I think overall my cot strategy is working (strategy being that we put him in there as much and as often as possible for sleeps, but don't make him stay there if he's unhappy). Until now he has always woken up within minutes in the cot - if not the second we put him down - regardless of how fast asleep or wide awake or anywhere in between he was when he was put there.
This morning he has gone down for his first cot nap AWAKE. And it worked. He slept in the cot for around an hour from 10ish - 11ish which is awesome. He didn't even have his dummy (he spat it out and I resettled him without it). I could hear him cooing at his mobile for awhile and then dropped off to sleep. :-) So that is exciting and means we are making progress!! Strange not having him where I can see him, but his little sighs in his sleep are cute. And great having my hands free instead of holding him the whole nap.
This afternoon I rocked and fed him to sleep, but he's been back in the cot for at least 20min now without waking. It's become a happy place for him.
Last night was a good night - he went to bed the same time as I did, I only had to get up once after 5min or so to stroke his head and reassure him then he was fine. All night long I kept waking up and thinking he was awake, and he may well have been - but he didn't call me. So I left him. I finally got him up at 4am for a feed as I knew he was hungry (gnawing on his fist!)
Then he was still asleep when his Daddy left for work, and didn't wake up until after 8am. (See previous post from today about that!)
I am so happy that my instincts were spot on, and glad I ignored all of the bad advice from people who insist upon routines and that nonsense. I'm not going to force him into something that doesn't work. I know I have awesome mummy instincts and I'm going to keep following them. Happy baby is the best kind of baby!