I can't believe I'm back with more questions. It's just that with my son, he didn't sleep through the night until 4 months, but then he never looked back. No night wakings again unless he was sick. So, this whole reversion thing has me flummoxed.
As I've mentioned before, my 3-month-old daughter (10 lbs 12 ozs as of last week) has been sleeping for 8- to 11-hour stretches since about 7 weeks. Suddenly, within the last week, though, she's cut those stretches down to about 5 hours long. She's also nursing a lot longer at each feeding, so I'm guessing it's a growth spurt.
When she wakes up during the night, she's definitely hungry (sucking madly and roots when I touch her cheek), so I feel comfortable that I'm doing the right thing by nursing her. But my biggest fear is that by feeding her in the middle of the night, I'm somehow training her to wake up at night.
For those of you who have dealt with growth spurts, did your baby go back to sleeping through the night once the growth spurt passed? This whole night-waking thing would be much easier to take, if I knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel and everything will sort itself out eventually.
Also, these longer nursing episodes are throwing a wrench in our routine. I've figured out that she can really only last about 1 to 1-1/2 hours before she needs another nap. So, it used to be that she would nurse for 15 minutes whenever she woke up, play for about 45 minutes to an hour, and then nurse for another 15 minutes before going down for the next nap. Well, now that she's nursing about 45 minutes each time, it ends up being 2 to 3 hours before she goes down for her next nap at which point she's so overtired, she can't sleep, which makes it even worse for the next nap and so on.
The only solution I can think of is preserving the 1 to 1-1/2 hour wakeful time and cut out the play time (literally nurse, nap, nurse, nap, etc.). Is that how it's supposed to be during a growth spurt? How have others handled the longer nursing episodes and naps?
Lastly, I've found she now falls asleep at the breast (probably due to being overtired), which then only compounds the problem with getting her to nap. She'll nurse for a while, and then her eyes will close, her body will go all limp, the sucking will become softer, and the time between each suck will get longer. When she gets to this sleepy stage, can I assume she's had enough milk, or should I let her continue until she falls off the nipple, which could add another 20 to 30 minutes to the nursing? I've been doing the latter, but I'm finding that the little cat nap she has at the breast is enough to revive her and prevent her from taking a proper nap.
Apologies for the extremely long post. If you've made it this far, though, I'd love to hear any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions you may have.