Last night he went to bed easy, woke up crying at 11 or so and fussed for awhile, then back to sleep and awake again at 2 am. He was completely inconsolable from about 2 am to 5 am. What changed at 5 am, you might ask?
5 am is when I gave up. I went into his room, picked him up and cuddled him close. He stopped crying immediately. I put him back down in his crib. He started to cry but calmed down when I kept a hand on his back. When I removed my hand and lay down on the bed next to his crib, he started crying again, and crawled to the side of the crib that adjoins the bed, stuck his hand through the slats and patted me firmly on the shoulder, still crying.
I got up again and picked him up, holding him close while climbing back into bed. We don't usually sleep in bed with Walter. When he was a little baby, we worried about our big, heavy sleeping selves rolling onto him. As he got bigger and more able to fight us off, he didn't seem to like being in bed with us very much ... he wanted his own space.
This morning was different. As we settled in he immediately relaxed and draped himself with great dramatic flourish across my chest, heaving a relieved and happy sigh. Every minute or so he'd pop his little head up, make sure I was still there, and give me a big smile. (I tried not to encourage this, but it was pretty cute.) As he relaxed even more he settled into a comfy spot with his arms around me and his head on my shoulder, and as he truly fell asleep he rolled gently onto the bed, still close to me but claiming a space of his own, and I wrapped an arm around his legs.
I am hoping he sleeps so much better tonight, hoping the ibuprofen holds and this new course of antibiotic ear drops begins working its magic right away. I do not plan on a repeat of my 5 am solution ... it's just not sustainable. But I get the appeal of co-sleeping. When he finally stopped twitching and squirming (sleeping babies aren't all that peaceful, really, or at least mine isn't) and fell into deep, still sleep all I had to do was move my hand gently to his chest and I was instantly reassured by the rise and fall, the sweet baby breaths.
I didn't sleep. But it was the best rest I've gotten in weeks.