Looking back it doesn't seem that bad. Our biggest problem was that Harry was waking every couple of hours at night to feed, and he never seemed content or settled during the day. I'd read my parenting books, and I was feeling frustrated because I thought that he should be sleeping for longer stretches by now. I also looked around at other babies that were happy and smiley, while he just seemed so unhappy and cross. I assumed that the reason he was waking so frequently and was so discontent was because he was hungry. This was coupled with the fact that he never breastfed for long, and his red book told me that he wasn't put on weight as quickly as he should have been.
I was so worried that he wasn't feeding properly that I lost confidence in my ability to breastfeed, and we ended up moving to supplementing with formula, before starting him on baby rice at just 17 weeks. It made no difference at all to his sleeping.
Now Mia is the same age, and her night time sleeping is pretty similar. We had some longer stretches a few weeks back, but lately it's back to every two hours at night again. The difference is that this time I know that she isn't always waking because she is hungry.
I now know that babies (and toddlers!) do just wake up during the night and can find it difficult to get back to sleep. Breastfeeding back to sleep is a comfort thing, and it can become a habit. But this time I am less anxious and frustrated when she wakes, because I know that it is not because she is starving.
I won't be rushing to wean so early this time, and I don't feel the need yet to start topping up with formula. I'll just accept that whether by nature or nurture my babies are not good sleepers, and remind myself that there will come a day when I am struggling to get them out of bed in the mornings.
I also don't get Mia weighed as frequently, with the consequence that I don't talk to Health Visitors as often. This time around I have the confidence to follow my own instincts.