The thing about sleep is that you can do everything the exact same with each kid, and each kid will sleep totally different. I'm learning this so much more now that I have 3 kids. And I'm just going to throw it out there that if your child is a great sleeper from the beginning, you got lucky, it's not because of your parenting. Sorry.
Anyway, when Amelia was a baby we put every once of our being into getting her to go to sleep. We swaddled, nursed, rocked, bounced, made sure she was in the perfect position, and then if she woke up when we laid her down we did it all over again. Even after getting her to sleep she woke up every 2 hours until she was 10 months old! After that her sleep stretches got a little longer but I wrote in her baby book that the first time she slept through the night was at 14 months! We sleep trained her to fall asleep on her own around 5 months but I could never let her cry in the middle of the night because I think that's mean. She always slept in in the morning though. When she was my only child we never got up before 10. As for naps, she went down at 10 and 2 and would sleep for 2 hours each time. Ahh, that was the life. To this day she often wakes up in the night and will wander around the house or choose a different location to sleep, but is almost always the last one up in the morning.
Then there's Addilyn. I don't think she ever woke up every 2 hours, not even the night we brought her home. This was my first glimpse at how the sleep depends on the child, not the parent. Addilyn always slept way longer at night, and it really threw me off! I'd often wake up and go check to see if she was breathing. By about 5 months she slept 13 hours straight through every night. Getting her to go to sleep was tough, so we tried to sleep train her, thinking it would be just as easy as Amelia, and boy were we wrong. She was just going to show us that the more we ignored her the louder she would cry and the more riled up she would get. So we rocked, and rocked, and rocked her to sleep until one day we just set her in her bed, said goodnight and that was it. No rocking from us, no crying from her. 13 hours is awesome, except that it was from 6pm to 6am, and if you read the last paragraph you'll remember that I was used to getting up at 10 with Amelia, so early mornings were a RUDE awakening. Especially for the 4am and 5am phases. And as far as naps, she sucks. WHY did I not take advantage of Amelia's great napping when she was my only one? I tried and tried to get Addilyn on a 10 and 2 schedule and she was NOT having any of it. Finally after months of trying and her just wailing (and getting more riled up) and me threatening mean things to her and to Amelia (poor child got the brunt of lots of my frustration) I gave up and was lucky to get one 45 min nap a day out of Addilyn. Great night sleeper, lousy napper.
Now we have Avery. She started off waking up every 2-3 hours for her first couple weeks. Then her first stretch gradually got longer and longer, and last night it was 8 hours! I'm so happy, except that she goes to bed between 6-6:30 so 8 hours in for her is not 8 hours for me! But I hope she continues to be a good sleeper. Also, she goes to sleep on her own! OMG, the first time I laid her in her cradle awake and came back a few minutes later to find her asleep, I thought it was a total fluke! Then it happened again and again and I'm just so thrilled that I might not have to sleep train this child. Right now Avery sleeps from about 6-7, waking up about 3 times to eat. I still feel tired some days but I try to go to bed early enough that I'm not too crabby. Also, I'd take this kind of tired over pregnancy tired any day.
Three children, three completely different sleepers.
Sorry if this was the most boring post ever, but I've been thinking a lot about how each one of my children sleeps so I thought I'd "think it out" in writing.