My baby is not a sleeper. He doesn’t nap much and sleeping at night is a challenge now, too. Mommy is a sleeper. She loves to sleep. So this lack of sleeping on Baby G’s part is well, sad. Now, let me just say upfront, my sleep troubles may be another person’s sleep paradise, so if you’re all “Holy shit, bitch, at least you’re getting sleep in hours not minutes!” I’m so sorry. I know it could be worse, but I think it could be better, too.
OK, Baby G WAS only getting up once there for a while and it was lovely. Then he started getting up twice, then three times, then for about a week he’s been getting up four times a night. Like a newborn. Only he’s 20 weeks old. Which is not a newborn. And also, when he was a newborn he was only getting up 3 times. I don’t have memories of being sleep deprived during the first couple of months (outside of the first couple of days when he wouldn’t sleep in the bassinet). However, as he gets older his sleep is seeming to become more broken. Also, he’s not a napper. I’m lucky if he takes two one hour naps during the day. So, it’s not like he’s reverse cycling, or on a 24 hour schedule or anything.
I have been contemplating giving him a little cereal before bed for the last couple of weeks thinking that the night waking is hunger. G has been adamantly opposed. Which is weird considering that all of his info on the subject of when to start solids came from me. He is worried about Baby G being “so big.” (Which just pisses me right off, because at his 4 month check up, done at 19 weeks, Baby G was 90th percentile for length and 75th percentile for weight, which put him at roughly 35th percentile weight for length, which means he is TALL but not fat, which means he is the GOOD kind of big.) My own hesitations on the cereal front were more to do with whether or not his gut had closed and with the emotional toll of losing one more “baby” thing. I’m having a hard time with each and every step he takes away from being a baby. Plus, all of the breastfeeding books say if you give your baby anything at all other than breast milk before 6 months you are a bad mother and your baby’s intestines will be scarred for life and he’ll be allergic to everything and you failed.
The pediatrician (the very pro breast feeding pediatrician) said “He doesn’t NEED any other food or nutrition until six months (well, except the AAP recommended vitamins), because breast milk is a complete/perfect food, but if he seems hungry and overly interested in your food, there’s no harm in letting him try a little cereal or baby food at this point.” He always stresses the AAP recommended part of the vitamin recommendation, which makes me wonder if he doesn’t fully agree, but doesn’t want to get into trouble…
So, do I listen to the boob nazi’s or my pediatrician? Last night I chose the pediatrician.
Last night my son ate something other than pure mommy milk for the first time. It was cool and heartbreaking. I pumped 2oz of milk and added 1 tbs of baby oatmeal cereal to it. We tried giving it to him on a spoon first. He mostly blew spit bubbles into it and sprayed it back on me. So, I put it in a bottle. He drank it. (After he remembered how to drink from a bottle, because it’s been that long. I can’t believe we used to be exclusive pumpers and now he gets a pumped bottle MAYBE once every 3 weeks! …Mrs. Gamgee…)
Then he nursed to sleep. Because not only do I have a family bed… I let him nurse to sleep if he wants. I’m just breaking all the sleep rules. And I wonder why my son doesn’t sleep!
Then he slept… for 4 hours. Which is an improvement. But, he still got up three times last night. Still an improvement. But not quite the dramatic waking up to the sun “Holy shit we slept all night!” experiencing I was hoping to get in exchange for ruining my sons intestinal tract and immune system for life. Because seriously, shouldn’t lifelong damage come with a good night’s sleep?