Help – My 4-5 Month Old Is Sleeping Like a Newborn Again (AKA ‘The 4-5 month old babies from hell’)

If you asked me what point of parenting I found the hardest (excluding tweenhood, because that’s a WHOLE other ball game, whoah have you got fun to come!) it would have to be 4 and 5 months. I’ve always found the newborn period pretty easy, I think in part to the hideous morning sickness, PGP and insomnia I experience during pregnancy meaning that even 3hrs of broken sleep at night is an improvement on my pregnancy sleep, plus you get lots of lovely warm squishy cuddles and an immobile baby who’s content with his or her world revolving around your chest not needing anything else. I enjoy toddlerdom too I love that willful curiosity and the real emergence of personality (despite the sudocrem smeared on the sofas, unrolling of toilet roll and emptying of baby wipe packets that occurs on an almost daily basis), but oh 4-5 months that is a period I **HATE** with a passion (yes I did say that, me the supposed ‘baby expert’, I willingly confess to hating being a mother to a 4 or 5 month old baby!). It is, without a doubt, the hardest stage of parenting a baby or toddler and I have struggled with each of my four children.


So what happens at 4 and 5 months? You’ve just settled into a routine, both day and night. Your little one may be sleeping stretches of 4 or 5 hours at night (or if you’re lucky, even longer!), you’ve got some semblance of normality back in the daytime too. Your house may be resurfacing from the bomb site it became during the newborn days when you didn’t have the time or energy to even plug the hoover in (unless it was used as white noise to get the baby to sleep!), you’ve started to eat better, maybe exercise a little too, heck you may even have started to brush your hair and put on lipstick, yep – you’ve got this parenting thing sorted, you’re emerging from the fog of the fourth trimester and you’re feeling good (particularly when it comes to your little one’s sleep!) ………and then it happens…………..your baby doesn’t sleep, that smile that you’ve come to love, it doesn’t happen very often now, your baby is always grouchy and unsettled, they cry to be picked up constantly (much more than they did as a newborn) but when you pick them up they’re not happy and squirm around on your lap. What the hell went wrong?! To add to this their dribble is akin to Niagara falls and they ram everything they touch into their mouth, teething? Surely not (the answer is probably not by the way!).

….and you know what’s worse? You’re not special anymore. The interest in your baby has waned now they’re not a newborn anymore, the congratulations cards have long since been taken down, the petals on the flowers relegated to the compost heap, the visitors have stopped coming which is a good job really as they only comment about teething and “you really should be giving her proper food by now, you need to wean, that’s why she’s not sleeping”. The midwives have long since discharged you from their care and you only see the health visitor (who tells you that you’re making a rod for your own back and that you need to sleep train using controlled crying/CIO and *never* let your baby fall asleep in your arms) if you go to baby clinic. No, mothers of 4 or 5 month old babies are not special, they are ‘old hands’ and expected to get on with it without the help that was offered in the newborn period.

So, why are 4 and 5 month old babies such hard work? Developmentally so much is happening. I always used to look at my babies at that age and feel so sorry for them, they were so much more alert, understanding so much of the world now, but their bodies were still effectively pretty useless, they couldn’t sit unaided, couldn’t crawl, couldn’t stand – “the mind is willing but the body is weak” was a phrase that came to mind, imagine the sheer frustration! It may be hard parenting a 4 or 5 month old, but imagine how hard it is to BE a 4 or 5 month old?!

Baby crying, mother in background

So much happens developmentally at 4 or 5 months, physically babies become so much stronger and more able to do things such as grasp and move their body with purpose and their hand-eye coordination really picks up a gear. The world takes on a whole new sensory quality as their vision and sensory processing matures. One of the most sensory areas of a baby’s body is their mouth – which is why *everything* gets put in there and why many mistakenly think their baby is ready for weaning and/or teething, babies put keys in their mouth, does it mean they want to eat them? The ‘putting everything in their mouth’ stage is a normal developmental one. I’m not saying your baby isn’t teething, they may well be, but the constant putting things in their mouth isn’t a sign, neither is it necessarily a sign of readiness for weaning. At this stage babies become so much more aware of their surroundings and that includes recognising people (and the opposite! ever wondered why your newborn was happy to be passed around to complete strangers as a baby, but now isn’t happy with anyone apart from you?). Language acquisition really kicks in too with the emergence of babbling. All this in just a few short weeks, imagine how exhausting and confusing that must be for your baby.


I always liken the 4-5mth experience for a baby as akin to you emigrating to Africa. Imagine moving somewhere with an entirely different climate, a different language and different food – in fact *everything* is different. It would freak you out wouldn’t it? All this change, all at once. How might it affect you? Well you might want to cling to those you love or those things that remind you of home, you’d probably be pretty cranky in this new overwhelming world of change and your sleep is probably most likely to be seriously affected – with all these thoughts running through your mind it would be mighty hard to switch off, especially when you do finally get to sleep and then wake up in strange surroundings only two hours later. Just for 5 minutes try to imagine how your baby is feeling with all of these changes, imagine how overwhelmed he is – now – should you listen to your mother in law or health visitor and start weaning him, introducing yet something else new into his life? Or should you start sleep training? Leaving him to cry by himself when what he really needs is you to help comfort him and be his ‘constant’. The key really is to CHANGE NOTHING. This too will pass.

