Common 3 Month Old Sleep Problems (& Solutions!)

 

3 month-old sleep problems - Cute three months old baby girl wearing a capCan you believe your baby is already 3 months old? Seems like only yesterday she was a newborn sleeping 16 hours a day. She’s well past the coos and gurgles of months 1 and 2.

She’s now a “big girl” smiling, giggling, discovering her hands and becoming more social by the day. 3 months old is a common age for parents to start wondering about normal sleep patterns and how to avoid (or fix) sleep problems. You may already be worrying about short naps, frequent night wakings and/or if your 3 month-old will ever sleep in her own bed.

This is the perfect age to begin establishing healthy long-term sleep habits for your baby. This guide below will show you how! I’ve compiled the most common sleep problems for 3 month-olds along with steps you can take to get your baby’s sleep on track. Plus I made this detailed video below that walks you through it all. 

This post may contain affiliate links.

 

RELATED: Easy Sleep Schedule for Your 3 Month Old

 

Video: How To Get A 3 Month Old Baby To Sleep Well!

Sleep Patterns for a 3 Month-Old Baby.

What’s Normal?

Total sleep in 24 hours

13-16 hours

Hours of sleep at night

9-11 hours

Appropriate Bedtime

7:30-9:30 pm

Nap Duration

30 mins – 2 hours
(Ok if it varies)

 

Naps per day

3-5

Time between naps

1 – 2 hours

Click below to download my 3 month old sleep guide!

 

 

 

 

Struggling With a Late Bedtime? Find Out How To Get an Earlier Bedtime for 3 Month Old Baby HERE ->

 

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Common Sleep Problems for 3 Month-Olds

(& How to Fix Them!)

click each topic below

Baby wakes 4+ times at night
  • 3 month-olds can sleep 3-5 hours at night without needing to feed (some can go even longer.) This means that it’s normal for your baby to need up to 3 night feedings at this age. If your baby is waking a lot more than this, she’s probably using feeding (or pacifier, rocking, etc..) as a means to fall back asleep.
  • This is the perfect age to gently teach your baby new sleep associations, such as falling asleep independently. You can do this very slowly. If you’ve been feeding, rocking or holding her until she falls asleep make a conscious effort each day to shorten this calming ritual by 1 minute. Just 1 minute! Every day attempt to put her down a bit more awake. After a few weeks she’ll be used to going down drowsy. Trust me, you’ll have a much easier time with the 4 month sleep regression if you start this now. Plus you’ll dramatically reduce the chance that you’ll have to sleep train in a few months.
Baby's bedtime is later than 10 pm

 

  • Often a late nap is the culprit. To get your baby used to an appropriate bedtime of 7:30-9:30 pm, allow for a 2 hour awake time before her new bedtime. So wake your baby from her last nap by 5.30-6:30 pm. It will take several days to work toward this.
  • If you think that keeping your baby up late at night will help her sleep in later in the morning, think again! As much as we’d all love to sleep in until 9 am, babies are naturally early risers. It’s in their hard-wiring. Your best bet is an earlier bedtime to avoid an over-tired (and cranky) 3 month-old.
Baby thinks 5-6 am is a great time to start the day

 

  • Is her bedtime too early? Remember, 3 month-olds are expected to sleep only 9-11 hours at night. So a bedtime before 7 pm is too early.
  • Is her bedtime too late? It seems counterintuitive, but a really late bedtime can cause early risings. Think of it like jet lag. Even though you’re exhausted after a 15-hour trip, you find yourself wide awake in the middle of the night. If your baby is over-tired, her nervous system becomes overstimulated and she’ll have trouble sleeping soundly.
  • Have I confused you yet?? The main idea is to find the bedtime “sweet spot” that works best for your baby. For the majority of 3 month-olds, this falls between 7:30-9 pm.
Will my baby ever sleep in her own bed?

 

  • If your baby is bed-sharing or in a co-sleeper and you’re eager to transition her to her own bed, the best method is slowly and gently.
  • The idea is to increase the distance between you and your baby every few nights. So slowly that she barely notices!
  • If you’ve been cuddled up together, the first move will be a 1-foot distance between the two of you.
  • The next move could be placing her crib next to your side of the bed for a few nights.
  • After that you can slowly move her crib to another spot in your room or into her own bedroom.

 

  • Don’t get discouraged if your baby rejects this transition right away. Just keep trying each night. Over time, your consistency will teach her how to adjust.

 

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends sharing a room with your baby until her first birthday. If you need to move your baby into her room before then, try sleeping in her room for a few nights. Using a baby monitor also helps to allay many parent anxieties.
My baby's naps are so unpredictable!
 

  • Start watching the clock. Young babies can handle only 1-2 hours of awake time throughout the day. This is completely normal. Their brain and nervous system need to recharge often. When a 3 month-old refuses to nap, it’s typically because she’s over-tired/overstimulated and her system can’t relax enough to fall asleep. Start planning for her next nap after she’s been awake for about an hour.
  • Take your baby to her room 10 minutes before nap time should begin. Do a short winding-down routine: change her diaper, sing a lullaby, and comfy pajamas. (Basically a shortened version of your bedtime routine.)
  • For the best quality sleep, make sure you include: white noise, dark room/black-out curtains, semi-quiet household, swaddle or sleep sack. (See my favorite products below).
  • At least 1 nap per day should be at home in the same place she sleeps at night (crib, bassinet.) Why? Your baby is becoming more aware of her environment and therefore distractible, so it’s harder for her to sleep whenever, wherever. Plus it’s better quality sleep. Morning nap is usually the easiest to have at home (because you haven’t showered yet! ?)
  • It’s completely fine to let your baby nap in the stroller (lying flat, not upright), baby carrier or in your arms. Motion naps often help babies nap longer. Just make sure that all naps are supervised by an awake adult.
  • Remember: Don’t go longer than 1.5-2 hours before giving your baby a nap-friendly environment. Don’t stress about short naps or an unpredictable nap schedule- your baby is still young. Just focus on getting quality sleep often. It may take a week or so to see improvements.
  • See my video below for more specific nap tips! 

