In the interest of complete candor, I have to say that we have been pretty lucky with our sons in that they are both happy and easy babies. (G-d knows, not every parent, even parents of singletons, can say the same.) They have slept through the night fairly consistently since the first week of June, and even with teething and colds, they seldom get so fussy that they cannot be comforted.
When I say they have "slept through the night," I don't mean to say that they've both slept all night without waking up a single time (although that has happened on occasion). To me, sleeping through the night means that they are able to go from last bottle of the night (sometime between 7 and 9 pm, depending on your baby) to first morning bottle without having to wake for a feeding. Even if you woke up 2-4 times and needed to be resettled (back rub, help repositioning of finding a lost pacifier), I would still count that as sleeping through the night.
AJ is an excellent sleeper and has been since he came home from the hospital. He only wakes up during the night once a week on average, and that is usually just a quick wake-up and needed to be resettled. MJ, on the other hand, I would describe as just a good sleeper. Usually he wakes up anywhere from 2-4 times a night and needs his pacifier and a rub on the back to settle back down. He generally would go back to sleep fairly quickly and easily after being resettled and seldom would full-on cry and need to actually be taken out of the crib.
For the past two weeks, though, MJ had started a troubling habit. In addition to his 2-4 wake-ups, he would wake sometime between 3:00 and 5:00 a.m. and refuse to go back to sleep unless I held him in my arms. Even after I got him back to sleep, if I set him down in his crib, or in his Pack n Play in the living room, he would wake up abruptly.
In the interest of getting him to sleep until a reasonable wake-up time for the day--and yes, I will admit, also in the interest of getting more sleep myself--I started taking him into bed with me. (I don't sleep with MM; that is a topic for another post.) Bad, I know. I was very careful to do all the things you should do for safe co-sleeping, and it worked: he would go back to sleep until at least 5:45 (my wake-up time) or later each morning.
But I was concerned that I was setting a dangerous precedent. I've never wanted to let my kids sleep in my bed, and I didn't want MJ getting in the habit of doing so. Plus, I didn't sleep very soundly once he was in bed with me. (Still better than not sleeping at all, but not nearly as good as sleeping alone.)
Last night, for the first time in about two weeks, MJ woke briefly only twice and was still sleeping in his crib when I left for work at 6:40 a.m. Hallelujah!
Some days it really is the little things.
(But can someone please explain to me why I'm more tired today than usual? LOL)