Middle of the night feedings are not my favourite. Hailey is almost 8 months old now and here’s how our nights have been going.
Months 1 & 2 – she was up every 1-2 hours. I could barely function.
Month 3 – she was up every 3-4 hours. This was sheer bliss compared to before. I began to feel normal again.
Month 4 & 5 – she was sleeping through the night. Woohoo!! Her average night’s sleep was 11.5 hours. I had my evenings back. I was well rested. I was the luckiest mom on the planet!
Month 6 – she was up 1-2 times per night. This was super difficult because I was no longer used to getting up during the night.
Month 7 – why is she now up 4-5 times per night? I’m tired. I want her to sleep. I want to sleep. But I’m starting to get used to being up at night.
She’s waking up because she’s hungry but I’m not sure why she’s suddenly starving during the night. But we have had a weird few weeks where she’s been sick and not interested in eating solid foods. There were some days she barely wanted breast milk. And then she’s up all night. I’m not going to let her cry it out to teach her that she needs to eat during the day. She seems just as upset or maybe even more upset waking up than I am. Plus, she eats and goes right back to sleep.
Nobody enjoys being woken up from a cozy slumber. The last couple of nights during our middle of the night feedings I’ve started to list in my head the things that I’m grateful for. I have found this to be a way to occupy the time. It’s something that makes me feel good. And I’m much more relaxed and can fall back asleep more easily once I get back to bed.
The list isn’t complicated or profound. It may go something like this. I’m thankful my husband was home today. I’m thankful I got to read a few pages from my book. I’m thankful Hailey had a nap today. I’m thankful she’s a happy baby. I’m thankful we had fun at bath-time tonight. I’m thankful it snowed. I’m thankful this pillow is comfortable. I’m thankful she let me sleep for 3 hours this time. I’m thankful I had a yummy dinner….. you get the idea. The list is nothing earth-shattering but it keeps me focused on the positive moments from my day, week or general aspects of my life.
Although my gratitude list does not focus on Hailey, I have found that there are so many things related to her that I’m grateful for and by the end I find myself enjoying the feeding. I’ve come to the realization that I will likely miss breastfeeding once we’ve outgrown it. Even though I still very much want her to sleep through the night I can’t do anything about it at the moment so I may as well do my best to enjoy myself!