Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Baby's jones

My first two girls seemed to get all the oral fix they needed through nursing. Neither Sister nor Bean ever cared for a pacifier. (I did offer one sometimes if all else failed to soothe their screams, but it was always rejected with outrage.) Sweet P is very different. She nurses plenty, but when she doesn't have a booby in her mouth, she also likes her little rubber plug. She's even discovered that I often keep one in her car seat in the dining room so as to never be without one in the car. She'll sometimes get this look in her eyes in the middle of whatever she's doing--today it was me playing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" with her--and she'll crawl off to find that spare. She pops it into her mouth and looks so pleased with being able to help herself that I don't have the heart to take it away.

But I think she might be developing a little oral dependency now. For the last week she's been waking up 5 or 6 times a night as if she were a newborn. She doesn't appear to be teething anymore--that was three weeks ago and teeth numbers 5 and 6 finally came in on her upper gums with no more inflammation anywhere in her mouth. I think it's just that in her dimly night-lit room, she can't find her freakin' pacifier. I nurse her to sleep and generally put her down without incident. But when she wakes up a couple of hours later, I give her the bink and it puts her right back to sleep--'til it falls out. Again and again.

At 4:00 this morning, after waking up to retrieve it for her several times, it finally dawned on me that I was being used. Finally, I know, but I was tired as hell, okay? I told Husband--who at last registered that perhaps he should take a turn getting up--to just look in on her but not give her the damn plug anymore. He did just that, but when he left the room Sweet P screamed for quite some time afterwards. I'm not even sure if it was constant or if she dozed off. I was such a zombie at that point that I slept (fitfully) through whatever fuss she might have been making before getting up to nurse her at 4:45 when I heard her yet again.

Do you ever get the feeling that a good night's sleep is the modern holy grail? I'm going to stop giving her the pacifier at night, I think, in the hopes that a cold turkey approach will end this awful new nighttime routine of hers within a few days. I'm so tired of being so tired!


Manhattan Mama said...

I'm 5 years past nursing and I still think a good night's sleep is the Holy if I can only explain to my 1st grader that gremlins don't live in the bathroom at night - and she can go by herself!

Mama D said...

I read this after having a particularly bad sleep myself. Yes. A good nights sleep. I never fully appreciated them when I had the opportunity.

Baby B enjoys a soother as well. I'm hoping she'll find her thumb like her sister though. And although everyone reminds me that you can't throw their thumb in the garbage I remind THEM that they can find their thumb when they need it.

I'll deal with the thumb sucking issue when I need to.

kat said...

yes, charlie did the exact same thing. the pros - he was easily weaned off the night nursing with the pacifier. all he really wanted to do was suck, and the pacifier was enough for him. the cons - he woke up at least two or three times a night because he couldn't find the bink. it would only take a second for me to get up, put it in his mouth, and go back to bed, but it was disrupted sleep nonetheless.

as for our theo, he sometimes needs it to get to sleep but i make sure that as soon as he is asleep, i slowly disengage it from his mouth and remove it from a place where he might roll over on it and he sleeps right through until it's time to nurse. don't know if this will work for sweet p at this point, though.

if you can live through the crying, i say go for withdrawal sooner than later. . . charlie still uses his bink in the bed. we've been waiting to complete the transition time as we introduced theo into our lives, but i think within the next month or so, it's gonna be cold turkey for him as well.

to sum - i really have a love/hate relationship with those damn plastic plugs. . .

Suburban Gorgon said...

Ugh. My brother had that trouble with his son for a while too. The Kraken had her thumb, which at least she couldn't lose in the bed, but we just now are getting her weaned off of that, because there was no way to take it away from her.

Beth said...

my boys loved their binkies...Evan was almost 3 before we took it away from him!

that's why I think they should always have their thunbs...but then they suck their thumbs even when they're 26.....but at least they can't lose it and can soothe themselves in the middle of the night.

and sleep WILL get better...once all the kids are outta the house.