Posted in Babies, Bottle Feeding, Sleep

Worry over sleep training

We started sleep training our 4 month old last week. He is learning and improving but I still have some hang ups. How do I know he isn’t actually hungry? Since he was born he has almost always woken once a night between 2 and 4 to eat. (He is only bottle fed) We started giving him rice cereal in his bedtime bottle so that this wouldn’t be an issue, but I’m still not convinced he isn’t hungry when he wakes. We started the rice cereal at the same time as the sleep training so every time he’s crying after 2 I’m still worried we are ignoring a starving baby. Secondly, and a little less important, is my worry over his need for his pacifier and his inability to put it back in his mouth. He doesn’t have the dexterity to do it yet and he still wants to be swaddled so he doesn’t even have a free hand to attempt it. Has anyone dealt with this and solved the need for us to put the paci back in his mouth throughout the night? We have tried to get him to sleep without it but he screams til he has it. I guess I’m just awake spending the whole night worrying about him because of the sleep training, but I need some reassurance that we should stick with it and that he is actually ok. My boyfriend thinks I am over worrying and I hope that’ he right.

  • Maggie
    Dec 17, 2018

    Our pediatrician said not to do it before 6 months because they do still get hungry at night but I know other peds give different advice...

  • Anonymous
    Dec 17, 2018

    We also sleep trained at 4 months and to be honest I would still give him a bottle at his regular bottle time until he was 6/7 months and he started pushing that bottle up to 3 then 4 then 5 then 6am all the way until morning when it was gone. He did that all on his own. And I believe he needed that bottle (he’s a big boy in the 95%) But I wouldn’t give him a bottle unless it was after midnight and ONLY one time. Other than that I left him. I personally think 4 month olds are still needing to eat at night but many say otherwise. On a different note- babies NEED to eat, they need to grow etc. babies do NOT need a passy. Those are two different things to worry about in my opinion.

  • Alexis
    Dec 17, 2018

    Sleep training is a tricky business. It really depends on the baby and the parents. There are tons of ways to sleep train without crying it out. And even if your baby still eats overnight, it's ok to sleep train. Usually you can start sleep training between 4-6 months, so if you are happy to do it then it's totally fine. But if you'd rather wait a little longer that's fine too! It wont hurt anything. I love babysleepsite.com for sleep training advice. They offer free sleep schedules, lots of articles on different issues you might have, and if you're feeling extra stuck, they offer paid individually customized sleep training plans. As for the paci, theres not a lot you can do at this age except continue getting up to replace it which is a pain I know. We had to do the same thing! That's why we got rid of the paci with my oldest as early as possible lol. My second son is 10 months and still has his, but he has learned how to get it back in his own mouth. He still drops it sometimes though and we have to get up. 🤷‍♀️ hang in there! It does get easier. Hope things go well for you and your babe!

  • Bonnie
    Dec 17, 2018

    Has his intake changed during the day? I’m a Sleep Consultant and at 4 months I usually leave one feed in (depending on weight) during the night and make sure Baby is awake while taking the feed and is aware/awake when he goes back into his crib. Focus on falling asleep independently so that when he is ready to drop the feed he can tell you by sleeping through it. I also typically see babies start to take more formula/milk during that day after 2-3 days. Have you tried offering an additional feed during the day?

  • Alexis
    Dec 17, 2018

    If his eating enough during the day he should be fine at night. It’s something to get use to. 🍀 If his super tried and wants to sleep let him sleep than eat.

  • Brenda
    Dec 17, 2018

    That is usually a sign that your baby needs to start solids if you haven't done so already. I can't help you with the pacifier thing, my baby never liked those

  • Brianne
    Dec 17, 2018

    Thank you everyone! I haven’t noticed a change in eating habits during the day, but he is napping amazingly now for a really long time. Can’t tell if that’s because the training is working or if he is just exhausted from crying all night long. I hadn’t thought about the total daily amount of food. I will discuss his daily feeding with dad and daycare workers to see if anything has changed and if we can get another bottle in there. He eats 6 oz 6 times a day and we’ve cut out the 4-6 oz at night so I guess we need to put that back in the schedule. We only just started the rice cereal so we’re going to hold off on adding anything else to his diet for a while. I knew sleep training would be difficult and tiring but it’s so emotional too!

  • Bonnie
    Dec 17, 2018

    It can be really emotional especially when you are already sleep deprived. Hang in there, Mama! 💜