The secret to surviving the 4 to 5 month old babies from hell? Well that secret is you. It’s what *you* do during these long 8 weeks, what support will you have? Who will you ask to help you? Who will you ask to support you whilst you are busy being there for your baby? How will you put as much of your life on hold for the next few short weeks whilst you help your baby to navigate this critical period of their development? What steps will you take to help you to cope with the transient sleepless nights?

This stage WILL pass, I promise, six month old babies are a dream, the fun of weaning, the babbling, the real emergence of personality, the ability to sit upright unaided and amuse themselves for more than 10 seconds and SLEEP…….sweet, sweet sleep…(I’m not talking ‘sleeping through the night’ here by the way, that’s pretty unusual for any child under 2 years old…I’m talking no more waking every 2hourly!). THIS TOO WILL PASS.

If you would like to learn more about infant sleep, including many more sleep tips check out my latest book, HERE:

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About SarahOckwell-Smith

Sarah Ockwell-Smith, Parenting author and mother to four.
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86 Responses to Help – My 4-5 Month Old Is Sleeping Like a Newborn Again (AKA ‘The 4-5 month old babies from hell’)

  1. mommysideup says:

    Wow! So true. I am a mommy to a 4 month old.. Actually he will be 5 months on 1st September. I loved reading this piece. I was wanting to know more about why my baby is waking up in the night these days and stumbled upon your article. I just wrote a piece on my blog about how difficult it is to be a baby. And then I was so thrilled to read similar stuff on your page. My son started sleeping through the night (6 hours to 8 hours at a stretch) after a long feed when he was about 2-3 months old. He still does but lately he has been wanting to squirm and bring his hands out of the swaddle. If he manages to do that in the night, that’s it. I am up and he is up for at least an hour. If he keeps his hands under wraps, he pulls through. I am hoping he goes back to sleeping through the night. I hate to swaddle him now that he loves to throw his hands and legs but then he can do that in the day .. Right?!

  2. Katie says:

    You said “…six month old babies are a dream, the fun of weaning…”, and my question is: WHY would you deliberately wean your baby at six months?

  3. Jo says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! My third baby is 4.5 months old. She has been a relatively ‘good’ sleeper since 6 weeks but in the last week has gone to 2hourly feeds overnight & last night was hourly. We have consciously chosen to raise her (& her brothers) using gentle parenting style but still this last week has taken it out of me! Thank goodness for articles like yours above & like minded friends who are great at reassuring this is all normal & experience of 2 other children. Thank you again 🙂

  4. Fiona says:

    Thank you for this. My baby is 5 months old-nearly six months, and the last few weeks have been exhausting! It is great to know this is normal. You are so right about what friends/family and health visitors have said! Baby has currently fallen asleep on me whilst reading this, possibly as I’ve just relaxed loads reading this!

  5. Lucy Barzotelli says:

    Thank you for this article you don’t realise how much better I feel, I have triplets that have just reached 4 months (corrected age) I’m exclusively breastfeeding them all & so many mums don’t seem to have this 4 month problem so to read this is a breath of fresh air for me, I feel I can cope with the next 8wks now knowing my babies are normal & things will settle back down.

  6. Becky says:

    This was literally music to my ears when I first read it as my amazing sleeping baby had hit 4.5 months and was suddenly waking through the night! It was SO good to hear it was normal and would pass… However we are now at 7.5 months and it hasn’t passed. If anything it has got worse! If one more person tells me to leave her to cry it out I may just jump off a cliff!!!! Is this normal to still be unsettled 3 months later? (Baring in mind she slept THROUGH from 3 weeks up to this point!) help!

  7. Marina Matthews says:

    Thanks for this article, wish I had come across it last year when my baby was going through that stage. My question is though, what about later regressions? Because I’ve had this happened to my baby again and again at later stages. In fact, she is 21 months old today and doing pretty well as far as entertaining herself (emptying the contents of my sewing box mainly), but she is back to sleeping ON me most of the night just like when we got home from the hospital.

  8. Nikki says:

    I hope you are right. My 5 month old is killing me. Though honestly she was not the easy baby you describe as newborns being either. She’s always been difficult, including poor sleeping, but it’s momentarily even worse. The sleep board I go to is filled with posts of mothers from 6, 7, 8+ month babies as well, so I guess they didn’t luck out on the good sleep at 6 months. I hope I do.

