nursing baby to sleep

Erin - posted on 06/04/2010 ( 109 moms have responded )

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I nurse my 5 month old to sleep, and will continue to do so until she self-weans.



I am interested in hearing about other moms who nurse your little ones to sleep, or who have in the past. pros, cons, reasons behind doing so, etc. :)

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My 17 month old still feeds twice a day from the breast and occasionally still falls asleep doing so. I agree with the mother who says if it is not natural or correct then why do they fall asleep at the breast all the time? I am constantly told by friends that I will have trouble putting her to sleep when she's a little older, because we rock her to sleep and also co-sleep when she wants us at night (not every night). We just reply with "it works for us and her". Plus our 4 year old was treated the same and he sleeps just fine on his own in his room now. They are only this age for such a short time, plus it is wonderful for us to get a full night's sleep from very early on.

I'm an older mum and maybe a little lazy about these things, but I'd say do what is the easiest for you and the baby, as long as they are thriving, what else matters? They need our love and attention right now, and it will pay off in the end. All the books that offer advice are great, but take what you want out of them and do it your way, every child/family is different, and we should not be made to feel bad because we like to rock our babies or nurse them to sleep. Remember, what's in today is out tomorrow, the so-called experts change their minds constantly. Do what you feel is right for you and your baby.

Jessica - posted on 06/06/2010

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I nurse my babe to sleep because it WORKS :) She's always been a fussy sleeper, but I guess she is just a high-needs baby, and she'll grow out of it. I'm not willing to do controlled crying (or any variation on 'leave your baby crying in their crib to 'teach' them that it's bedtime) as the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health says this is totally inappropriate for children under about 3yo. They need to be able to understand the concept of bedtime first, otherwise all they learn is that when they need you, you don't come.

Cassie - posted on 01/27/2012

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I have had 2 very different experiences with this.

My first I only breastfed for 4 months (long story). After this I pumped and gave her a bottle, then switchd to formula. We always cuddled at bedtime, and she also played with my hair. I loved it for a long time. She co-slept with us, always, probably because we wanted to cuddle with her. Even when she hit 2 years old she would not sleep in her own bed. She just turned 4 and still goes through stages. Sometimes she sleeps in her bed through the night. Right now she wakes up every night at some point and comes in our bed. It is bearable because my husband works 3rd shift right now so there is room in the bed. But when she turned 2 and didn't sleep in her own bed it was DIFFICULT. She kicked, hit, rolled, and head butted us in her sleep. No one got any rest and we were all miserable. Let me mention quickly that her bedtime routine was basically cuddle with mommy and a bottle on the couch, and mommy would move her to her bed after asleep.

Then I got pregnant with another :)

He just turned a year and I am almost done weaning him off the breast (I am pregnant again, and can't breastfeed much longer). However I always nursed him after the rest of his bedtime routine was over (again, usually on the couch bc we had no rocker/glider). However this time I was more careful about making sure he slept in his bassinet and crib. Even before I started weaning him, I'd put him in his crib after he ate and he'd sleep in his crib. When I started regulating our daytime and nighttime schedules, he got much better with sleeping through the night. Now he bathes at 6:30, bedtime routine after, bottle, and asleep by 7:30. Oftentimes I put him in his crib before he is fully asleep, and he falls asleep in his crib (YAHOO!!! my dream come true). If he wakes up at all it is around 3am. All I do is pick him up for about a minute and rock him, and set him back down in his crib. He goes right back to sleep on his own. However when he wakes at 5:30-6, I do occassionally nurse him. I'd say abot every other day, depending on how tired and/or engorged I am. haha. I loved nursing him and if I wasn't pregnant, I'd probably still do it every night and every morning. I do have to say though that giving him a bottle and letting him fall asleep for his nap frees me up so much to do chores around the house, instead of being stuck on the couch holding him while he sleeps (bc for some reason, while he loves his crib at night, he has started to dislike it during the daytime naps!)



Anyway... hope this helps :) Not sure about the whoel self-weaning thing, does anyone know if this actually happens? The closest I've seen or heard about is my daughter just deciding she didn't want her paci anymore at 8mos old. I think though, that breastfeeding is such a strong bond that if you don't DECIDE to wean, they might never stop ;)

Megan - posted on 06/07/2010

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I have nursed all four of my kids to sleep until they could learn on their own how to fall asleep without nursing. My 8, 7, and 3.5 year old go to bed just fine. Letting a baby or toddler CIO does not teach them how to put themselves to sleep, it simply tells them that you are not there when they need you.

