Last night, my baby slept through the night! I fed him at about 6:30pm, he went to bed at about 8pm, and I never heard him until just after 7am. Wow! So that would mean that I slept through the night too, right? Nope! Apparently my 5 year old thought I still needed to wake up because he needed water, and then three minutes later, he lost his water bottle. Sheesh! I went back to sleep quickly after that, not even realizing that baby had not woken up yet. AT 5:30am, my husband's alarm went off, and then I realized that I had not fed the baby all night. What!?!? For the first time with a baby, I did the hop out of bed to check and make sure he was okay. He was, and he kept sleeping until 7am! Sweet! Do I hope that this will happen tonight? Of course! Do I think this will happen again tonight? Not likely!
I've been doing this parenting thing for almost 8 years now (okay, not that long in the grand scheme of things), and I have 4 kids. I have come to realize that the longer I parent, the less I know and the more questions I have. My dad has said that the people that have the most answers about marriage and kids are the people who are single and who have no kids. From my experience, it's true. I knew a lot more about this stuff before I got into it all. Seriously. I was chatting with my sister the other day, and we both agreed that most of the stuff we said we would do, we have not done, and the stuff we said we would never do, we have done. For me, one thing was the high chair. I remember seeing a dirty high chair when I had my first baby, and said I would never have such a dirty high chair. Yeah, as my mom often says, "Never say never!" Same with sleeping through the night. I have no answers, except to pray. I have laid in bed and prayed that the baby would stay asleep, stop crying, go back to sleep, sleep just for another 20 minutes, sleep all night, help me relax, and the list goes on. God always answered those prayers in different ways. Looking back, it has made me a better parent and a better friend, and I have learned that God will get me through. It seems such a little thing to pray about, but when you are completely exhausted and irrational at 3am, it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel (especially when you know it is going to come out in about 2 more hours and you are just. so. tired.).
With my first child, I thought I had it figured out, she basically slept through the night from about two months on. Now that being said, I know that people have lots of definitions of what "sleeping through the night" really is. For me, it's being able to sleep from the time I go to bed (around 11pm or so) until I get up in the morning (say about 7am). So yeah, she did that. I thought I had it all figured out, and what a great parent I am and all that. ;) She did still wake up through the night off and on after that, but she was pretty good. Looking back, she was AMAZING! My second child changed everything. I had an aunt tell me at one point that everyone needs a baby like that because then they can truly relate to people who have trouble with babies and sleep. Baby number two showed me that I really didn't know anything about sleeping. He did nap fairly well through the day, but terribly at night. It took close to two years before I could say that he slept through the night consistently and well. Which I know is still better than some kids! Baby number three was kind of middle of the road, but still took a bit. He waited until after baby number four came to really sleep well, and I must say that the last few months he has slept great (knock on wood that it continues...).
Sleep is a big thing because we all need it. However, this is one night of sleeping through that I am going to relish because he's my baby, and it's one of the little things he did for the first time!