  9. Amelia says:

    Thank you thank you thank you thank you!!! I’ve been driving myself crazy wondering what I was doing wrong. I knew of the 4 month sleep regression, but my daughter is now 5 months 2 weeks, and I couldn’t understand why she seemed to be getting *worse* not better. Now I know I am not alone. Thank you for making it easier to bare.

  10. Emma says:

    Thank you so much for this article. This describes my now 17 month daughter exactly. She never really slept for longer than 2 hours as a newborn, but at 3 months was starting to do one 4/5 hour chunk at night. At 4 months she started waking every 20mins/40mins or hourly, until we brought her into bed with us (and we too had the comments about her obviously needing solids). We have co-slept since then with the cot right next to me. This has prompted comments from family members about how she’ll never leave our bed, but quite frankly we all get much better sleep with her near us. Thank you for your articles and books, Sarah.

  11. CJ says:

    My baby will be five months old by next week. She is behaving exactly like what you describe in your article for two weeks now. One night she can sleep through, but the following night she will wake up every one or two hours. I’m so exhausted. A lady from the mother’s group told me it’s “wonder week”, and “sunny week” will come eventually.

  12. Midwife International says:

    What a great article! Sleep is truly just as important to your baby’s physical and mental health as what you feed or how you love and treat your baby.

  13. Minsun says:

    Thank you! I’m not alone…. My babyis 5 ,omths and yes it’s exactly like that. Frankly I have had enough of all the weaning advice!

  14. Vanessa says:

    So happy I found this article… I was pulling my hair out wondering what happened to my great sleeping baby. Nap times have been a thing of the past since 4 months old, now she is 5 1/2 months and am lucky if she sleeps for longer than 1 hour stretches at night. I’m exhausted but I know she must be more exhausted than me. Hope this passes sooner than later cause mumma needs sleep.

  15. Lisa says:

    It’s been an absolute nightmare with my 5 .5 month old daughter for the last week. She’s never been a great sleeper overall, and has had several medical
    issues since birth, including reflux. For the last week, her sleep (and consequently, mine) has deteriorated. At night, she was sleeping minimum 5 hours without waking, and now she’s waking every 45 mins to an hour. I’ve been trying to settle her in her cot with shushing, rocking, patting and lullabies to no avail. She has always been bad with sleeping during the day also, I’m lucky to get her sleeping for even 10-20 mins. This is so awful for all involved so
    I really hope this ends soon.

    • Angel says:

      Have you considered cosleeping? She may just sleep longer stretches of you bring her to bed. It sounds like you both need the sleep!

  16. Katie says:

    Great article, very encouraging! I have a question for you, if my baby who is 5 months and 1 week has stopped going to sleep in her cot and now needs jiggling off to sleep in my arms, do I just do this and retrain for sleep after this period passes? She is sleeping through the night still ATM, just really clingy like you explained would happen, I just want my happy child back!

  17. Kelly says:

    By golly this is me to the tee! My baby has hit 4.5 months now and since 4 months on the nose we have been exposed to constant night waking…from midnight to 1am onwards, sometimes hourly, sometimes 45 min’s, sometimes 1.45 mins lol…he is bottle fed, and will settle back easily it’s just some nights my body aches from getting in and out of be so often!!! i needed some reassurance and your article gave it to me, i am more then happy to get up to him, to help him feel that the world is ok, mumma’s there, and not view it as omg poor me i have no sleep, instead, i’m choosing to view it differently…it will pass…thankyou for coffee lord!!!!

  18. Christopher says:

    our little boy is 3.5 months now and generally sleeps from between 9 and 9.30 after his 8pm bottle and sleeps right through until 6am, sometimes 7 – guess we got it lucky 🙂

    • Sarah says:

      Yeah Christopher that was our Luke … From 2-4 months he was a dream slept from 9-6.30am. Was amazing! I bragged to everyone about how great it was.
      The past week or so he was been really unsettled on a night. He will have his bottle with his normal night time routine around 8.30 and will be OUT then second he’s in his cot gets all twisty and wakes up crying. Then he will just be up down throughout the night!
      He’s 5 months this Thursday.
      This article has saved my sanity it’s nice to know everyone’s having similar stories and there is light at the end if the tunnel haha!
      Thanks for writing this! 🙂 x

  19. F says:

    I am not sure that Christopher (above) has read the article, I wish him luck the smug so and so!

    This is great, it gives me hope. We had one week of her going to sleep easily and more or less sleeping through (10-5/6ish – it was heaven!) and then BAM she suddenly needs rocking to sleep, won’t self settle and is waking up every two hours three if we’re lucky. We may be on the way out though, as she slept until 3am last night… I do hope so!

