Please help! My daughter just turned five months old. At a little past 2 months, she started sleeping through the night... about a 7-9 hour stretch at a time. She continued this until just past 4 months. For the last month or so, she has reverted to waking up more frequently during the night. She is often up every two hours, sometimes even more often than that. If she sleeps for longer than 3 hours, I am thrilled. As you can imagine, this is very hard on Mama!
At first, I thought maybe this was just due to being sick (she had a minor cold), having a growth spurt, or teething. However, it has now been going on for so long that I doubt it is any of those things. During the day, she eats and behaves normally. She doesn't seem any more irritable than normal or hungrier than normal during the day.
Every time she wakes up at night, I feed her. I try to get her to eat from both sides each night feeding but sometimes, she falls asleep after one breast and after several minutes of attempting to wake her up, I just lay her down.
My question is this... Is there a point at which feeding on demand is no longer recommended? Should I stop feeding her when she wakes up and just try to soothe her other ways? I am afraid that I am spoiling her and that she is just nursing so that she can be with me rather than because she is hungry. How do I know if I am meeting her needs or if I am just being taken advantage of?
I hate the thought of leaving her in her crib to cry if she is truly hungry. I do let her remain in her crib fussing if she has just eaten, but never when she has been sleeping and just woken up.
What should I do? I want to meet her needs but I also want to get her back to her old sleep habits! Has anyone else experienced a baby who was sleeping great and then started waking up a lot more frequently? Any tips?