Do you comfort nurse?

Becky - posted on 09/24/2010 ( 111 moms have responded )

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Ive realized there are two schools of thought when it comes to breastfeeding:
1) breastfeed whenever your baby will take it (for food, comfort ect)
2) only breastfeed when they are hungry

The problem is- My two month old son, Desmond, will breastfeed pretty much anytime I offer it to him. He is a very fussy/colicky baby so I am always tempted to just feed him during these times (even if he recently breastfed) because I know this will calm him down...am I wrong in doing this? I have done this before and when I do the reactions are always like "wow he is eating again?!" or "he must be going through a growth spurt" or "he cant possibly be hungry AGAIN"....or I just generally get the feeling that the people around me think I am over feeding my baby.

So breastfeeding moms out there: with all that being said - I just simply am not sure what to do. Ive been told that you cannot over feed a breastfed baby but is this really true??? Should I breastfeed my baby for comfort?? it obviously works, it is the only thing that will for sure calm him down, but Im not sure if I should be giving him food as comfort...but then Im the anti christ if I give my baby a pacifier for comfort instead. Moms- when it comes to this...what did/do you do and why??? I want to hear both sides because I am honestly unsure which way is best for our family.

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Andi - posted on 09/24/2010

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I always nursed, and still do nurse, my daughter when she needed comforting. Call me lazy, but that is the easiest way to calm her and dry her tears. There is absolutely nothing wrong with what you are doing. Do not let others comments get to you. I think that is the hardest thing for a nursing mother. People always want to stick their noses, and comments, where they don't belong. No one has any say in how you parent but you. And don't worry about overfeeding. You truly cannot overfeed a breastfed baby. They have different modes of suckling, active (or nutritional) suckling and inactive (or comfort) suckling. The only time they are actually drwing milk is when they are actively suckling. The only time you worry about overfeeding is with the bottle because the baby cannot control the flow the same way he can at the breast.

Minnie - posted on 09/26/2010

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Brittany- someone has given you bad information- likely the book you've been reading.



The book Babywise is written by an excommunicated pastor who holds only an honorary degree from a theological seminary. He offers no citations and no research to back up his claims, which are extreme. He comes up with imaginary terms such as 'metabolic chaos'. Parents should be cautious about this book, as it has been condemned by the American Academy of Pediatrics after it has resulted in dehydration and failure to thrive in infants, and an end to milk production. This man, Gary Ezzo, has no medical background or any in child development.



Breastfeeding is not just about nutrition. Non-nutritive sucking offers stability and equilibrium and immune factors. The milk that a child gets who nurses frequently is most certainly NOT less nutritious. It is a fact that the more frequent feedings are, the higher the fat content of the milk. Spacing out feedings results in full breasts, which will cause the breasts to begin to actively reduce milk production. Scheduled feedings in the early weeks results in poor prolactin receptor development, which often results in poor milk production beginning at around four months.



It is definitely NOT okay if he 'cries for 20 minutes at a time'- solid research shows that prolonged crying in infants damages developing neural pathways and can result in emotive disorders such as ADHD. Studies of crying infants has shown that they present the same neurological symptoms as a person suffering a stroke.



Comfort nursing is not a bad habit. It is normal, and what is biologically expected by human infants. Some parents claim success with Babywise but what works for the minority will not usually be good for the majority. Most mothers do not have the storage capacity to maintain adequate milk production when breastfeeding on a schedule. Please do not claim that scheduling is 'best for you' (meaning the OP and any other breastfeeding dyad) when solid research shows that it usually will be detrimental to the breastfeeding success of a nursing pair.

Minnie - posted on 09/24/2010

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It's hard to go with your instincts when others tell you to do something else. Mothers have always comfort nursed their babies. Infants in traditional cultures who are given unrestricted access to the breast typically nurse about four times an hour.



One way to tend to your baby's sucking needs and not be tied to the couch is to carry him in a soft carrier- a sling, wrap or mei tai, and learn to nurse in that.



