When Zari was four months old, my mom started asking me, "so is she sleeping through the night yet?" I laughed. Not even close. In fact, over the past 20 months of her life she's woken up every few hours at night, every night. The newborn stage was actually the easiest of all for me. She'd sleep like a log, nurse, and fall right back asleep again and not even stir in between. It's actually been the later months that have been very difficult, when she would wake up every hour or two and need to nurse back to sleep every single time. Or when she'd crawl or roll around in her sleep.
So imagine my surprise when we arrived in France and she started sleeping long stretches: 6 or 7 hours. I usually put her to bed by 9 pm and she'd often sleep until 3 or 4 am. At that point I'd bring her into bed with us, nurse her back to sleep, and she'd sleep again until 7 or 8 am (maybe nursing once during that time when it first got light out).
Then last night happened. She slept for 11 hours straight, from 9 pm to 8 am. It was such a surprise that I was actually awake from about 4 am on, waiting for her to wake up!
I don't know what it is I'm doing, or not doing, but this is amazing. The only factors I can isolate:
1) I have a fan going while she sleeps (no A/C here in France, so a fan is a must). Perhaps the white noise helps.
2) She starts out in another bedroom, rather than in a crib in our own bedroom like we'd do at home. Perhaps we were waking her up (even though we were extra careful at home to be super quiet).
3) We are always doing something here and she is worn out with all of the physical activity. We go the park at least once every day, we walk all over town, we play ball, we go to the beach, we swim in a blow-up kiddie pool, we play with the students and staff...in short, she's always moving and playing. At home, we did a lot more sitting around the house.