So back when we brought Andrew home, we were watching a lot of NBA playoff basketball and so would often head off to bed around 11pm. With the number of nightwakings and naps, it didn't seem to matter much - there wasn't a real "bedtime" to speak of. We'd end up getting out of bed about 6am in this scenario, even, though, again, sleep was broken enough that "up" and "down" seemed fairly arbitrary.
Then a couple weeks ago, as his nightwakings dropped to two-ish, and he was obviously getting the hang of the day vs. night concept, I got it in my head that 11pm was a pretty late bedtime for a little kid, so we started going to bed at 9pm. Mysteriously around the same time, he started waking up around 4am and being completely unable to go back to sleep. Seemingly "up for the day," as it were. I did not draw any correlation at all, but was instead simply frustrated about not getting any rest at all between 4, sometimes 3am, and about 9am when he wanted to nap.
It was my mom who suggested moving bedtime later, and the more I thought about it, the more it clicked into place - I had brought this upon us!
So last night we went through the torture of staying up an extra hour/hour and a half. He was fussy and cry-y, and we bounced, walked, swung, rocked, and jiggled to try and soothe and keep calm. Mama's back and shoulders got quite the workout. We made it until 10p, which I was viewing as halfway, but after nursing, we drifted off to sleep around 10:45...
He kicked me awake and I looked at the clock: 3:23am. 4.5 hours of blissful sleep!!! After nursing and diapering, we made our second attempt at 4:15am, a time that had previously been our own personal witching hour... and the next time he stirred, it was 5:09am. But he settled back down and we slept again... all the way to 6:15a!!
Now I know that we had such success only because he was extra tired from our hour delay. And he hadn't really napped well yesterday, either. But I am so relieved that we may actually have found a solution to the 4 am problem. And I'm hopeful that, as we approach 6 weeks, sleeping longer stretches may not be a pipe dream.
And I learned a very important parenting lesson: If it ain't broke, for crying out loud, don't try to fix it.