  20. Emma says:

    Very interesting! our lo has been very cranky recently and turned 4 months yesterday. .. I have a question though: do you feed every time they wake up even when its hourly (i.e does the developmental leap increase hunger??) or is it more a case of resettling with shhh rocking etc? Thanks

    • Alexandra says:

      Hi there, hope you’re still linked to this site. Just wondering if you found the answer to your question of whether you still feed your baby at night even if they wake hourly, or if you do shhh pat or resettle. Any advice would be appreciated, Alexandra

  21. Lindsey says:

    It’s currently 3:40 am and I’m awake for the third time tonight. I *really* appreciate this article. My 5 month old has been the easiest baby until this week! He has to be held constantly (by me ONLY) and is waking every couple hours and wants to nurse. It definitely feels like I have a newborn again. Anyways, thank you for reminding me to keep doing what I’m doing. This too shall pass is my new motto 🙂

  22. laemil says:

    Our little pumpkin is what you might call ‘sleep-averse’ at the moment, as in, it takes me 2, 3, even 4 hours to get her to go down to sleep in the evenings, and sometimes nap times are met with a great deal of shouty resistance too, so this blog post really galvanised me and just lifted a weight off me in terms of stress about baby’s nightmarish sleeping habits right now.

    I have Sarah Ockwell-Smith’ book BabyCalm after reading all its good reviews on Amazon. And I’m a total subscriber to her instinct & baby-led attachment parenting-type support.

  23. Tracey says:

    My little girl was sleeping well until 16 weeks exactly and then suddenly she was waking every 2 hours. She is now almost 6 months and still wakes at 2am, 4am and 6am for a feed and a hug before she falls straight back to sleep. The health visitor suggested I should not let her feed and then she would stop. Instinctively this sounded wrong to me and I decided to ignore her and carry on being led by my baby. I have three teenage girls too so I know this time will pass so quickly. It is exhausting and the house is a mess, but my baby need me right now and I choose to put her needs first. Good to see I am doing ok and not ‘spoiling’ her, so thank you.

  24. fiona skinner says:

    Fantastic, stumbled across your site, so glad I did, interesting reading!

  25. Donna Taylor says:

    So glad I found this write-up…. our 5 month old has slept so well from 5 weeks old in his own room going down to sleep awake after bath and bottle.. and then falling asleep watching his mobile however the last couple of days we’ve had a battle putting him down ..he’s started getting really distressed and we’ve even lay on the floor beside his cot shushing him to sleep…. he’s in and out the cot getting cuddles and rocked to sleep… are we doing the wrong thing by nursing him now? we were thinking of keeping him up little longer as he starts getting restless about 5.45 so its bath bottle bed from 6pm but even tho he’s still been restless at this time over the last couple of days he seems wide awake when doing the bottle bit and is now fighting the sleep.. any guidance would be great. x x

  26. Teresa says:

    I have really appreciated your website. I have been reading all of the articles while I nurse my sweet girl to sleep. Thank you, you have changed my perspective. I was feeling like I was failing because I was told I was making things worse for my baby. As a new mom I was crushed to think I was failing my sweet girl. Now I know it’s not only biology but I’m doing a fantastic job. I’m so much more positive about my decisions. Thanks to you!

  27. Denise Hayne says:

    Spot on! Great article; I think it’s an important message, especially since so many mothers will look for a reason and unfortunately blame themselves! It makes things a little easier knowing that, not only is it temporary, but also that there is an explanation (and a great explanation at that). Although, one thing I would like to comment on is the negativity towards a regular pediatrician. I have never been told to CIO, not hold my baby to sleep, or sleep train. It’s actually rare to hear of this. I feel like more and more pediatricians are all about natural parenting. Heck, my pediatrician usually asks my opinion when we are discussing things. I think any mother who doesn’t have a doc that supports their style of parenting, should go elsewhere.

    • Kat Morgan says:

      Your pediatrician?? I’m guessing you’re not in the UK then….! Sadly we rarely -if ever – get any access to a pediatrician. We’re expected to rely on “health visitors” (health service staff with some training in childcare etc but nothing like doctors) and “GPs” (family doctor whose knowledge of infant conditions is pretty patchy but can refer you to a pediatrician if your baby has serious obvious medical problems but is more likely to send you home to get on with it).

  28. Tabea says:

    Thank you for your article. I just find the end rather depressing. What is wrong if my 7 month old baby still wakes every 1-2 hours?

  29. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you so much for publishing this article. My boy is 5 months and has never been much of a sleeper. The last two nights I haven’t even been able to put him down in his cot. I feel much better knowing this is normal. I’ve got him in with me now. I will wait this out and make the most of the cwtches…x

  30. Abby says:

    OMG!!! Thank you!!!!! My baby slept from about 7-7 from a few weeks old I thought I was the luckiest mummy EVER!!!! But then she got to 4mobths old and I’ve never been soooo tired!!! She is teething but it’s definetly NOT that she’s waking every 1-2hrs just for me to go in and hold her hand till she drifts off again but sometimes she’s hungry so I’ll have to feed but she can be waking almost 4-5times a night which wouldn’t be too bad but I’m doing it 7days a week and have a 5yr old to take to school so I sleep at night 😢 which I pbviously don’t lol! I won’t hold my breath for the 6month old “dream” but it’s hope Thank you so much thought I was doing something wrong xx

