Known Johnson

September 19, 2005

Nipple confusion, the sequel

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 11:26 am

Amanda is turning out to be as picky as her parents – no surprise there, of course. Following the successful initiation of being bottle-fed last week, and after Saturday night’s game where we left her with the in-laws (and where she proceeded to eat like we starve her, apparently,) we found out that not just any old nipple-shaped item will soothe.

Last night, after many hours awake, hoping she would finally fall asleep, and after quite a few breast-feedings, Alissa just had to give up – there’s only so many hours mom can handle feeding, and Alissa’s heroic efforts were draining her in more ways than one. It was clear that Amanda wasn’t hungry anymore – how could she be after eating over and over again for half the night? – but that she simply wanted something to do. The thing is, being three weeks old and all, she really doesn’t have many options on what to do. There’s sleeping – that’s preferable, and there’s eating, which is preferrable for a while, and there’s crying, which is decidedly not preferable. There’s also a hidden fourth option that she exercises every once in a while, which is “crying and flailing limbs about completely at random.” Amanda chose this option last night.

In our ER experience a couple weeks ago, the doctor and nurses suggested a pacifier to soothe her when nothing else would. And, as with a plumber, car mechanic, etc., the simplest solution they offer is the one that works in their shop . . . until you need it to work on your own. So, fussy as she was last night, we shoved (delicately) first one pacifier in her mouth, which she promptly spat out (Alissa reports that it actually was truly spat out and had a trajectory like a pop-fly ball – fast and narrow. Another type simply worked its way out of her mouth, even if we tried gently holding it in there. She wasn’t having any of it.

Finally, I figured, “hey, if she loves feeding from the bottle, why not try one of those nipples?” I grabbed one, stuck it in her mouth, and she happily sucked away at it. The only problem: being an open-nipple, she was gorging herself on air, which is not a good thing unless you really dig lots of burping-action. The solution was simple – plug it with a fingertip. Unfortunately, she really enjoyed this and just wanted to suck at the nipple . . . for a long time. And so I sat until after midnight, one arm propping her up, the other angled oddly so I could keep a finger blocking the nipple. She wasn’t tired, but she was content. After a while, Alissa simply had to take her because I couldn’t keep my eyes open much longer – and I had a long drive to and from work in the morning.

The success of this makeshift pacifier means I’m going to have to adapt one of the bottle-nipples for this use. I’m not sure what to block the nipple hole with that can’t be sucked into her mouth, but I’m going to figure out a way to attach a strap . . .

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