Why Can’t Someone Just TELL ME What to Do?!?

Argh! We’re still struggling with sleep. And I’m not convinced Boopsie is drinking enough during the day to allow her to cry-it-out. I’m just not sure and I wish someone would just TELL ME what the right thing to do here is.

Almost never having a clear answer has been such a struggle for me since Boopsie was born. I’m always wondering what the “right” thing to do is. I wrestle with the idea that there is no single right answer. More than that, I worry that there are several wrong ones, and I’ll make things unnecessarily bad or unpleasant for her (or me, or Daddy-o).

I reached out to her doctor through the fancy e-mail-ish system they use at the clinic. (Side note: Love It! Though I’m not so sure the Dr. loves me being able to e-mail in complicated questions.)

Anyway, this is what I sent:

Hi Dr. X –
I have some questions about Boopsie sleeping and eating. Let me know if this is too much to answer/cover and I should make an appointment.
The questions:
1) How do I know if/when I can eat dairy again? She’s 7.5 months old. Do I need to wait until she’s no longer breast feeding?
2) I’d really like to eliminate the middle-of-the-night feeding (3 or 4 a.m.), but am afraid she’ll go hungry. Right now she eats anywhere from 8-20 minutes (usually somewhere around 15). Does that mean she really needs it and I shouldn’t try to eliminate it?

Other possibly pertinent info:
– She eats 2 meals a day (LOVES eating food) and gets a mix of formula and breast milk
– She’s recently started rejecting bottles at day care. Can’t figure that out, but she’s been drinking about 4-8 ounces the whole day there.
– She goes to bed at about 7 p.m., wakes up to get fed (or we feed her) between 9 and 11 p.m.
– She weighs 15 lb 4 oz (as of last week).

So – do you think it’s safe to try and get rid of that middle-of-the-night feeding? Any suggestions (or warnings against) of how we should go about it? We’ve been considering “cry it out,” but I’m really afraid it won’t work and she’ll end up “damaged.”

Thanks,
Me

And this is what I received back:

Hi!

I think the only way to know if she has trouble when you eat dairy is for you to try eating dairy and then see how she does — it may no longer be an issue for her.

How often babies need to feed can vary. If she eats at 9 pm and then wakes at 4 am, she may very well be hungry, whereas if she ate at 11, then wakes at 3, I’d expect her not be so much. You won’t scar her for life by trying to let her cry it out, but she’ll let you know pretty quickly if she’s just a little fussy and having a hard time settling herself back down to sleep, or livid and really hungry. You could try giving her a little food at that evening feed, to hold her over longer.

Little Happy Elf

Okay, maybe not THIS elf, but wouldn't some specific guidance be nice?

As with so many other aspects of parenting, there is not necessarily one best way — it varies depending on baby’s (and parents’) personality.

Try something for a few days and see how it goes, let me know. Hang in there, spring is here! I am pretty sure that everyone sleeps better when they get more fresh air. Good luck!

*Big Sigh* So I’m just supposed to try eating dairy and see if it gives her a tummy ache. Experiment?!?! On My CHILD?!?! And maybe she’s truly hungry and maybe she’s not? Crap! Not the guidance I was hoping for, even though Dr. X herself points out that, “As with so many other aspects of parenting, there is not necessarily one best way.” Intellectually I agree with that. Emotionally, I wish there was a magical elf on my shoulder telling me the right thing to do…

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