Thinking back over the last year and a half of being a parent and talking to other mothers, there are definite times when babies are easier: 15 months is an obvious one for me at the moment (one waking last night! hurrah!). 10 months is often a good window to change things, although I don’t remember it being great for us. 20 months to 2 years (depending on the child) is supposed to be much easier as well. These are probably good times to alter things (night weaning, moving to own bed etc.).
Conversely, there are bad times you have to grit your teeth and get through however you can. There seem to be far more of these, or maybe I am remembering the bad times more than the good. Moxie has a great summary of some of these spurt times (I found growth spurts the most difficult times to get through as sleep was replaced with the need to feed constantly). My own memory of months 1-15 goes like this:
Day 3: just before milk comes in, feeding ALL THE TIME. No sleep. Still shell-shocked.
Week 3: first big growth spurt, constant feeding for a week. Most people tell you spurts last for a few days, well not for us.
Week 6: another one. Grrrrrrr.
Week 12: getting bored of this now…
Month 4: even more disruption as a big sleep regression kicks in
Month 6: I thought starting solids was supposed to help with sleep! Not in this house, baby is waking more because he’s unsettled. Going back to work probably doesn’t help. This is the point where we give up on the cot completely and co-sleep to preserve what little sanity I have left.
Months 7/8/9: at least one growth spurt, feels like lots. Sleep is disrupted for a looooong time. Also teeth popping through constantly. Not good. Sanity lost a long time ago.
Month 12/13: another ****** growth spurt. Baby is behaving like a newborn again. Tempers fray. Molars breaking through.
Month 14: things start settling down and a few 3 hour blocks of sleep keep us away from the loony bin. Naps settle down. Bedtimes start to be an issue.
Month 15: action taken on sleep (getting baby alseep before midnight, into cot and not feeding at night). Rather shocked when it actually works. Good thing too, because
Month 18: things are supposed to go belly-up again. Time to bank some sleep now…