Sunday, November 30, 2008


it seems that i've created a monster. or maybe this is normal and i am just an inexperienced first time mother trying to find a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist. regardless, i know that i am tired. tired of waking up in the middle of the night, and tired of fighting my frustration at having to get up in the middle of the night. on one hand, i realize that jacob is almost solely breastfed and it can be normal for breastfed babies to continue nighttime feedings up until they are a year old. on the other hand, i have also read numerous articles that state a baby over 12 lbs and 4 months of age should be able to sleep thru the night.

i would follow my instincts on this one except that my instincts keep changing. as you can imagine, this just exacerbates the problem because i am not being consistent. when we originally made the choice to let him cry it out, he seemed to follow the normal pattern. the first night was the hardest, the second night was easier, and so on until he didn't wake up at all. but then he woke up again for some reason and i got up with him. then i decided one feeding in the early morning hours was no big deal. then the doctor told me that because he is breastfed it is possible that he is hungry and it is okay to feed him. and then he started getting up multiple times a night again. so now every night i have an internal battle between feeling like i should be feeding my hungry baby and feeling like i should break the cycle.

which leads me to last night when i decided that if nothing else, there is no reason he should be getting up three times and it was time we got back on track. he cried on and off for 2 hours - from 3:15am to 5:15am until i finally gave in and fed him. at first, he would quiet down when i went in to pat his back for a moment and make me think he had fallen back to sleep. then a few minutes later, just as i had fallen back asleep he would start crying again. so was he hungry? i don't know if it's that or if it's a habit and he knew i would come in eventually so he kept crying until i did.

the first night that i let him cry he only cried for an hour and then less each night following. why all of a sudden is he crying for so long? i don't go to him each time he cries so there isn't a pattern on my part as far as that goes, although there should be. either i go in and feed him or i don't. no more of this giving in one time but not another. i need to make up my mind and stick it out, i just can't decide what is right for us. but damn it, something needs to be done or i am going to lose my mind. this really doesn't need to be so difficult, but what if he really is hungry and i neglect to feed him? and how am i supposed to know if that is really the case?

to feed or not to feed. that is the question.


Maternal Mirth said...

Oh, honey, I wish I could help you. I am a 1/2 boob, 1/2 bah-bah mama. The only thing I can suggest is some breast milk mixed with rice cereal (in a bottle, of course) before bedtime.

Call me if you need anything :)

Jason said...

Ya know Rach, it's really simple.

Boys like boobs :) It's perfectly normal for crying to occur when the opportunity to play with boobies is denied. I'm shocked that Mr. Phil hasn't informed you of this little "truth" in a boy's ('s) life.

Hope you get some sleep though!