DS is 10 months and wakes every night at 11pm and 5am and once in between (say 2am but it can be an hour either side, it's fairly random). So essentially he wakes every 3 hours and has been this way since he was born.
Until about 6 weeks ago I fed him at all these times because he would howl if I didn't. Then about six weeks ago I weaned him off the 2am feed. I had a fantasy that because he wasn't getting fed any more he would sleep through from 11pm-5am but this has happened precisely twice. He still wakes up and cries and stands up in his cot. So I lay him back down and pat him back to sleep. Sometimes he goes back down straight away, sometimes he cries for a few minutes and keeps standing up again but I persist in lying him back down and then he goes back to sleep til 5am, when I feed him and bring him into bed with me and we have a snuggle until it's time to get up.
My question is: at 2am should I try lying him back down then just walking away instead of staying to pat him? Would that teach him to self-soothe and eventually sleep through? Or is he showing that he will wake up at that time regardless so I may as well pat him back to sleep because it doesn't take long? I would LOVE to not get up at this time.
Should also say that I'm now trying to head off the 11pm wake-up and dream feed him a bit before in the hope that he stops associating waking up with getting fed.