 

My baby will only sleep on my chest

It’s so exhausting when your baby will only sleep ON you. But don’t worry, I DO have a resource for you.

This video gives you advice on getting baby OFF your chest.

My baby sleeps in the DockaTot (or Rock n Play.) Do I need to move her to a crib?

Many parents credit the DockaTot or Rock n Play with helping their young baby sleep well, especially babies with reflux. Unfortunately, these devices are not considered safe spaces for your baby to sleep unsupervised.

In April 2019 Fisher Price recalled all Rock n Plays due to infant deaths while sleeping there.

Both the AAP and NHS recommend that babies should only be placed to sleep on a firm, thin mattress inside a crib, cradle, bassinet or play yard. 

It’s interesting to know that only products clearly labeled “crib” “cradle” “bassinet” or “play yard/playard“ are regulated in the U.S. by the CPSC. All other products are unregulated (“sleeper” “napper” “lounger” etc…)

It’s time to get baby sleeping in a crib!

Click here for tips on transitioning out of the DockaTot.  

Click here for tips on transitioning out of the Rock n Play.

Every day is different. It’s hard to stick to a routine. I feel like I’m always trying to catch up.
  • Go easy on yourself. It’s completely normal to always feel tired, overwhelmed and emotional during your baby’s first year. I recommend you avoid all sad films and Adele songs. While you’re at it, don’t watch the news either unless you want to have a good cry. It’s just depressing.
  • The best way to get into a daily routine is to set a morning wake-up time, like 7 am. No matter what happened the night before, you and baby wake up, open the curtains, move to another room, and make a coffee! Having a set wake-up time helps each day fall into a similar rhythm. It will help your baby fall into regular nap times as well. Then you can establish an appropriate bedtime. And before you know it, you’re into a daily groove!

 

Want an Easy Sleep Schedule

for your 3 Month Old?

 

 

Products I Recommend for 3 Month Olds

 

White Noise Favorites

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Hatch Baby Sound Machine

Big Red Rooster 6 Sound White Noise Machine

MyBaby Portable White Noise Machine

 

The Best Blackout Products

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Keep Your Baby Safe with a Sleep Sack

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Top Rated Baby Monitors

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For Naps On-the-Go

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RELATED: Find out how many night feedings your 3 month-old baby needs

Important Note: If your baby is really fussy or colicky and the above tips have not helped after 1-2 weeks, then do whatever it takes to get some sleep. You can try again at 4 months old. You’ll get there!

Is your 3 month-old baby having trouble sleeping? Reach out to us in the Comments Section below for advice from Jilly. 

Let’s stay connected!

66 Comments

  1. JACKIE BILLINGSEY

    Hi Jilly,
    I am at the end of day 2 of your recommended schedule for short nappers for my 3 month old. Bedtime is the absolute hardest because as hard as I have tried for the past 2 nights, she doesn’t end up going to bed until 9/9:30. She screams and cries when we try to do bedtime and it has taken my husband and I going in and ricking her for a total of an hour (on and off) for her to finally go down. Then she wakes up an hr later, I feed her, and it takes another 45 min for her to go back to sleep (not so much crying this time).
    I am so stressed and exhausted. I know it’s only day 2 but I am to sure what I am doing wrong… Any help or advice is very much appreciated!
    Thank you,
    Jackie

    Reply
    • Alyssa Taft

      Hello Jackie,

      Thanks so much for your post! Try to give the schedule at least a week of consistency to see some big improvements. Your LO may just need some more time to adjust. Also, I would try to work on moving up bedtime closer to 8:30 to see if that helps as well. Check out this guide for helpful tips! Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

      https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/bedtime-for-3-month-old

      Reply
  2. Charlotte Avendano

    Hi Jilly, I’d love some advice… my 3 and a half month old sleeps fairly well overnight, often only waking once or twice. He self settles for all of his naps, but will only sleep for one sleep cycle (40 mins)… he is awake for approx 2hrs between naps and I look for his signs of tiredness before putting him down. Everything I have read suggests that they should have a restorative longer nap over lunch time but he wakes after 40 mins and although is tired (his eyes are shut and he grizzles and yawns), will not go back to sleep unless I feed him to sleep and then he sleeps on me. I worry that I have established this as a habit now. If I don’t encourage him to go back to sleep, he is grumpy and just cries making the time until his next nap unbearable. I don’t know what else to try! Thanks, Charlotte

    Reply
    • panagiota

      Hi there Charlotte. At this age your baby’s sleep can be unpredictable. As you’ve probably read on this guide, what matters most is for your baby to nap often, not the length of the naps. Please try implementing the tips from this 3 month old guide for a few days, and if you haven’t already, sign up for our Free Exhausted Mom’s Survival Kit here –> https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/exhausted-moms-survival-kit

      It a step-by-step guide that will help you teach your baby to sleep better, day & night. Good luck. Panagiota, BSMS Support Team

      Reply
      • Thalia

        Hi Jilly

        My daughter is 3 month old today (yay!!). I am still feeding her to sleep and at the moment she falls asleep at 8pm, wakes up at 10ish-11pm for the first feed and then every 1-2 hours. She used to sleep for longer stretches (even 5-6 hrs) but after her 3rd growth spurt everything has gone backwards. You advise to put her to reduce one minute each day from the ritual until we put her drowsy. I am not sure how this is possible though. I put her down once she is fully asleep otherwise she will cry massively. How can i change this habit? Many thanks

        Reply
        • Micaela

          Hi Thalia, your baby is still very young, and if you are not yet able to place her down if not when she is completely asleep this is fine. Keep working on this and once your baby turns 5 months you can start to push it a little bit more and it’ll be safe to start proper sleep training. Have also a look at this sleep guide for 3mo old https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/3-month-old-sleep-schedule/

          Hope this helps!
          Micaela BSMS Support Team

          Reply
  3. Sarah

    Hi Jilly

    My little girl has just turned 3 months and has been what I would call colic since birth.
    She is normally pretty good during the day but nap times can vary day to day but I always make sure she has 1.5hr wake times between naps.
    The problem is come late afternoon she becomes extreamly unsettled and we can’t get her down and she screams non stop! We have to walk round the living room as she won’t allow us to even sit down with her without her carrying on. This can last 1hr-3hrs but these past few night she has been terrible and she will be awake from 5.30pm until 10pm or later very unsettled crying and squirming constantly.
    Not sure what is going on as I keep to the advised wake times waking her at 7am every morning unless she wakes herself at 6-6.30am. I also dream feed at 10.30pm and she has one night wake normally between 2-3am.
    Is it just colic and i still have to wait this out? I am concerned she will get a sleep association being held to sleep every night.
    I do try very hard to make a point of putting her in her bed for day naps still drousy for this reason.

