Thanks:-) I did need warm fuzzies!
I just spent the last hour-and-a-half reading the same 8 page book to my son to get him to settle down and sleep because the 30 seconds of crying he would have had to endure to get there right off the bat would have been too much for me with my inlaws in the next room. We are basically sliding back in the wrong direction and the bottom line is that he sleeps fastest and best if I let him go to sleep without expecting more story and more milk and more huggies in an endless cycle. Still my MIL had to make the point when I finally came out of his room that she would be more than happy to go lay down with him. I explained that this would be the easy way when she is here, but after she is here, I am going to have a very small infant and a two year old and one of them is going to need to sleep without me. Still she has no intention of giving me the warm fuzzies.
Oh no! Are you worried that they won't leave him alone if you leave him in the room crying for a minute or so? Can you just give him milkies, read a book, hug n kiss and then leave without them rushing in? It's ok to do it your way. You said that if they cuddle with him and then leave it will be harder on all of you. But you are doing something that's really hard for all of you now. So both of those options sound wrong for you and your son. Stand strong and do what feels right and shrug off their looks or whatever they do that feels like judgment. It doesn't even matter if they judge you since they aren't his mama. So there :P