I co-sleep with my 18 months old and I nurse him to sleep during the day and at night. He does not have problems falling asleep for others, he just seems to wake a few more times in the night to make sure that I am there for him, which I am. We have an open bar most nights, lol.

Children are not supposed to sleep 12 hours a night. A full night sleep for children under 4-5 is b/t 4 and 8 hours. They need extra nurishment b/c they are constantly growing, either physically or mentally. It is not unusual for my three year to wake up at two and be hungry, after eating as much as me for dinner and having a bed time snack. Man, do I wish she was still nursing, then I wouldn't have to get out of bed to get her a snack.

Nicole - posted on 06/04/2010

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I nursed my daughter, who will be 2 the end of the month, to sleep until I could no longer nurse her. I became pregnant w/ my 2nd and was on sooo much medication that I could no longer nurse.
I loved nursing her to sleep. Watching her eyes close, and knowing how calm, and soothed she felt. It was such a wonderful thing for me. when I had to stop it was very hard. For me there are only pros to nursing them to sleep. I am going to nurse baby #2 the same way!!! Its a feeling like no other!

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[deleted account]

You need to find your local La Leche League group! You would love it. check out www.llli.org You will find many like minded mama's!

Rina - posted on 06/23/2010

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I nursed my daughter to sleep until she was 10 1/2 months. Although it was a wonderful feeling I now have to put her to sleep and she is 18months. She has picked up the habit of playing with my hair to fall asleep. If I could go back in time I wouldnt change a thing. It can become an inconvenience at times because I have to drop what Im doing to put her to sleep. I lay with her until she falls asleep which I really dont mind cause I work full time and this gives me some alone time with her.

Tina - posted on 06/18/2010

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I nurse my son Owen to sleep and he is now 8 months old. He sleeps much better if I nurse him rather then just letting him fall asleep on his own. He still sleeps in our room too. I love breastfeeding and that it is comforting for him. The drowsy look on their face is priceless.

Ashley - posted on 06/14/2010

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My baby is 12 weeks old and i never nursed her to sleep, i would nurse till she was drowsy but never to sleep and she has been sleeping through the night since she was 3 weeks old

Barbara - posted on 06/14/2010

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My little one is going to be 2 at the end of the month and I still nurse her in the a.m. and before bed in the evening. As a working mother of 4 I find this is often the only time I sit and relax and have a cuddle with her. She's very busy and it's our special time. This is the longest I've nursed any of them and it's the best time!



You have to do what is right for you. There is no wrong answer here. If nursing your babe to sleep works for you then go for it.



And each one of my girls starting sleeping through the night at different times, whether I nursed them to sleep or not.

Jennifer - posted on 06/13/2010

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2 of my four kids breastfed, My first weaned to formula at 3 months. She went to sleep with the bottle, whether it was with formula, fresh milk, or water. The middle 2 kids nursed to sleep until they weaned at 18 months and just over 2 years. My now 5 month old has been on formula since one month and she has been nursing or taking her bottle to sleep. Sometimes it can be difficult to go out in the evenings if they won't take a bottle. I would be cautious of "baby bottle tooth decay", which they say can also be caused by the breast as well. I'd suggest maybe unlatching gently just before the baby is all the way asleep, as they will most likely do a few empty sucks and will swallow the last bit of milk in their mouths and reduce the risk for tooth decay. I did this with the 2 that breastfed and they fell asleep with no problems. I also remove the bottle from my little one's mouth and she falls asleep just fine as well. I still get to snuggle with her and yet at 5 months she can still fall asleep without needing a bottle every single time. Which helps when traveling during naptime and you can't hold a bottle for her at the moment.

Katrina - posted on 06/13/2010

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I have 3 kids. 9yrs, 6yrs and 1 yr. Every single one of them nursed to sleep. The first 2 outgrew it with no fights or hassles. My third is too little still but can fall asleep on her own when she's got a full tummy but was fighting sleeping for whatver reason. Don't worry about it..what college student still nurses to sleep? ;)

Jai - posted on 06/13/2010

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i nursed my now 18-month-old to sleep for naps and bedtime for about 13 or 14 months. although he continued to nurse until he self-weaned at 17 months, he would not nurse to sleep. eventually he learned to fall asleep on his own, but it took some patience on my part. it didn't happen overnight, but it did happen (despite all the people who told me it wouldn't!). i am pregnant with number two now, and i plan to nurse this one to sleep as well. children eventually learn how to put themselves to sleep. if you nurse them to sleep, i believe you slow down that learning process, BUT it does happen. i cherish and miss those moments of holding my sleeping baby! enjoy! :)

Krystle - posted on 06/13/2010

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My son is just about 1 and that's what our plan is too!

