Our nights have not been great lately. Some nights, Quinn will wake constantly throughout the night and want to nurse. This is made easier by the fact that she sleeps in the bed with us and all she has to do is roll over and snuggle up next to me. However, I don’t sleep through these middle-of-the-night nursing sessions the same way I once did.
Maybe it’s that I’m no longer bleary-eyed and desperate for solutions for getting a newborn to sleep. Maybe it’s that I expected that Quinn would be sleeping through the night by now. (“Surely, by a year, this will all be over. Right?”)
Whatever the reason, I find myself more stressed by our current sleeping situation than I felt about our sleeping situation when Quinn was first born. I’m waking up much more frequently in the night. The sleep I do get is not restful because I sleep in the same side-lying position night after night and wake up feeling tense and sore. Quinn seems to have a sixth sense for where I am in the bed because if I roll onto my back, she instantly wakes up and starts rooting.
I think about the option of night weaning, but I don’t think she is ready for it. She has been teething and is going through a number of changes lately – learning more words, learning new skills – and she is still finding great comfort through nursing. To try to take this from her would only make the situation worse for her – which means it would also make it worse for me.
Of course, putting her in her own bed is not even an option. She is nowhere near ready for that, and I refuse to allow her to cry it out. (If you aren’t sure why, read this.)
We sidecar her crib, but she won’t sleep in it. We had a few successful nights when she was much younger, but nothing since.
In the meantime, I plan to focus on putting her down in our bed at the start of the night alone. I am hoping that being in a familiar place – with the familiar feel and the familiar scents – will keep her calm and cozy enough to sleep for a time without me right next to her. The last week or so, I have been having a lot of success with this (which I am now wondering if I should even say since I’ve probably jinxed myself). It’s amazing what it does for my mental health when I can get up to get my own drink or can go to the bathroom without a) balancing a baby on a boppy pillow while I try to get my pants down without peeing on myself, or b) asking my husband to come pull my pants down while I balance said baby on the boppy.
Last night – again, I’m jinxing myself by saying this – we had a major success: I was able to put her to sleep a) withOUT nursing her and b) in our bed. Where she slept. For an HOUR.
It’s the little things people.