  31. Lou says:

    I want to cry. Not from anything apart from relief that comes with reassurance! I’ve been told and read countless advice about not nursing your LO to sleep, not giving anything but breastmilk until 6 months, don’t do this..don’t do that. I also don’t want to be told what I should be doing, but to know that it is okay to go with the flow that a 4-month old creates just makes me want to throw a little party for myself. I’m actually not a rubbish (new and first time) mother! I love the little squish to pieces and I don’t want to rush her life along but I can’t wait for this phase to be finished.
    Well done to all you mommies (and daddies) doing what you can to get through it! Thank you so much for this article. (:

  32. kylie says:

    OMG I so hope this phase passes soon, my 5 1/2 mth old has always been a nightmare sleeper, he will catnap 30-45mins through the day but is now waking constantly through the night talking/yelling out for HOURS in his cot, he wont do this quietly but very loudly waking everyone else up including my 2 school aged children. Its driving me insane im so tired and frustrated!! I cant understand why he does this when he is so tired through lack of sleep day and night its like his mind wont let him sleep. I cant get him on any sort or sleep routine as hes so erratic with when he sleeps/wakes so hes all over the show. Please tell me this is normal???

    • Annette says:

      Hoping you are still linked to this as hoping you could share what happened! Am currently in mirror image of your post (to include two schoolers) and desperate!

  33. georgiarosebutler says:

    Thank you! The last few weeks have been ridiculous, my beautiful girl who had been sleeping through from 8pm to 7am from about 12 weeks suddenly started waking several times a night and this last week it’s become nearly every hour. She will be five months tomorrow. I’d heard of sleep regression happening at around 4 months so expected some disruption but was in no way ready for this. She is definitely teething too, she is rubbing her gums so hard with anythinh she can cram in her mouth! I was starting to worry that we were making it worse by us feeding and cuddling her when she wakes in the night, sometimes co sleeping for the sake of my sanity, so it’s hugely reassuring to head that it’s all normal and what she needs right now is reassurance. I must just trust my instincts and not second guess myself!
    I hope this doesn’t last too much longer…

  34. Exhausted Mama says:

    I’m in the middle of this right now with my 4.5 month old. He wakes every 20 minutes all night and takes 2-3 naps a day of no more than 45 minutes each. If I’m lucky I get 2-3 hours of sleep every 3 days, in part because I’ve now got insomnia from not sleeping for so long. My husband and I take turns at night – one sleeps in the basement where it’s quiet while the other looks after the baby and then we switch. Lucky for him my husband is better at falling asleep so always gets more sleep than me. And since I am exclusively breastfeeding and my baby seems to have gone back to wanting to eat every 3 hours, there is never much of a break for me at night. The sleep deprivation really started in my fifth month of pregnancy as my baby would kick me all night long. And now the lack of sleep is starting to affect my milk supply and consequently my baby’s growth (his weight increase has really plateaued). And since no one in my family ever wants the crying baby I get no help or relief during the day, and he is really fussy all day. I’m praying this ends soon and that he’s not one of these babies that is still not sleeping at 6,7,8,9 months. I’m not too hopeful though…..he’s never been a good sleeper. I joke that I will have my revenge when he’s a teenager and wants to sleep all day….i won’t let him!

  35. Suze says:

    I came upon this article by accident, having done a Google search for 4 month sleep regression and having read a large number of other articles which had me convinced I was doing something wrong – cue much agonised worrying, guilt and bouts of tearfulness – I’m a bad mum – simple, my baby is high maintenance/over-sensitive/not content – simple.

    Thank God then for this article – and I’ve read through your other posts, all of which offer common-sense reassurance. Turns out, I’m not a bad mum because I let my baby sleep on me, or pick her up when she cries – everything else I’d read had convince me otherwise. I am reconciled to riding this one out for now – Isla is approaching 5 months and we’ve been a bit off kilter for 5 weeks now (although she has also cut her 1st two teeth). Hopefully all will come good in time.

  36. cathnz says:

    Beautifully written. Love how you don’t try and force the baby to sleep and to accept what’s happening developmentally and just ride it out for a wee bit. Perfect advice. If only all sites wrote so empathetically and in intune with babies needs. Fabo ! 🙂

  37. MonaLisaMom says:

    Thank you. It’s Christmas, my 5month old barley slept all day, and woke up an hour after I put her down (falling asleep in my arms nursing). She’s been waking and feeding every 2-3hrs at night- she’s my second and I’m exhausted!!! I just finished reading the CIO method for the 500th time and still cannot bring myself to do it. THANK YOU for making me feel normal and reminding me it’s a phase it will make tonight’s nighttime feelings much easier to get through.

