Gabriel is now four months and one week old, and he has been sleeping through the night (with one feeding between 1 and 5 a.m.) for several weeks now. The last two nights, though, he has slept completely through the night: 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.! I can’t believe how much of a new woman I am now that I’m getting more than two hours of sleep in a row!
I know that getting a baby to sleep through the night is a dream for all parents and a major goal for many. For Michael and I, it went from being a major goal to a much healthier, “he’ll do it someday, and we’re not going to get worked up about it” mentality. In the end (and up to a certain point of course), the fact is that having your baby sleep through the night is not a measure of good parenting or healthy babies.
I think that Gabriel sleeping all night is part nature and part nurture. There were absolutely several key things that Michael and I did to teach/encourage Gabriel to go down (and stay down) with peace and security for naps. And yet, I also believe strongly that every baby is different, and that something in Gabriel’s personality perhaps is probably a factor in his sleeping as well.
I think that figuring out how to structure naps and feedings has been one of my greatest challenges as a mom. Before Gabe arrived, I read many different books on different philosophies of baby care. (In my opinion, it’s pretty crazy not to do some kind of homework before that baby arrives!) In the end, I didn’t follow any one of those books quite to a T, but it gave me so much confidence to have different strategies and nuggets of knowledge to try with Gabe.
In between the two extremes of having no schedule and have a very strict schedule, we ended up finding that we were all happy when we lived something in-between: a flexible schedule that paid attention to Gabriel’s needs and allowed Michael and I to take (planned) escape trips away from our tiny apartment!
Speaking of tiny apartments, I would like to announce that we are buying a home! No more coming home to an apartment that smells like we do 20 packs per day. No more stinky dryer. No more walking up a flight of stairs to get to our front door. No more ceiling thumps from when our neighbors have sumo wrestling matches upstairs. No more tiny, forever-filthy kitchen. Lots more counter space. Lots more hot water for bubble baths!
I’m so very, very, very excited. 🙂
Pictures coming after we close (May 7). I don’t want to count my chicks before they hatch–and hand me the keys to my first house!