Near-constant nursing can be tiring but it is normal and good- non-nutritive suckling provides your baby with stability and equilibrium, regulates his breathing and heartrate, and provides the immunities he needs. It is also a form of communication between him and you. At your breast is where your baby first learns to be socially interactive. He learns how to be and to love through comfort nursing.

Sarah - posted on 09/27/2010

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I'm quite enjoying this debate (for that is what it seems to have become)... it just goes to show that when people give you advice, often it's best to take it with a grain of salt. Especially if what they're saying is not based on fact.



While I very much think that people are entitled to their own opinions, it's obvious that some people have some fairly whacky ideas when it comes to parenting (among other things)... each to their own.



The best thing you can do is research *whatever it is you want to know* and find out the facts from a Reliable source. That way you are in a much better position to make an informed choice, as opposed to simply doing something because *so-&-so* thinks that's the right/best way. Just because it's written in a book does NOT mean it's right.



P.S.

Regarding the whole "it's okay to let your baby cry to sleep / for however long" - wrong! Wrong wrong wrong!! There has been research to prove that it IS damaging for a young infant to be left to cry without their parent/carer responding to their need. The only reason they will eventually fall asleep if ignored, is because they exhaust themselves with crying and give up on any hope that someone will come to help them.



To put it in perspective, how would YOU feel if you were stuck out in the middle of the ocean calling for help and nobody came to your rescue??? Think of how Terrifying that would be! That's exactly how it feels when a baby's cries for help are ignored.



A baby's ONLY form of communication is to cry. A quick and loving response to their cry teaches them that Mum/Dad/caregiver loves them and will meet their needs. If, on the other hand, their cries for help are ignored or the response is slow, they start to make the connection that their needs are not always met, and what do you think THAT does for their emotional well-being?!?



I'm sure you will find that most CIO / sleep training advocates will advise not to try any CIO methods or sleep training with your baby until AFTER the age of 6 months. There is a reason for this!!!! When baby reaches 6 months of age they are starting to become aware that just because Mummy leaves the room doesn't mean Mummy has abandoned them. Before 6 months they have no concept of object permanence - all they know is that Mummy has gone / is not there and they are all alone.



Besides all that, what mother could HONESTLY just sit there and ignore their baby while they are crying for you??????! SERIOUSLY?!



P.P.S.

Sorry, that was a bit off the original topic, but I felt it important to point out. I certainly would NOT in NO WAY recommend leaving a TWO month old baby to cry for 20 minutes.

Minnie - posted on 09/27/2010

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Brittany, what you're doing is something called 'hasty generalization'- that just because your daughter is fine despite prolonged crying that it MUST be perfectly safe for every baby. I suppose based on how you lift this book up (by the way, I have read it all the way through and it still sits on my shelf for this purpose) and its author up it seems likely that published research does not hold much weight in your eyes.



Your esteemed author, Gary Ezzo, offers no credibility in the least bit and every major health organization (including La Leche League International, the world's foremost authority on breastfeeding) offers recommendations in regards to breastfeeding that are completely contrary to his claims.



Comfort nursing does not lead to overproduction unless the mother is not letting the baby finish the first breast first. This is quite easily managed by putting the baby back on the same breast until it is sufficiently emptied. A breast that is too full is what leads to mastitis- not comfort nursing.



How can children just know what is best for them?



I am quite stymied that you would ask such a question. And I'll pose you a counter-question: how could they not? This is not on the subject of morality or ethics of which children do need to be taught, but of a human being's body knowing what it needs. Although I am an adult my ability to know my physical and emotional needs is no different than an infant's; I am hungry, I want to eat. I am cold, I want to be warm. I am alone, I want comfort in someone's arms. It is very prideful to assume that an infant cannot quantifiy these needs but that a parent can.



Again- this is what worked for you and yours- please do not post to tell others that scheduling is 'best for them' (your words). What works for the minority will not necessarily (and has been proven not to) work for the majority.

