...sleeping through the night???
Around six weeks, Andrew's night sleep patterns had somewhat stabilized into two three-hour blocks followed by a couple hours of fitful dozing (if I was lucky and avoided the 4am party), so that was two wakeups. I was just fine with that sleep schedule - it wasn't eight hours straight or anything, but I felt mostly rested and functional. At that time, he started to move from eating every two hours during the day to every three. Three hours seemed so much better for me - time to get things done - so I was happy to help him stretch it.
We didn't consistently get to every-three-hour feeding until a couple weeks ago. Around that time, he started waking up every two hours at night. I tried to soothe him back to sleep without feeding, as suggested in the No-Cry Sleep Solution, but he wouldn't have it. He wanted to eat - one side every two hours. I was very discouraged. This seemed like regression, not progress. But I didn't really correlate the daytime feedings with the night feedings.
Then a couple days ago, I was reading a thread on BabyCenter and the majority of exclusively breastfed three-month-olds listed there seemed well on their way to sleeping through the night. Many of them mentioned "tanking up" during the day. A lightbulb went on. So yesterday I spent the whole day on an every-two-hour schedule, feeding him well before he asked for it. At breastfeeding support group, he *still* took 3.8 oz at the feeding!
The result? Last night he slept from 9:40pm-3:40am - a six hour block. That, my friends, is considered Sleeping Through The Night. He stirred a bit at 12:30a and 2a, but by the time I got ready to feed him (like, ten seconds), he was already back to sleep and wouldn't even open his mouth. AHHHHH! I feel like a new person!
Now, the time after 4am was a little fitful. It was very dry last night, and Andrew was struggling with congestion. I gave him saline nose drops when he was awake at 3:45a, but they didn't help too much. Plus I was too excited to sleep much after that. The 4am party was thrown by mama last night! We got up for the day at 6:15a, with a very happy baby and a very happy mama.
I'm certainly happy to aim to feed him every two hours, knowing that I have an hour or so buffer until he gets really super hungry. That's probably better than taking it to the limit of the three hours anyway- I'll probably panic less this way. I know that all this is probably going to change - we've got return to work and the 4 month sleep regression coming up. But dangit, I'll take my six hour stretch while it lasts!
Now tonight, we'll see if this is repeatable!