Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | January 28, 2011


I am so fucking exhausted. I feel almost as tired as I did a year ago, when Birdie was a newborn. Her sleeping has gone to total shit. My nipples are nearly as wrecked as they were then too. No, she’s not “biting” exactly, but her sharp little teeth keep scraping my nipples and leaving indentations, and last night I discovered that there are actual scabs! On my nipples! After reading everything I can about it on the kellymom and la leche league websites, toddler teeth scraping is common and I think I need to work on her latch again. Sometimes it hurts and sometimes it doesn’t and I don’t exactly know what the difference is. All I know is that it is frustrating for her and me. At naptime yesterday, both of us were in tears when I kept trying to get her to relatch so it didn’t hurt.

This may be the beginning of the end of nursing for us. I had intended to nurse a few months longer at least, or stop when she wanted to, but I can’t take this continued sleep deprivation and nursing pain. I dread nursing lately. It makes me anxious, anticipating the pain. Her weight gain is okay now and she is eating pretty well, but I felt better about knowing she was still getting the nutrition of breast milk, since she still won’t drink much in the way of cow or soy milk. She will probably be fine physically if she weans now. She still gets a lot of comfort from nursing though, and it is her primary way to get to sleep, which concerns me.

I don’t know what is going on with her sleep. Last night she was asleep by 8:30, up at 9:00, 9:30, 10:30, 1:00, 4:00 and 6:30 for the day. I don’t know what her problem is. She is finally better from colds and ear infections. It could be teething still, but damn, how long can this shit drag out? She’s been working on 3 new teeth (teeth 6, 7 and 8), and one on the bottom finally cut through, but the two new ones on the top are still there, bulging and threatening to cut through. It has been weeks. I was giving her ibuprofen before bed, and that didn’t seem to help anything, and really, how many consecutive nights in a row should you really give that stuff for suspected teething?

I don’t know what to do. I nurse her probably twice a night now and the other times rock her back to sleep, or if I am really lucky, I pat her back and she settles down easily. There are times that she settles herself back down, but that’s maybe 1/5 of the time. I don’t have the heart to do cry it out. I just can’t. She is a stubborn little girl and WILL throw up if she cries enough, and I can’t stand the thought of her sitting in her crib covered in puke and me ignoring her, not knowing she has thrown up. I checked out some books from the library on sleep, including the no cry sleep solution one. Maybe that will help. Things have been extra crappy because S hurt his back over the weekend and can’t pick her up, so I’m on my own at night for the time being.

This isn’t helping my cause of wanting to try again!



  1. I know nothing about the nursing, but the sleeping– we’ve been there! Colby is finally settling into a routine of only up once or twice a night, but there was a LONG stretch where he was up every 30-90 minutes on the dot. And I can’t let him cry it out either– the thought just breaks my heart and he does the cry/cough/puke thing too which is awful. (MUCH more awful to bathe a crying baby at 2am than to rock a little!)

    Anyways, he was waking up when he wasn’t even teething– and he knew that Mommy = Rock and soothe and maybe even in bed with us. Daddy = More patting back to sleep. SO I had to enlist my hubby (who NEVER did any of the bedtime stuff AT ALL from day one) to go in some times just to soothe him in the crib (because he won’t stay in the crib without screaming if I am there- there is no way I can do the pat-to-sleep). I know right now you can’t do that… but it’s the only thing that sort of saved us.

    It’s getting better, but we have our nights of pure torture too. I read the SLeep Solutions book cover to cover twice– and though I liked the ideas in teh book, I never really used them (because when I read it back when Colby was 8ish months we were in a period of okay sleep and I didn’t think I really “needed it”.)

    But my whole point is that my favorite part of the book was that the general message is to do what works for YOU and your baby. Not what other people tell you is right or what you “think” you should be doing. That calmed me down a little as I realized it is okay to still rock him, it’s okay to bring him into bed, it’s okay to give him a middle of the night drink if it calms him down. Whatever it takes to get some sleep. So don’t beat yourself up if you have to stop nursing (I am SO envious tha tyou lasted more than 1 year!!!) or whatever you need to do to get some sleep. 🙂

  2. I am on my second cup of coffee, and am exhausted too. Last night Peter went to sleep at 8 30, was up at 9 30, 12, and umm, again some time in there and then up for the day at 5 30. It was awful. I was so excited because he was sleeping really well, but it is in the toilet over here too. My book says that it can be separation anxiety, and also if Birdie is learning or about to learn a new skill. So maybe she is going to talk more? I know she walking already.

    If it helps, you are not alone. I am so tired and FINALLY Peter is asleep and the house is a huge mess. I cannot imagine finding the energy to clean it.

    We are still breastfeeding, sometimes Peter bites and LAUGHS. Nice. I give up my body for 19 months and he laughs. He pinches my nipples too. Sometimes is seems like he is clenching his jaw around my nipple.

    I feel like I am always complaining about my dirty house and exhaustion. But it’s true dammit. I cannot believe how little time I have. Or energy.