  38. mmtaylor0781 says:

    Holy moly I have finally found a site that describes my baby to a tee!!! It’s a light bulb eureka moment! Someone else had been there too!!! My little bub is5 and a half months old and I have just been through the 8weeks from hell that you describe, except mine started at12weeks so technically it hads been 10weeks of hell but still it’s so reassuring to know that I have not been sent the demon child!! Thank you thank you thank you for writing this article. I too cannot wait to start weaning, and is amazing the skills she had now that even 6 weeks ago she did not possess!! I am so glad I have finally found someone who makes me feel like what I have been doing is right and that going with my instincts was the right thing to do. You deserve a sainthood for standing up to all these extreme methods of parenting and encouraging mums to go with the flow and nurture their babies rather than trying to force them into a routine that they neither understand nor are ready for!!

    • Tina says:

      Your response made me laugh “demon child”. My son is 5.5 mths and is going through the same thing. I’ve read countless of articles about … Everything and happy to know I’m not alone.

  39. mmtaylor0781 says:

    I wrote a massive comment and for some reason it deleted. Essentially it said thank you, for making me feel sane again, for reassuring me that the last 8weeks haven’t been because my child isnt actually broken, that everything she has been through has been for a reason and that going with my instincts rather than following some ‘routine’ that my child wouldn’t understand nor be ready for was right all along. If only the were more people like you encouraging mums to be just that… a mum. God bless you.

  40. Mira says:

    I’ve read this post so many times for reassurance. My 5-month-old is probably waking more frequently now than he ever did as a newborn. I’m lucky if I get 1.5 hours of continuous sleep in an average night and just to make it that bit more fun, he’s only happy with me or his dad so no relatives or friends can offer any respite. Feeling almost hungover from the lack of sleep. Thanks for this post, although I’m going to take the “things get better at 6 months” idea with a grain of salt as this is what everyone said about 12 weeks as well and ot wasn’t true for us!

  41. Hayley says:

    We are up every 2 hours like clockwork (4.5 months)! Luckily we co-sleep, he has a little feed and we both go straight back to sleep. I have found this book so refreshing, and I no longer feel so isolated in my approach to things!!!! It was also interesting to read that our 10:00 pm everyone to sleep bedtime (we also get up later) is similar to other cultures!!!

  42. Arnika says:

    Thank you!!! You have me hope and strength to continue. I have a 5 month old daughter and lately she has been fussy and complaining all the time except when she is in my arms. Now i know i am not alone in this stage and this as well will pass. Thank you for a wonderful article!

  43. Tessa says:

    I was relieved to read this. My little girl is 5 months and the sleep from 7pm till 7.30am have stopped and is waking almost every hour! I have been able to settle without an extra feed on most occassions but she is also not sleeping more than 40mins during the day and this has to be in my arms – again this is new! I was so pleased to read this is just a phase! They definitely know how to keep us on our toes!

  44. Mira says:

    I kept coming back to re-read this post for reassurance as I was at my wit’s end! My son (now 6.5 months) actually slept his BEST when he was a newborn (waking only every 3-4 hours) and has been waking up to feed every 1.5-2 hours since he was around 2 months old. Bed-sharing doesn’t even alleviate the strain, as he fidgets a lot and ends up keeping me awake AND waking himself up, and I often end up waking up fully to feed him and find it impossible to get back to sleep (then when I do get back to sleep, I’m dragged out of slumber again 45 minutes later). I would kill for even being able to sleep 4 consecutive hours consistently. Everyone else I know seems to have a baby who wakes up once in the night, if at all. I dread going to bed now and parenting on my own 5 days a week is really starting to sap the joy out of everything. I can’t even ask anyone to help me out during the day as my son is terrified of anyone but me or his father. Everyone told me “it gets better at 12 weeks” then when it didn’t it was “it gets better at 6 months”, and now that it hasn’t, I’m reluctant to keep putting a timer on this draining sleeping pattern! Ah, that was cathartic…

  45. Is it possible for this stage to hit early? My baby is 13.5 weeks and has been having these issues all week. I was sure it was teething, but have seen no sign of teeth yet and this article also fits the bill.

  46. Pam says:

    I am seriously considering become sterilized while I am surviving my 4.5 month old boy. He is gorgeous but a terrible napper, a hard to sleep at bedtime baby… and of course I am a first time mom…. I would start to repeat myself that this phase is harder on him than on me… I hope that this ‘mantra’ can help me to cope with this baby. Nice post.

  47. Anna says:

    I have found this article very useful too and am going to stick to my guns and not wean early.

  48. bumpgirl says:

    oh how I wish this was true…but every baby is different as I am discovering…after riding out a tough period when my baby was 4-5 months he has now emerged as…an even worse sleeping and temperamental 6 month old. so don’t worry ladies if you don’t have an amazing 6 month old bouncing ball of joy (at this point, broken as I am, I am seriously considering sleep training methods to save the sanity of the whole family!)

  49. juli says:

    Oh this was helpful for this new mom, we had a rough night and I had no idea why it was out of left field. Just knowing it will get better helps the words in the blog really made me feel better. Ah Yes, the saying this to shall pass.

