2.19.2013

How I Broke My Baby (or Her Teeth Anyway)


It is hard for me to admit this but it is true – I broke my baby. I said this to my husband one night and his reply was, “no dear, she broke you.”


Baby number two was and is so much harder for me than baby number one. If we had her first, we would have stopped. One minute I am beside myself and next I am in awe of her. I have to tell you, I constantly wonder what God was thinking making me a mom. I am thankful (most days) that he did but I really have to wonder about his line of thinking. For instance, how I ruined her teeth.

Small Brown Spots?  What!

Baby Girl had a small brown spot on her front tooth and since it was time for them to see the dentist anyway, we figured we should get them in sooner rather than later. To my horror Baby Girl’s two front teeth had tooth decay! Tooth decay!


Needless to say she was taken to a pediatric specialist and we have two options: pull them or fill them and it depends on the damage. If the tooth decay goes to the nerve than they get yanked out and she will be toothless till her adult teeth come in and that could be years. If the damage is not to sever than they can be filled and she will have teeth till they fall out naturally.

How did this happen?

Well, our dentist says it is because we nurse at night. And I admit, I not only nurse at night but I also fall asleep while nursing. I know that this is bad and I don’t do it on purpose but I was just always so damn tired.

Baby Girl is a terrible sleeper and she refused to sleep in her crib or bed. By refuse, I mean she will cry. And cry. And cry. Sure, I tried to let her cry it out but by the fourth hour and no one has slept I gave in and became a co-sleeping family. She will be three in March so my goal is to get her in her own bed before her birthday.


Still, nursing at night...

In case you missed it, yes she will be three and we still nurse at night. She doesn't want to stop and who am I to stop her? Don't get me wrong – I do not want to nurse anymore. But, she does. I will probably be sad when it is finally over but right now, I do want my body back. More importantly, I need her to be able to sleep through the night without wanting to nurse.

Now, she does not always want to nurse at night but she does always want to nurse before bed and sometimes in the morning before we get up and start our day. As far as that middle of the night nursing, I try to avoid it but it is mostly for comfort. The poor dear has night terrors from time to time and she has a tendency to wake up in the middle of the night and not go back to sleep. This is where we get into trouble. If I nurse her, I will fall back to sleep. Because, I fall back to sleep she will stay latched. I may be the only mom that is begging her two year old to use a binky. Neither kid would use one but only Baby Girl still needs it.

I did not have any of these problems with my C-man. And, to the ridicule of others, yes, he slept with a bottle. It was usually filled with water and it was the best way to keep him asleep in his crib. Now, he did not have it in his mouth the entire time but it was always in reach. He still has a glass of water in reach now for when he wakes in the middle of the night.

This might not be because we nurse at night?

There were many nights that I put him down with some milk and he never had problems with his teeth. So, I looked it up. As it turns out, even if I didn't fall asleep while nursing she might have had problems. Maybe not as bad but in an effort to understand what I did wrong I turned to KellyMom.com and found: Is Breastfeeding Linked to Tooth Decay?

Kellymom.com has helped me out so much over the last *gulp* three years and I really don’t know what I would have done without her insight. Today is no different. Studies show that that she may be genetically predisposed to soft enamel and that breast milk itself did not cause the tooth decay but other outside influences such as juice and not brushing her teeth enough are to blame, not nursing at night.

This makes sense because The Husband had his teeth pulled as a toddler for the same reason!  I could not bring myself to ask if he was breast fed or had night nursing sessions but I am going to guess no.  It was the 70's and formula was all the rage. 

We now brush twice a day, and she drinks a cup of water after each meal.  Not sure if her sweet teeth will be pulled or not, yet.  We find out later this week so - fingers crossed!

And, maybe I didn’t break my baby.


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