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Sleeping With A Baby Elephant

A few weeks ago, two nights before his birthday, Baby started waking up at night and crying, and he has continued to do so off and on since then.  We have gone to him almost every time.  One night, after about a week of his new (old) routine, we let Baby cry it out.  It felt about as awesome as it did the first time we "sleep trained" him (i.e., he and I both cried it out that night).  Every other time he has cried in the night, we have gone to him, and he ends up sleeping on one of our chests or between us in our bed.  (One morning, my husband looked across a sprawled-out Baby and said, "Sleeping with him is like sleeping with a baby elephant.") 

He has not needed this level of cuddling and closeness since he was about two and a half weeks old, and I have been left wondering what kicked off this nighttime-neediness.  Did he miss the comfort of nursing?  Was he cold?  Was he getting a cold?  Was that quick trip to New Hampshire throwing him for a loop?  Was returning from that trip throwing him from a loop?  Is he regressing?  Is this what would happen if Separation Anxiety combined with Day-Night Confusion? 

I read recently that kids grow and learn in a way that looks more like a spiral than like a straight line heading up and out (which sounds familiar . . . the old, "one step forward, two steps backward" theory).  Apparently, there is not only comfort but also developmental value in going "back" (for both the kids and the parents).  So now, instead of judging myself for indulging Baby [and my own selfish desire to hold onto my baby as he transitions to toddler-hood], I will [try to] accept that I live life on The Spiral.

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