After another episode of being awake for 2 hours in the middle of the night, we came to the conclusion that Malcolm may be ready to move out of the family bed and into his crib. I tried having him in his co-sleeper, but he never liked it. The sleep deprivation has been wearing on all of us and I just couldn't let it continue without trying something new.
So, last night, I put him to bed in his crib. I made up the hide-away bed in his room so I could be close by. I put him to bed at 8, he woke up around 9 - 9:30 and wouldn't go back to sleep until around 10:30 (this isn't uncommon), he woke up again a bit before midnight and I was able to get him back to sleep within 15 minutes and then he woke up again around 4. A 4 hour stretch of sleep for him is pretty good - especially when he wasn't sleeping next to me! I tried putting him back down in his crib for the next hour but then gave up around 5 and brought him to bed with me. It was during that time that I realized that I didn't dress him warm enough for sleeping by himself. We then slept until 8. The night went much better than expected. I was sure he'd be waking more frequently, but he didn't. Let's see how things go from here!
When Mal started the new pattern of staying awake for a period of time in the middle of the night, Tony and I talked about the need to move him to his crib. We were resistant because we both really like the practice of bed sharing. But, we always said that we'd move him to his crib when he was ready. In all honesty, we didn't expect him to be ready before we were.