    Reply
    • panagiota

      Hi there Sarah,

      Sorry that your LO seems to hurt. It’s hard to see them suffer. We recommend you speak with your baby’s doctor and explain the situation to get their recommendation. If doctor says it’s “just colic” or normal fussiness, then please check out this guide that will help you deal with the symptoms.

      Here’s our guide on colic/fussiness –> https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/newborn-baby-fussiness-colic-pdf.pdf

      Colic DOES pass and your baby WILL become easier to settle. It’s so great that you’re doing your best to set up a consistent and appropriate sleep schedule for her. Well done, mama. Hang in there! Panagiota, BSMS Support Team

      Reply
  4. Lene

    Hi!

    My baby is 3 months, and getting to bed isn’t a problem, but staying asleep through the night is a huge issue. She’s never been a good sleeper, but at this point, she is waking up around 1-2 and is fighting going back to sleep. She has a pattern of cry, fall asleep, startle, and just repeats it until I give up around 5 and end up holding her. During this time, I have attempted to feed her, because I’m at a loss for what else could be wrong, so she usually gets a few ounces twice over the course of that few hours. I have tried to push past the 3 hour mark in the past, and not feed her just because she’s fussing, but sometimes it’s all I can do to keep myself sane! Like I said, falling asleep is fine, and she usually gets a solid 3 hours after we put her down. She usually goes down around 7, and we have a solid routine. Her naps during the day are erratic now, we wake consistently around 7, and her first nap is structured, but after that, she won’t go down at solid times. It’s a struggle to get her to sleep sometimes during the day. Her feedings are usually good and consistent during the day.

    Any help or advice you have would be soooooo appreciated!

    Reply
    • Alyssa Taft

      Hello and thank you for your message! Your little one is still in that “fourth trimester” so sleep can often be pretty erratic (totally normal), but I KNOW its exhausting! A 3 month old can typically feed 2-3 times per night, so I wouldn’t worry about her waking up 2-3 times to feed. These are night wakings, but feeding related. We often see naps become more consistent around 5/6 months. For now, just focus on creating healthy sleep habits and sticking with the appropriate wake times! Let me know if you have any additional questions! Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

      Reply
  5. pohhwee

    Hi.

    Not too sure if you’ll still reply my comments as this thread is in 2019.

    Your guidelines work wonders and now my baby’s nap time are more predictable. However, she can nap as short as 30 mins to as long as 2.5 hours. Is 2.5 hours nap too long?

    I normally last feed my baby (3months 10 days old) at 6.30pm and prepare for her night sleep at 7.15pm. She wakes up at 12mn/1am and on 4am/5am for feeding. Is this normal?

    Thank you very much for your reply.

    Reply
    • Alyssa Taft

      Thanks for your message! I would definitely try to enjoy those long naps when you can! Not a problem at all. It sounds like your little one is waking up an appropriate number of times given her age for feeding. Continue to follow our age-based guides so you can get an idea of wake times, nap times, and feedings! 🙂 Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

      Reply
      • Ong Pohhwee

        Thank you for the encouragement! She’s been on this schedule for one week, and suddenly one day she decides to wake up at 8pm and refuse to sleep till 1am. She wakes up the moment we put her in the cot (we need to carry and sway with humming or shh-ing sound to make her sleep). And she is more fidgety when she sleeps. Any solution?

        Reply
        • Alyssa Taft

          Thanks for your message! Definitely check out our 3 month old sleep guide to get some helpful sleep tips. It is normal for babies at this age to want to be carried or rocked to sleep. Just do your best to put your little one down drowsy but awake. The 4 month sleep regression is around the corner and this a big developmental milestone for your little one. Babies can start to self-settle after this time and that is when we notice they can really start to be put down in the cot awake and fall asleep independently. But follow our guide so you can start to form some healthy sleep habits now! Let me know if you have any additional questions! 🙂 Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

          Reply
  6. Margarita

    Sorry, I meant to add also to my previous question, how can I get my baby to sleep his naps in a cot intead of my arms.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Leena

      Sorry to hear about that! It can be exhausting at times! It is completely normal for sleep to be a bit unpredictable and inconsistent. at this age. This doesn’t mean that there is nothing you can do about it, in the contrary! Since you have seen the video with specific sleep tips for your LO’s age, I would suggest implementing the tips from our FREE EXHAUSTED MOM’s SURVIVAL KIT, here is the link:

      https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/exhausted-moms-survival-kit

      I would recommend starting with our age base sleep guide above which will cover all the basics and help manage expectations at this stage. Implement the guide for 2 weeks straight and you should see improvements. Then for the sleeping on you problem, Jilly has a great video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJeet1wp2_0

      Hope these resources help! / Leena, BSMS Support Team

      Reply
  7. Margarita

    Hi, my name is Margarita. I have a 14 week old baby. Our main issue is that he got used to sleep in my arms for every nap. Yes every nap, which leaves me with barely any free time to do things, even the basics like shower, eat or put away laundry. We used to co sleep until week 11 and now he sleeps in a cot and I beside him. Nights are not getting any easier either with him waking up sometimes every hour. I also got into the habit of feeding him to sleep which I hear is not ideal. I am exhausted, barely sleeping at night and struggling through the day with his naps. Any tips. I need help please 🙏
    Thank you!

