Hi! My boy is almost 15 weeks old. Over Easter Weekend we moved him into his crib in his own room because he outgrew his bassinet, I know it’s recommended that babies stay in the parents room for 6 months but I was given the go ahead by my doctor to make the transition. So he’s been in his own room in his crib for about a week and a half now and my husband and I definitely feel like we sleep better without him in the room. The first few nights of our son being in his own room he slept great, he slept 3hrs woke for a feed and went back down for another 5 and woke for a feed and went back down for another 2. The past few nights he’s been waking every 2hrs so I’m wondering if this is ok for his age? Everytime he wakes up and fusses I give him 5-10 min to see if he will fall asleep again but usually he won’t. His fussing gets louder and louder till it turns into a cry and then I go in and feed him and put him back in his crib. Sometimes he’s asleep by the time he hits the crib and sometimes he’s not and I let him grunt himself to sleep. I woke up this morning wondering if I’m over feeding him, does he actually need to eat everytime he wakes up? I just assumed that’s why he was awake was because he’s hungry but now I’m feeling like maybe it’s not. I’m also wondering why he went from 3-5hrs of sleep at night to 2hrs? Thanks!
At 15 weeks old, your son is just on the cusp of being a Full Grown Baby! Which means, sleepwise, that he is starting to develop his circadian rhythm. This enables him to go longer stretches between meals and sleeps, and go for longer stretches of sleep at night.
But what you're seeing is the opposite of this.
Usually when a baby starts waking up every hour or two in the night, it points to an unsustainable sleep association. But the fact that he grunts himself to sleep sometimes tells me it's not likely he has a very strong one.
Besides, this only started a few days after he was moved into his own room, further away from Mama – the greatest source of comfort known to humankind.
A New Room
Moving to a new sleep environment is stressful for everyone, no less for small babies. Since he is so young, it may have taken him a couple of days to realize he had moved. And now that he's aware, he may have a bit of anxiety about things.
I do not recommend night weaning a baby this young, but that doesn't mean you have to nurse him every time he wakes up.
Is he having big feeds each time or just a few sips?
Hungry or Snuggly?
Start keeping a log of his night feeds to see if a pattern emerges. Then, if he wakes up at a time that is not a big feed time, see if you can encourage him back to sleep without feeding him. Don't jump to the boob right away.
But don't push it. Training away sleep associations and establishing regular nighttime feeding patterns is a whole thing. Two whole things, actually, though they often go hand in hand.
The 4 Month Regression
Besides, at 15 weeks old, your baby is just entering his first big sleep regression. Regressions are characterized by clinginess, crankiness, and a harder time sleeping. So what you might be seeing is simply the start of a normal developmental period.
Whatever is the root cause, your best bet is to ride it out. Offer support and comfort when needed, but don't limit that to nursing and avoiding nursing to sleep whenever possible.
Once your baby is over his leap, you should see a big improvement in his sleep. If not... well, that's what I'm here for!
Susannah Ritchie is a family educator specializing in infant & toddler sleep. She works with tired parents to find sleep solutions for the whole family.