Ah, the coveted “sleeping through the night” merit badge.
In short, Corban’s still doesn’t have it. At least by definition for a 9-month-old (for a newborn, 6 hours straight is considered “through the night,” and at that stage, it truly feels like it).
Every night at about 2 a.m., I am aroused from my sweet slumber and must force my eyes open enough to stay awake while feeding Corban. He goes right back to sleep after filling up, and the whole thing including a diaper change, takes about 20-30 minutes, provided I don’t fall asleep in the chair and wake up 2 hours later with a sore neck. But on the best nights I still feel like a zombie come 6:30 a.m. when C is up for the day.
At Corban’s pediatrician visit last week, our doctor said this routine is common in breastfed babies and will likely continue as long as I continue nursing him when he wakes. The problem is Peter can’t sleep when he’s moaning (it’s not really crying, just making noise) and the easiest way to guarantee he’ll go back to sleep is just to nurse.
So, after discussing with the doc, our solution – or at least current attempt – is to turn off the monitor at night. Or, rather, not turn it on. And hope that Corban is able to just go back to sleep without us waking up.
This worked the first night, sort of. We didn’t hear anything from him till around 5:30, at which point I brought Corban into our bed and nursed him lying down and we all went back to sleep till 7.
Obviously, if he had awoken in the middle of the night, he was able to settle himself back down without making too much noise. Success!
Then we were out of town, so I nursed him on demand at the tiniest peep for three nights just so as not to disturb others in the house.
Monday night, we forewent the monitor again, and this time Corban freaked out. He full-on cried in the middle of the night, and wouldn’t stop. For, like, an hour. So finally we couldn’t handle it anymore and I fed him. Poor baby. I am totally a proponent of cry it out, but this seemed extreme. Was he really, truly in need of food? (Very doubtful.) Or did he just think so? (More likely.) Or maybe he just wanted to know I was there to feed him like usual? (It’s habit at this point.)
So the past few nights we haven’t used the monitor, but if he wakes Peter (I’m that rare mother that sleeps through everything, even her kid) I’ve been nursing him. Pretty much back to square one but sans monitor (which has actually caused a few late starts to the day because Corban has been our alarm clock for so long, and these days he doesn’t cry when he wakes up – just sits up and babbles in his crib, which usually isn’t loud enough to hear across the house).
I feel kind of stuck. I’m not really sure what to do to end the night-waking. Part of me is fine with just continuing on with it because he is so sweet when he falls asleep in my lap and I’m sure a tiny part of me will miss those mid-night nursing sessions when they’re gone. But another, more rational part of me is tired and ready to start sleeping like a normal person again. And I know Corban needs to learn to sleep through the night as well.
So I guess in summary, help? Seriously, any advice would be appreciated!