3 Month Old Suddenly Waking Up Frequently?

Is your 3 month old suddenly waking up all the time at night? Learn how to stretch your baby’s sleep and finally stop frequent wake ups!

3 Month Old Suddenly Waking Every 2 HoursYou’d think babies would continuously get better at sleep as they get older, but that’s not always the case. My baby started off with predictable long stretches at the start of the night, only for it to get shorter and shorter until he was waking up every 2 hours.

I had more patience for these frequent wake ups in the first few weeks, but 3 months later, the sleep deprivation was getting tiresome (literally). He stopped nursing as long as he used to at bedtime, and would instead make up for it by eating throughout the night.

Thankfully, I learned that many reasons contribute to these frequent wake ups, from growth spurts to the 3 month sleep regression. More importantly, I discovered ways to help him sleep, even if not through the night just yet, at least for a long stretch.

Here’s how I was able to help my 3 month old stop waking up so often—I hope these tips can work for you, too:

Newborn Sleep Deprivation

1. Shorten your baby’s wake times during the day

Sometimes, babies sleep fitfully at night because they were overtired during the day. This is especially common for newborns who can only take short windows of wake times before needing to fall back asleep.

And even though you’d think they’d just fall asleep whenever they were tired, this isn’t always the case. More often than not, they need our help, from keeping their environment subdued to carrying them in a baby wrap.

To ensure that your baby isn’t overtired, keep his wake times during the day short. At 3 months old, aim for a range of 1.5 to 2 hours, max.

Overtired Baby Won't Stop Crying

Free resource: If you struggle with getting him to sleep, it might be because of how long he’s been awake. Join my newsletter and get One Mistake You’re Making with Your Baby’s Awake Time—at no cost to you. Don’t make the same mistakes I did—help him fall asleep with this one simple trick! Grab it below:

One Mistake You're Making with Your Baby's Awake Time

2. Feed more frequently during the day

For many reasons, some babies don’t drink as much during the day as they used to.

This may be completely normal, especially since they don’t grow as quickly as they did during the early weeks. They might also be more interested in new skills and experiences, and feeding falls to the back burner. They might not even eat a lot at bedtime, especially if they fall asleep before they’ve had their fill.

So, if your baby still needs those calories he hasn’t been eating during the day, it only makes sense that he’ll wake up throughout the night crying to eat. But how do you break the cycle, especially if he’s not keen or hungry to eat during the day after having eaten all night?

One tactic you can try is to feed him more frequently throughout the day instead of your regular long feeding sessions. This helps break them down from, say, 30 minutes of nursing to three 10-minute nursing sessions.

Grazing like this can be helpful for babies who don’t feel inclined to stay put for long and would rather play and explore. And by feeding more often, you increase the chances that your baby drinks most of his milk during the day.

So, let’s say you try to nurse him at his usual time, except he’s done about halfway through. Rather than waiting until his next feeding session, offer to feed him again sooner than later.

3. Offer a dreamfeed

Want to stretch your baby’s first sleep of the night a little longer? Offer a dreamfeed.

Let’s say you put him down for the night at 7:30pm, but you don’t go to sleep yourself until 9:30pm. Feed him around 9:15pm to “top him off” in the hopes that he’ll sleep a little longer after having eaten.

It’s okay if he’s drowsy and even starts to doze off. Just do your best to either keep him slightly awake while he feeds or put him down drowsy but awake when he’s done.

Expert tip

On top of a dreamfeed, try to feed him more at bedtime, with the same goal of feeding extra to get a longer stretch of sleep. Some moms have said that they had better nights after making sure their babies had a good fill before bed.

4. Don’t let your baby fall asleep while eating

Does your baby tend to fall asleep before he finishes feeding? Do what you can to keep him awake the whole time so that he doesn’t doze off. Falling asleep prevents him from having his fill before you set him down (and makes him more likely to wake up more frequently).

How can you make sure he stays awake? Engage with him while you feed, from tickling and talking to him to burping him midway. You can also move the bedtime feeding to the start of your routine, not the end. For instance, feed him before giving him a bath, ensuring that he’s still awake when you set him down.

And make sure that he’s actually eating and not just sucking for comfort. You should hear a small swallowing sound and see his throat move—two signs that he’s taking in the milk.

5. Stretch the gaps between night feeds

It’s easy to feel stuck when the only thing that seems to soothe your baby is nursing. He may not even be hungry, but he won’t stop crying unless he’s fed.

Help him break the association of waking up to feed by stretching the gaps between those night feeds.

Let’s say he wakes up every 2 hours on the dot. Instead of feeding him right away, make a goal of delaying the feed for 15 minutes. Comfort him by holding and rocking him, offering a pacifier, and making sure he knows you’re there. Then, once you’ve stretched it out for those 15 minutes, only then do you feed him.

Do the same at the next wake up, giving him some time to be soothed before feeding him right away. You’re showing him another way of calming down and falling asleep besides feeding.


Frequent wake-ups at this stage in your baby’s life can feel dreadfully exhausting. Thankfully, you can try a few tricks to help him sleep in longer stretches.

Limit the time he’s awake between naps to prevent him from feeling overtired. Feed him more frequently during the day, especially if he isn’t inclined to eat for long stretches. Offer a dreamfeed right before you go to sleep to top him off for the night.

Don’t let him fall asleep while feeding to ensure that he’s actually eating all that time. And lastly, stretch the gaps between those wake ups so he learns other ways to feel soothed.

The newborn stage is rough, no doubt—but now it won’t be because you’re waking up every 2 hours anymore.

Get more tips:

Don’t forget: Join my newsletter and get One Mistake You’re Making with Your Baby’s Awake Time—at no cost to you:

One Mistake You're Making with Your Baby's Awake Time

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Katherine Smith says:

    Any tips if baby just wants to nurse for comfort rather than feeding each time? She won’t take a pacifier (we have tried several with no luck!) we have tried rocking her but she just screams the house down for half an hour. We are so sleep deprived!! Any advice would be appreciated

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Hi Katherine! I’d make sure that she’s awake the whole time she’s nursing, as she might be screaming and crying out of hunger. Even though she was just on your breast that whole time, she might not have gotten her fill while she was nursing. If she’s awake the whole time, you ensure that she’s at least full and not hungry.

  2. Vishalini says:

    Hi, is there any reason for him to sleep from 7:30-1 and then wake up every 2 hours. Thank you

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Hi Vishalini! I noticed that my babies slept for a long stretch that first part of the night, then would wake up frequently or have light sleep the closer it got to the morning.