No particular reason I abandoned the blog for a few days there... Just slacking and hurting for the time to write an update.
Julia is going through ...something now. A growth spurt, a developmental spurt, I'm not quite sure what, but something is definitely up. On the plus side, she's become a ton more interesting - she talks and squeals and rolls and reaches for things and enthusiastically stuffs anything she can grab right into her mouth. She makes R and I laugh with her noises, and sometimes we can even get laughs out of her. She also started napping for longer stretches, if very sporadically.
On the minus side, we're definitely in the midst of some sleep issues (4 month sleep regression?). She's waking up in the middle of the night at all sorts of weird times, and she's been gradually getting up earlier and going to bed earlier (which worked out fine for DST but we can't keep this up!). The nighttime sleep issues kicked in right as she started taking longer naps, so I'm sure those are linked. She's also waking up hungry in the middle of the night, which makes sense because feeding her during the day is a challenge lately. She has no interest in nursing when there are all sorts of amazing things going on (a blanket! mom's sweater! a bird! the doggie!), so she won't eat unless she's starving, and then it's hard to get her to calm down because she starts to get hysterical. So I can't begrudge her a nursing session when she wakes up all upset at 2 am.
Back on the plus side, I kept hearing horror stories about the 4 month sleep regression, but - knock on wood - it hasn't been that bad. We haven't had a true through-the-night sleep (7:30 pm to 7 am) in about a week or two, but she still sleeps from about 7:30 pm to 2 am consistently. Then she's up once or twice to eat between 2 am and 7 am, and often up for good around 6:30. The wakings are pretty easy though - a 15-20 minute session during which I just feed her and pop her back in her crib. I'd like to get back to an 11 or 12 hour stretch of uninterrupted night sleep (wouldn't we all?), but it certainly hasn't been that bad. And, like I mentioned, she's napping longer during the day (on Saturday she took a TWO HOUR nap - that hasn't happened in months!) which definitely helps make up for the nighttime issues.
I'm kind of thinking I just need to accept that the next few weeks are going to be a little bumpy and plan to just ride it out. Part of me worries that I'm training her to eat at night by always feeding her when she gets up, but I think I've decided I'm not going to stress about that right now. It's clear to me that she's genuinely hungry, and the whole internet is telling me that this is just a phase while her sleep habits mature and adjust. She is truly totally different than she was three weeks ago, so I'm hoping in another three weeks, we'll be done with night wakings (and on to another issue, of course). It's funny - she used to sleep so much more easily and better if I was laying down in bed with her, and in the last few weeks that's gone 180. Now she's way too distracted (Mom! the blanket! the fan! the pillow! Mom!) and she falls asleep and stays asleep so much more quickly when she's in her crib. So all my agonizing over whether it was better to co-sleep or not got resolved without me actually doing anything anyways.
So I'm going to relax. Just like this cool chica:
(Too bad today's not a sunglasses day. It's freaking SNOWING. SNOW. In MARCH. GAH I HATE WHERE I LIVE SO MUCH RIGHT NOW WHY CAN'T WE LIVE SOMEWHERE WHERE IT'S 70 AND SUNNY ALL YEAR ROUND BAH SRSLY 9P8A7DFJHKHJDFAK DJFHUIDATU6 VIB3ATKG4ASD FHJAKSDHF.)