Ok, so the title says it all. My 5, almost 6 month old, Xander, sleeps through the night every night! He sleeps in his crib which is what he has done since he was born. Many people thought I should use a bassinet and have him sleep in our room. I am not sure why, but I was opposed to that from the very beginning. I thought, if he sleeps in his crib from the beginning, we won't have any problems trying to get him to sleep in there later! I feel like I need to go knock on wood now that I have written all of that.
I have heard so many stories of kids waking up multiple times a night or sleeping with their parents and such. I know parenting and the way one parents is deeply personal and no one can tell a parent how to do their job. The parent can hear all sorts of stories and advice but ultimately has to choose for themselves what is best for their baby.
I may have given in to certain behaviors if I hadn't read the book Babywise. This book is super controversial because some people think it borders on abuse to put your baby on a schedule. I started out thinking I was going to put my baby on a schedule to get him to sleep through the night. The schedule thing didn't work out very well in the beginning, but I did take one major piece of advice. I made sure every time Xander nursed that he got a full feeding. He was so sleepy that this was a huge challenge at first. I had to do everything to keep him awake to eat! I had to take off his sleeper, blow on him, tickle him and lightly shake him since all he wanted to do was sleep!
In making him take a full feeding every time, he was able to make it longer between each feeding instead of acting like he needed to eat every hour or so. I pretty much got into a 2 1/2 to 3 hour schedule right from the beginning. His naps weren't consistent, but his feedings became that way quickly. I was able to feed him about 8 times a day every day and every day was somewhat predictable. He naturally fell into that routine because he got full feedings. I didn't have to set a schedule for him really, he basically set his own, but not in the way most people think.
He started sleeping through the night at about 7 weeks just like the book said he could. Not every baby does, but he sure did! He started out with about 5-6 hours. By about 12 weeks he was up to 7-8 hours. As I write this, he sleeps about 11 hours most nights. Some are closer to 10, but still, 10 hours!!!! That is amazing! That is without waking up or us having to go into his room to comfort him. We did have about 2 times in the last 3 months that he woke up and we had to go pat him on the back just for a minute to get him back to sleep. But that situation is the exception, not the rule.
He now eats five times a day every day and the times are the same. He goes down before 9 every night and his first feeding is always right about 8 in the morning. Then he eats at 11, 2, 5 and 8. We just started feeding him rice cereal and we are going to switch him to four feedings a day once he is fully into eating solids.
I love how predictable our days are - it makes things so much easier for me. He still doesn't have consistent nap times, but he does take 2 a day.
Since I am going to get a part time job, I am hoping his routine doesn't get thrown way off. I am going to have to work evenings so I will miss his bedtime several times a week. I am sad to not get to always experience that with him. I have put him to bed every night since he was born and I love our little routine. I just hope the rest of his day will stay the same and he will be able to stay in a routine and sleep well.
I feel a little guilty that I don't have a 'high need' baby like some people. He never had any allergies and he never spits up. He sleeps well and doesn't cry much. I can't help that this is my reality. I feel bad for people who have difficult babies. I love my baby and I know I would love him even if he was a difficult baby.