Posted by: rachelisoneill | January 12, 2012

Getting my 4-month old to sleep till 6am

I taught my son, Joseph to sleep through the night at 9 weeks old and he’d always wake up at 5am (give or take 10 minutes). Now, it keeps changing from 4:30-7:30am (7:30 is very rare), so I decided a few weeks ago, it was time to make breakfast a regular time that Joseph would become accustomed to and that would be manageable when he’s eating solids too (Stephen R. Covey’s “the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” – Habit 2 Begin With the End in Mind.)

By keeping the ‘end in mind,’ 6am was a great time for brekky. At 4 months, babies are able to go 8 – 12 hours without a feed. I wake Joseph up at 8pm every night for his last feed (even if his last feed wasn’t very long ago) and then I don’t feed him again until 6am. The first few nights were hard – he’d wake up at 5 or 5:30 and I’d go in to comfort him – I’d just pat him and talk gently to him, but I wouldn’t pick him up until 6am.

There were probably only about 5 days max where he woke up really early and had a hard time going back to sleep until 6, but it was definitely worth it! Now, I go into him at 6am (I set my alarm to ensure that we’re consistent) and usually find him awake, just looking around, playing with his toes – withOUT crying. If he’s not awake, he’s sleeping lightly and I just have to call his name and he looks up at me – still with no crying.

It’s probably taken about 2 weeks from the time he kept waking up at 5am till now – when he’s awake at 6am and not crying.

If you have a 4 month old who wakes up too early, I’d recommend a very similar approach – time the last feed to be between 8 and 10 hours – but make sure you keep the time consistent and then time the first feed of the day to be whatever you decide is best for BOTH of you – then stick to it. It may take between 2 and 5 days for your baby to adjust, but he/she will and it will be well worth a couple of hard mornings of listening to your baby cry. Be encouraged, you can do it!


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