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Melissa - posted on 10/07/2010

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I think breastfeeding on demand is great! the only thing is make sure they are actually feeding for comfort many babies will latch on just so suck on something and is not actually feeding beacause with prologed improper latch they will get pretty sore and may be hesitant to feed.

[deleted account]

I haven't read any responces so I hope I am not repeating too much. You cannot overfeed a breastfeeding baby. They will either refuse to nurse or they will spit up what doesn't fit in their tummies. Your breasts produce what baby needs. My daughter comfort nurses at night and I know there is barely milk there when she does. . My breasts amazingly know she isn't nursing for food. It is crazy and amazing what our bodies can do! I have 4 kids and I comfort nursed all of them. I also allowed self-weaning. My kids are 8, 6, 3 and11 months. The baby is still chunky but my other kids are slim and tone. They are incredibly healthy. They are secure. I really feel that allowing them to comfort nurse and self wean helped them be this way. You need to follow your mommy insticts on what is right for you and your little one. Good luck.

Susan - posted on 10/07/2010

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The ability to nurse your baby for comfort is such a great tool for mothering. It would be a shame not to use it.

Keri - posted on 10/06/2010

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I feed my babies whenever I think they need it.. hungry, tired, sick, upset, etc. I think nursing is more than nutrition!! It's a loving time with your baby. It comforts them more than just holding them... I have always done this with all my babies. Besides, once they are just sucking for comfort, they aren't getting all the milk they would be if they were actively eating. I see nothing wrong with it..

Kelly - posted on 10/06/2010

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Yes breastfeed on demand it helps keep your supply up and is comforting to baby my lil one used to nurse almost constant when a newborn i was told it was better to nurse than to give a paci.

[deleted account]

I breast fed for 10 months and it was always on demand. Every time she was upset I just gave her boob and most of the time it worked, but I don't know how much milk she was actually getting because my breasts were always so soft as if there is nothing there. I was taking pills and drinking jungle juice to increase the milk supply, but she drank so often that I don't think much was able to happen before she drank again. Do whatever you feel your baby wants. Those people who give you negative comments are not the most important person in your life...your baby is!!!
Good luck!!

A - posted on 10/06/2010

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@ Brittany- Feeding on demand does not cause mastitis. Case in point- my sister got Mastitis with the first child she breastfed. She is the person who encouraged me to feed my baby on a schedule. So she schedule fed and still got it. Whereas I fed on demand the majority of my childs life and never got it. So you can't say feeding on demand causes breast infections....

A - posted on 10/06/2010

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Amie- your milk supply is supply and demand. Supply is determined by how frequently you nurse and how much is removed from your breasts. I know how you feel, but I've learned to trust our bodies and our babies. A few months ago my baby was sick and didn't want to nurse (along with his canine teeth coming in, so that didn't help) and he didn't eat hardly anything for a few days. I was so worried and kept offering the breast but he wouldn't take it. I was so worried about supply. But finally once he was feeling better (and this was in the middle of the night) he wanted to nurse. I remember my milk letting down like 4 times in a row and I was just amazed because I wasn't engorged or anything and I was amazed how all that milk got there once he needed it! :) In the early months I would worry about supply but now I know to listen to my baby. The other problem with schedules is that it doesn't allow for growth spurts. WHen your baby is going through one, they need to nurse more frequently to increase your supply. Never stop a feeding- let your baby finish completely, and IMO, let your baby nurse whenever. A lot of working moms have babies who cluster feed (feed often) when their moms ARE available, so they can deal when they are at work.

[deleted account]

my daughter had colick the first 4 weeks & my ped said it was normal to comfort nurse. She personally did it with her last child with colick. Even now without colick, my daughter still finishes true nursing with comfort nurse - she's not eating, just suckling. I don't think, nor does a ped think there is anything wrong with it. some people just may not understand the concept of BF. it may be exhausting, as it was for me at first, but at the same time i enjoyed the holding her to me.

Andrea - posted on 10/06/2010

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I have always breastfed on demand. I also let them take the breast for comfort. My 2 yr old who still takes the breast is actually in the lower percentile for weight even though she breast feeds when she wants and always has. She is also a good eater and will eat almost everything I give her. My 3 and half year old son on the other hand who I wasn't as successful at breastfeeding is a picky eater and weighs more.

