Ben's been having another bout of bad sleeping. He goes down fine -- like a ton of bricks, actually -- at his normal bedtime, and generally sleeps soundly or resettles himself easily until around 10:00, bedtime for the rest of the household. Then I nurse him again and either he falls asleep while nursing or I put him down drowsy, and, again, he has no trouble getting to sleep. But he's up again an hour or two hours later and repeats the hour- or two-hour-interval wake-ups for the rest of the night most nights.
The last time he went through a bout of this, about a month ago, we tried to Ferber through it, leaving him to cry for increasing intervals to remind him how to settle himself. In theory, anyway. In practice, he just wound himself up into hysteria, and even if he wore himself out and fell asleep for a while, he'd be up again in no time, hysterical again. This time, we decided to treat it as a phase and not a pattern, and comfort him through it with nursing instead of teach him through it with Ferbering. It feels like the right thing to do. My suspicion is that what's behind the sleep troubles is his working overtime on sitting up and crawling.
This phase vs pattern debate is a great way to make yourself feel like a shitty parent. If it's a phase and you make the kid suffer to learn something irrelevant, you're a big jerk. If it's a pattern and you coddle the kid into an unhealthy habit, you're a big jerk. And you can't possibly know until the damage is done. Enjoy!