Help! 3 month old baby is very hard to get to sleep, waking often. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 01-02-2012, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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My 3 month old daughter has all of a sudden become a very fussy sleeper. Our previous routine was- lay down and nurse to sleep, transfer her to her crib (which is in the same room where I sleep), she would sleep 6-7 hours and when she woke I would take her into bed with me to nurse and keep her there for the next 3-4 hours, waking every hour or so to nurse a bit. We didn't really have bed times but once she was asleep the pattern was very predictable. The past week and half it takes forever for her to fall asleep, then she is constantly jerking awake. The longest single stretch of sleep she's had was 3 1/2 hours. As a result we are all tired and cranky and I am at my wits end. I didn't try to change our routine or anything, although we did spend a lot of time driving and visiting family during this time. I haven't been eating anything out of the ordinary that might be effecting her. I am stumped. All the advice I'm getting is 'let her cry it out' which I am not willing to do. Any suggestions on why or what to do or just simple encouragment would be greatly appreciated.

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#2 of 8 Old 01-04-2012, 02:58 PM
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not much advice as i am going through the same thing with my 3 month old! i came here to find other posts by moms of 3 month olds who suddenly have sleep issues so i am thinking growth spurt and new developments. my daughter is all of a sudden paying close attention to everything i do and is fighting naps like crazy, and waking more frequently at night, to eat or play.she also is satisfied to be in the snugli, as of yesterday.

drowning in hormones with 4 daughters and an understanding, loving hubby. also some dogs. my life is crazy and we are always learning.

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#3 of 8 Old 01-05-2012, 03:33 PM
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It's very normal for a young baby to wake often. Human milk is meant to be consumed frequently.Where as other mammals that cache/store their young, have different milk composition, meant to sustain them while mother is away (such as a hunting lioness). A 3..5 hour stretch of sleep actually seems quite a lot for young child. My guess is that as she gets older, she is more aware and wants to be with you more. Babies know they are vulnerable and naturally depend upon mom for survival. Being alone is not a natural state for a baby or young child. Therefore sleeping alone is not a comfortable state for most babies.Good for you for turning down the CIO advice, most parents on this planet would not dream of it. Yet, in western culture, never the less, it is a common practice. Although it was not common until a few self professed sleep 'experts' advocated it, in the 20th century. Prior to that most children were co-sleeping and breastfed, even in North America and western europe (western culture).

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#4 of 8 Old 01-05-2012, 10:27 PM
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Yes, frequent nursing is pretty normal at this age. I remember my little one waking up every hour or so. It was tough. This too shell pass. If I might suggest, don't put her right away to the crib. Wait 10 or so minutes at least to make sure she is in deep sleep before you put her down in the crib. Check her neck if she is not too hot or cold..

if she has sweaty neck she is too hot, she might be waking up because of htat. If she is cold that might be a reason for waking up as well.


How much do you nurse on each breast? Do you let her nurse untill she is done or do you follow any scheadule. Best thing to do is just go by baby needs.. let her nurse as long as she wants on one breast and then when she detaches.. offer next one.


Sometime moms do end nursing too early and baby does not get good last milk but only skim that is the first milk.

That makes them hungry and wake up more often.


Lastly you will deal with it a lot in future nursing.. there is an obvious and sudden raise in frequency of the nursing from time to time that is associated with growth spurt as others mentioned. That is nature's design to

assure that baby has enough milk.. in reality it is simply baby waking up more often and nursing more often what resluts in your body producing more milk.. so it is simply upping the supply :)


Then after a couple of weeks or so it sometimes levels again .. untill you see it again.. so it comes in cycle.


Also read about nursing strike :) that one is coming too.. and you can't miss it when you see it.


Lastly.. if you suspect something  is not right read aobut reflux, and about raising the head by lifting mattrace.


Of ocurse CIO is not an option since it is prooven to cause brain damage, so be careful with those well-wishers.


Do keep this for your reference I helped me through some confusing times.. it has it all answered and layed out

in your journey:


Good luck,



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#5 of 8 Old 01-09-2012, 03:59 PM
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My 9 week old is waking every 1-2 hours too, and has never slept more than 4 hours at a stretch.

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#6 of 8 Old 01-10-2012, 06:45 AM
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MamaHavoc, it sounds like you are describing my daughter! She's now 3 years old, but she had similar sleep habits to yours when a newborn, and at 3 months old she also suddenly became a much worse sleeper.


The main advice I can give is to immediately start working on making her associate other things with sleep than just nursing. For my DD, it was paci, rocking, having her back rubbed vigorously, and ocean waves sound. The we could remove them one by one. She still uses her paci, which I'm fine with, and now listens to bird sounds instead of ocean waves (she decided on this switch herself, for some reason). If I could do it all over again, I would also have tried to get her attached to a lovey and established "sleep words" much earlier. I started always saying the same phrase to her when I put her down and left her, but that was later, so it never worked as a magic spell to knock her out. :-) These were all ideas from The No Cry Sleep Solution book.


My DS is almost 8 months and is a much better sleeper than DD was, but still not great. Unfortunately he refuses to get attached to a lovey, and isn't into a paci much either, though that's growing since we keep forcing it on him. ;-) He has nothing other than me and DH to associate with sleep, which is not the situation we want to be in!


Hang in there MamaHavoc! I know what you're going through. ::hugs::

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#7 of 8 Old 05-09-2012, 08:39 AM
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I have the same issue but with my 8 month old. He wakes up 3-4 times a night still to nurse and has been waking at 5:30 and won't go back to sleep. He is still awake now and it is 11:30. His eyes are red, he is soo tired but fights sleep to the end. My first son was sleeping through the night at 6 months. My 2nd wont go 2-3 hours without waking up. I am totally tired and being in collage with 2 kids, its draining. Any ideas or help?

Proud mother of Diego who is 2 and Daniel who is 7 months. Married to a wonderful man whom I love with all of my heart.

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#8 of 8 Old 05-09-2012, 11:39 AM
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How does your DD nap during the day? Quality naps make a big difference on how my DS sleeps at night. But I don't have any grand expectations. He's four months old and I consider it good if he sleeps a three-hour stretch at night. It doesn't happen most nights, but I'm fine with it. It's all in the attitude and expectations. Plus co-sleeping makes a huge difference in the quality of my sleep! And napping during the day :)

Happily married to DH 
Stay-at-home mama to DS1 (01/12) & DS2 (01/14)
Expecting our third! (due 01/16)
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