Again, I sit behind this computer completely baffled by Brooke's sleeping patterns. Ever since we allowed her to cry-it-out she has been going down by herself at around 7:30-8. That is an area that is totally perfect for us right now. She goes down like a champ and at a great time! The area of confusion is now regarding her waking up in the middle of the night, which is something she has never been known to do. You see, she had been sleeping until about 4 or 5 in her crib without waking up. I thought that was pretty awesome considering that we co-slept 100 percent of the time prior to putting her in her crib. However, for the last few weeks she has developed this nasty habit of waking up almost exactly around midnight every single night.
I don't really know how to handle this because I don't know if this is a legitimate feeding she's requesting or if she's just wanting to be comforted. I feel very apprehensive about letting her cry in the middle of the night because I would hate to misread her and send her to bed hungry. I do know that these last few nights she's been waking she has been nursing for seconds and then falling quickly back to sleep. This tends to indicate that she wasn't all that hungry to begin with.
When we co-slept, Brooke slept for 8-10 hours every single night without waking up. I know that we trained her for those 6 months that she could rely on lying next to us to feel safe, secure, and comfortable. I realize that John and I totally set us up to fail by being too lazy about putting her in her cradle. Anyways, I'm thinking that because she was so used to our presence for that big chunk of her life that now she's really scared if she happens to wake up in the middle of the night without us. I'm thinking that allowing her to cry is the only way to teach her to sleep in her bed.
There are so many things that I'll do differently with my next babies in order to set them up to be successful at sleeping on their own. As much as I loved co-sleeping and enjoyed the peace of mind that it provided for me, I know that it has created a rough transition for Brooke. Co-sleeping started the night we came home from the hospital... Definitely because my stupid C-section made it too difficult to reach for Brooke in the middle of the night. Seeing as how I have to have stupid C-sections with my next kids, I'm really hoping that I don't allow myself to develop these bad habits for them also. Live and learn!! Motherhood is a process, not an instantaneous transformation into someone who knows all the answers.
I'm hoping that tonight Brooke decides not to wake up at midnight so I don't even have to worry about this anymore. I'm guessing that that's just wishful thinking though. Wish me luck tonight!