October 28, 2008

Crying it out, Bedtime and Breastfeeding

So, here's the thing. Pretty much the only way that L can get to sleep is if I nurse her to sleep. This is a alright for the most part, except for the fact that it means I pretty much have to be around every night. It can also be hard because, truth be told, I don't really like breastfeeding.

Okay, breastfeeding - it's super easy, it's super quick, it's super good for mom and baby. It creates a bond, it soothes, studies show it makes kids healthier and smarter. Breastfeeding is pretty much an absolute GOOD. But it makes for a LOT of personal contact and often, by the end of the day, I am ready to not hold my daughter any more. It's not that I don't love her, or think she's absolutely wonderful and adorable, it's just that I want to not have to touch anyone.

So that's my little secret. As much of a breastfeeding activist that I am, I don't love doing it.

Because of all that, Travis and I recently decided to try getting L to sleep by being rocked or just held. But the new bedtime routine of dinner (cereal), bath, book and cuddle hasn't been working very well and in the end, after much fussing, I just end up nursing her anyways.

Last night, though, we decided to try "Crying it out." It was clear that she was tired when we put her in the crib but after 50 minutes she was still crying and I felt like a JERK. (We did the method where you go back and soothe without picking up after certain periods of time.) But in the end I picked her up, apologized for leaving her alone, asked for her forgiveness, let her snuggle into my chest and eventually nursed her to sleep.

I'm not quite sure if we're succeeding as parents in this area or failing, but I think it just depends on which camp you ask. I do know this, it will be awhile before we try "crying it out" again, if we ever do.

Any words of encouragement or advice?


  1. http://www.kellymom.com/

    check it out...

  2. Gosh, I know how you feel. Except with me, by the end of the day I wasn't just sick of Landon pulling and grabbing at me, but it caused a little problem with me and Justin because I didn't want him pulilng or grabbing at me! As far as the sleeping thing goes, you will figure out what is best for you and Lydia. That's one of the hardest things about having an infant (in my opinion)...figuring out what works and what he/she wants!

  3. Ohh, I can relate all right. You do what you do.

    I finally made the decision to give myself 100% to her and what she needed for the first 12 months. After that? No more night feedings period.

    So, at 13 months I let her cry herself to sleep and it was the first time in 13 months I had had decent sleep!

  4. Ah yes, not only do we lose our bodies while we're pregnant but they're still not ours while we're breastfeeding! Don't feel bad for not loving it, of course you love and know that you're doing the best thing possible for Lydia by nursing her, but that doesn't mean you have to do it happily all the time. It takes a toll on you physically and emotionally. And I agree with your friend, I didn't want one more person touching me by the end of the day! Our poor husbands.

    You really do just have to find what works for you, and if that means nursing her to sleep for the first year then so be it. I nursed Jonah to sleep for the whole 9 months that I breast fed and then we still rocked him to sleep until he was a year old. Then we had a few rough nights of him crying for awhile but it really didn't take long.

    I'm not going to stress about it as much this time around with Noah, I'm just going to find what works and what lets me get the most sleep! :)

  5. I SOOO know what you mean about not wanting to touch anyone at the end of the day. I get to feeling so suffocated by one nursing and the other one wanting to sit on my lap at the end of the day that it makes me so irritable. However, I do like the fact that Hudson nurses to sleep, because it is (usually) so easy to get him to sleep. I can't do the cry it out because it bothers me to hear him. August was a good sleeper so this is new territory for me as well. Keep hanging in there and do what works. You wont' be creating any bad habits so don't worry about that. I will say that sometimes rocking with a pacifier can do the trick. I'm going to do that now, actually :-)

  6. We had the same struggles. Nursing her to sleep only led to her waking up upset that she wasn't still in my arms. We transitioned from bedtime nursing to a pacifier, and then she had an easy time getting rid of the pacifier. My nerves couldn't handle crying it out. What worked for Elie was a consistent bedtime routine. Bath, followed by milk and reading with Dad, then locking doors and turning off lights, then bed. It's just a matter of figuring out what works best. Hope it gets better soon.