Thanks all for your thoughtful replies. They've got me thinking. I realise now why I was contemplating the issue of when spoiling becomes applicable.
My son is only 6 months. He has not been left to cry. He has always been responded to as promptly as possible, either by my husband or me. He is demand fed and on the whole, parented very gently. Obviously we've made our mistakes and learnt from them, but generally this is how we have cared for him and I feel good about it; it's what felt natural to us. We were practising natural parenting before we even knew about it. Funny that
Lately I've been wondering if I should take a bit longer to respond to him. Instead of picking him up as soon as he shows signs that he'd like to get off the floor, perhaps if I waited he might decide he'd like to keep playing and be more comfortable to lengthen his stints on the floor if given the opportunity. He is waking up more than ever at night now, (not that he's ever slept that well). I am always up to get him as soon as I realise he's calling/I can make it to him. It's like he's reverse cycling (except that it makes no sense as I'm always with him, plus he still feeds heaps during the day). HIs day naps have become even shorter. Usually 25 minutes these days, which is not enough for him to function happily.
I guess I'm doubting my methods because I've put my heart and soul into tending his needs from day one, but it seems like he is less settled in some ways, especially sleep-wise. Was wondering if perhaps I'm letting him 'run the show' a bit too much. And I must be honest, I've had the 'setting up bad habits' thing niggling at me lately. By feeding him 4 times a night (not that he only wakes 4 times), am I paving the way for him to still be sleeping/feeding like this when he's 12 months+? I know that many bubhubbers are dealing with this challenge.
Sorry I've written so much. I process as I talk...Which you can probably tell! Apologies.