Lately we have been asking the question "who needs sleep?" - certainly NOT us. *sigh*
Emily has always been a good sleeper. I credit her 6 weeks in the NICU for that. She learned from a very early age to put herself to sleep. She had no choice at the time - she had to share a nurse with 2 or 3 other babies. And the nurse did not have time to make all those classic mistakes new moms find themselves making: rocking baby to sleep, feeding her until she is asleep, putting her in bed with you, etc.
So from the time that Emily came home we have ALWAYS put her to bed awake and let her fall asleep on her own. We've had some rough patches along the way. There was a stretch when she would cry for an hour EVERY night when we put her to bed (thankfully that did not last very long, though it felt like an eternity at the time). For a long period of time Emily was sleeping through the night. We would put her down at 9 and she would sleep until 8 or 8:30. I know you are thinking "poor things, I don't know how they do it".
Well for the last month or so our nights of uninterrupted sleep have come to a screeching halt! Emily has decided that she likes to get up at 4am (although the time can vary, it is usually around 4). She doesn't usually cry; she just makes noises & will even giggle sometimes. Since she is in our bedroom, we hear everything. As adorable as she is laying there giggling, may I remind you that this happens at 4am! The time kind of takes away the cuteness of the moment. She doesn't usually need anything, but Mike and I are not really in the mood to socialize in the middle of the night.
It makes us wish for a bigger place so she could have her own room - then we wouldn't hear every little noise she makes. In the meantime, we have devised a plan: we move her out to the living room, where she spends the rest of the night in her Pack N Play. We move the pump out to the living room so she can finish her nighttime feeding and turn the light on for her (she doesn't really like the dark). So she can happily babble and giggle until she goes back to sleep. Unfortunately for us, it takes much longer for us to go back to sleep. So we spend most of our days tired. She gets naps during the day - we don't. We have been really spoiled by her sleeping so well, that this interruption in the middle of the night really throws us off.
The funny thing about this plan is how it has affected us. The first night we did it, we both had a hard time getting back to sleep. We kept straining to hear her in the other room just to know that she was OK (did she cough? is she squished against the side of the Pack N Play?) We are so used to having her next to us, that it was strange for us. I always wondered how she would do when we got a bigger place and she had a room of her own - I never thought I would have to adjust!