Do you want more sleep?   Yes! I need more sleep.
Do you want more sleep?   Yes! I need more sleep.
Do you want more sleep?   Yes! I need more sleep.

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Reader Interactions


  1. PO says

    Hansini and Domestic Diva what amount of cereal did you give your children before bedtime to help them sleep through the night? Ive started with just a teaspoon of rice cereal and havent noticed any difference…

  2. Hansini Fonseka says

    Hi, my baby boy at 4 months started eating solids with a well reception and surprisingly now he can sleep over night. Earlier he used to get up for about 3-4 times for feedings but I started giving him solids at around 6 pm as advised by his doctor and the magic worked. So I consider myself blessed !!

  3. Domestic_Diva23 says

    While most babies this article would be true for; I feel I must bring up an exception to be careful of with some babies.

    My son around 3 1/2 months hit a huge growth spurt & started losing weight and being very fussy & crying. We couldn’t figure out what it was. Then he started wanting to nurse ever 1- 1 1/2 hours which was draining me & I felt like I couldn’t keep up with this massive need for production. He wouldn’t sleep for naps or night time–he would only cry hysterically. So, we talked with our doctor.

    Now, our doctor has kids that were all breastfed. He was concerned about the weight loss…though not major weight loss, this is not a good trend for a new baby.

    My son also has never been a chubby baby (chubby babies aren’t bad but my son never was). He has been pretty lean from day one. After much deliberation we found out he has a high metabolism like I did as a baby/kid & our doctor suggested to start cereal. The very night we gave him cereal before bed & a small amount at every other feeding….he slept through every nap & through the night again (he had been sleeping through the night since 2 months & we didn’t know what was wrong until then).

    Still today, this now 1 year old eats tons of food & is still lean and getting tall. Most nights he still need cereal before bed to sleep through the whole night or he wakes up asking for food (he signs & knows some words now).

    This probably won’t be most mom’s case but if your kid is leaner than most & very demanding of your breasts….I would look into that as a solution.

    I won’t try giving cereal right away with the next baby on the way unless he/she shows the same tendencies. Every kid you have is different so you need to pay attention to what they need. Just because my firstborn son needed cereal at 3.5 months doesn’t mean my next one or the one after that will need it too.

    I just want people to think about all the possibilities. I wouldn’t have even thought about him being hungry until we saw a two week consistent weight loss. Just know what is normal & isn’t. Most cases kids at age 3-4 months have some changes in their brain/sleep habits & in other areas sometimes too.

    We followed the advice that our son didn’t need cereal & it didn’t solve the problem but I’ve seen what this article is saying be true for other babies. Again, know your own child & pay attention to details so you can make the best possible decision.

    Even now, I can tell when my son is crying for me for a really good reason & if its just whining–you get to know what makes them “tick” and their actions, personality & reactions to things. Just trust your instinct and mingle in some sound advice when you aren’t sure what to do.

  4. Wee says

    I thoroughly agree that solids will not help unless it is a hunger issue and even if it is, at 4 months, I will still not offer cereal because it could just backfire and cause more sleep issues with indigestion and tummy aches.
    My daughter was a very poor sleeper at night when she was a baby. I had suggestions that my milk was insufficient (despite a phenomonal amount of poop and and tripling of weight in 4 months) and was told to give her formula. (not by the ped, who thinks she was growing beautifully). Well, it just turned out that she was irritable at night because of 1) dairy in my diet, 2) heat rashes, 3) and indigestion from over eating. AND she was a low average sleep requirement baby.
    So, the sleep problem was waaayyyy more complicated than just hunger.

  5. Emily DeJeu says

    @ Sarah — how interesting that you were part of a medical study! What were the results (if you don’t mind my asking 😉 )? Good insight about it going “around and around in a circle” — isn’t that the truth!

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Sarah!

  6. Sarah says

    I was on a study (looking at allergies & whether the 6 month milk feeding rule is correct) so I breastfed my LO to 6 months. She had a 4 month sleep regression (previously sleeping 4 hrs, quick dreamfeed then 8 hours) and EVERYONE kept telling me she was hungry – no matter we had 4 colds between 4 months and 6 months which I think caused a lot of the problems.
    Anyhow, when we finally started solids at 6 months, her poor digestion system didn’t know what had hit it, we had awful wind / poo problems for the first week as her tummy got used to something other than breastmilk. So we slept less, not more!
    However after all that, we now (11 months) find that she sleeps longer on days she has had a decent evening meal and following milk feed. Not every day, but a poor meal usually means poor sleep.
    Of course sometimes a poor evening meal is caused by poor napping / teeth /over tiredness… it all goes around and around in a circle. I just take a deep breath and start every day new!

  7. Emily DeJeu says

    @ Molly — Well, at least you know you’re not alone in having a mom who preaches the “gospel of solids” 😉 I think everyone’s mom/grandma/aunt has offered that advice at one point or another, in spite of research that directly contradicts it!

    And good point about your doctor’s theory — imagine how Gerber’s profits would soar if they could print that on their boxes of cereal!

  8. Emily DeJeu says

    @ PO — Glad you found the article interesting! With regards to your question, I think the first thing to keep in mind is that at 4 months, it’s still considered very normal for a baby to eat once (or even two or three times) during the night. So I’d say there’s nothing “abnormal” about your daughter needing one nighttime feed.

    That said, if that nighttime feed is out of character for her, and if your doctor feels she’s been gaining weight properly without nighttime feeds (since you mentioned she has been going 12 hours or so without eating), then you could be experiencing the 4 month sleep regression (you can read more about it here: Typically, if a baby has been sleeping well at night/naptime and suddenly begins waking more frequently, the 4 month regression is to blame. Hope that article gives you some good insights into why your daughter’s waking more frequently! And as always, if you need support, don’t hesitate to contact us for resources or personalized help 🙂

  9. Molly says

    My mother insisted that some rice cereal before bedtime would help our LO sleep longer. She still thinks this is true even though she has witnessed it not working. Grrrr…

    Our pediatrician suggested that if rice cereal really helped babies sleep, wouldn’t they print that on the box? 😉

  10. PO says

    Interesting article, thanks for sharing your stories Nicole!

    I have a 4 month old that is waking up once a night and taking a full feeding and then going right back to sleep. This has been going on for the past few weeks. It is frustrating because prior to this, she was doing 12 hour stretches with no feeding required! I’ve tried everything from cluster feeding to increasing the amount at each feed, even giving her a “dream feed”; recently I started adding a small amount of rice cereal (1 tsp) to her bottle – not noticing any difference(by the way, the revised guidelines, at least here in Canada, are to start solids between 4-6 months as opposed to 6 months – they keep going back and forth on this).

    Any thoughts why at 2.5 months she could sleep a 12 hrs in a row and now at 4 months can only do a 9-10hr stretch before getting hungry?