  3. I really feel for you. H did this same thing at six months and even then it was horrible to revert back to the newborn days. So I can’t imagine at this point….

    I really resisted the CIO thing too. What we did was kind of a happy medium — more of the Weissbluth approach. We did ultimately have to let H cry some, but we did it in a loving way, going in every few minutes at first and then spacing it out more. What convinced me was that we really needed to teach him how to self-soothe, because waking several times a night, every night, is more disruptive to their sleep — and thus to their learning, brain development, etc. — than a couple of rough nights of sleep training. It took H two nights and now he sleeps 7-7. Almost every single night. Every once in a while he will still wake in the night but it is very rare at this point.

    Ultimately you absolutely have to do what feels right for your family. I hope you get some relief soon, on all fronts!

    BTW, I don’t know if this will be helpful to you or if you’ll think I’m nuts for doing it…but when we were having such a hard time, we did a “sleep consult” through the parenting center here in the Boston area. I think it was around $80 but what we got was a customized plan that addressed both our needs in terms of what was going wrong and our philosophy/comfort level as parents. I mention it because it was all done by phone, so you could use our person too, regardless of where you live. She’ll talk to you and assess what’s going on and then “prescribe” a plan. Before I had a baby I would have thought this was insane/snake oil/coddling for yuppie parents but I am a true believer now that we are getting regular sleep around here. Her name is Meg Casano and you could either book it through Isis Parenting or through her private company, There may be someone near you, too, but just thought I’d pass it on in case you find it useful.

  4. Sorry to hear about the rough sleep – no advice here, as (knock on wood) we’ve been lucky so far.
    I hear you on the sore nipples though, even if mine come from the constant pumping rather than BFing. I’m guessing the pump is a little easier on them? Still have blood blisters that won’t go away to show for it though.
    Hope things improve for you on both fronts very soon!

  5. I don’t have any advice. I just know last night on our 3rd awakening for milk my husband said, “so your plan is that after one year old he will just magically start sleeping through the night….” And while that is NOT my plan, I keep holding on that it might get better. But for us it’s ALWAYS something. The teeth never stop, do they? Sorry. I know it’s hard. The night before last was an every 30min-1hour night. It was rough.

    I’m also only pumping now because of the pumping, and I plan to quit at one year. Now that I’ve given up the actual breastfeeding part, it probably won’t be as difficult for me to stop. Though I’m still sad about it, especially at 3am when I have to actually heat up a bottle now as opposed to just sticking a boob in his mouth.

    Have you been to the La Leche League website? It helped me a ton with issues along the way.

  6. I meant I’m only pumping because of the biting……

  7. hmmmm…this is tough. i did a modified CIO where i went in and checked and patted but didn’t pick up. it worked well for us and no one really lost their mind. the first night was the “worst”. now for the most part they sleep through the night. before that they were still getting up to nurse all of the time. the doc told me that we really just needed to stop. that they didn’t need to wake up to eat anymore. i suppose that is what i needed to hear. the thing is that the whole process just sucks. it would be nice to be blessed with at least SOMETHING easy, right?

  8. Sorry Birds. We went though some awful wakefulness for a couple of months and I’m still not sure how I survived it.

    The breastfeeding thing is just so tough. I cannot tell the difference between an incorrect latch and a good one but looking. It’s mm of difference between the two and it’s amazing that just a tiny difference can equal big pain. But I hate relatching when something goes wrong too. It’s all just so tough sometimes. And then to be sleep deprived too makes things awful.

    When we were having our awful wakeful problems with Michael we had to split the duty on taking care of him for the good of all of us. It was pretty clear that sending me in all the time was probably not helping since Mommy=Awesome. So our nighttime routine involved me putting him down at 7, a dream feeding at 10:30 and then if he woke before 2am it was DH’s responsibility since it shouldn’t have been a hunger issue. Then I’d resume duty after that and then sometimes DH would take over around 4:30 or 5:00 if it was especially rough that night. I know you probably feel like it’s all your job since your a SAHM but when S is back up to it again it might make it better for everyone in the long run to split the duties if the current arrangement is just not working.

    We also have tried CIO several times. Michael is a puker too… oh god, does that kid know how to puke. Luckily we have the video monitor so we can tell, but I understand not wanting her to be in vomit. We were unsuccessful with CIO most of the times we attempted it. Then I tried Celia’s suggestion to go in and come back out very quickly and it worked. Then I tried it again and he puked and it was game over. So no magic bullets there.

    I was going to ask you, you’ve probably already tried this, but have you given Birdie Boost or Pediasure yet? Those might work to get her drinking better.

  9. i’m so sorry. i wish i had some great advice for you but i don’t. birdie is a year old, it seems like with how difficult nursing has been for you that you have gone above and beyond, i would have given up long ago. i’m not going to tell you to stop nursing but i’m not going to tell you to keep nursing either, you need to do what is right for you and birdie and you need to know that whatever your decision is, it’s ok.

  10. I hope it’s getting better! How are you and Birdie doing?

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