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Am I being selfish?

My son will turn 1 next month. He has slept in our bed and nursed on demand since the night he was born. But so did my daughter until she was 20 months, and she had horrible cavities in her teeth from being exposed to the sugars in breast milk all night long.

My son just got his first molar and I'm really worried about his teeth. I don't want to make the same mistake I made with my daughter, and so the plan is, starting Saturday, I will be gently sleep training him so he sleeps in his crib at night instead of in bed with me, and we will be night weaning.

But my problem is that I really, really don't want to. For several reasons.

1. He's little. He's not even a year old yet, and I feel like he still needs to be close to mommy.

2. He's kind of my miracle baby. I had an ectopic after my daughter. Once that happens you're more likely to have other ectopics for the rest of your life, and I didn't know if I would ever have another baby. I want to keep him close to me

3. It's so comforting for both of us for him to be in the bed.

4. He doesn't seem to just nurse for comfort at night, he seems to actually be hungry some of the time.

5. It's going to be really hard. I don't want to put him in another room yet, and so he will be right there in the crib by my bed. I don't plan on letting him cry, just getting up and rocking him back to sleep when he wakes to nurse, but I don't know if in the middle of the night I will have the strength to say no when he really wants to cuddle and nurse :(

I feel like I'm torn between meeting my baby's emotional needs and keeping his teeth healthy. And to add to that, I will sorely miss him once he's out of the bed.

What do I do? Am I being selfish for wanting him to stay in bed with me? Am I being selfish not to keep him with me?


Asked by Ati_13 at 10:59 AM on Jul. 12, 2011 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 24 (21,184 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • The cavities most likely were from improper brushing,not the nursing
    keep him with you if you wish

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 11:01 AM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • All three of my boys slept in our bed....and we didn't have the cavity issue, nor did we have a problem getting them to sleep in their own beds, in fact they were happy to have 'big boy' beds.

    Do what your heart says.....and your husband's too......

    Answer by ohwrite at 11:18 AM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • I would start putting him in his crib but you don't have to night-wean. Probably what is happening is when he wakes, hungry or not, it was easier to let him nurse to sleep using you as a pacifier, rather than him learning how to self soothe.
    By now you should know when he is actually hungry. When he wakes and you know he isn't hungry, try a different method to soothe him back to sleep.
    That alone should ward off any teeth issues.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 11:04 AM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • Was your daughter a premmie?

    Answer by Candi1024 at 11:08 AM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • you really should start with getting him to sleep in his own crib. i know someone who slept with their child and now he's four and kicking his father out of bed because he thinks it's his. they have baby toothpaste to help with the teeth issues but i would recommend using a toothbrush instead of the thing that you stick on your finger.

    Answer by noel1978 at 11:11 AM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • Candi, not really. She was born at 39 weeks by induction, but all her tests showed she was at the developmental level of a 37 week baby. I had hypertension and it really effected her. Still term in any case.

    Noel, I have never used that stupid finger thing, I have no desire to have sharp little baby teeth digging into my finger through it lol. We have always used baby toothpaste and a tooth brush and it didn't stop my daughter's teeth from rotting. My husband's family has really soft teeth, it's just a genetic predisposition, and nursing all night long isn't going to do my kids any favors in the dental hygiene department :(

    Comment by Ati_13 (original poster) at 11:17 AM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • hmmm i didnt realize that nursing no matter how long you do it would cause teeth problems?????Anyway i nursed/co slept till about a year old then made the transition and stuck to it!!I have 5 kiddos and have done the same thing everytime and it works for us!...I think when there little it makes it harder on us as mommys to change what works so well for us...But im sure the transition will be fine for both of you!Good luck!

    Answer by hiselbobbie1 at 2:28 PM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • Nursing does not cause tooth decay like formula and cows milk. The sugar in breastmilk is different for a lack of a better word. If it is what you really want to do then focus on one habit at a time.

    FYI we are prone to really bad baby teeth in this house also so I get where your fear comes from.

    Answer by luckysevenwow at 9:13 PM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • Luckysevenwow, I really believed that with my daughter. But we brushed her teeth every single night before bed and she still got cavities. The dentist and a LLL leader I talked to said that once you introduce solid food the bacterial flora in the mouth changes and causes tooth decay and is fed by breast milk just like formula or cow's milk. Before introducing solids breastmilk doesn't cause tooth decay, after solids it does. My son is definitely eating solids lol.

    Comment by Ati_13 (original poster) at 10:00 AM on Jul. 13, 2011