For the past month (to the day actually), Emma has suddenly been waking up every 2-3 hours (every 1 hour sometimes!). It's been a difficult and tiring month to say the least. We actually only had sleep cycles like this with her the first few days home from the hospital. She did 4 hour stretches pretty early on and started doing 7-9 hours at 7 weeks. People warned me that her sleep could change, but it didn't make sense as to why it would so we figured it wouldn't.
Yeah, it doesn't make any sense, so that's why she decided to do it! Babies are tricksters and have a secret plan to switch everything up just when the parents are getting comfortable. Emma is not only just waking up, but she wants to feed every time she wakes up, which means I'm on duty every time. For a while we thought she was going through a growth spurt and really was hungry (which she probably was), but after a while I could tell she was just doing it for comfort. We started putting her down to sleep still awake so she can learn to self soothe (no crying it out though) and she seems to be doing well with that. We've also tried calming her when she wakes but it doesn't seem to work and I end up feeding every time still.
She is in her crib in her room at night which is great, we love having that alone time at night now and we knew we'd have to move her eventually...it was actually an easy transition and she did really well in there the first week. We're pretty sure that isn't he problem. I've had people suggest formula or rice cereal saying it will help her sleep longer. And actually, there was a study done that those are myths and breastfed babies actually sleep longer. Thank goodness because we don't plan on using either of those. Then there is the suggestion I've heard that my milk is low and she's hungry because she's not getting enough. This is totally not true since I can pump a whopping 5.5oz on one side in mere minutes. So, that's not the case either (not that I ever thought it was, I'm pretty much a geyser).
I talked to a sleep specialist as recommended by a friend and I was really comforted to know that all if these "issues" we're having are completely NORMAL. We are doing everything right and there is nothing wrong with Emma. Whew, I loved hearing that! Basically Emma has "woken up" and is more aware of everything around her. She suggested just continuing to put her down awake and keep trying to comfort before feeding. She said in about another month or so she should get better...but if not we can start a sleep program with her (also not cry it out).
Looks like we'll just keep her routine, try to put her to bed around the same time every night and pray that 5 months brings us more sleep.