We've been having trouble the last few days with the baby waking up in the middle of the night (11 pm, 1 am) and wanting either food or attention. Not sure which. Last night was particularly bad. He went to bed at 8:00 pm (part of our strategy for getting him to sleep later in the morning), but woke up at 11 pm.
At first he was just whimpering and crying softly. Breaks my heart to listen to him cry like that. All I want to do is go in and pick him up and cuddle him back to sleep. There's a large segment of the parenting world that advocates doing just that for babies under 1 year old.
Then there's the idea that babies have to learn to soothe themselves back to sleep. Plus when we go in there, we tend to wake him up and make him cry even harder when we leave, so it seems counter productive to go in and try to soothe him at night.
So how do you reconcile those 2 notions? I don't think you can.
Finally, last night, he started to cry in earnest, and I decided that he needed attention. He greedily sucked down 4 ounces of formula, so I think he was legitimately hungry. We're trying to get him to eat more solid foods, and I'm wondering if we're not feeding him enough between the solids and the formula. He's got a solid belly and thunder thighs, though. He's definitely not starving.