  50. sunshineyharvey says:

    You’ve just described my life right now! Thank you for reassuring me that the way I want to parent my baby is ok and that I don’t need to wean him or top him up with anything to get him to sleep better. Thank you for reassuring me that this will pass. I am counting down the days until it does and sending this to my nearest and dearest so they can understand what I’m going through right now!

  51. AnnaBanana says:

    Thank you!!! This took me from feeling hopeless and desperate to calm and empathetic. You just solidified everything I felt deep down but started to doubt with each passing slepless day and every intended helpful comment from friends and family. So thankful I found this article. It will be my reminder as we get through the next few weeks, this too shall pass. Much love and appreciation to you!!

  52. I have a different problem with my almost 5 months old daughter. She sleeps very well through the night since she has been 2 months old (8-9 hours) but during the day she has terrible periods of crying. Before she really enjoyed going out and I knew that when she started crying this would definitely calm her down but now she does not enjoy even that, it’s simply getting worse. I can feel she wants to be carried instead of sitting in the stroller but as I have a problem with my legs, I cannot manage physically. Lately I feel very desperate and tired. How do you cope with that?

  53. Hollie says:


    I was so low and worrying all the time about my baby boy, thinking he was unhappy and not knowing what to do. I knew it had to be more than just teething (four months, two teeth, thankfully not to much biting though 😉

    This has bought me some calmness.


  54. Laura says:

    So so so spot on with what we are going through at the moment with DD2, and for the last 3 weeks (she is 4.5 M.o now)…. This article comforts me so much, and when the going gets tough I come and re read it to remind myself, so thanks!
    DD2 does not roll over yet, and with her big sister being such a precocious little one with all her milestones, my ‘reference points,’ for everything are not truly accurate or representative…so I admit I worry though I know I shouldn’t… But it feels like I am a first time Mum again, guess that’s what shows you that every child is different 🙂

  55. Fatema says:

    Thank you for this post!!! My little one is exactly 5 months old now and he is waking every hour! I’m not exaggerating, he really does wake every hour. At the most he sleeps for an hour and a half or two hours, but that’s it. This started when he was about 3.5 months old… he stopped sleeping 3 – 4 hour stretches at night and day time naps almost suddenly disappeared and just been down hill from there! I have tried everything to get him to sleep better, for his sake and mine but nothing helps! I was beginning to lose hope and started to think maybe thi is just the way he is because surely, no phase lasts this long? I am hopeful now that I read this post. I look forward to better nights!

  56. Oh god thank you. Thank you so much for this article. Knowing that I’m doing the right thing and that it’ll pass is a game changer. Another month or so and it’ll aaaall be fine. *new mantra*

  57. Suzie says:

    Thank you so much. Reading this made me feel a lot better. My daughter is 4.5 months and I’m experiencing this as I type. I felt for a moment there like I might have been the only one going through this. It is very frustrating all the other mums I’m hanging in there waiting for this phase to pass (hopefully real soon).

  58. Suni says:

    Thank you so much for this post. My baby will be four months in a week. When she was a newborn she would sleep almost thru the night and even until a week ago but since last week she has been going to sleep at 10pm and waking up at 11pm and just Screams! My husband, my mother in law, father in law and I are all up with her taking turns trying to calm her down. Sometimes When we talk to her she smiles and start cooing back so it doesn’t look like she is in any kind of pain. But Sometimes She just screams. I just lay her in bed sit next to her and cry with her. Exhausted from all the crying she finally falls alseep around 2- 2:30 only to wake up two hours later for a feed. This has been her routine for last one week. I have taken her to the doctors and he said everything was fine with her and not to pick her up when she cries at night and feed her like you said in the post but she doesn’t cry, she screams with all the strength she’s got so I have no choice. She is a very happy girl during day and night until 11 pm, she is like a whole different baby. i Have done everything everybody has suggested. Nothing has worked so far. It’s my first baby and I’m a little lost and feel so bad that I don’t understand my baby and tend to her needs. I want to be a good mother. I hate to see her cry. I am taking her to another doctor today to see if he can help. If this is a phase then I hope it passes quickly.

  59. lily says:

    My goodness! I am glad I found this. I feel like I am doing something wrong. I am just at my wits end. My baby is 5 months old and just screams and screams. He isn’t wet and he isn’t hungry. He is just this fussy nightmare. He used to be perfect until about a week ago as he hit the 5 month mark. He is now up on all fours rocking back and forth, drooling everywhere, he doesn’t smile as much, and he is hungry constantly. Nothing soothes him even when he isn’t hungry. We sleep for maybe 1-2 hours max at a time it is way worse than a newborn! I miss him as a newborn compared to this. It is rough! I can’t go anywhere he just melts down it is almost like seeing a toddler in a temper tantrum he is just frustrated!