Amie - posted on 10/06/2010

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I have a question that kind of goes along with this: I want to comfort nurse, but I am also a schedule person since I work. Because I am a schedule person, I am hesitant to comfort nurse bc I want to keep to my schedule and feel that if I comfort nurse, I won't have enough milk for his next feed. For example, last night we were at church. He was really fussy and nothing was distracting or comforting him. This was about 8:00. Well at 9:00 every night he nurses and goes to bed. I ended up comfort nursing him while at church but didn't really want to bc I thought he wouldn't get a good feed before bedtime because of the extra feed. Thoughts??

[deleted account]

True. Why not? It might not be comfort, he might be hungry again. Mine was on my boob for most of his two month time period. I still comfort nurse my almost six month old. Honestly, that's why it's called nursing, you are giving them comfort as well as nutrition. It should never matter what people around you think. There will ALWAYS be someone telling you how to mother your children. You need to do what YOU feel is best for you and your family. What do you, in your heart, feel is best?

[deleted account]

As baby grows older, comfort feeding will decrease because the child will sit up, play by himself etc. So infact I encourage you to enjoy it while it lasts. Once baby starts solids and eats different things, he won't want BM as much anyway. Enjoy this phase and ignore what people say. Please always go with your gut!

Alejandra - posted on 10/06/2010

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My daughter totally nursed all the time. It made her happy and it was easier on me than soothing her another way. Plus, I was totally paranoid that she was hungry all the time, as I could not really tell what the problem was. I also think that frequent nursing helped my breastmilk come in strong. Fast forward ten months... my daughter is definitely not overweight, turns away from the breast when she is not interested, regularly eats solids, and nurses far less than she used to. SO, in my opinion, nothing can go wrong from offering a titty to a crying baby. If the nay-sayers have an issue, then they are welcome to sooth the baby themselves.

Courtney - posted on 10/06/2010

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I didn't read all of the replies so I am sure this has been said...NURSE WHENEVER YOU AND YOUR BABY WANT TO!!!! That is one of the amazing great benefits of breast feeding! Over feeding is not possible and if you watch your son while comfort nursing you will most likely see him doing small quick suckling movements rather then the long drawing sucking when he is actually receiving milk. This is non-nutritive sucking, more like a pacifier type sucking, which is perfectly fine. I find it very frustrating when moms say the baby is using me as a pacifier and want to stop this from happening. Mom's are a comfort to their baby and should be calming, comforting and supportive towards their children. We can do this in the easiest way possible through nursing. So many people do not understand this and will criticize, thinking breast feeding is the same as bottle feeding when really, they are completely different. If you feel you are not comfortable with the amount of nursing your son needs you can always offer a pacifier. However if you do try that route be aware that sometimes they will reject the breast after using a pacifier or bottle extensively. This does not happen to all babies and some do quite well with supplemental sucking devices and will not affect nursing at all.

Christie - posted on 10/06/2010

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I comfort nurse and I'm proud! :D I also nurse to relieve my own full boobs and for a myriad of other reasons. Worked well for my daughter and working great for my son. Ignore the haters and do what is right for yourself and your LO xoxo

Tine - posted on 10/06/2010

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You are right - you definately can't overfeed a breastfed baby!
My daughter was a continual feeder for most of her first year ... asking how often she fed was a silly question, because she just fed lots, of a variety of reasons, when she needed it! I think the ability to comfort our babies and small children with the breast is one of the most amazing gifts that nature has given us - it is totally NORMAL parenting. Breastfeeding definately serves both functions, and well. So why mess with it?
I recently read an article about mothers in Africa. A Westerner went there to live with her small baby, and noticed that African babies don't cry. When she investigated she discovered that they are simply given the breast when they start to seem unsettled, and that is just what you do... of course! Voila, no crying babies, just a smooth, healthy gradual transition into childhood.
I really feel that since nature has given us such a wonderful system, why on earth would you mess with it?!
I find the info on the Australian Breastfeeding Association (just google it) site to be really really helpful too... might give you something to say when people give you that ridiculous look that suggest you are doing something wierd, when what you are doing is just normal for mums and babies. :-)