    Reply
  8. Michelle

    Hi Jilly,
    I have read all the comments and replies above and have found them extremely helpful. I just wanted to check a few things:
    – my baby is 12 wks old but was born three wks early. When looking at your guidelines, do I go by her due date or arrival date?
    – Secondly, is it ok to purely decide her sleep times each day based on her awake times i.e. put her down for a nap within 2 hours of her waking up regardless of how long each nap is?

    Reply
    • Leena

      Hi Michelle! Glad to hear! We always go by the adjusted age, so your LO would be 9wks old at the moment. So we recommend you check the 2 month old guide.
      https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/how-to-help-2-month-old-baby-sleep-well

      For babies this young we recommend following awake times since we cannot realistically expect a set schedule just yet.

      Hopes this helps! / Leena, BSMS Support Team

      Reply
  9. Jaime

    Hello, my 11 week old is usually falling asleep between 9-930, he wakes regularly at around 215/230 to eat and goes back to sleep. After that though he seems to stir and wiggle and be awake every hour. I try to get him to 630 as a wake up time but I feel like im just awake putting a pacifier in to keep him in the crib as long as possible. Many mornings he then will eat and be ready to fall asleep within that hour. Im fine with the night feeding I just wish he would sleep the second stretch like he does the first one. I feel like im going crazy! Thanks so much!!

    Reply
    • Leena

      Hi Jaime! Congratulations on your new baby! It’s normal for the first half of the night to be deeper sleep than the second half. Your baby is still young and his body clock is still developing. I know it’s not easy, but very soon he’ll start sleeping better. Especially when you follow the tips from this article. Make sure to include white noise in baby’s bedroom as it’s proven to help babies sleep deeper and longer. And put him in a swaddle blanket or “cosy” sleep sack like the Zipadee Zip or Love to Dream. Those can help babies not stir so often. I hope this helps! / Leena, BSMS Support Team

      Reply
  10. Simone

    Hi Jilly! Thank you for this.

    My daughter will be 3 months on the 15th and it seems like ehes fighting going down for naps or to bed. She then gets herself frustrated and overtired. I have to try different things different days to get her to fall asleep. It’s rarely ONE method that works consistently to get her to fall asleep. She does sleep well through the night maybe waking a couple of times to nurse and to be changed but I go back to work in 2 weeks and am nervous about how the daycare providers will deal with having to put her to sleep. She RARELY falls asleep without being held and still sleeps on us in bed at night (I know, horrible habit to have created😩🤦🏾‍♀️). I’m afraid that the daycare teachers won’t know how to comfort her and put her to sleep, especially since they can’t nurse her. I also have to attend a wedding in Miami next week for 3 days and have the same worry with my mom watching her. I’m worried that her skipping naps and becoming overtired and frustrated will in some way traumatize her. I don’t want to come back from my trip or pick he up from daycare and she be frazzled and upset.

    Reply
    • Leena

      Hi! Aww, sorry to hear about your LO’s sleep struggle! It is very common for naps and sleep in general to be all over the place at this age. There are many developmental changes happening for your baby. This still doesn’t make it any easier when you are tired day and night. Jilly has a great video on her YouTube Channel about babies only wanting to sleep on you and what to do about it.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJeet1wp2_0

      Since your LO is also approaching a sleep regression, I’ll link the guide here for you as it helps to manage expectations and having concrete tips on how to survive it.

      https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/4-month-sleep-regression-tips-video

      It is often a matter of small tweaks and keeping bedtime/ nap routines consistent.

      Let us know how it goes, hang in there mama! / Leena, BSMS Support Team

      Reply
    • Jilly Blankenship

      Hi Simone,

      Leena’s advice and links above give you specific tips that can improve your daughter’s sleep. Thanks Leena!

      I just wanted to add that it’s so normal to feel scared or worried about both your baby not sleeping AND how other caregivers will manage. But we never know how our babies will respond, so try your hardest to not stress too much. (Easier said than done, I know….)

      The daycare providers and your mom have lots of experience caring for LOs and I’m sure they’ll be able to comfort her and get her to sleep.

      I hope this helps and good luck.

      All the best,
      Jilly

      Reply
  11. Nicol Montero

    Hello, My baby is 12 weeks old and we’ve been having sleep issues for the last 3 weeks. She is a great sleeper at night, sleeping for 6 to 8 hours, typically waking once around 4/5 am. She’s up for the day between 7 and 8 and goes to bed around roughly 8:30p. She sleeps in a pack-n-play bassinet in our living room outside of my bedroom.

    Daytime naps are rough. We do naps after she’s been up for an hour, knowing she can’t go much longer. I nurse her and put her down after she’s asleep in her bedroom with dark curtains, box fan for noise, and in her crib. This is in a different location than night time. She’s been napping in her room for 6 weeks, 3 of those have been rough.

    After I put her down, she wakes up after 10 minutes. I try to put her back down and only successful sometimes. After an hour I will try again and each time she wakes up. I have sat in her room after I put her in her crib to see if there is something happening and I can’t find anything. This is causing issues that by the end of the day she is over-tired and then has a hard time going down for the night. I will say that she sleeps awesome in my arms. After 2-3 days of her not napping, I will spend a day with her in my arms so she’s getting some sort of sleep– kind of a reset and then try again in her crib.

    I would like to transition her to sleep in her bedroom at night but I’m afraid that she’ll be up all night. I put her in her crib to start that transition. Her room is also on a different level of our house, away from the noise that she would experience if I put her down for naps in the pack-n-play.

    What can I do to make naps longer and her more rested throughout the day.

    Thank you, I look forward to your reply!

    Reply
    • Leena

      Hi! Aww, sorry to hear about your LO’s sleep struggle! It is very common for naps and sleep in general to be all over the place at this age. There are many developmental changes happening for your baby. This still doesn’t make it any easier when you are tired day and night. Jilly has a great video on her YouTube Channel about babies only wanting to sleep on you and what to do about it.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJeet1wp2_0

      Since your LO is also approaching a sleep regression, I’ll link the guide here for you as it helps to manage expectations and having concrete tips on how to survive it.

      https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/4-month-sleep-regression-tips-video

      It is often a matter of small tweaks and keeping bedtime/ nap routines consistent.

