In the last couple of weeks Benjamin's understanding of language has skyrocketed. He can follow almost any direction I give him, things like "get your shoes" or "time to eat" (he goes to his high chair) or "give this to Colin."
And also: "Time to go to sleep. I'll see you in the morning."
When he hears that, he generally lies down without any fussing at all. This is a major breakthrough for us. I had this feeling that he was really spinning into a panic whenever I left the room, not just crying but really panicking, unsure of where I was going. Sleep time must be a strange concept for children. I know it took a while for Caleb to understand the difference between nap and night. For the longest time he thought every time he woke up it was a new day (and therefore breakfast time - his favourite meal of the day!) Benjamin, I think, had a difficult time understanding that although I was leaving the room, I wasn't far, and would be back soon.
Since I have noticed him understanding "I'll see you in the morning," he has also started checking on me first thing. When he wakes in the morning (6:30am) James gets up to get him. But Benjamin will not go downstairs until he looks into my room to see me lying in bed. He often then wants to cuddle and nurse, but he's starting to be okay with just checking in. This morning James took him right downstairs to let me sleep and Benjamin screamed for 20 minutes until I gave in and went downstairs. He calmed as soon as he saw me, cuddled for a minute, and then let me go back upstairs.
Needless to say, I'm hoping this new light on inside his head will lead to better sleeping through the night. He's already done a couple of nights where he wakes, sobs for a minute, finds his soother, and goes back to sleep. It shouldn't be long before he simply sleeps through.