For Baby

They look so peaceful: sleep at four to six months

With any luck those broken nights you had in the early days will have gone. As your baby grows, they’ll feed less often at night and sleep for longer stretches. By about four months they’ll most likely spend twice as long asleep at night as they do during the day. That could add up to a blissful eight hours of sleep for you both.


There are plenty of things you can do to help teach your baby good sleeping habits too; here are a few useful ones.

  • Self settling - let your baby learn to settle his or her self. You can do this by putting them down in their bassinet or cot when they’re drowsy, but not asleep.
  • Ignore the racket – it can be a good idea to let your baby to get used to sleeping through noise. The house doesn’t need to be completely silent when they are asleep.
  • Be a sponge – everyone is different, you’ll find plenty of tips that have worked for other people in parenting books and magazines. You can also talk to your health professional – just be aware that we’re all different and the same tips can work differently for each of us.

Comment 9

Have your say...

Pania's Comment

My baby is nearly 6 months and still waking for feeds every 2 hours at night a nurse from the plunket line said he wont start sleeping right through till nine months. Arrrhhhh, Oh well he is just a hungry baby.

The ForBaby Team's Comment

Thanks for your comment. It can be tiring when your little one is waking all through the night for a milk feed! All babies are different, and some will sleep through the night when they are 2 or 3 months old depending on their weight and whether they were born at full term or not. Other babies take longer to get into a feeding/sleeping routine and tend to ‘snack’ regularly rather than taking full feeds. If you would like to chat to one of our health professionals specifically about your baby’s sleeping and feeding routine, they may be able to offer some useful suggestions. You can the Forbaby Careline on 0800 55 66 66. We look forward to hearing from you!

Letetia's Comment

My baby is nearly 5 months old and since the day I bought her home from hospital has refused to sleep during the day (except for 15 minute cat naps up to 3 times a day). She has a great night time routine of going to bed around 6pm waking for a feed around 3am, then straight back to sleep and waking around 6:30 - 7am for the day. I keep being told that she should be going down for sleeps during the day and have been made to feel like a bad mum because I can't get her to sleep. I've tried getting her to self settle, white noise, verbal reassurance even letting her cry it out, but she can cry for hours. I've stopped demand feeding and have just started a feeding routine where I feed her a certain times during the day and have just started her on solid food in the evening before bed. I find that often her crying is worse if I'm in the room and gets very hysterical. I recently read somewhere (have been looking for answers on the internet and can't remember where I saw this) that some babies just don't need more than a few cat naps during the day. Is this true? She is such a clingy baby and gets really hysterical when I try to put her down for floor time or in her bed for sleep (or even to make a sandwich or go to the loo). I've read that this is due to not sleeping much during the day. Is there any way to break this routine?

Mahara's Comment

Letetia I think this is true! A few of the ladies in my babies group have babies who don't/haven in the past slept very much during the day and don't seem interested in or to need much sleep during the day. Don't let anyone make you feel bad!
When was your baby born? She sounds similar in age to our group

Jessica's Comment

My girl is 5months now and still wakes twice, same time every night. Will sleep for 4 hour blocks and be up again. I'm getting frustrated with it because she is eating 2 meals of solids, and sleeping well during the day. Is there anything I can do?

Reply from The ForBaby Team

Hi Jessica, providing your baby is having an appropriate amount of milk feeds along with two solid meals per day, it’s likely she’s waking, not because she’s hungry but for other reasons, e.g., habit. Depending on how much she is taking at each meal you could perhaps try introducing a third meal. Maybe some of the other mums can give you some advice/ideas on settling babies of this age at night.

Rebecca's Comment

Hello My son is 5 months and having 2 small meals a day. I have been reading up on how much he should have but am a little confused, Can you help me? He is also waking 3 or more times at night. He will resettles well If I just feed him but then he wakes 2 hrs later. If I feed him then change his nappy to wake him and feed again he will sleep longer however he is awake babbling for a good hour and manages to move all around his cot! Any suggestions? Thanks

Reply from The ForBaby Team

Hi Rebecca,
Thanks for your questions. At 5 months, there's no real reason your baby needs to wake at night to be fed. I suggest it's more out of habit than anything. If baby is getting enough food and milk during waking hours, then he doesn't need feeding at night. That said, you could try 3 solid feeds during the day, and offer solids in the evening before he goes down- having some food in his tummy at that time may help. I'm not sure whether you are breastfeeding or formula feeding, but make sure he is having plenty of milk over the day so he is well satisfied.
As far as water is concerned, start offering a little bit of water from a cup when he is 6 months old so he gets the hang of it.
Please give us a call on the Careline 0800 55 66 66 and we can give you more detailed advice about getting him through the night without feeding.
Forbaby Team

Brittany's Comment

hi I have a nearly 5 month old and he is fully breast fed. I don't have a lot of supply so I am trying to give him a bottle of formula before bedtime but he will not have a bar of it. He will take a bottle of breast milk but not formula. he wakes at least 4 times a night so I thought if I give hem a bottle he may start to sleep through. what should I do.

Reply from For Baby Team

Hi Brittany, it can be challenging to get baby to accept formula if they are used to breast milk. As baby will take breast milk from a bottle, try mixing up some formula and then combining it in with the breast milk, for example, 25% prepared formula and 75% breast milk. Gradually increase the ratio of formula to breast milk as baby gets used to the taste. Just ensure that you make the formula up correctly before mixing it with the expressed breast milk. Don't hesitate to call our Careline on 0800 55 66 66 for more help.

Good Luck!

Jayme's Comment

Letetia, my baby girl now 6 months is just the same, she never sleeps during the day and has always been like this since she was born ( makes it a lot of work for you during the day) I was made to feel bad as well but she is growing very well above average, now crawling, still being BF and sleeps through the night straight from 10pm to 7 am . Don't feel Bad - I think people try to help but sometimes make you feel like you are doing things wrong. To get my little one to have power naps the other way is to offer the breast in the day and let her fall asleep on it ( not recommended by a lot ) but it works for me or I go for a walk with her in the stroller ( the cover over not to stimulate her too much) I also found with my baby being clingy to express a bit of milk/or perfume/cream you always wear on a snugy or fav sort toy and leave near her cot - she will think you are still near. Do what works for you and your little one and don't feel bad about it every baby is different and there is never no right or wrong way- all the best!

Margaret's Comment

HI there I have a son who is 6 months old now. He's on both formula and breast (mostly breast) and three solids a day. Lately hes been teething and very very crabby. My concern is that although we give him Nurofen and bonjela it doesnt seem to work as much. At night he wakes about every 1 1/2 hours in pain (i.e screaming), nurofen is only given every 8 hours so if its not due than, there nothing much else to do. We've tried massaging his gums, giving him a cold flannell to bite on, etc, the only thing i've noticed that will relieve the pain is if i breasted him and he will take a good feed of about 15 minutes each time. I don't mind that, but wouldnt he be putting on a whole heap of weight? Hes already on the 98th percentile.. Also my nips are raw.. Lol help.. what can i do?

Reply from The ForBaby team

Hi Margaret,

Teething is such a trying time! You mentioned that your son is on some solids – try choosing cooler foods as they may provide some relief eg yoghurt or put his usual puree foods in the fridge. Also try some of the teething rings that you can put in the freezer. For more suggestions about teething, see our article!

In regards to the extra feeds and weight gain, it will hopefully only be for a short period until his teething resides. But if it does continue and you are still concerned, and also for more advice on pain relief, I suggest you contact Plunketline otherwise talk to your health professional.

Hope this helps! :)
The ForBaby team

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