      Let us know how it goes, hang in there mama! / Leena, BSMS Support Team

      Reply
  12. Lauren

    Hi!

    My 3 month old son has never really slept great but there were like 4 days when he was 8 weeks that he slept a 4-5 hour stretch the woke up every two hours. Now, for about a month his longest stretch is 2.5-3 hours and then then he wakes up every 1.5-2 hours. I’m going nuts! I have a bedtime routine of bath, jammies/lotion, book, feed, music, rocking. I tried to put him downy drowsy but he screamed. I’m feeling hopeless.

    Reply
    • Leena

      Hi Lauren! I’m so sorry to hear about your baby’s sleep struggle!

      We usually recommend sleep training beginning at 5 months old, because at this age we know your baby has the ability to learn to fall asleep on his own and sleep long stretches.

      So if you can, I’d recommend hanging tight for a little while longer before you start sleep training. However there are still tips and routines that you can implement right now to improve his sleep. Wait no more!

      Here is a link to our free Exhausted Mom’s Survival Kit. It walks you through the first steps of getting your baby sleeping great at night.

      https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/exhausted-moms-survival-kit

      You have the tips for 3 month olds in this blog post, here’s a link for your baby’s 4th month:
      https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/4-month-old-not-sleeping

      Best of luck! Leena, BSMS Support Team

      Reply
      • Nikole

        I am literally going through the same exact issue with my baby who is 13 weeks today! Please tell me it gets better!!
        About a month ago we got up to 5-6 hour stretches at night, now he’s going down earlier but averaging 3.5/4 hours max and I’m so exhausted!

        Reply
        • Leena

          Hi Nikole! Oh no! We’ve all been there and it DOES get better! There is no magic trick, but the tips in the guide help a lot. When and if you feel like you need a break, if you can, ask someone to take over just for a bit so you can rest. Even though this is a phase, I would put your mindset and well-being on the top of the list so you have the energy to stay consistent when you do interact with your LO. You can do it mama! Hang in there, you’re doing great! / Leena, BSMS Support Team

          Reply
  13. Bridgette Mitchell

    Hi Jilly,

    My 3 1/2 month old has had a big week of changes! She has started to roll back to front, but she can’t go front to back yet. We have stopped swaddling her and she flips over every chance she gets. It seems like she doesn’t mind sleeping on her tummy at the beginning but at some point she wakes and gets frustrated. She used to sleep 8-10 hours at night but now she only goes 4 hours and then up every two after that; if I’m lucky! Last night she slept 4 hours, 2 hours, then 45-50 minutes until we started our day at 7am. Her bedtime is 730. We have been doing the same routine for weeks. She used to go 9-11 hours at night without eating and now it seems the only way to get her back to sleep. What do I do?

    Reply
    • Jilly Blankenship

      Hi Bridgette,

      Learning to roll is a BIG development!

      And it typically results in some rough nights, as babies often wake themselves rolling at night. (So cute, but so exhausting…)

      You were right to stop swaddling as soon as your baby starts to roll. A swaddled baby should never sleep on their side or stomach. 

      If your baby is able to roll back-to-front and front-to-back easily, you can let her. You don’t have to reposition your baby during the night if she rolls onto her stomach. 

      You only need to help reposition your baby onto her back in the night if she can’t yet do it on her own or being on her tummy upsets her.

      So for the next few days (or weeks) until she learns to roll onto her back, she may need your help in the night. 

      Help her master this skill sooner by letting her practice during the day when she’s awake. 

      If possible, I’d try to avoid feeding her multiple times in the night. Instead, use other comfort measures to settle her like patting, rubbing, shushing, singing, a pacifier or holding. 

      That way, once this rough patch has passed, you won’t have to worry about weaning off any extra night feeds. 

      Good luck,
      Jilly

      Reply
  14. Lauren

    How do you feel about dream feedings?

    Reply
    • Jilly Blankenship

      Hi Lauren,

      I think dream feeds are a great strategy for young babies that need to eat frequently during the night.

      But once your baby reaches 3-4 months, I don’t recommend dream feeds. Instead, I recommend you let your baby tell you when she or he is hungry during the night. I’ve found that dream feeding babies this age (and older) don’t always decrease the overall number of night feeds.

      I hope this helps!
      Jilly

      Reply
  15. Katherine clarke

    Hi my baby is 8 weeks she sleeps pretty well at night 5-6 hours then 3-4. She taking lots of naps her wake time is 50 mins to 1.5 hours. She only takes about 10 mins to get to sleep. My problem is trying to get her to sleep without her crying/fussing the entire 10 minutes every nap/ bedtime. I have tried rocking her with a soother- she spits it out and I have to hold it in. She hates the swing because it makes her drowsy and she starts screaming. I have tried stroller rides, car rides, a baby carrier, Swaddling her and putting her down drowsy but awake with and without a soother. I Have also tried sitting in a dark room with her and rock her with white noise and a soother. feeding her to sleep also doesn’t work she pulls off and cries to sleep. I don’t mind while I’m at home it’s just hard to get out when she needs to cry for every nap. As soon as I put her down into the car seat while she is asleep she wakes up and screams until I pick her back up. My first cried herself to sleep until well over one year old. I’m just wondering if you have any clue as to why this is happening and how I can stop it?

    Reply
    • Jilly Blankenship

      Hi Katherine,

      Hmm that is a tricky one! Her sleep schedule seems good for her age.

      Why don’t you go with 1 hour awake times for the next few days and see if that helps.

      Crying before sleep is usually (not always) a sign that baby is over-tired and ready to sleep. Since she falls asleep within 10 minutes, it seems she’s tired (rather than crying because she isn’t tired enough and you’re trying to get her to sleep.)

      But perhaps she’s a little over-tired. Shortening up awake times can help with this.

      Do this for 7 days consistently and see if it helps.

      Otherwise, since she sleeps appropriately for her age, it may just be that this is how she “blows off steam” before sleeping. This is true for many babies!

