If you followed our night weaning journey and were inspired by how easy it was for us, I feel a social responsibility to be honest about what happened after just over a week of sleeping through the night.
We regressed. Avery never started asking for milk – the weaning remained easy – but she once again started waking every 30 minutes in the evening and every 2 hours through the night. It was sudden. One night she slept for 8 hours without stirring, and the next she would not settle. And it was much harder on me, because even though I’m only doing half of the night’s wake up’s now, I have to stand and rock her instead of sitting and nursing her back to sleep. She has been sick, so I thought maybe that was the cause of the wakeups. It still might be the cause – because of daycare she has been sick pretty much non stop. But she had a nasty cough during the whole week she slept through the night, so I don’t know.
To make matters worse, she seems to have baby insomnia. She wakes at 3am and she can’t get back to sleep. No amount of rocking, laying by herself, cuddling in our bed, and even no nursing (I tried offering it in our bed at 4am on a couple of nights when desperate) will get her to sleep. Her awake period lasts 2 hours. Almost every night. Last night, after trying to get her back to sleep in her room for an hour, she spent at least the next hour just sitting in our bed talking to herself and poking us while we slept. I don’t know when she fell asleep, but she had crashed again by morning and we were almost late for daycare because I didn’t want to wake her.
I feel pretty confident that this is a developmental phase, and that I just need to wait it out. I know she knows how to settle herself back to sleep – the problem is that sometimes she doesn’t want to. And I think that’s fair, because she’s just a little baby (as she’ll always be in my eyes).
I also still believe that some babies sleep well and others don’t, and I think there’s a genetic component. My dad reminds me regularly how I didn’t sleep more than 2 hours at a time until I was almost 3 years old. I was never a breastfed baby. I was put in my crib awake and fell asleep on my own. I still woke screaming all the time. Our donor’s kids are both challenging sleepers.
I hope that Avery’s brain will once again switch gears and she’ll want to sleep all night again. That short, sweet taste of sleep was such a tease…