I may have mentioned this at some time in the past, but the Max has some sleep issues. We had four or five blissful months between the ages of three and eight months when Max slept through the night faithfully. We decided on Max's bedtime based on his last feeding before bed. When he was teeny tiny (i.e., younger than three months), we went to bed around 11:00, and Max would wake up around 2:00-ish then again around 4:00-4:30 to eat. Eventually, he started only waking up once around 3:00 to eat, then at the magical age of 3 months he stopped waking up before 6:00 a.m., and I was in heaven. I got sleep from 11:00 to 6:00, uninterrupted. As he got older, we gradually stretched the time between feedings and started putting Max to bed a little earlier every week. By the time he was 5 months old, Max's last feeding before bed was around 7:30-8:00, after which he went directly to sleep. Thus, his 8:00 bedtime. And he'd sleep until 6:30-7:00 in the morning. He slept well through his first two teeth (I think we had a couple of nights when he woke up once but went right back to sleep), and Chad and I thought we were out of the night-waking woods. Well, we did have a few nights when Max was 6 or 7 months old when he'd wake up with his pajamas and his sheets covered in pee. So I'd have to get up and change the Max's jammies and his bedsheets. Then I'd put Max back in the crib, he'd talk to himself for a few minutes and go back to sleep all by his lonesome. After this started happening a few times a week, I discovered Huggies Overnites. They didn't have them in Max's size, but I bought the bigger ones anyway, and they did the trick. He still wears the same size Huggies Overnites now, more than 9 months later (but he is close to moving up a size). And I no longer have to change wet sheets at 3 a.m.
Anyway, then something crazy happened when Max was about 8 months old, and suddenly he was waking up several times a night and refusing to go back to sleep in the crib. I thought maybe teething was to blame, but his next tooth didn't appear until Max was 10 months old (after getting his first two at 5 1/2 months). So, Max spent a month making me crazy by waking up three times a night and spending most nights in our bed when I was so tired I couldn't take it anymore. I eventually got him straightened out again. Well, sleeping in his bed, anyway. He was still waking up a couple of times a night.
Then we went on vacation for 9 days. The first night, Max slept like a baby is supposed to sleep - all night without a peep. And that was the end of good sleeping habits for three months. The rest of the trip, Max woke up every 1-2 hours at night and wouldn't even sleep well in the bed with Chad and me. When we got home, he wasn't waking up as often, but he still slept with Chad and me. Because I can only take so much incessant screaming. I eventually convinced Max to sleep in his bed again around his birthday (though he still woke up once or twice at night).
Then he got bronchitis. And an ear infection. At the same time. Two weeks after his birthday. And then? The amoxicillin he was on for the infections gave Max hives. For a month. Good-bye sleeping in the crib. I felt guilty about letting my sick and itchy baby scream in his bed at night, so once again he started sleeping with us. Every night. Because after 30 minutes of screaming I give up. That 'let them cry it out' business is for tougher mothers than I. I tried. I'd let Max cry for two or three minutes, go check on him and calm him down, then leave. Repeat. If after 30 minutes, Max was still crying, he won. Sue me.
Anyway, after the hives finally cleared up, Max wasn't crying so much and stayed in his bed longer every night before he woke up demanding to come back to bed with me. A couple of months ago, he finally started sleeping in his bed again. But now he's waking up obscenely early. Meaning before 6 a.m. If I take him back to bed when he wakes up at 5-something he'll usually sleep for another hour to an hour and a half. But really I wish he'd sleep in his bed until after 6:00. Like he used to.
I've started trying to make Max's bedtime earlier. Supposedly, that helps. So the Max has been going to bed around 7:30-ish for the past few nights. No luck. He's still waking up between 5:00 and 5:30. Next up: a blackout curtain. I'm hoping that will at least convince him it isn't morning yet so he'll go back to sleep in his bed when he wakes up at 5:00.
2 days ago