      I hope this helps,
      Jilly

      Reply
  16. Gina

    Hi Jilly,
    I have twin boys born on 3-22-19. We were only waking 1x per night for weeks now. I went back to work on Monday, but I work from home and my mom is watching them upstairs while I work downstairs so not too too much of a change. We just upgraded to a crib on Monday and took away swaddles as they are trying to roll. Now all of the sudden they will not take naps and are waking 2-3x a night full blow out screams with some wake ups that I just have to soothe them. We feed every 3 hours during the day. We do the feed, wake, sleep approach. I put them down for a 1.5 hour nap but it usually only lasts for 45 min now. Bedtime is never passed 8. Please tell me this is because of the changes this week and we are just adjusting? I am exhausted!

    Reply
    • Jilly Blankenship

      Hi Gina,

      Yes it’s probably because they came out of the swaddles and into the cribs. But these are necessary transitions once your babies start rolling. You did the right thing.

      I highly recommend the Zipadee Zip sleep suit (https://amzn.to/30UU7YL) and the Love to Dream suit (with the arms out – https://amzn.to/2SFgsqk) for transitioning out of the swaddle. They’re safe long-term for rolling babies, but still have a little “snug-ness” to keep baby feeling cosy and contained.

      Also, when your place your babies in the crib- have their feet touch the end of the crib. Placing them right in the middle of the crib means they don’t feel any boundaries of their sleep space. Feeling boundaries can often help babies settle easier.

      These tips, plus the ones in this guide, should get them back to sleeping well.

      Good luck,
      Jilly

      Reply
  17. Brenna

    My son is 11 weeks and has improved with going down easily for naps (lay down with pacifier and will often put self to sleep in 15 min) but is still so hard to get down at bedtime…it can often require about 1 hour or more of rocking and trying to lay down, giving the pacifier etc. and even after that he can wake after only a few min and need help again. We often try to put him down at 730 or 8 depending on his tired signs…is there a reason why he’s so hard at night and not during the day?? We have a good routine and he is happen for the routine and then becomes hard to soothe and relax when starting to put him down… thanks!

    Reply
    • Jilly Blankenship

      Hi Brenna,

      I’d work on creating a peaceful and relaxing bedtime routine for him. This article walks you through exactly what to do: https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/how-to-start-bedtime-routine-baby-toddler-2

      Bedtime routines work wonders for helping our LOs blow off steam and settle easier for sleep.

      And make sure his awake times stay within 1-2 hours only, all day long. Perhaps he’s a bit over-tired at bedtime from a long awake time before bed? At this age, following awake times takes priority over a set bedtime each night.

      I hope this helps,
      Jilly

      Reply
    • Shirley

      Hi Jilly

      My baby is 3 months old, she used to sleep very well until she turned 2 months, since that she struggles to slpeep during the day time, she only sleep in my arms and I have to rock her every time until she sleeps deeply, she becomes very annoyed and cry sometimes, I try to put her to nap before she becomes overtired , her bed time routine it’s eat, shower, massage, pijamas, sleep at 7:30, sometimes she falls asleep very quickly, some other times we struggle a lot like for 1:30 hour , she sleeps 3 to 4 hours and she wakes up at 6 or 7 am and sleep again only on my chest for 40 minutes , I don’t known what to do to help her fall asleep by herself and in her crib, I don’t have time to do anything because she only wants to be over me , and what can I do to increase her periods of sleeping time

      Reply
      • Leena

        Hi! Aww, sorry to hear about your LO’s sleep struggle! It is very common for naps and sleep in general to be all over the place at this age. There are many developmental changes happening for your baby. This still doesn’t make it any easier when you are tired day and night. Jilly has a great video on her YouTube Channel about babies only wanting to sleep on you and what to do about it.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJeet1wp2_0

        Since your LO is also approaching a sleep regression, I’ll link the guide here for you as it helps to manage expectations and having concrete tips on how to survive it.

        https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/4-month-sleep-regression-tips-video

        It is often a matter of small tweaks and keeping bedtime/ nap routines consistent.

        Let us know how it goes, hang in there mama! / Leena, BSMS Support Team

        Reply
  18. Amy

    Hi,
    My 11 week old has just started waking up after sleeping for 30 mins every time she goes down to sleep day and night. I understand that this is roughly when she changes sleep cycles. If I don’t try to get her back to sleep she ends up being so over tired and it’s unbelievably hard to get her back to sleep often it takes at least an hour to get her back to sleep if I’m lucky and then she only gets half hour sleep because she needs feeding. Have you any tips on hw t get her back to sleep and how I can teach her how to get through the change in sleep cycles without waking? Thank you

    Reply
    • Jilly Blankenship

      Hi Amy,

      You’re right, sleep cycles change around 3-4 months. There can be a rough patch of restlessness and disturbed sleep that lasts 1-2 weeks.

      I would keep going to her right away when she stirs and help her start a new sleep cycle. Do whatever it takes.

      You can also use (supervised) naps in the swing, stroller or baby carrier if it helps her extend naps.

      In a few weeks (or now if you’re feeling brave) you can work on getting her falling asleep on her own. This skill develops by 5 months in babies, although some can do it sooner. Don’t push her too hard though if she’s fighting it.

      It’s a bit early, but here’s my guide on the 4 month sleep regression. It can come early in some babies: https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/4-month-sleep-regression-tips-video

      I hope this helps,
      Jilly

      Reply
  19. Taylor

    Hi Jilly, My son is 3 months old. He started only wanting to sleep while latched on. He will not take a pacifier or bottle. He wakes up almost every hour hour of the night and fusses if he is not latched on. He also will not nap unless I am holding him. This has been going on for a over a week. We also have up on the Halo Bassinest and decided to get a DocATot becuase I am so exhausted and he would not sleep in the Bassinest. Could this be a growth spurt? TIA!

