I've read that this happens very commonly: where the baby goes through a period of sleeping all the way through the night at a young age, and then later starts having midnight wakings.
So I'm not sure if I should be working on cutting out that midnight waking. On one hand, getting out of bed in the middle of the night is kind of obnoxious. And I certainly don't want it to get worse to where she's up more than once each night. But on the other hand, it's actually really nice to have her go to bed this early. And if that means that I have to get up once for 20 minutes in the middle of the night in order to have an extra 2 hours each evening baby-free, then I think I'm happy to make that trade-off.
I just really really really don't want it to get any worse (aka, more frequent midnight wakings). And I'm wondering if I'm doing the right thing by immediately addressing her needs when she wakes up in the middle of the night. I've started waiting a few minutes: I'll hear her stirring, but she's not yet agitated so I'll give her some time to see if she'll put herself back to sleep. She usually won't and when I can tell that she's working herself up to crying, then I'll go in and change her if needed and then nurse her back to sleep.
Personally, I don't believe in the cry-it-out method. I want Mira to have complete trust in me and know that I will always be there for her. So that route is not an option. But I wonder if maybe I should not be nursing her back to sleep. She sometimes seems to rely too much on nursing in order to fall asleep, and sometimes she's so tired in the middle of the night that she just takes a few sucks and then falls right back to sleep. So that makes me think that maybe I should try to just rock and pat her when she wakes in the middle of the night. But for sure, nursing is the fastest way to get her back down, so it's so easy to just do whatever gets me back in bed fastest.
Eh.... I'm sure that if I'm not messing her up in this manner, then there is some other thing that I am doing to ensure that she'll have lifelong mental scarring. So maybe I should just quit worrying and do what comes naturally (which is what I've been doing up to this point).