I am putting an end to twiddling. When Baby V nurses, she has a very annoying “free hand behavior” that I have mentioned before. She pinches and rolls my other nipple between her thumb and index finger. More often than not, she has fingernails like little razor blades and this “free hand behavior” is very painful. Excruciating. Last night she wanted to nurse every hour. Along with nursing, she twiddles my free nipple (there’s no freedom for my nipples), not only causing pain, but encouraging the milk to flow from that side as well. The result is a sticky mess all over me, her, and the bed.
I’ve let it go on because I’ve been afraid she’ll wake up if I don’t let her do it. It sounds ridiculous that I’ve put up with it, but sleep deprivation makes one do bizarre things. Last night, around 2 a.m. after almost constant nursing from 8:00 that included painful twiddling. I had ENOUGH!!!
I had to get up with my baby at 2 a.m. and stay up with her until almost 4. She was BESIDE HERSELF with anger, sadness, and frustration (I think) that she couldn’t have her twiddling. I covered my free nipple (FREE AT LAST) with my hand and she pulled at my hand, tried to wedge her hand under it, scratched at it and wailed the saddest, most pathetic cry. But I didn’t give in. I was too angry and in too much pain. I’m all for baby-led most things (weaning, sleep, feeding), but I’m starting to feel like my young child is a little dictator. She’s not an infant anymore, and I’ve decided that she can handle a little disappointment in her life. I’m willing to tough it out and have some bad nights. Odie was awake with insomnia anyway, so he wasn’t getting any extra sleep disturbance. He’s had it pretty easy anyway. He’s never had the night shift even once her whole life.
She didn’t stop nursing every hour. I think she has a new tooth coming in because THANK GOD that is not typical behavior. But I kept my hand protectively over my breast and prevented her twiddling even after we’d gone to bed. Usually in the morning between 6 and 9, she dozes and nurses in bed with me, twiddling away. Today, she still did the former, tried desperately to do the latter, but stayed asleep. I have faith that this will work. If I’m lucky, she’ll attach to a “transitional object” because sleep training is in her future, just three short weeks away…