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Mum

Hi, I have a four month old baby boy, and would really love some advice to help him sleep through the night. At the moment he has three to four naps during the day, lasting between 30 minutes and an hour. His bedtime is about 8-9pm but he wakes up for a bottle every two to three hours. But when it gets to about 1am he wakes himself up by throwing his arms and legs up and down and starts to fuss. I’ve tried swaddling and he hates it. He has no signs of colic or reflux. I do feed him during the night whilst he’s half asleep aswell, and I make sure I burp him so there’s no trapped air… I would really appreciate some advice! Thank you.

Hi, thank you so much for your message.

It sounds like you are doing a really great job with your little one and in relation to his age and developmental stage his sleep patterns sound very typical.

It might be reassuring to know that from a biological and neurological perspective babies of your little one's age are not designed to sleep for long consolidated periods of time overnight.

They are designed to wake up and feed throughout the night and nightwakings as well as allowing them to feed in order to support their rapidly developing brain. They also protect them from SIDs.

To optimise sleep and help him sleep at his biological best there are of course several things that you can do.

1. Ensure that there are no sleep red flags typical things might be airway issues, tongue tie, reflux, allergies, eczema, food intolerances etc that can cause him to wake a lot more.

2. Ensure his naps are well distributed. It is not uncommon for the sleep needs of babies of his age to change and sometimes too much sleep during the day can impact on nights. For example he might be better off with slightly less sleep, e.g. three hours instead of four.

3. Ensure his sleep environment is conducive to sleep, i.e. the room is not too hot not too cold (18-20 degrees is optimal). Ensure he is wearing clothing that breathes and there are no labels or seams irritating him. Block out external noises using white noise.

4. Expose him to lots of natural daylight ideally in the morning and then again in the afternoon to support his circadian clock.

5. Give him the opportunity for floor and tummy time during the day and try to support him to co-regulate with you on a flat surface away from the night time as it is much easier than doing It all at night.

6. Build up positive relationships with his sleep space by playing with him in it during the day for brief five to 10 minutes sessions two or three times. I suggest that you keep his cot is in your room close to your bed as babies especially of his age need sensory proximity.

7. Sometimes bottle fed babies may also wake up more at due to discomfort, which can be a result of taking in excess gas or drinking more than they need. To prevent this from happening I recommend using something called paced bottle feeding when you feed him.

I hope this all helps and pls let me know if you have any more questions.

Emma, Tinto Expert