Andrea - posted on 08/10/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )
So my baby slept perfectly through the night from 4 weeks until about 4 months old. Then, she abruptly stopped sleeping through the night and began waking every hour. It was a rough time. It got "better" over time, and she began waking about 3 times a night. Now it seems we're regressing again, and for the past while she's been waking a lot. More than 3 times a night.
She is breast fed, but now eats table foods and some baby food. She drinks water from a sippy cup. She is transitioning from two naps to one nap in the day. She wakes around 8am every morning, and is usually in bed between 7:30-8:30pm. She usually naps around 11am-1pm, or somewhere in and around those times. Sometimes she sleeps for 1 hour, sometimes 2. We have a solid, consistent bedtime routine, and I never put her in bed asleep. She is placed in her bed sleepy, but not asleep. I nurse her a bit before bed, but I don't let her fall asleep at the breast. She has a "lovey" that she has slept with forever, and is very attached to. She's pretty easy to get to sleep, but she wakes so much in the night. For a long time she'd wake a LOT, but we could pop her soother back in her mouth and she'd go back to sleep. These days, however, she wakes and is really awake and wants to nurse.
I'm not a great sleeper myself, and I don't expect that any baby is obligated to sleep through the night just because we want them to. I am not a believer in "crying it out" in any form, really. I do think there is some stock in the belief that babies have a lot of developmental things happening all the time, and that these new ideas/skills/processes developing in their brains can affect some babies and how they sleep. She could be teething, she could be having a growth spurt, experiencing separation anxiety or whatever.
I am always having an inner battle with myself. In the day, after I've had some caffeine, I think to myself "ok, tonight I'm going to be tough and not nurse her. She'll probably cry and it'll be a rough night, but I need to break this habit", but then the other part of my brain thinks that really she's still too young to just be manipulating me, that she really feels like she needs some comfort, and all of this will pass soon enough and I should just be there for her. And, at 3am, after my baby has woken up for the third or fourth time, it's hard to be "tough" when I know she'll go back to sleep if I nurse her for five minutes. But then I feel guilty because I think I'm forming all sorts of bad habits with her. AAAAHHH!!!
Anyways, this is a huge rant from a sleep-deprived mum! Anyone else out there experiencing this? I'm not the only crazy, half-asleep mum of a 1-year-old, am I? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Really, she's as sweet as can be in the day. A "perfect" baby other than the Mr. Hyde appearance at night.