You’re a new mom, you’ve lost a lot of sleep, but your baby has finally started sleeping through the night (or at least a good portion of the night) and you are THRILLED! Then it comes time for your maternity leave to end and you head back to work. All of a sudden, your excellent little sleeper starts waking up and wanting to nurse at night. You are wondering what is going on!!
Well, this is actually a VERY common occurrence. Lots of babies do what we call “reverse cycling” when mom heads back to work. Your baby will still eat during the day while you are away, but they miss you and they miss the closeness of nursing – so they will wake up during the night and actually start nursing more at night and eating less during the day.
I went back to work when my son was four months old. He was an excellent sleeper and started sleeping 8 PM to 4 AM when he was just four weeks old – so I was one spoiled new mama! Well, literally TWO DAYS after I went back to work, my little guy stopped sleeping through the night and didn’t do it again until he was nearly 12 months old!! He would still go down at 8 PM, but would wake up every morning at 1 AM and want to nurse. I was so tired since I was now working full-time that I was always falling asleep while sitting up trying to nurse my son in the middle of the night. So I ended up bringing him in bed with me instead! He would nurse and I would get some much-needed shut-eye! My husband used to wake up and I would be sound asleep and my son would be nursing away.
If this happens to your baby – don’t worry – it’s NORMAL! And do what works best for you – for us, that was co-sleeping. And no matter what – always remember “this too shall pass” – it is GOLDEN RULE of parent-hood!!
Did your baby reverse cycle when you went back to work? What did you do to cope? Please leave a comment and share your story.