consistently putting him down in this? I'm a first time mama so any advice on this would be helpful. I asked his pediatrician and she strongly advised against bedsharing and seemed to be more in favor of the cry-it-out types of sleep training, which I am unwilling to attempt. Any suggestions, advice, or even just words of encouragement would be great! Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Indiana
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    290

    Default Re: 4 month old wants to nurse all night long

    Hi Momma
    Your situation sounds pretty normal to me. At 4 months my guess is he's starting to teeth or getting close to a developmental milestone. That's usually what shakes things up sleep wise in my house. I'd say if you want to try the cosleeper to see if it helps go for it. If it doesn't help no harm done. The only thing guaranteed is things will change! My oldest still gets us up at night; DD some every 3 hours to eat until just past one year and then someone flipped a switch and I can count on one hand how many times I've been up with her since. Good Luck!
    Married to my High School sweetheart 5-15-04

    SAHM to:
    born 6/1/10 tongue and lip ties nursed 13 months with sore nipples and mutually agreed it was time to quit!
    born all natural 1/27/12 nursed for 16 months and lost interest
    1/1/14
    born all natural 11/4/14 nursing like a champ and growing like a weed!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,695

    Default Re: 4 month old wants to nurse all night long

    I agree with browncow. This kind of sleep pattern is within the range of normal, and 4 months old tends to be a time of nursing disruption and/or sleep disruptions generally. Unless there is something else going on (for example solid foods introduced or a drastic change in moms diet) I doubt there is much to do about it except ride it out.

    Baby used to take a pacifier to sleep? in SOME cases, pacifier use for sleep time might lead to a lower milk production due to less nursing. IF that occurred, it is possible baby is nursing lots now to increase your production. This does not really change anything as far as my suggestions though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: 4 month old wants to nurse all night long

    My experience is the just plug him in to nurse in bed is the best way to get more sleep through the needy night times. My son normally won't stay asleep long at all if he is not physically touching a protective adult so if we wanted to get any sleep at all, we had to bed share.

    Yes 4 months is also the time of the "4 month fussies" with changes in sleep and nursing, often probably because of the onset of teething (though the teeth may not actually cut for a few more months.) But with new motor skill milestones and vocal or social milestones likely coming fast and possible extra distractability during the day shortening or interrupting nursing etc.

    It will change, not always for the better but hopefully the very frequent waking won't keep up too long.

    Lately my no 8 month (almost 9 month) old son has gotten into waking up and wanting to play at night and taking sometimes and hour to get back to sleep, luckily for me, he mostly only seems to do it when daddy is home and can take him out to the other room to listen to music till he is ready to come back and nurse back to sleep.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 4 month old wants to nurse all night long

    Thanks, ladies! It's nice to know this is a normal stage he's going through and that there may be and end, even if it's just a temporary end, in sight. I have been feeding him on demand through the night while laying in bed, which helps me feel more rested even though I am waking up with him frequently. I've definitely noticed him being more distractable while nursing during the day. Sometimes my husband has to br super quiet while I'm feeding or else DS will pop off abruptly to look at his daddy and smile when he hears him talking. Very cute, but not so nice on the nips when he cranes his neck and pops off to see where the voice is coming from! He's also becoming much more vocal and active - cooing and making sounds all day, and practicing rolling over and twisting around under his play gym.

    I just really appreciate your responses because we've had kind of a rocky breastfeeding experience from the beginning, so I tend to be a little unsure of myself in that department. We had to supplement in the hospital due to DS having low blood sugar when he was born, so he was very frustrated when he was only getting my colostrum once we came home instead of a belly full of formula. Once my milk came in, it got a lot better, but we also struggled with a shallow latch for nearly 3 months, so I had very sore, bruised nipples for a while. Now I finally feel like we're getting the hang of things, but his frequent night nursing made me feel like maybe something was going wrong during the day. It's nice to know this is a normal stage that we will eventually get through

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: 4 month old wants to nurse all night long

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*carsonsmama View Post
    Thanks, ladies! It's nice to know this is a normal stage he's going through and that there may be and end, even if it's just a temporary end, in sight. I have been feeding him on demand through the night while laying in bed, which helps me feel more rested even though I am waking up with him frequently. I've definitely noticed him being more distractable while nursing during the day. Sometimes my husband has to br super quiet while I'm feeding or else DS will pop off abruptly to look at his daddy and smile when he hears him talking. Very cute, but not so nice on the nips when he cranes his neck and pops off to see where the voice is coming from!
    Oh boy is that familiar!!!!
    We had a rough start too and I didn't feel like things really got good till almost 6 months! Now at almost 9 months I often have to go to another room to keep DS from popping off to look around at the goings on.
    Sleep habits will keep changing so rest assured that it is normal what you are going through (I know it doesn't make it much easier.)
    One suggestion I've heard many times is to turn the clock to the wall so you can't see what time it is each time you wake up, many say that actually makes it easier.

  7. #7

    Default Re: 4 month old wants to nurse all night long

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*carsonsmama View Post
    Hi all,

    Wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts on why my 4 month old is suddenly waking multiple times a night (like every 1 to 1.5 hrs) to bf. He just turned 4 months a couple days ago and up until now he was only waking twice to eat at night. He is also suddenly refusing his pacifier, which he only used for naps/nighttime anyway. His naps have not really changed at all--still taking one morning nap (1.5 - 2.5 hrs), one mid day nap (1 - 1.5 hr) and one catnap in the early evening (45 mins or so). He naps either in his swing, while being held, or occasionally in his cosleeper. I have tried adding a couple more feedings throughout the day, and cluster feeding in the evenings to try to "tank him up," before bed but the most he has slept this week without waking to eat has been about 3 hours. We bedshare, so his wakings usually consist of him rooting against me and fussing until i latch him on. I have tried other ways of soothing him (shooshing, rocking, bouncing, etc.) but those just result in him screaming and me eventually just nursing him to calm him down. I don't mind nursing to sleep or even some comfort nursing, but this constant waking throughout the night is exhausting. I guess I'm just looking for some advice on whether this is a normal stage he is going through that will eventually end, or whether I can expect that this will last indefinitely until he is weaned (no plans for weaning until he is ready). I intended to keep bedsharing, but I'm wondering if his proximity to my breasts is what is causing this frequent waking. We have an Arm's Reach cosleeper that I sometimes put him down in if he goes down before I'm ready to go to bed. I wonder if he would wake less often if I was more consistently putting him down in this? I'm a first time mama so any advice on this would be helpful. I asked his pediatrician and she strongly advised against bedsharing and seemed to be more in favor of the cry-it-out types of sleep training, which I am unwilling to attempt. Any suggestions, advice, or even just words of encouragement would be great! Thanks so much!
    Hello!
    I'm wondering what ever ended up happening with this phase? How long did it last or did you do anything to cause it to stop? Your words are EXACTLY what I'm going thru with her at 4 1/2 months now and trying to figure it out. Thank you!

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