klee97's picture

3-month-old sleep regression

My 3-month-old son has never been a good napper. He sleeps in 30-45 minute spurts several times throughout the day. Occasionally he will sleep longer if I pat him back to sleep. He began sleeping in his carseat for the first two months, and then about 2-3 weeks ago we transitioned him to the crib -- first for naps, then at night. The problem is that he is now waking up frequetly throughout the night, which was our only real good sleep time. (He has slept through the night several times in the first 2 1/2 months, while in the carseat.) I don't know if it's the carseat or what, but I feel like we have a newborn again. We put him down around 8-8:30 and he is exhausted -- since he doesn't nap well. I began feeding him before I go to bed around 10 or so, but even with that feeding he is waking up about 12:30/1 and then again at 4/5:00. My husband and I are exhausted and can't figure out why he slept so well at night, but doesn't anymore. I realize the transition to the bed might be part of the problem, but it's been 3 weeks now, so he should be adjusted. Any suggestions??? I'm open to all advice:) Thanks!

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

It sounds like you need to put your son on a strict schedule. Keep him as busy as you can during the day so that by bedtime your son is exhausted. One nap for approx 2 hrs is fine during the day, but after that your son needs to stay up til bedtime. Also, you said your son wakes up several times a night. That's pretty normal for a 3 mo old. My oldest son didn't sleep through the night til he was six mos old. My younger son was about 4 mos.
I don't know what your schedule is like, but if you can avoid going out frequently w/ your son during the day til you can get him into a routine that may help. I remember my sons used to take cat-naps in the car which often screwed up their sleeping patterns. So unless you plan on driving around for 2 hrs w/ no interuptions, I'd avoid the car. Have you tried a swing? My kids loved the swing and wld sleep for hrs if you'd let them. Also a bouncy seat works well too. On nice days, you can even take walks w/ the stroller. Often the motion helps keep babies asleep.
Once you get your son on a schedule, you can switch him to his crib at naptime. At bedtime, I'd put him in his crib after a soothing bath. Rocking him to sleep and playing soft music may help as well. If your son is waking up for feedings, gradually decrease his bottle at night. One thing we did w/ my oldest son was to put water in his bottle. This wasn't til he was 6 mos old. He wasn't very happy about it, but eventually he gave up on wanting a bottle b/c he knew he wasn't getting milk.
Talk to your son's dr about starting him on cereal also. Usually babies begin solids between 4-6 mos. It's possible that your son is waking up hungry, and he needs more nutrients during the day. Overall, though, I think your son is exhibiting pretty normal 3 mo old behavior. I think it's rare, and that you're quite lucky, to have a baby who has slept through the night this early in his life. So you know he's capable. You just need to figure out what works best for him. Often it's a trial and error process, and it cld take some time to get your son into a routine. Another thought I have, if all else fails, is to hold off on the crib and use a bassinet for a while. Many infants just like the security of a close environment. A crib may be a bit overwhelming right now for your son. Like you said, your son had no problem sleeping in his carseat.
Try different things, and see what works best for your son. Also, your son's dr may have some good suggestions. You may just have to wait it out a little longer, but things will eventually get better. I feel for you. I remember those days well. If you're not nursing, coffee will better help you get through your days. I still drink coffee to help me get through my days. 8-)Hang in there, and good luck!

acitez's picture

when you talk to the doctor, ask about reflux as well. The fact that he slept well in an inclined position in the car seat and doesn't when lying flat makes me wonder.

Reflux is a very serious medical condition. I hope you have already talked to your doctor by now.

TilHanso's picture
Hello, does anyone have any tips about the most simple way to get their baby to sleep through? I have read quite a few websites with ideas but I am still struggling. Thanks
TilHanso's picture
Hello, does anyone have any tips about the most simple way to get their baby to sleep through? I have read quite a few websites with ideas but I am still struggling. Thanks