So, after checking out and reading a bunch of sleep training books from the library, I'm convinced that we have a system that works for us. Cayden is doing so much better, we have actually had quite a few nights of him sleeping all the way through. It's been amazing. I think he's worried about spoiling us because at least 2 nights a week, he will wake up at least once but I am holding firm. If it's after midnight, I will not get up unless he is hysterical or if he's fussy for more than 30 minutes.
This has worked out well because he usually stops crying after a few minutes and I can hear him playing with his rattle until he falls back asleep. I know he's not hungry because he gets a 5 oz. bottle of breast milk at his last feeding before midnight. Knowing that he's not hungry helps me feel better about not jumping up when I hear him because I know that he most likely wants the boob to help him go back to sleep not because he's really hungry. So, to summarize, this is the plan that has worked for us with mostly good results.
1. Moving his crib to another room.
2. Spacing out his feedings. We haven't been able to get past 3 hours or so but giving one bottle with some cereal in it during the day seems to help.
3.Establishing midnight as my cutoff point and sticking to it. After that he's on his own unless there's something really wrong.
4. Making sure he has a full belly at his last feeding before midnight.
5. Slowly dropping the night feedings. We went from one feeding after midnight to no longer feeding him after midnight.
6. Not going in to attend to him immediately when he wakes up.
There has been crying along the way but I have decided that I need to accept that we have a child who will cry no matter what we do. I just comfort him the best I can and hold firm with nap time and bed time. I still rock him to sleep because it's the best thing for both of us. He still fights going to sleep but we are being a lot firmer about making sure he takes his naps during the day and staying in his crib and putting himself back to sleep when he wakes up at night.