Kristi - posted on 10/05/2010

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You are not wrong at all! You are following your fabulous mom instincts. If they tell you to snuggle him in for a nursing, for comfort, for food, for love, for you, go for it! Yes, it is true that you cannot overfeed a breastfed baby. It's not that you are a bad person for reaching for a pacifier, it's just that it's not the right thing for your baby - or your own milk production system for that matter. They are terrible for his jaw and teeth, causing him to suck back instead of a natural jaw forward like nursing. I have never used a pacifier because of that primarily... but also because I think they look really silly, it's hard to break the habit (so why have one more thing to have to take away at some point?), and it's just easier to put down what you're doing and attend to the baby's needs instead of poking the darn thing in his face all the time. And then all those times where it falls out, they wake, and then cry all over again - ack! It's also good to imagine that every time you stick a pacifier in the baby's mouth, you are depriving your own breasts of the stimulation they need to produce the correct amount of milk for your baby. Nurse him like crazy! :)

Rachael - posted on 10/05/2010

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Oh, my son was the same way when he was younger. I comfort fed him all the time, and he is just fine. He's 16 months old now, and we have a fantastic relationship that even my aunt (a family therapist) envies, lol. Don't listen to anyone who judges you, and do what you feel is right for your child. YOU are the one who is raising him, not them, and if your breast comforts him and you don't mind offering it, go for it!
Also, I would like to add (as a mother who dealt with colic for over 3 months), anything that calms baby, calms mommy, and a calm mommy makes for a happy baby.

A - posted on 10/05/2010

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I started out feeding on demand. It was rough in the beginning- especially since this was my first child and it was just exhausting. About 2.5 months post partum my sister encouraged me to start doing a schedule. I reluctantly went along. The following months were very trying and hard. When my was about 9 months old we were very stressed and our "cry it out" methods at night weren't working and our son was always fussy. I started feeding him on demand again at night to get sleep and cosleeping. Instant stress relief. Our lives were much better. About a month later, my son learned to point and communicate what he wanted that way. I soon learned to tell me when he wanted "milk". THat same exact day, my son never sucked his thumb again. He was also a happier and more manageable baby. I should have saw the signs before and fed him on demand, but I didn't. I know regret it. I think I made life for me and him harder than it should have been. My son is 16 months now and he's fed on demand. I find parenthood has been much more stress free now that my sons needs are met at the breast. My advice to you is to follow your heart. We all have those moments where we are frustrated and exhausted, so I would never judge someone for what they choose to do. We've had so many problems with my son and his sleeping and wanting to be held constantly. I realize now I wasn't reading his cues correctly. Its true that a lot of babies can live off of scheduled feedings, and nutritionally they can live off of "x" amount of feedings per day. But I've learned that breastfeeding isn't just about nutrition- its about comfort. Babies are designed to nurse for years, not months. Of course they don't HAVE to have it that long, but psychologically its best. I love the verses in the Bible that demonstrate extended breastfeeding, like in 2 Maccabees Chapter 7 verse 27, where its stated a mom breastfed her child for three years. Sorry I got a little off topic there....but in the end, on demand feeding was best for us.

Melanie - posted on 10/05/2010

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I truly believe that what works for you and baby is what is best for you and baby :) I have a 3 month old who really loves to suck. lol I exclusively breastfeed, but find that if I overly comfort nurse, he tends to spit up everything extra. He usually nurses for 20 minutes and then is fine for 3 hours. When he has a need to suck I offer him a pacifier, which he takes when he wants it - otherwise, I adjust positions with him, play with him, etc. to see if that will work - he definately knows what HE wants, its just me that needs to understand his cues. He definately loves to top up before heading to bed for the night - so we often double up back to back before bed time. So, its really what works for you and your baby. :) I'm sure I could just comfort nurse him, but I am fortunate that he will accept a pacifier at times that he is not actually hungry. You know whats best for you and baby! :) Keep up the wonderful work Mama :)

Jessica - posted on 10/05/2010

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I fed my daughter anytime she wanted it - whether she was hungry or needed comfort. Do what you feel is best and makes your baby happy and secure.

