This is a hot topic... and this was the most asked about question regarding Sofia's schedule. So I thought I would sum up everything, starting from the beginning.
MONTH 0-1: She woke up every 2h sharp. I went to bed at 10p because I was exhausted, so we woke up at 12, 2, 4, 6, 8. Then I started the day. I was up for 40min every feeding because she fed very slow. That means I did a1h20min of sleep + 40m wake cycle.
MONTH 1-2: She woke up every 2h sharp. Again at 12, 2, 4, 6, 8. But fed for like 20min. So at least my cycle went to 1h40m sleep + 20min wake. I went to bed around 10/11pm, and still woke up with her around 8am.
MONTH 2-3: This was the best month of sleep so far.... the FIRST stretch started to get longer, so every week it got better, it was something like this:
- week 1: 10pm, 1am, 3, 5, 7 (3h stretch for the first time, all other 2h stretches)
- week 2: 10pm, 2am, 4, 6, 8 (4h stretch for the first time, all other 2h stretches)
- week 3: 10pm, 2am, 4, 6, 8 (4h stretch again, all other 2h stretches)
- week 4: same as above and some days she even did a first 5h stretch!
* Her feedings now varied from 10 to 20min.
* I didn't do anything for her to sleep more, she was just bigger in weight so she could sleep longer.
* Yes, she started longer stretches but I also started going to bed at midnight: which meant I was not enjoying ANY long stretch (I was only getting 1, 2 and 3h of sleep then 2h every time). But at least her feedings were quicker too.
MONTH 3-4: It maintained as above with a 3-5h first stretch, and 2h after that, during the first two weeks, however when she was 3.5 months we traveled to Spain, 9h time difference: it took her a week to adapt to the schedule and she woke up every hour there, then, it took her a week to adapt when we were back, also waking up every hour or two. However, don't let this stop you from traveling with them young, it was SO easy to travel with her at this age.
MONTH 4-5: This was the worst sleep month. Worse than a newborn. Once she had been back on track from the international trip for like a week...the sleep regression HIT HARD! All of the sudden she started waking up EVERY HOUR! I was way more tired than with her as a newborn. It lasted six weeks.
MONTH 5-6: The first two weeks she still was waking every hour or two, until the sleep regression slowly faded away... by 5.5 months she was sleeping well waking only at around midnight and 5am, I was working with a baby sleep trainer online to dream feed and help her self sooth to get back to sleep on her own*, and it worked wonderful, a couple of nights she auto-soothed herself and got back to sleep.
*But my main concern about working with the sleep trainer were her naps: she was a cat napper and at 4 months I hired her to get Sofia on a good napping schedule which she now masters, it took us 6 weeks for her to learn it perfectly.
MONTH 6-7: I'm still on the last few days of this month! And she is still waking around midnight and 5am.
However she started solids at 6months, and with solids & water:
1. She isn't drinking as much breast milk during the day because she is fuller with food, so honestly, if she wakes at night crying (I can tell the difference between a light wake up where she can sooth herself or a cry of thirst) I do give her boob. My main concern is for her to be hydrated and she gets enough liquid so she can poop the solids out!
2. She is still learning how to drink water (which takes time for them to drink the enough water - 2oz after each meal) so although I insist all day and after every meal, she is no way close to that amount. So again, I am okay with her drinking milk at night now for the above reasons.
3. Breast milk/milk should be 60% of their intake at this stage - so if she isn't drinking as much during the day because she is full - nutritionally she still needs to intake at night.
A lot of sleep trainers don't agree with this because going from her soothing herself back to sleep a couple days at the end of month 5, to giving her boob when she wakes, may be a step backwards into sleeping through the night, but, my main concern isn't me selfishly sleeping all night - it's that she is hydrated (extra specially with this heat wave) and that she can poop all her solids (which she needs to every day and it's very important).
As she grows, she will be capable of drinking and eating more through the day and she'll start sleeping through the night. Mixing that with not sleeping because of teething and other baby problems. So stay tuned for my next roller coaster 6-12months! Coming by December 2018 :)