Petra's sleep routine just gets better and better. Last night she went to bed at around 10. We're scrambling to keep up with her new early hours. I hadn't put on her night nappy because I didn't expect her to stay down. As a result, I had to do one of those hushed "please don't wake all the way up, baby" nighttime changes. Petra was a model citizen. She lay on the change table smiling and squeaking (she's moved from deep-voiced growls to high-pitched squeals in the last couple of days), then went back to bed without protest. And slept right through until 8ish.
After the chaos of the first couple of months this sudden smooth transition into a reasonable sleep routine feels nothing short of miraculous. I'm still not quite convinced that it's really happening. And Petra's mostly done it herself. She was ready to have a consistent sleep pattern; all I did was help her adjust it a little. Now she's moving to an earlier bedtime and soothing herself to sleep without any prompting from me.
It's not easy and I don't always manage it, but I've tried to remember that order will eventually emerge from the wreck if we just roll along with Petra. When she would only sleep upright against our chests at night, or on my knee during the day, when she needed rocked and walked for hours to get her to settle, when she slept and woke at random all-too-short intervals, I soothed myself by imagining a hulking great teenage Petra who surely wasn't going to be lying on my knee to sleep. My own version of this too shall pass. It freed me up to enjoy the closeness and calm of having Petra sleeping on me during the day and helped me endure being up most of the night. And now here we are. I just hope that this phase doesn't pass by as quickly as the earlier ones.