Before Jude was born I read 2 books that I would highly recommend to any expecting parents, "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" (my favorite) and "Baby Wise". There is a lot of controversy over Baby Wise, but having read it, most of the controversy seems silly to me. Many parents will say that placing your child on a schedule is too rigid, but from our own experience, Justin and I are scheduled people and it worked well for our family. We still very much read Jude's cues and provided what he needed inspite of the clock (which is what the book suggests) and he has done very well with it. However, above all, I believe you must find what works best for your family. Placing Jude on a schedule worked well for us and it left us having an 8 week old sleeping from 9:30 pm-5 or 5:30 am, which was great.
Around 10 weeks, we dropped Jude's "late night feeding" of 9:30 or 10 and he began eating at 8:30 and going until about 5:30 consistently. Since it was the summer, I would nurse him while still lying in bed and we would go back to sleep until around 7 and our day began. About the time we moved to AZ (Jude was right at 4 months) he extended his morning time and decreased his evening time (which is normal, babies figure out when they need to sleep) so since then, he typically eats his last bottle between 7:30-8 pm and wakes up between 6:15 and 7:15 am. From months 4-6 he would wake up a few nights a week because he still had not learned to find his own paci and put it back in his mouth and we had some sickness of a terrible cold and ear ache that interrupted our little man's nights, as well as teething. However, 6 months was a magic number. 2 bottom teeth popped in, his cold went away, and he learned how to find his own paci! With that said, knock on wood, we RARELY have to get up for anything at this point...until the last few nights.
Jude started waking up at 5 or 5:15 and I mean "getting up" for the day. We were like, "hold up son, this is way too early" until yesterday morning. I thought to myself, we KNOW he can last longer without food, so why is he getting up...well, our 7 1/2 month old has realized what it means to be truly WET. That's it. Yesterday and today I have gone in and changed his diaper around 5 and he's gone back to sleep and sleeps until 6:45 or 7. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, but really? Some babies could go all day and never change their diaper, other than the fact they're probably develop a rash and that's not best practice, but not our little man...he wants out of his wet pants!
Oh well, I wouldn't change a single night...oh, and don't you just love that precious picture. He fell asleep watching the Lion King with his Daddy the other night...when Hakuna Matata comes on, his face lights up and he starts bouncing up and down. :)