Friday, April 10, 2009

And Still More about Sleep

So here's where we are with the sleep thing.

It was going swimmingly there for a while. The kid would go down and stay down with a few little bleats of protest punctuating the silence but not turning into full-on screaming hysteria. I was pushing his overnight feed later and later every night, and mostly he was sleeping well past those appointed hours.

And then the teeth. Two more on top, one a little ahead of the other. Tooth A (which is really Tooth E, but whatevs) didn't seem to cause him that much distress. In the past,t he worst pain appeared to happen before the tooth showed itself, and Tooth A erupted without my noticing any difference in his demeanor. But Tooth B, oh my heck. Tooth B was apparently a real byatch, because out of nowhere, his sleep went to hell again. Up every few hours, couldn't be redirected back to sleep, lots of yelling which eventually resulted in my buckling and nursing him, poor little guy.

The day after the third night of this was really bad. I was exhausted. He was a crabtastic crabtacular jumbo lump of crab meat. I was short-tempered. He was short-tempered. The morning began with him biting my nipple and me yelling at him and bursting into tears. The worst part (though I have to say, having your nipple bitten by sharp little fresh baby teeth is pretty bad, and it's hard to name a worse part of any day) was feeling defeated -- not only did it seem like we'd lost the sleep battle it had appeared we'd won, but there was now one less tool in the box, night-weaning having come to naught.

Of course, I hadn't really focused on the teething yet, so all of this seemed like random, unexplainable failure to sleep. Once I realized what was going on and started dosing him with ibuprofen at bedtime, things went a lot more smoothly. I was open to giving him a break and nursing him down when he was having a hard time -- this being a phase requiring mercy rather than a pattern requiring squelching.

But Tooth B is nearly out now, and his daytime mood suggests that he's not suffering anymore, so no more ibuprofen, and no more comfort nursing. I had a plugged duct this morning, so I may do a dream feed before I turn in just in case, but we're going cold turkey till dawn.

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