April - posted on 10/05/2010

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adding to Lisa's post about breast infection....i have had chronic blocked ducts and never got masitisis. just because you have all the criteria for obtaining a breast infection doesn't mean you'll get one. just wanted to add that nothing guarantees anything. every woman's body is different and the nursing habits of their babies can vary greatly

Alexandra - posted on 10/05/2010

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First go out and buy the book Happiest Baby on the Block. It will help you get through the 'colicky' parts of his day. Second, trust your gut. If you think feeding is the best thing for him. Do it. I am on my third, I have breast fed all three AND pumped and given it with a bottle AND used formula when I didn't have anything pumped AND I use a pacifier when I have to. Happy Baby = Happy Mummy!!!
Don't let ANYONE tell you what is right for you and your baby when it comes to this. Take in all the advise being thrown your way, try what you like and ignore the rest.

Enjoy this time. Breastfeeding is one of the most wonderful experiences of my life and it goes by way to fast.

Good Luck!

[deleted account]

absolutely. If Mac was over tired and crying it would only make him more upset if he could not have nunu's.

Yvonne - posted on 10/04/2010

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Breastfeeding/breasts are not just a source of food, they are a source of comfort. Breastfeeding is not simply a nutritional act, it's emotional. Breasts were the first pacifiers, and if he is comfort sucking he is not really getting a substantial ammmount of milk.

Also, I really would recommend comfort nursing for atleast the first three months because there are lots of growth spurts during this period of time and little babies really need that comfort and security.

I am obviously biased because I have nursed my daughter for comfort for the last 27 months. Obviously now if I'm doing something she has to wait, but I really do think that you should not down play the importance of a healthy secure attachment that develops from the comfort of nursing.

Nicole - posted on 10/04/2010

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There is nothing wrong with comfort nursing. I totally know how you feel because people that don't or didn't bf do not understand this way of raising children. Keep in my mind that pacifiers were made to be a substitute for a nipple. Just look at what they look like! If you are able to provide the real thing instead of a foreign object, why wouldn't you? Let your baby bond and feel secure as long as you can because in the big picture, this time is so short. Keep up the good work, mama! and follow your gut.

Dorene - posted on 10/01/2010

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My daughter is 21 months old and I still nurse her. She basically nurses in the morning, naps and bedtime. She does however comfort nurses when she is nervous or scared or when she hurts herself. That is OK. In your case your child is 2 months old and your are to nurse on demand, which means if your child wants it...give it to him. Ignore what everybody says and do what you feel is right. And you are doing everything right. keep up the good work.

Michelle - posted on 10/01/2010

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Many breastfeeding mothers do not have continual support, and society feels free to pass judgment. Go with your gut. Do your best to tune people out. I have found that many people who comment, didn't breastfeed, and they don't know MY daughter, but I DO. I actually have told people, including my family & in-laws their comments aren't helpful or supportive to a breastfeeding mom. The comments quickly stopped.

I nurse whenever we can. She is fussy and only nurses for 10-12 minutes, not the average 30-40 minute breastfeeding session, She's 10 month old today, and eats solids, but nurses as she pleases... especially when teething. Breastfeeding is a wonderful bond between mother and child, it's creates a world of comfort that no one else can bring. Enjoy it, do it proudly, and tell people to back off (as politely as you can).

Oh, and she has soother/pacifier that she get when she is ready to sleep & and in the car. Then too, we are the parents, and we will do as we see fit. Every set of parents got to make their own decisions, and never enjoyed people telling them how to "do it right"... remind people of that and you usually get them to rethink their motives.

