So I'm going to let you guys in on a little secret, Miss K is still getting up for a midnight feed. Apparently according to my maternal health nurse this is a cardinal sin and makes me the worst parent ever! Well she never said these words exactly, but when I told her that Miss K was still having midnight feeds at 12 months, she told me I had to cut them out straight away. Well naughty me didn't cut them out straight away, because although I am aware that babies that feed at night are at risk of dental caries, I am also aware that babies also usually wean themselves off the midnight feeds by themselves.
Well Miss K is now 16 months old and is showing no signs of weaning herself off the midnight feeds. Occasionally she will sleep through the night, giving me a much needed rest from the disturbed sleep that this can bring, but the break is always short lived, and before long we are back to getting up every single night, at any time between 10 pm and 3 am. So I have decided it's time to give her a helping hand in settling herself back to sleep. Tonight she woke up at 10:00 and I got her up and gave her a bottle of water. I'm not entirely convinced that she isn't hungry when she wakes up. It's been 4 hours since she ate last, so to make sure her stomach is full and she's comfortable, she can have a drink that won't give her tooth decay. Then she was given a new nappy and put straight back into bed. Now given that this isn't how we normally do things Miss K was understandably upset by her new routine and made sure I was well aware of her feelings by standing at the end of her cot and screaming at me. I let her go for ten minutes, then I went back into her room, laid her back down and re-wound up her mobile. Another five minutes and she was fast asleep.
Now I don't know if it is going to be this easy every single night. Maybe tonight she was willing to put up with this as one of mum's crazy phases and is expecting everything to go back to normal again tomorrow night. But I'm determined to make sure these night time activities are born out of need and not out of habit. If Miss K is unwell or thirsty or her nappy is too full to be comfortable, I'm more than happy to care for her, but just getting up because I've allowed it for so long is not good for her, and it's not good for me either. So I'll be doing exactly the same thing again tomorrow night, and the night after, and the night after that. And who knows, soon she may not even bother letting me know that she's awake every single night between 10 pm and 3 am.