When we took Miss Chloe Mae to the doctor for her 4 month check-up we asked the doctor if she had any ideas (any at all, other than Crying It Out – I don’t think she’s ready for that and I know we’re not ready for that!!) to help Chloe sleep longer at night. She goes to sleep about 8:30 and used to make it to 1:30 before she woke up, but the past few weeks she’s been getting up at about midnight. We tried to just soothe her back to sleep, but she started using what we call the “hunger death scream” that can only be quieted by a bottle. Then she wakes up about 2 hours later and we end up sleeping with her in our bed or in the recliner in her room with her on our chest, where she happily sleeps until 4 or 4:30. If we try to just soothe her back to sleep, she’s up every 20-30 minutes until we cave and feed her – and caving is easy to do in the middle of the night.
Her main suggestion was to try some rice cereal before bedtime to keep her full longer. I wanted to wait until Chloe was 6 months old before we gave her anything other than breastmilk, but…. man-o-man I’d love to get some sleep!! I really want to use all homemade food, including cereal, but I’ve read that the unrefined grains used for homemade cereal are more difficult for a baby under 6 months to digest. So now we have to decide if 1) we want to start her on cereal now and 2) if we want to use homemade or store-bought.
I know there’s no right or wrong answer. I know that lots of people start their babies on cereal (and other foods) at 4 months (and even before) and they turn out just fine. Conversely, I know that people wait until 6 months and survive on little sleep. I know that starting Miss C on cereal is no guarantee of more sleep. I know that most babies eat store-bought cereal and it works out just fine for them. However, I don’t know what we should do…
I just have to say, being a parent is hard!! Who knew?!? Luckily, I adore my daughter more than I knew was possible. And how could I not – how cute is she?!?