I'm going to knock on wood before I say this, but it wasn't a fluke. Jax slept 7 hours, and better yet, I no longer think he cried himself to sleep.
In the last two weeks, my little man has had 5, 6 and 7 hour stretches of sleep. Just like that. We didn't do anything differently, it's like it just "clicked" and he decided he was going to let mom get some rest. Granted, it's not that great every night, and he's still waking up 3-4 times a night, but when you consider that he's going to sleep between 6:30 and 7 pm, it's not that bad.
Mom - I got this.
And I'll be honest here, for awhile - it was BAD. There were several nights during the last few months where I was crying, not sure how in the hell I was supposed to do this night after night after night with no reprise. There were days when I could barely form coherent sentences, let alone say anything nice to anyone. Read: I'm not a kind person when I'm overtired. So right here, I'd like to make a note for myself for when we (hopefully) have another baby - IT GETS BETTER. You WILL sleep again. And you will feel FANTASTIC when it happens.
There are a couple things that we think contributed to the improved sleep...first being his age - I believe that babies need to learn how to sleep. Second...the No Cry Sleep Solution was the book that encouraged us to make (and stick to) a consistent bedtime routine, and also enlightened us on the importance of naps. Once the bedtime routine started improving (it used to be a 2 hour battle that dragged on until 10 pm or later), the naps followed (we used to be lucky if he'd nap for 20 minutes). Now naps are 1-2+ hours long, the occur consistently, and bedtime is early and easier. And the small amount of free time that results does wonders for my sanity.
Working so hard on crawling - he is so close!
I also think that the transition from cosleeping to crib has helped him significantly. It breaks my heart, but I think it's been good for us. When Jax slept next to me, he nursed on and off for most of the night. That was fine with me, as long as it was a quick wake up, have snack, fall back asleep. That peaceful routine didn't last long - soon there was crying (him, usually), kicks to the bladder (mine), and frustration (both of us) when no one was sleeping. I know some people have totally blissful cosleeping relationships, and to be honest - that's what I wanted. I wanted to snuggle my baby at night. But I've read that some babies just don't sleep soundly when others are rustling around next to them, and I think we are in that boat. So we're trying to keep him in his crib for the night, and he sleeps longer, better, and deeper when he's in there.
One of the first things I noticed after Jax started sleeping better is that my pumping output decreased like WHOA. When he was first born, I dealt with a minor oversupply and I was pretty much Bessie the cow when I pumped. Pumping sucks, but at least I was getting a good deal of milk for my time. Now? Wah wah. :( I'm lucky to get 4 ounces total after 25 minutes of pumping. I'm not at the point where I need to take herbal supplements to boost things, but there is a definite difference.
The silver lining of my decreased supply? My boobs stopped leaking! For the last 9 months, I've worn a bra 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Other moms tell me that this is quite unusual - most leaking stops in the first few weeks, I guess my boobs are just...extra leaky. I can't even tell you how good it feels to sleep without a bra. Heaven - it is heaven!
And on the subject of feeding, even with no teeth, we're still cruising along with baby lead weaning. Jax is eating more and more everyday, and it's usually really, really messy, but also hilarious. He has the best faces when he tries new things! I couldn't list all the foods he's had if I tried, but if anyone is looking for ideas, leave me a comment and I'll let you know our faves.
The major downfall with solid foods....the diapers. They are decidedly ickier now. We're still 100% cloth diapering - we've only used disposables once (on a 2 day family vacation), and we haven't encountered any real problems, or even had a diaper rash. But I'll just let you know that spraying out the "real" poop is not very fun, and it does add another step to the system.
And to close out this random post, I'll leave you with this video. It brightens my day every time I watch it.