    Reply
    • Jilly Blankenship

      Hi Taylor,

      That sounds exhausting! 3-4 months can be a really tricky time characterized by increased restlessness and frequent waking. It’s all due to the BIG development that babies go through around 4 months. Here’s more info on it: https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/4-month-sleep-regression-tips-video

      For naps, see if there’s anywhere else that he can nap well. Many babies nap well with motion, so you could go for a long stroll to help baby get one long nap each day. My baby also didn’t really like the pacifier BUT if she was in the stroller she’d take it for a few mins to fall asleep. Then she’d sleep an hour (as long as I kept pushing 😁.)

      Did the DockaTot help him sleep better? Shorten up his awake times during the day, to only 1 hour or so. That can help babies settle and sleep easier, day and night.

      And once he hits 4 months, these tips will help too: https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/4-month-old-not-sleeping

      Good luck!
      Jilly

      Reply
  20. Sasha Sarazin

    Hi Jilly my three month old is very hard to get to sleep in her own bed and also to sleep at night she has slept with me on my chest for so long whenever I try and put her in her bed she wakes up and fusses I have tried putting her down half asleep half awake the only way I have been able to put her down in when she is completely asleep and even then she wakes back up right away once I go in the room to go to sleep if she hasn’t already woke up

    Reply
  21. Sasha Sarazin

    Hi Jilly ! Please help!
    I have a soon to be three month old she has pretty much slept on top of me since birth she would sleep in her bed sometimes but it is very hard to ever get her to sleep in it that is why she has slept with me, i have tried putting her down half. Asleep half awake when I do that it usually works for a few minutes then she wakes up crying or as soon as I put her down she wakes up and starts to fuss, the only was I can sometimes get her down is to be completely asleep and even sometimes when that seems to work it’s like as soon as I come in to go to bed she wakes up

    Reply
    • Natalie

      I have exactly this problem, are there any solutions for this please?

      Reply
      • Jilly Blankenship

        Hi Natalie,

        Yes, see my comment below to Sasha. It’s possible to get your baby off your chest and into the crib!

        Good luck,
        Jilly

        Reply
    • Jilly Blankenship

      Hi Sasha,

      Sorry I missed your messages. I just changed the software for my comments and realized many got overlooked!

      3-4 months can be a really tricky time characterized by increased restlessness and frequent waking. It’s all due to the BIG development that babies go through around 4 months. Here’s more info on it: https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/4-month-sleep-regression-tips-video

      I’ve found that snug and cosy sleep sacks help a lot with babies who are used to being held for sleep. Specifically, the Love to Dream, Woombie and Zipadee Zip sleep suits are great.

      Also, babies that sleep on chests are used to sleeping on their tummies. So it’s a double transition for them (off of mommy AND sleeping on their backs.) I suggest getting baby to sleep by rocking, but holding her so she’s on her back. Have her in one of the above sleep sacks. Once she’s deeply asleep (has been sleeping in your arms for 20+ mins) then gently place her in her crib. And walk away super slowly…… Repeat if necessary! It’s not a quick transition, but over time it can work.

      Good luck!
      Jilly

      Reply
  22. Katrina Edey

    Hi! My son will be 3 months this week. He was a great sleeper (6-8hr stretches a night) and took 3-4 naps a day. 2 weeks ago (right before Christmas) he stopped napping and will maybe only sleep a 5hr stretch a night. I don’t know what happened or how to fix it. He fights sleep day and night. I track his sleep and he maybe gets 9hrs. He started drooling & sucking/eating his hands. Is there anything I can do to bring him back to his previous sleep pattern?

    Reply
    • Jilly Blankenship

      Hi Katrina,

      3-4 months can be a really tricky time characterized by increased restlessness and frequent waking. It’s all due to the BIG development that babies go through around 4 months. Here’s more info on it: https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/4-month-sleep-regression-tips-video

      So it’s normal for “good sleepers” to go rogue!

      The best thing you can do during this time is help your baby sleep as well as possible. This may mean he naps in the stroller, swing or baby carrier (supervised) rather than the crib if it helps him nap longer. Shorten up awake times. Maybe he can only stay awake 1-1.5 hours between sleeps. Preventing him from getting too over-tired can help him fight sleep less.

      I’ve found that snug and cosy sleep sacks help a lot too. Specifically, the Love to Dream, Woombie and Zipadee Zip sleep suits are great for helping babies sleep longer stretches.

      He could also be teething. This video has tips for providing teething relief: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdjE1TAgMn0&t=3s

      I hope this helps,
      Jilly

      Reply
  23. Jenna

    Hi! I have a 10 week old daughter, born on her due date. I have been doing sleep /wake windows for 6 weeks now. The EASY routine to be exact. Our day looks similar to this
    7:00 am wake and feed
    7:30 am activity (play mat, swing tummy time etc) one or two of these
    8:30 am nap
    10:00am wake and feed
    10:30am activity as per above
    11:30 am nap
    1:00 pm wake and feed
    1:30 pm activity
    2:30 nap
    4:00pm wake and feed
    4:30 pm activity
    5:15 pm nap
    6:00 pm wake and activity/ bedtime routine
    6:30 feed
    7:15 sleep for the night
    10-11 dream feed
    3:00 am feed (because I have to pump)

    This was working until 2 weeks ago when she began a nap strike.
    She will go down for 10-30 mins and she is awake again. She is not overly fussy or crying she just doesn’t seem to want to sleep.
    She goes down initially in her crib with no problem. After she wakes up (and I leave her in there she will NOT go back to bed) I ca take her and put her in her swing and she will sometimes go back down.

    I have tried swaddled and unswaddled it does not seem to make a difference.

    Any ideas??

    Reply
    • Baby Sleep Made Simple

      Hi Jenna,

      She may be ready for slightly longer awake times if she goes down easily enough but wakes after a short nap and is happy and awake.

      Also, her awake times are 1.5 hours all day until the end of the day when they’re 1 hr 15 mins. Usually, we switch it and have shorter awake times earlier in the day and longer toward the end of the day.

      You could go for 1 hr 30 – 1 hr 45 min awake times earlier in the day and perhaps up to 2 hours.

      I hope this helps!