Karen - posted on 10/01/2010

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He's only 2months old, if you want to, nurse him as often as he likes, even if its just for comfort. When my daughter was that age i was nursing her every 1-2hrs and i don't think it hurt her. Let them be babies for as long as possible, they grow up way too fast. He will cut back on he's feeds when he's ready to, its called demand feeding, just go with the flow. My daughter was about 7 months when we actually started a proper breast feeding schedule together with solids.

April - posted on 10/01/2010

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With my son (first child) I was the instant pacifier. He nursed all the time for comfort. I had no problem with it, I loved that I could always calm my baby. With my daughter (second child) there just isn't the time to sit and nurse here everytime she's unhappy. As far as the comments about eating again I just told them "he just needs some mommy time".

Tiffany - posted on 10/01/2010

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Most attachment parenting type moms consider themselves both the "bottle" and the "pacifier". Works just fine.

Besides, there are a lot of variables determining how often a baby needs to eat. Breast milk is more easily digested than formula, so they do eat more often. Also, some babies tend to have fewer, larger "meals," while some babies nurse more frequently for shorter periods.

If you follow your instincts, and your baby, you can't go wrong.

I'm on nursling #3, about 9 years total nursing...

Natasha - posted on 09/30/2010

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Also, the baby has complete control over the flow of the milk, so just because he's nursing, doesn't mean he's really eating. He's just stimulating the breast to produce milk.

Natasha - posted on 09/30/2010

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At that age, it's not just comfort nursing. That is a very important phase to establish your milk supply. When DD was 2 months, we never left the couch. She pretty much nursed 24 hrs a day. It will slow down, but I wouldn't suggest an eating schedule. That can damage your supply and also cause clogged ducts. Enjoy it while it lasts, because it will be over before you know it.

[deleted account]

I definitely have & still do comfort feed my daughter, she'll be 15 months next week. We've never had any problems thus far, and I don't think theres anything wrong with it. And neither do any of the lactation consultants I've spoken to about.

[deleted account]

I was concerned about this too, usually because I read a baby book that said I would spoil my child if I nursed "too much". I have nursed for comfort and my daughter is a happy, confident, secure 13 month old now. She learned how to soothe herself in other ways and sometimes I had to show some tough love when I'd had enough. That's okay too. You have to follow your gut and if you want to nurse, do it. If you don't want to, you can hold him off for a little while. You will go through ups and downs with nursing and that's part of the process. Hang in there!

Ania - posted on 09/30/2010

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I fed my son for comfort, so even now he is eating very often, but I don't care I do whatever feels good for both of us

Kristena - posted on 09/30/2010

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I'm also breast feeding my little girl whos 10 weeks with HORRIBLE COLIC and reflux, I do the same you mention by just feeding her because its all that works. I have read books that say you can't over feed your baby, if hes hungry hes hungry let the child eat lol. I have people tell me that all the time : is she eating again? She still eats every 2-3 hours now. When they spit-up after eating my doctors have told me its because of the reflex on the babys stomach it has no where to go and just comes back up. I think whats best for you and your sanity letting him comfort nurse now won't hurt. It has helped me so much with my babygirl and lets me have peace and quiet and less headaches. lol. the pacy thing im not sure about because mine refuses a pacy lol. trust me i tried, but having a pacy also reduces SIDS because the constant sucking motion. For the sake of the rest of the family i live with comfort nursing is whats baby wants. their still young enough to want to be that close and until the colic goes away he wont get automated attached where you can't calm him down. My daughters colic is so bad she turns purple and when i start to feed her again she calms down and knows its ok and shell fall asleep. which ive also heard people tell me not to do but oh well.



ive also read in an article that you dont want to time your baby's feeding because a baby can stay latched on for an hour and only eat 20 minutes of those. its the way they move their muscles in their mouth and sucking motions. (TMI i know) but when i even just hold my nipple to her mouth the sucking motion she does without actually being latched on calms her down. til she realizes that shes not getting anything lol

Kayla - posted on 09/30/2010

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I nurse my 2 1/2 month old whenever she wants it. It seems like all the time and my husband and best friend give me a hard time about it. She has horrible gas pains and this is the only thing I have found to calm her. I told her doctor this at her 2 month check up and her doctor prescribed her some drops that are for colicky babies. They dont stop the gas completely but she dont want to eat constantly. Your baby could be nursing for comfort of the gas like mine and the drops are a wonder. My daughter wont take a pacifer at all.

