Mari has gotten down to a number of night wakings I consider more or less acceptable -- one or two. Though of course none would be ideal, it may be asking too much at this stage, especially given that Mari tends to sleep a fairly long stretch in total at night -- from about 7:30 AM to 6:30 AM. However, looking back at the so-useful graphs on Babybix.com, I see no pattern at all as to when the night wakings occur.
Mari does normally nurse when she wakes up. She definitely seems to need to nurse at least once at night, though whether she needs a second night feed is more questionable. However, given that she goes to bed at a fairly consistent time, her totally unpredictable night waking times make me wonder what's going on. Can it really be that sometimes she's hungry at 10:30 PM and other times, not until 5:00 AM? Or is something else going on? If so, what?
Especially if she wakes up early in the night, we try to get her back to sleep without feeding, but yesterday, I went out for awhile and left Jon in charge, only to find that Mari woke up at 10:15, a pretty much unheard-of hour for night wakings, and Jon was unable to get her back down, leading him to conclude she was hungry. I (stupidly) left the cell phone in my pocket and didn't hear it until he had called 11 times and Mari had been up more than an hour. Oops.
When I got home, I tried to feed her right away. When Mari's really hungry, she can go at me like a vampire. This time, she popped on and off the breast in a nonchalant manner, finally nursed from one breast, then rejected the second after only about 30 seconds. However, she then went back to sleep easily. So while she was hungry enough to eat, she didn't seem very hungry.
Mari seldom nurses to sleep now and I know she knows how to put herself back to sleep without nursing because sometimes I hear her cry out in the night, only to quickly stop without any intervention on our parts. Therefore, I've started to wonder if she's developed a sleep association not so much with nursing, but with me.
I'm always the one who puts Mari to bed. This makes sense because I nurse her because bed. I'm almost always the one who goes to her in the night. Again, this makes sense because she usually nurses if she's up at night (though occasionally I will soothe her without nursing, which may or may not work depending on how long it has been since she last nursed.) However, I don't want to be the only one who can respond to her and have her go back to sleep. (When I nurse her at night, she doesn't actually fall asleep on the breast, but she gets very close.)
Jon, of course, has work to do during the day. I'm on maternity leave. Mari is my job. Should we nonetheless make a point of having Jon respond to her more often when she wakes up at night, so I don't have to be there for her to be able to fall back asleep?