Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Who knew...

When my mom had my two youngest brothers, I was in high school. Maybe it was because I wasn't responsible for their full time care but they seemed like such easy babies. Taking care of Cayden is making me realize that there is so much I didn't know and probably still don't know. Breastfeeding sounded simple enough but I've learned that you have to make sure they're latched on properly, that they nurse for a certain amount of time, that they nurse on each breast, that you're pumping when you're not able to breastfeed...yadayadayada. I always thought that as long as they're sucking, they're eating. Wrong. Apparently, some babies like to comfort nurse. I've just realized that my boy has such a strong sucking reflex that he has spent quite a bit of time using my nipple as a pacifier when I thought he was nursing. I had no idea. We also got into the habit of him falling asleep on the breast. Now he won't fall asleep on his own. I'm started trying to put him down to sleep when he's sleepy but not asleep. He cries and sticks his hands and fingers in his mouth to suck on because he needs it to feel soothed. Surprisingly, he still will not take a pacifier. He's still holding out for the breast.

Although I try to be strong and not put him back on the breast sometimes he cries so frantically that I cave and put him on the breast hoping that he really is hungry and doesn't just want to comfort nurse. No. He sucks superficially and falls asleep almost immediately. This is what we've been struggling with for the past two weeks. He gets super fussy from about 6 p.m. to 10 or 11 at night and it's so tempting to stick my nipple in his mouth so he'll just go to sleep but I know that will just start another cycle of him sucking on my nipple for hours and crying when I try to remove the nipple and put him down to sleep. He's wonderful during the day but there's just something about night time.

Did I mention that he hates to sleep in his crib? He hates to sleep on his back. He hates having his diaper changed. He hates his sponge baths. I would love to give him a real bath but he still cries when I sponge bathe him so I can only imagine how he would react if I submersed him in water.

Despite all this, I still think he is a wonderful baby and I feel lucky to have him. We'll work through the comfort nursing thing and all those other issues I'm sure. I just thought that caring for a baby would be a lot more straightforward than I'm experiencing. They cry. You feed them, burp them, change them and they stop crying. Wrong again!

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