Angela - posted on 09/30/2010

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I personally think that it is more than fine to breastfeed your child for comfort. I have found that my son get pleasure and comfort from being breastfeed. I really dont think that you can over feed him. Once he has emptied your breast, if he latches back on to nurse it takes atleast 30 minutes for a let down. By the time you let down, your baby is probably calm and not even sucking that much. I say do what works for you.

Hillary - posted on 09/30/2010

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I have breast fed 3 kids and read an awful lot on the subject. There is nothing wrong with comfort nursing. Babies are smarter than adults. They will stop eating when they are not hungry. As a matter of fact, the experts recommend comfort nursing over pacifiers.

Minnie - posted on 09/30/2010

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You're right, Charlotte. LLL has a saying about dealing with mastitis: "lots of rest, empty the breast!"

Charlotte - posted on 09/30/2010

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can i just say one thing about what Brittnay said about mastitis being from over feeding.... don't you think its funny that the advice for someone who has mastitis is to feed them frequently on the breast that has it... i know this works as i've had it. bit contridictory that if over feeding gives you the problem then you are told to feed more frequently. its incorrect statements like this that make women worry about breastfeeding and then end up havibng problems!

Sarah - posted on 09/30/2010

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I fed my daughter all the time...she cluster fed it seemed every hr! really she was just nursing out of comforst alot of the time but it made us both happy. She is almost 14mth and still only really comfort nurses before bed and in the am. I am thinking of weaning her next month and I'm guessing this will be difficult since it is so engrained in her for comfort at bedtime. Do what your gut tells you to do...you know your baby BETTER than ANYONE else...even dad!

Eileen - posted on 09/30/2010

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You cannot overfeed. Please feed your 2 month old whenever they want! It's very important to your supply and your child.

Candace - posted on 09/30/2010

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I'm all for comfort nursing as well. As some others have said, babies know how to suckle for milk for just suck for comfort. Like you said about the soother, it works for some people but not others so why not let your baby get comfort sucking on your breast where he can also smell, feel and bond with his mother? As long as you have the time and patience..:O)

Charlie - posted on 09/30/2010

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"Schools of thought" aside, nearly all cultures throughout history and right up to today let their child nurse for nourishment, comfort, and pacifying (since these are the reasons kids nurse). If a child doesn't need so much food at that time his nursing will be different and he won't get as much. I say go ahead and let your child nurse the way he was designed. If that doesn't work for you, then do what you feel is best for you. Good luck. ;)

Tiffany - posted on 09/30/2010

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I have done both with my 10 mos old daughter. She nurses for food and for comfort. As others have said, you have to do what is best for you and your son. People will judge you no matter what you do. If you didn't comfort nurse, then they would say he's hungry, you need to feed him whenever he'd cry a lot. No, I don't think you can overfeed a breastfed baby, because their stomaches can only hold so much, so they'll spit up whatever their stomaches can't hold. If the spit up is clear or watery, then you know it wasn't digested and probably never made it to the stomach, meaning the baby didn't have anymore room for food. Also, there is nothing wrong with giving your son a pacifier. Again, it's your personal choice. My daughter still uses a pacifier just to sleep, and she's never had any problems switching between breastfeeding and using the pacifier, so I've done both. It works for us and for her. I think it's important for kids to learn how to self-soothe, but your son is still pretty young to know how to do that. In a few months, he'll be able to do that, but not yet.

Again, believe in yourself, do what you feel is right for your son and you, and learn how to ignore or just briefly comment (uh huh, yeah) when others say things that aren't in agreement with what you're doing. Everyone always thinks they know what you should be doing with your child. Trust yourself and research, as I've never read anything about this causing any future problems.

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