My 4 month old son happily sleeps soundly for hours at a stretch during the day but when it comes to the night he won't go to sleep until 4 - 5am and when he does go down, he fidgets himself awake.

He suffered from really bad wind and reflux which kept him up until 5am and now his wind and reflux is getting better, his bed time just seems to be stuck at 5am.

We are trying to adjust his bed time by limiting his naps during the day (he currently has 3 naps daily between 1-2 hours), and putting him down at the earlier cycle (usually around 2am) but even when he goes to sleep, he's up after half an hour and then up until 5am. We are also waking him up around 11/12 but don't want to deprive him of sleep. We currently have a bedtime routine of bath, baby massage and feeding to sleep. We also control the light so it's bright and loud during the day and quiet and dark in the evenings.

Is there any advice on how to change a baby's sleep pattern without depriving them of sleep and avoiding controlled crying?

  • 1
    In what ways do you give him attention during the night? Are you sleeping at night? If it is dark and you are asleep he may cry or play for a bit, but eventually the lack of stimulus should get him back to an acceptable pattern.
    – Adam Heeg
    Oct 12 '15 at 15:52
  • Couple of related questions: parenting.stackexchange.com/questions/6288/…
    – deworde
    Nov 20 '15 at 16:56
  • Cannot find any source for this information (perhaps someone can, or correct me if I'm wrong): on one of parenting workshop I've heard that actually making a baby tired (i.e. limiting naps) will cause trouble with sleeping at night. For a good night sleep the baby needs to be well rested and there are quite strict recommendations of how much sleep hours per day baby needs, depending on age.
    – BartoszKP
    Oct 16 '16 at 22:22
  • Found one here - And, although it sounds counterintuitive, frequent napping actually helps baby sleep through the night..
    – BartoszKP
    Oct 16 '16 at 22:28

That happened to me when my baby was a newborn, my bedroom was really dark (I hate light) and at nights we used to turn on the lights so my baby thought day was for sleeping and night was for playing. Try to teach him the difference between day and night, maybe that is your problem. I also read that some kids stay more time awake at nights because it is the only time where they can be with their parents.

"Another possible cause of a troublesome sleeping pattern may be the parents' schedule. Children quickly learn to adjust their schedules to maximize time with their loved ones. If the mother is absent during part of the day, or present but preoccupied with other concerns (such as getting older children off to school), the baby may decide that this is an excellent time for a nap. More focused attention on the baby during the day may help to change the pattern." http://www.llli.org/nb/nbjanfeb95p14.html

  • Welcome to Parenting.SE! That last sentence is really interesting and I'd love to read more about it -- do you have a source that you could link to, or remember where you read it? (EDIT: Thanks!)
    – Acire
    Nov 17 '15 at 19:33

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