While I was pregnant, I read everything I could about baby sleep schedules. Three friends recommended Becoming Baby Wise and two of them actually gave us the book. Hubby and I didn't know anything about taking care of babies, but the one thing we agreed on, and were determined to do, was to get baby on some sort of schedule as soon as possible. (And hopefully get baby sleeping through the night as soon as possible.)
In the hospital, they had us nursing every three hours. It didn't seem like a big deal in the hospital, because the nurses were always in the room every couple hours anyway. So every three hours we'd nurse, or we'd wake up to nurse, or when they brought the baby back from doing tests, we'd nurse.
We continued this routine when we got home. I set multiple alarms on my phone so that throughout the night, I could wake up and nurse.
One night, during a particularly rough evening (looking back now, we know that it was a growth spurt) baby fussed and fussed for hours until he finally zonked out. We knew he had to be exhausted, and we were exhausted, too. He ended up sleeping for five hours - right through a feeding. I felt so bad for stalling a feeding, but felt like he needed to sleep, too!
Imagine our surprise (and relief!) when, at his two week appointment, the pediatrician said to let him go and just feed on demand. That included letting him sleep longer at night.
After about four weeks, I stopped breastfeeding and started with formula. Baby pretty much kept up with the same every-three-hours routine on his own... until he didn't!
At around 7 weeks old, we put him down for bed around 11 p.m. We woke up around 2 a.m. to a cry... Not the usual "FEED ME, I'M STARVING!" cry, just one of those talking in his sleep kind of cries. So, hubby got up and just gave him a pacifier.
Hubby was able to go right back to sleep. Me, on the other hand, I tossed and turned, just waiting. I figured baby would be up and crying in no time. I kept looking at the clock, counting the hours from his last feeding. He'd gone four, maybe five, hours before, and I figured he'd wake up again any minute. I was all ready to go and had the bottle and formula all set up in the master bathroom for when the time came.
At around 6 a.m. hubby and I both found ourselves lying there awake. I managed to get some sleep, but it wasn't peaceful at all. I kept worrying that baby was going to wake up screaming his head off from hunger. "Should we go check on him?" hubby asked.
We rushed into his room, and there he was in the bassinet, eyes open, blinking up at us. Just chillin'.
So, we consider that "sleeping through the night." He goes to bed around 10 p.m. (and then mama and daddy go to bed!) and sleeps 'til about 6 a.m. Sometimes a little earlier, sometimes a little later. We didn't do any specific sleep training, we didn't really apply any of the Baby Wise methods, except maybe for the "dream feed" - a couple extra ounces of formula right before we all go to bed.
In What To Expect, the athors say that babies are metabolically ready to sleep through the night at eleven pounds, and little guy is right around there. So I guess he just decided to do it himself. Hubby and I have said we could probably get up and stay up when we do his first morning bottle, but that hasn't happened yet. We do a bottle and then go back to bed for another 3 hours. (Sometimes more!) We're enjoying any sleep we can get.
As much as we were hoping to get baby to sleep through the night quickly, it has definitely stressed me out. We've had a couple bumps in the road (company visiting, 2 month shots) that set us back for a couple days, but for the most part, baby still sleeps a big, long chunk.
And I don't.
I wake up and look at the clock. I either worry that it's been a long time and he'll wake up crying, or I worry that it's been a long time and that we haven't heard from him - so is he okay?! Then I wake myself up again a couple hours later and look at the clock. I worry that the baby will wake up. So I toss and turn some more, thinking, "Keep going, baby! Stay asleep, baby!"
I'm getting better about it, now that I'm used to him sleeping for so long at night. I'm still not sleeping all that great, but a glass of wine or some cookies and milk before bed kind of helps.
The baby, however... He sleeps like a baby!
How long before your baby slept through the night? As a new mom, did you have any trouble sleeping?