We have been following his bedtime routine as usual, and do try to put him in bed at his usual bedtime. But last night, after letting him cry and cry and cry I realized he was not going to sleep; so I just decided to let it go. We got him out of his crib, brought him to the living room, put on Finding Nemo and just let him stay there. He watched a little, then got out some toys and asked us to play with him, then brought some books for us to read and then got back on the couch, watched a little more and then fell asleep.
He is teething, and that darned left cuspid is taking his sweet time to cut through. So I'm thinking it really is just a phase that hopefully will end very soon.
But for now, I decided to just go with the flow. He can have a few late nights (especially since he ends up sleeping in until later the next day). He can hang out with us in the living room and play a little more and cuddle a lot. He can watch Finding Nemo and drink his milk while I play with his hair.
As much as it is driving me insane right now, I know I'll miss this phase.
Just like I miss (sometimes) waking up at night to nurse him.