      All the best,
      Jilly

      Reply
  24. Allison

    I watch my 15 week old’s (born 6 days before due date) waketimes like a hawk. He generally gets fussy about an hour after waking, sometimes 1hr 15min, and the I start getting him ready to go down for a nap (swaddle, same book, same goodnight words) and then have to rock him forever and lay him down repeatedly before he’ll stay down for what usually amounts to a one sleep cycle nap of about 40 minutes. This generally results in 4-5 naps per day and him needing to go to sleep around 6:30pm. According to your bedtime chart, that’s too early but I can’t get him to take a nap that late in the day. Oh and it often takes about two hours before he’s actually settled for the night. And then he often wakes up between 5-6am. How am I supposed to give him a later bedtime if his waketime is supposed to be less than 2 hours meaning he needs a nap at 6 or 7pm??

    Reply
    • Jilly Blankenship

      Hi Allison,

      If he won’t nap that late in the day, then a 6:30 pm bedtime is fine. It just leads to early morning waking, which is why I try to recommend against it. But each baby is different and you have to go with his signs.

      I hope this helps,
      Jilly

      Reply
  25. Ingvill Tollman Fosse

    My 12.5 week old baby has problems falling asleep. I try to put her to bed at eight after giving her a bath. She is usually very cranky at this time and has been awake for 2,5 hours. I breasfeed/nurse her to sleep in my bed. However, the last week she has not fallen to sleep. I remove the breast when she seems to be sleeping but she wakes up again and starts to cry after a little while. She eventually falls a sleep av eleven after more feeding and walking. How can I make her fall asleep faster?

    Reply
    • Jilly Blankenship

      Hi Ingvill,
      Sorry to hear about your bedtime troubles. Have you joined the Exhausted Mom’s Survival Kit?
      https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/exhausted-moms-survival-kit

      This is a step-by-step guide I made that shows you how to get your baby falling asleep easily and peacefully at bedtime. I recommend you start there. You may find an extra tip or 2, such as including massage and also the right steps to do, and in which order. It also talks about the ideal bedtime for babies at different ages.

      My guess is that she’s a bit overtired, and may need a shorter awake time before bed. And/or…… it could be the 4 month sleep regression appearing a little early. Have you heard about this? It often disrupts babies’ sleep patterns. You can check out this article about it here: https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/4-month-sleep-regression-tips-video

      Good luck & let me know if you need any more help!

      All the best,
      Jilly

      Reply
    • Baby Sleep Made Simple

      Hi Ingvill,

      Sorry to hear about your bedtime troubles. Have you joined the Exhausted Mom’s Survival Kit?

      https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/exhausted-moms-survival-kit

      This is a step-by-step guide I made that shows you how to get your baby falling asleep easily and peacefully at bedtime. I recommend you start there. You may find an extra tip or 2, such as including massage and also the right steps to do, and in which order. It also talks about the ideal bedtime for babies at different ages.

      My guess is that she’s a bit overtired, and may need a shorter awake time before bed. And/or…… it could be the 4 month sleep regression appearing a little early. Have you heard about this? It often disrupts babies’ sleep patterns. You can check out this article about it here: https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/4-month-sleep-regression-tips-video

      Good luck & let me know if you need any more help!

      All the best,

      Jilly

      Reply
  26. Erin

    My 3 month old is going to sleep the same time I do – around 10:30pm. Her first stretch of sleep is between 3-4.5 hours so that’s the best sleep I get too. I want to move her bedtime up to a more sensible hour (7-8pm) but am worried I’ll be losing out on the only decent sleep I get. Usually after her first wake up, she’s up every 2 hours. Any advice on how best to move her bedtime up and also how to go about increasing the hours of sleep in between feedings?

    Reply
    • Baby Sleep Made Simple

      Hi Erin,

      When adjusting bedtime, I always recommend an “Easy Does It” approach.
      So work on moving bedtime earlier by just 15-20 minutes every 2-3 days.
      Also, keep an eye on your baby’s awake time from the last nap until bedtime.
      You want to aim for 2-2.5 hours of awake time before each “new bedtime.” (All babies vary a bit with the ideal awake time, but that’s the average range for the last awake time of the day for a 3 month old.)

      As for the night wakings, there are several factors to consider.
      As long as your baby is eating well during the day and weight gain/health are optimal, you could encourage 4-5+ hour stretches of sleep overnight.
      For a step-by-step guide on reducing night feeds, check out: https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/weaning-night-feedings

      I hope this helps!

      All the best,
      Jilly

      Reply
      • Erin

        Great, thanks for this info! I will start moving the bedtime routine by 15-20 mins over the next few weeks and try to ensure she doesn’t sleep for 2-2.5 hours before bedtime!

        I’ll check out the link for extending sleep as well. She’s eating and gaining well so hoping we will start to get longer stretches of sleep soon!

        Thanks again 🙂

        Reply
        • Baby Sleep Made Simple

          Good luck to you! Happy to help if you need anything else.

          All the best,
          Jilly

          Reply
        • Samantha Morales

          Hello, I have a 3 month old who has been on a nightly routine for that last 8 weeks I give a bath to every day by 6:30pm wakes by 6 am. His longest stretch of sleep is that initial put down at 6:30 lasting 4 hours by 10-10:30 pm he wakes up to feed then he wakes up every two hours on the dot to feed. How can I get him to sleep longer than the two hours after 10:30 pm. I’ve tried soothing him giving him his pacifier but he just wants the bottle and eats 2 ounces then passes back out most the time.
          Second I’m going to be starting work in a couple weeks and need to move his bed time routine/bed time to 7:30-8 how can I move it to a later bed time ? He is super fussy by 6 pm.
          Thanks for your help in advance hard to find help regarding these issues.

          Reply
          • Jilly Blankenship

            Hi Samantha,

            This guide explains how you can start to reduce/space out night feeds: https://www.babysleepmadesimple.com/weaning-night-feedings

            To move bedtime later, you’ll need to give another short nap in the 5 pm hour. Then his next sleep can be bedtime. You may need to wake him by 6 pm to make this new bedtime work.

            All the best,
            Jilly

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