I can't believe I didn't mention this before, considering that it's the most monumental change in my life for some time, but --
For the last two days I have been sleeping through the night.
We came to this point with all three of our kids -- Nicholas at ten months, Simon at nine, and now Paul at just-barely-eight -- where it seemed like the night waking was a habit, and not a very good one for anyone involved. The baby was crabby and miserable all day, mommy was stumbling around in a daze and making elementary mistakes in child care (such as forgetting to shut the door at the top of the stairs, with predictably unhappy results) so we bit the bullet and stopped heeding the calls.
I was bracing myself for hours of crying (that would be me, not so much the baby), but really, it went very well. The first night Paul fussed, not too loudly or hysterically either, for about twenty minutes and then slept through. Of course I woke at all the usual times and lay there in a cold sweat, sure that at any moment my child would wail as though his little heart was being ripped from his body, but it didn't happen. In fact, while we had a couple more nights where Paul protested the new regime either at bedtime or mid-night or both, it never really got that bad or lasted very long.
And now? He goes to bed at eight p.m., wakes at six a.m. to gulp down a feed, then sleeps for another couple of hours. He's happier during the day, naps better, and I feel like a functioning human being again.
My heartiest congratulations to all those other moms who co-sleep, nurse all night, and can still function during the day but -- I am not one of them. I salute those parents (and babies) who can successfully sleep train without tears on either side -- but that has never described our family either. I'm just grateful that we've got through this stage without too much difficulty.