It's been about a week since I posted the Bedtime Battles update about Aaron's sleeping. I'm back to report that the past 7 nights have been great! Aaron seems to have taken to going to sleep on his own and sleeping in his bed through the night. He sometimes still cries a bit at bedtime, (I'm talking like 5 min or less... usually less than 30 seconds if at all.) but I haven't had to revisit his room at bedtime a single time in more than a week. For awhile since we started sleep training he would cry at the mere mention of "bed, crib, nap, bedtime," but that reaction has now passed too.
I think it has now been 5 nights that Aaron has slept through the entire night. Perhaps a whimper around 3:30am (he must have a regular sleep-cycle waking around that time), but if we listen for more than one whimper, there is not another one. He's putting himself back to sleep!
He has started waking rather early... today it was 6:48am, but I'd rather have an early waking with a full-night's sleep than sleeping later in the morning, but up all night long.
Aaron's daytime anxiety seems to be improving a bit too. Perhaps he's just reached a new milestone entirely and is coming to the "end stages" of the anxious period that all toddlers go through. Perhaps teaching him to self-soothe in the night has given him some extra confidence during the day. He's still my cuddly little guy who prefers I stay nearby, but he's becoming more open to mama being out of sight for longer periods and to being comforted by others who are not mama.
We've made serious progress. I'm so delighted! Praise the Lord that we've made it (mostly) through another period of "difficult parenting" and lived to talk about it! I say "mostly" because we are realists when it comes to parenting in this house and know that there are always setbacks when it comes to milestones and stages of development. There will be times to come when Aaron resists bedtime again and wakes in the night. But I'm going to declare this hurdle "mostly" crossed and look forward to the next challenge!