Everyone, meet Jonathan…
He’s my ten and a half month old son, and the third child for my hubby and I. He is all kinds of yummy and super sweet. He is totally a chill dude, fearless, bubbly and so so smart already!
Funny thing is, you would think after birthing 3 babies now, I’d have enough experience to deal with most basic parental hurdles but y’aaalllll…. that is not the case! My baby, my sweet sweet baby, has thrown me for a loop. I feel like I’m back at square one. Here are my 3 main issues right now:
- He refuses to drink from bottles (breast only for this guy)
- He eats almost no food! I’m lucky if I can get him to eat a teaspoon of anything
- He will not sleep through the night and has moved into our bed most nights
Excuse me while I go pull out my hair….
So… How did this even happen? Shouldn’t I have figured out by now how to get past these issues??? Guys. Let me tell you that I’ve been frustrated more times than I’d like to admit and honestly just feel like I’m failing at momming. My 2 older boys were both mostly breastfed during their first year, however, they took bottles no problem. They both started eating food at 4 months old and it’s like I couldn’t feed them fast enough they loved it. Although they didn’t sleep through the night at the same age, they both at least slept in their cribs easily and smoothly transitioned to sleeping for longer and longer periods. Even with them, I had my challenges but nothing compared to this little guy…
I can’t even be mad at him, he’s really such a good boy and so stinkin’ cute! (biased mom here who thinks her kids are just the creme of the crop). So, let’s look more into issue #1:
He Refuses To Drink From Bottles!
This may be my fault but I’m being totally honest here. My first 2 boys were given bottles from the time they were born and I believe that’s why there was no issues with them. Before I ever had kids, I heard stories of kids who were attached to their moms breast and could not even take a bottle for a few hours so their mama could go out or do things without having to take their baby everywhere. With me having my first baby at 23, I knew I did not want that to be my life. My husband and I were (and still are) young and I felt it was important to be able to have time away from our kids and I definitely couldn’t do that if my babies was strictly breastfed. On top of that, I couldn’t see how I could do basic things like running errands or going back to work with a baby who didn’t take bottles, so I made sure to get my boys used to it from day one. I pumped and they got their bottles often enough that they didn’t mind switching from one to the other whenever I felt to do so. It especially helped when my husband, or anyone else for that matter, gave me a helping hand with them. Now I didn’t end up doing the exact same thing with my little Jonathan and I think it’s because I was in a different head space. He got maybe 2 or 3 bottles within his first few days but I think I was especially overwhelmed by having my 2 preschoolers at home with me who still needed my attention of course. Also, moving recently from another province and still taking eons to unpack and organize everything didn’t help. On top of that, a huge factor was the day after my baby was born, my grandmother passed away. It was a devastating moment of my life and the fact that it happened at the time when I’m already emotionally fragile and physically weak was the icing on the cake. Those factors among other things made the first few weeks/months of Jonathan’s life a bit more difficult for me than usual. Once things settled down, I couldn’t get him to drink from a bottle at all. I’ve tried at least 4 types of bottles, even 2 types of sippy cups so far and no luck. Then I decided I would take a day to withhold all breastfeeding from him and leave him with no other option but to drink from a bottle. We ended up having a day where for hours I didn’t breastfeed him and he cried, he kicked, he screamed and I stood my ground… but then, after several hours of his resistance I gave in, as stubborn as he is, I didn’t have the heart to let him go any longer without milk especially since he doesn’t eat food. So I gave in and now feel like this battle will never end (okay, I know eventually it’ll end but at this moment I do not see the light at the end of the tunnel.) Which brings me to issue #2
He Eats Almost No Food!
Grrrr…. like, how… why???
Guys I know the rule is not to start with sweet or fruity foods but I tried y’all. I tried cereals, all kinds of veggies, all kinds of fruits and nada. When he got a little older his doctor said, he pretty much can eat anything we eat. “give him peanut butter on toast, eggs, pasta.” he said. I did guys, I did. And he might taste things here and there, take 2 or 3 baby spoonfuls of food but then he pushes it away and shuts his mouth so tight. Now, he is gaining weight normally and is seemingly healthy despite his resistance to food but I know the older he gets, the less my breast milk will be sufficient enough to fill him. He has certain things he will taste and looove like those baby cookies or an avocado or piece of chicken, but the next day… he will refuse that very thing that he loved the day before… like, seriously dude? Sigh…Issue #3…
He Will Not Sleep Through The Night!
Now this issue I know a lot of parents can relate to, and I am curious to know what methods worked for you? For my first 2 boys, I ferberized them which basically means when it’s time for bed, we put them down in their crib and even though they cry, we leave them in their crib to cry it out until they fall asleep (and you periodically check on them every few minutes so they know you’re still there). This method is, to some parents, harsh; and trust me its never fun to hear your baby cry! But because I knew it was for their good, we got through it. The older 2 took a few nights to transition and within no time they were sleeping in their cribs, through the night, putting themselves to sleep. This method is NOT working with Jonathan and I think it may have to do with the fact that he’s not full enough in the night. I also think that he’s so addicted to my breast now that he uses it as a pacifier as well. I wake up so many times in the night that I feel like a walking zombie most of the time. I am so drained of energy daily, and even though I am usually able to push past my fatigue, some days it catches up to me and I feel totally useless. This isn’t fair to my other kids or my husband either. I don’t perform well for my family and although I know they all love me regardless, I need change. Both my husband and I wake up often and I feel like i’m going crazy going on 11 months of little to no sleep. I’m grateful though at least all three boys are happy and healthy and even though Jonathan wakes up often, he still seems to get good sleep. If not at night, he gets good naps in the day.
So… to all my fellow mamas out there who can relate to some or all of these issues, how did you overcome these hurdles? I know at the end of the day all kids are different and his personality reminds me of how awesome God is. He makes each of us so unique and perfect in our own way. Jonathan is going to continue to grow and I will grow in patience along the way. But any advice that you have is truly appreciated because as awesome as little people are, they need to be guided in the right direction and I am running out of ideas!
As Always, Hugs & Love ❤
Lilly at Home