I haven’t posted in awhile because nothing is good. Ha. Look how dramatic I am. But seriously.
We went to Aspen for five days or so for a comedy festival Andrew was in. She didn’t sleep great in Aspen, had a fever, had severe teething pain, so I let her nurse at night to try and mitigate some of the violent wails keeping the other people in the hotel awake at night.
Then, we came back from Aspen and didn’t nurse her again at night. Things were okay until she got another illness–this one involving vomiting all over me, the bed, and herself. Breastmilk was the only thing she wanted to keep her hydrated and fed, so of course we nursed at night. Then, I caught whatever she had and I was miserable for a few days.
Now I’m well but last night was, well, hell (rhymes are more fun when you’re sleep deprived).
This kid is OBSESSED WITH NURSING. She’s always liked nursing but lately she’s obsessed. She talks about my nipples and wants to see them. If I’m getting dressed she’ll say “nipples! Covered. See ’em!” And last night after struggling to get her to fall asleep for quite some time, she woke up at 3:30 begging, begging, begging for milk. Going crazy for milk.
Here’s the thing: she doesn’t want to eat that many solids these days. She has been a pretty adventurous eater, and likes a variety of foods, but she won’t eat very much. Again, this makes me think there’s an undiagnosed stomach issue at play here. So then at night she’s incredibly hungry, and depends on the milk. What am I supposed to do?
Problem 2 (or is it problem 2,000? Not sure any more): when she’s not nursing at night she needs to be cuddled in a very specific way. And it’s painful for me. It hurts my back, shoulders, and neck to be in the same position all night long, but if I move positions she wakes up and cries for me to “Cuddle like this!!!”
What is wrong with my family? Cosleeping, argh. But you know, putting her in her own bed doesn’t work either. She still needs a ton of attention at night.
People say “Oh, this time with her is so brief: before you know it she’ll be 13 and won’t want you to touch her at all.” Yes, I know that. I also know that my body isn’t getting any younger, and subjecting it to painful contortions night after night for two years is having major deleterious effects on my health and well-being.
What am I supposed to do?
I want to cosleep. I want to cosleep through the night. I want my daughter to understand the limits of my body and to respect them. But she doesn’t. She’s too young to get it. I’m getting so frustrated, so tired, so sore. I’m at my wit’s end today. But what am I supposed to do?
Not a lot to tell, sadly. Night 20 came and went, without much fanfare. We’ve had mostly rough nights. Those stupid incisors are all still pushing against her gums; as far as I can tell only one has made it through the surface.
She’s also entering into a challenging new phase. She’s been an amazing baby and toddler–generally very happy and agreeable. And until a few days ago, her favorite word was “yeah!” However, she’s now discovered the bratty-sounding “NO.” I know that she’s not being bratty, she’s just being a toddler, but it’s still a big change to deal with.
obstinance independence is great, it really is, but it makes things harder at night. And during the day. Okay, pretty much all the time. I need to whip out my child psychology books and refresh myself on healthy / non-authoritarian ways to deal with this stage. It’s so hard for her too, because this need to protest what I ask her to do hinders her fun as well. She wants to go outside and play with bubbles, but she wants to say no when I ask her if she wants to, so then she’s frustrated because she wants to, but she wants to say no to me. Those little brains. Those tiny little brains.
It wasn’t so bad. I don’t remember her waking until the first time she asked for milk, which was 4:45 am. I said no, that it was time to sleep, and she fell back asleep relatively quickly. She woke up about an hour later, and I went ahead and nursed her and we dosed until 6:30 or so, when she was wide awake.
After the night before last I felt so hopeless, but maybe it’s getting better overall. Only time will tell. More time, always more time. The patience that parenting requires isn’t just in-the-moment patience when your kid does something crazy or mean or annoying; instead, it’s knowing that things take time. Lots and lots of time. Children really are amazing creatures, growing so quickly, learning so much all the time, changing. I hope I always remember to respect this about her.
One step forward, 17 giant leaps back. Night 17: IT SUCKED.
Waking, crying, demanding a very specific type of cuddling, not sleeping enough. I’m so tired. We all are. She didn’t eat as much dinner last night, but what can I do? They say that if your child isn’t interested in eating, not to push it. Well, she won’t eat at all sometimes. And then what? And then I know she’ll be hungry and uncomfortable all night.
I need a personal baby guru to live in my house and help me with this child. I love her so much, and most of the time she is so easy and amazing. But night time! Oh, night time.
And it’s funny because I was so excited that we actually co-slept through the night. One night. Night 16. A beautiful night.
It was randomly awesome. It took her a long time to fall asleep, and she fussed quite a bit, but I don’t remember her waking me up once during the night. Could it have been that I was really tired and didn’t notice? Perhaps. But I seriously don’t remember waking up until 6:30, when I woke up first the she woke up shortly after.
I can’t credit that to anything. Seriously. Why did she sleep well? I have no idea.
Yep, still the same. No new news. No exciting restful sleep.
So, here I am back to questioning why I’m night weaning her, when she wakes up just as frequently, if not more. Does it really make a difference if she uses nursing to help her fall back asleep, versus crying out in pain or discomfort and tossing and turning all night? I’m more tired than I’ve been in a long time, and we’ve been doing this for two weeks now. Is it supposed to get easier at some point? Is she going to just get it, and start sleeping through the night?
I asked her this morning what was hurting, because she was making noises like she was in pain. She told me it was her teeth. So now I’m questioning my original stomach diagnosis–maybe it’s teething again? Her incisors are all coming in, and she’s been teething pretty much nonstop since she was 8 months old.
I don’t want to rule out stomach pain if that’s what it is. My mom suggests taking her to a homeopath rather than the traditional doctors (and after an unnecessary catheter they did once, I kind of agree), but if her stomach really is bothering her, I want to fix it, and soon.
I’m not sure I’d advise night weaning as a way to get more sleep. Maybe for some people, but it doesn’t seem to be working for us. I’m going to stick with it awhile longer (maybe for 20 nights, since she’s just about 20 months old), but if it still seems to be damaging all our sleep patterns, I’ll go back to nursing her at night.