I don't know what happened to my Sleeping Beauty. Up until Nicolette was 5 months old she would fall asleep, whenever, wherever and stay asleep for what seemed like forever! Then things suddenly changed...I would put her down in her crib at bedtime and she would stay asleep for maybe an hour or hour and a half and then she would pop up. I'd see her little head popped up at the monitor and her trying to push onto all fours to crawl around while crying. So I'd go back upstairs try to comfort her in the crib (did not work at putting her back to sleep ONE SINGLE TIME over the past 2 months) and I'd end up picking her up, rocking and/or nursing her back to sleep and we'd repeat this cycle over and over either until morning or until I gave up and brought her to bed with me. (More often than not the latter of the two is how it honestly ended). I had maybe two nights total over the last 2 1/2 months where she would sleep 5-7 hours without waking.
In the midst of all of this of course I was internet researching and I decided that it must be developmental. A lot of babies have milestone related night waking. They get so excited about a new "trick" (i.e. pushing up to all fours, crawling, babbling, etc) that they wake up in the night hours to "practice". The way she immediately popped up onto all fours I was sure she was waking up to practice pre-crawling and crawling. Well, milestone related night waking surely cannot last 2 1/2 months NON-STOP right???
Once or twice (against my every gut feeling) I decided to try to do some "sleep training". I'd stand by the crib and pat Nicolette's back when she would cry and try to calm her down. This was not successful, not one single time. I'd wait and try to soothe her but she quickly works herself up into an absolute frenzy...gasping for air sobbing, shrieking frenzy. I could not deal! There was one night where I slept on the floor of the nursery and out of sheer exhaustion I did let her cry herself to sleep. Two days later she had a little tooth popping through and I felt horrible that my baby was in pain that night and I didn't just bring her to bed with us like my gut was telling me to :(
So we're back to co-sleeping but now I'm wondering if there's a bigger issue. Nicolette earned her nickname "Tootie" early on for good reason...my girl has gas and can rip some big ones. It doesn't seem to bother her at all during the day (never has) she's happy, smiley, content....just toots and keeps doing whatever she's doing. This past week I started sitting in the nursery with her more while she's sleeping and I've noticed that she usually toots shortly after waking up and crying so I wonder this whole time, has gas been causing her to wake up???? She'll usually scream/cry, wake up, roll around, toot, then be wide awake crying for a while. It breaks my heart because I can see that she's in pain, I'll try to bicycle her legs to release the gas and she tightens up stiff as a board making it impossible to move her little legs. When she's in bed with us she still wakes up, toots and whimpers a little bit but since I'm right here and able to comfort her within seconds she's much quicker to settle down and then doesn't suck in all that extra air from crying and the gas doesn't seem to be as bad as when she's on her own in the crib.
I of course examined her diet to see if there's a culprit...I've switched from Baby Led Weaning to Purees and back and also done a combo and it doesn't seem to change the gas situation so that made me begin to question MY diet.
I have several friends whose babies have dairy and/or soy sensitivities and they've either had to A) give up breastfeeding or B) totally eliminate dairy and soy from their diets to make breastfeeding work.
When Nicolette was a teeny, tiny baby she didn't show any of the classic signs of a dairy/soy sensitivity (i.e. arching back while eating, constant crying, lots of spitting up, vomiting, etc.) In fact, Nicolette hardly ever spit up, has never vomited and really doesn't cry during the day time at all. Up until she was 5 months old, night time wasn't really an issue either...then again we were co-sleeping all the time and she would wake several times, fuss a bit and I would easily feed her and she'd be back asleep before ever completely waking up. Recently I've been reading that night waking can be a sign in older babies of a dairy/soy intolerance. I don't know if this is what's causing our night waking and gas issues but I'm definitely willing to give it a shot so today was the first day that I consciously went dairy and soy free.
Now this is no easy task for this cheese loving girl. But at least the dairy is pretty easily identifiable and therefore easier to cut out. Soy on the other hand is tricky...it is in almost EVERYTHING in some shape or form. I had the hardest time finding soup today that had no dairy or soy. You'd think that simple tomato soup would have a short ingredient list...not so. You really have to read labels so closely and you'll be surprised that it seems like 90% of packaged foods do contain some form of soy. I've read that it can take anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks for your body to cycle out all of the dairy and soy that's built up so we'll test this out for a month or so and see how it goes. If you have any yummy soy/dairy free recipes to share with me please do so! Edamame was my go to snack/meal and I will miss it so!!!!