Thursday, April 10, 2008

Just a little bit of Brady today

While I was cleaning the kitchen, I had some music on. Oftentimes we dance to music together, but usually its to Farmer Tad's Banjo. And most of the time it looks like marching on my part and tiptoeing on his, since I can't dance, and he seems to be picking right up on my lack of talent.

Today I was listening to Pink, while scrubbing dishes. I heard a bit of commotion behind me, but didn't pay much attention, as I have child locks on all of the cabinets with dangerous things.

I looked up to see my son with a stainless steel pan lid in each hand, and the plug and cord from the vacuum cleaner strung through the handle of one of them, marching up and down the living room, on his tippy toes.

Funniest thing I've seen in a while.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Night weaning is KIND OF working

He slept for 5 hours without waking, after going to sleep without nursing and minimal fuss last night!

I'm so tired!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Guilt and Plans

Brady's teeth are rotting out of his head.

He has ECC or early childhood carries. There is a lot of conflicting research regarding the causes of this.

When at 4 months my pediatrician told me to stop night nursing or face tooth decay, I also did a lot of research and found many things saying that the breast does not act like a bottle - ie: will stop flowing when suction stops, and ejects the milk further into the back of the child's mouth/throat than a bottle, and thus did not pose the same risks.

Now that he has been affected, and severely, I'm doing more research.

Apparently infants and toddlers at risk for ECC:


  • Have mothers with untreated dental disease or mothers who have previous experience with dental caries.
  • Have older siblings with high rates of dental disease.
  • Have weak or pitted teeth due to premature birth or to their mothers’ poor diets during pregnancy.
  • Have poor or nonexistent oral hygiene (which may result from limited access to dental services, financial challenges, or resistance by family members due to negative dental experiences in the past).
  • Have a diet high in sugar (refined, added, and natural).
  • Are given bottles at bedtime or naptime, or to modify behavior (e.g., crying).
  • Are breast-fed on demand throughout the night.
  • Are given pacifiers dipped in sugary substances, such as honey.
  • Frequently take sugar-laden medications or oral antibiotic formulations.
"On demand" breastfeeding at night is the major risk factor that applies to my son. He eats a diet rather low in refined sugar, I water his juice 1 to 4 and he drinks very little of it. I had some minor cavities in hich school, but have had excellent dental health since then. We brush his teeth every night before bed, and after all food except breastmilk is consumed.

I found a study where on demand nightnursing in toddlers (>12 mo) was linked to ECC, especially if nursing sessions were longer than 15 minutes.

Right now the plan is as follows:

FIRST: Change Patterns to protect teeth.

Night wean using Dr. Jay Gordon's plan. Basically this involves a 10 day plan. You choose 8 hours timeframe you wish for your child to sleep without nursing. Every time except those 8 hours you nurse him on demand as usual and as you have been. Assume this window is 11-7. I am changing this up a bit, because my concern is his teeth, not the amount of sleep I get. After his final nursing sesio.n we brush his teeth well. Days 1-3 we will give a sip of water after nursing at night, then pat down to sleep. Days 4-6 we will offer water and wipe teeth. Maybe making the all night boobah buffet less convenient, he'll demand less of it?

"At any time before 11 p.m. (including 10:58) nurse to sleep, cuddle and nurse when he wakes up and nurse him back to sleep, but stop offering nursing to sleep as the solution to waking after 11 p.m.. Instead…..

When your baby awakens at midnight or any other time after 11 p.m., hug him, nurse him for a short time but make sure he does not fall asleep on the breast and put him down awake. Rub and pat and cuddle a little until he falls asleep but don't put him back on the breast (or give him a bottle if that's what you've been doing). He must fall asleep with your comfort beside him, but not having to nurse to feel comforted enough to drift off."

The Second Three Nights

Again, the nursing to sleep stops at 11 p.m. When he wakes up, hug him and cuddle him for a few minutes, but do not feed him, put him down awake. Putting him down awake is a crucial part of this whole endeavor because it really does teach him to fall asleep with a little less contact and then a little less. Not feeding is the big change during these three nights. One-year-old babies can easily go for those seven hours (or more) with no calories. They like to get fed a little through the night, but physiologically and nutritionally, this is not a long time to go without food.

If I could wake my wife a few times each night, ask her to squeeze me a little fresh orange juice (my favorite drink) and rub my back while I drank it, I wouldn't choose to voluntarily give up this routine. My wife might have some different ideas and get tired of the pattern quickly. Babies rarely give up their favorite patterns and things -- day or night-- without balking and crying."

The Next Four Nights

Nights seven, eight, nine and ten. Don't pick him up, don't hug him. When he awakens after 11 p.m., talk to him, touch him, talk some more, but don't pick him up. Rub and pat only. No feeding either, obviously. He will fall back to sleep. Repeat the rubbing and talking when he reawakens. By the end of the ninth night, he will be falling back to sleep, albeit reluctantly for some babies and toddlers, with only a rub and a soothing voice.


After these first ten nights, continue to cuddle and feed to sleep if you like and he wants to, but do nothing when he wakes up except to touch a little and talk to him briefly. This may continue for another three or four nights but occasionally keeps going for another week or more. Then . . . it stops. He has learned that he is just as well-loved, gets virtually everything he needs and wants all day, but must give seven hours per night back to his parents and family. "

B. Brush 3 times a day, every day. He really hates this. I hope that eventually it will get easier.

C. Nutrition.
Overview here:
based on the approach of weston price
but summary - Whole raw foods as much as possible. almost quadrouple my calcium consumption, cod liver oil, liver (?!?!), coconut oil. X Factor Gold

D. Xylitol
Turns out this sweetener prevents new and arrests existing cavities.

We will start using xylitol toothpaste and mouthwash and mints. We will purchase this kit asap

Second: Obtain second opinion regarding treatment options. The dentist had a really cool office with kid sized chairs and video games and kid friendly murals painted all over the walls. But she spent a total of 2 minutes (not kidding, I counted) looking at his teeth and proscribing treatment. She did not take xrays, she didn't talk to me about eating habits or anything other than to say "if you nurse at night it caused this" and she left her hygienist to "explain it to her" when she bustled out.

The hygienist told me there was no nutritional treatment available, and our only options were

1. Hospital and general anesthesia - $1920.00 plus 1600-2000 in hospital anesthesia charges

perform therapeutic pulpotomy (remove damaged pulp, like root canal in adult) then cap with stainless steel caps (font of these is enamel white, but they are going to look like chicklets in his mouth) on all four front teeth. There is a risk one of them is too far gone and will need to be pulled.

2. In Office. I hold him down, he gets nitrous and novicaine, they extract one tooth, and "patch" the others, but she doubts that we will be able to do this, as he will probably not cooperate. This fun would only cost about 1000 dollars.

And lastly we will persue whatever treatment makes the most sense.

Taking some control makes me feel better, but I still feel terrible that my decision to night nurse seriously contributed to this problem. My poor buddy!