Thanks to Kerrie, I discovered the fancy schmancy official jargon for what my child is doing. But before you get all impressed by the title, it doesn’t mean that my 6 1/2 month old is riding a bike backwards. That would be pretty amazing, but alas, reverse cycling is something totally different. He’s doing much of his major feeding through the evening and early o-dark thirty hours when Mommy would kind of rather be sleeping.
This topic lends itself to the sleeping through the night issue. Early on, maybe between 1-3 months of age, Remy did sleep for a good 5-7 hour stretch on a somewhat regular basis. We didn’t do anything special. Just the usual breastfeed on demand. Then he got bigger and presumably needed more sustenance, then the night feeds got a bit more frequent. He also has been increasingly distracted during the day (there’s just so much cool stuff to do and see) that day time naps would get delayed and daytime feeds would follow an admittedly frustrating start-stop-start-stop pattern. Focus, little guy.
Lately, anytime I need to work, I have to hole myself away in my office and leave the childcare to my husband. Most of my work equates to time on the computer. If I’m on the computer, Remy thinks (demands) that he be on the computer too. Remy on the computer and work cannot happen at the same time, so this is time away from Mommy.
All of these things have conspired to create a situation where it’s in Remy’s interest to monopolize my sleepytime with frequent feeds. There’s more to feeding than pure sustenance. When he doesn’t get enough quality nurturing Mommy time, he lets me know. This means only feeding from bottles when he’s starving and only enough to take the edge off. I’ve read that some babies might learn to prefer bottles because they take less effort to feed from. We do not have that issue in our household.
So that’s where we are. He lets me sleep a little later before having to wake for the day about as often as I pry myself out of bed before I feel ready, so it’s not like I’m being traumatized by the situation or anything. I have no interest in forcing him into a specific schedule, letting him cry it out at night or any of that other stuff. I respect the natural wisdom of babies to know what they need when they need it for optimal growth and health. He had multi-day cycles of movement evident before I hit third trimester, so why should we all of the sudden expect every day to be the same? There will be enough crow-barring his wonderful instincts into society’s expectations later in life once he’s school-aged. No need to rush.