  60. Cheryl says:

    Great article, gives us hope! Our little one is nearly 7 months but adjusted for his prematurity is 19 weeks. Having a fun and games with his nighttime sleeping, which used to be great, but his napping is currently much better. Swings ans roundabouts, and this too will pass…

  61. Kati wiggs says:

    This is the article I needed to read tonight. I’m thanking sweet Jesus for your soul!! My 4.5 month old is giving us hell and my husband keeps saying – what do we do?!? I say: survive!!!! And this just hits the nail on the head and makes me more confident in telling my husband that THIS WILL PASS. Thank you thank you thank you.

  62. Rhea Goulding says:

    Great article. My baby is 10 weeks and I’m anxiously waiting the fourth leap and regression. We currently get solid 8 hour stretches from her. My question is how do you help you baby learn to go back to sleep? Since coming home from the hospital I have rocked my baby to sleep ( she had a tongue tie so literally screamed until it was revised). I’ve been told anything I do during the regression, i’lol end up doing until she’s 5! Surely not?! X

  63. Naomi toth says:

    I love this article!! My now 5 month old is exactly like you described ! I’m very glad I found your article. Thank you so much !

  64. Sharmela says:

    Thank you for this! Very reassuring! Except I still have a question (haven’t read all the comments so sorry if it has been answered already!) Does this mean that at around 6 months old (my little girl was 5 months 2 days back and think we’re about 3-4 weeks into the regression – argh!) she will start to sleep for longer stretches without me doing anything other than soothing her for the moment? Or did I miss something else that I should be doing? We’re talking the classic waking-up-every-two-hours thorough the night thing, when I either feed her if she’s hungry, or rock her back to sleep. And I’m wondering if this will continue indefinitely unless I ‘do’ something about it. I’m pretty exhausted at the moment and brain not functioning properly so excuse me if I’m stating the obvious or if I’ve missed something…

  65. Shannon says:

    This article saved my bloody life l! Thankyou

  66. Emma says:

    Anyone have any idea how long it lasts? My baby has been like this for over 4 weeks now! Starting at 14 weeks and he is now 18 weeks! The catnapping in the day and 6 times a night wakings are the killer and seem to be the main reason for all the screaming fits!

  67. Jacquelyn Michaels says:

    This makes so much since.. my son is 4 months and 11 days. He is bot sleeping anymore. Our schedule was: bathtime at 9pm, bed at 9:30-10, then he would sleep until 5-6am. Bow hes waking up every 2-3 hours in the night. Its very hard for me. My nom passed away 18 days ago, they were very close. He is my first child, and she helped me with him a lot. I am at the angry part of my grieving and i dont want to hurt him. Do you have any advice that could help me?

  68. Anita says:

    Hello all

    I am so GLAD I came upon this website!!! Lots of valuable info and so much reassurance!! I feel so much better now knowing that what am doing is right

    Sadly though my LO is approaching her 7 months and her sleep regression is getting worse started at 4 months waking up frequently( I BF started solids at 6 months alongside BF) no other options but to co sleep which solved the problem but sadly only temporarily bub still wakes up 1.5 hours every night her naps are good though so I never saw the dream baby at 6 months mentioned in this article sadly 😦

  69. Anita says:

    Sorry I meant baby sleep wasn’t a dream but baby was fun more vocal and definitely more mobile …it wasn’t all bad aside from her poor sleep at night

  70. Amie says:

    My son is 5months old next week and has turned into a serial catnapper! He wakes 30 mins after going to sleep during the day at pretty much every nap . Is this ok?! He seems tired all the time and looks to power nap again 1.5hrs after his last wake.

    We’re doing bedtime around 6.30pm. Is this too early?! I’ve just bought your gentle sleep book and shocked to read the average bedtime for a 3/6month old is 8pm!

  71. Tenney says:

    Thank you! My boy is 5 months yesterday and I broke last night. Not being able to get him to sleep in his crib I burst into tears…. it’s been so long since I slept at night, I’ve been beginning to doubt my instincts. There’s so much information out there and so many opinions it can shame your exhausted brain into thinking your doing something wrong. I needed your words this morning – they appeared at just the right time for me. Our quote over the last month or so has been , “ this too shall pass. It might pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass.”

  72. Raya Kieley says:

    So glad I came across this article. Currently 2:30am and I think I just got out of bed and comforted my daughter approximately 400 times! She will be 5 months old in a week! I know it will have seemed like no time once this phase passes, but for now I’m catching as many z’s as I can in the mornings when she has her morning nap!!!

  73. Tanya Houghton says:

    Thank you so much Sarah. I was starting to despair of the two hour waking at night. Just as everyone seems to think I should be coping and expects me to be able to behave like a normal functioning adult! Mine has never done more than four hours in a row anyway (except for two freak nights at 10 weeks) and the return to every two hours was turning me insane. It seems such a long way time since I slept properly and people seem to think I ought to still have a sense of humour…!! It’s good to know that it’s not for too much longer. You write beautifully and I am just so grateful.Tanya x

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