"Sleep experts" be damned! If he wasn't meant to fall asleep at the breast, then why does it happen all the time?! :)

Kiva - posted on 06/13/2010

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I have three kids and have nursed them all to sleep. With baby #1, she never took a bottle and needed to have the breast to fall asleep, which meant I had no freedom to go anywhere around naptime or bedtime. Baby #2 took a bottle during the day with dad, but would not sleep at night without breastfeeding. Baby #3 will fall asleep with a bottle, and this allows me to work or go out with friends and not worry about him not sleeping. Some people have told me to train him to fall asleep without having to suck on something, but the breast is just so easy...he falls asleep within seconds! Also, I know how fast they grow up, and I cherish every second of him sleeping cozily in my arms or by my side!!

Delenia - posted on 06/13/2010

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I nursed my little boy to sleep from the begining...he couldnt stay awake while feeding anyway...but id say he was about 6 months and started showing sighnes of not falling asleep while feeding..i would have to stay in bed with him till he fell asleep..& still do..he was a big heavy baby & having had a c-section i found it easier to nurse him lieing down.. now he is 18 months (he self weaned a month ago & still needs/wants me to be lieing next to him (the closer the better).our problem is he wakes more & more frequently at night now cries until i go and lie with him again & i think i made it worse by giving up and letting him sleep in our bed (he started at around 12 months,everytime i tried putting him over back into his cot/his room he would cry.Although i enjoy being so close to my baby, i sometimes wish he would sleep all night (through) in his own bed...he has become a very restless sleeper moveing non-stop, so im not getting any sleep at night..( he sleepes better at nap time..but still in my bed, sometimes i can slip away,but have to rush back if i hear him wake or he wont finnish his nap)..
So i dont know what to recomend u do??? all i can tell u is i was so decided in the beginning for baby to not acctually sleep in our bed..but i think the the nurseing to sleep in our bed defeted that object...now we`r just going to move a single bed in next to our`s & hope he will eventually decide to go back into his own room at leastby the time we have a second baby............But do what feels right for u & baby...good luck..

Lisa - posted on 06/13/2010

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My girl turned 2 last month and I still nurse her to sleep. I've always loved it and wanted her to self-wean but at the same time I'm uncomfy with a 2 1/2 yr old still nursing so I decided to gently guide her more towards weaning.
Pros from my point of view are, the physiological benefits for both mama and baby, and the comfort and bonding it creates between mama and baby.
Cons from my point of view are, it's been a hard couple of years cancelling things on my friends because I know I have to be home (or somewhere she's comfortable) around naptime because I have to nurse her to sleep. She's gotten better and doesn't always need a nap now that she's 2, but if I happen to be out and she wants a nap, it's like a lightswitch and she melts down. All plans of going out in the evening are out the window too. She needs me to go to sleep usually between 7:30pm and 9pm, and she'll wake up every hour or so a couple times until about 11pm then she'll usually have a good stretch of sleep. I was sad because recently I had to cancel on a good friend's bachelorette party because my daughter needed me. She had a hard day and I knew she just would not tolerate me being gone even just for the dinner, which started at 7. But I know I'm doing the best thing for her, and I think to not give her this beautiful gift God has MEANT for us to give to our children, just because it's more convenient for OUR time schedule, is a very selfish thing. The day will come (too soon) when they're done nursing and we'll wish every day of our lives we could have this time back.

[deleted account]

Also, they do learn how to go to sleep with out nursing, usually when they are a little closer to two years old or so. All of my boys started falling asleep with their dad or brothers instead of needing to nurse all the time. Don't let anyone scare you with horror stories.
And your milk doesn't suddenly lose all nutritional benefit just because your baby gets to be a certain age. You can still provide a significant amount of his nutrition and all of the immunological benefits when they are past 12 months or even past 24 months.

Virginie - posted on 06/12/2010

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I nursed my first born to sleep for... I don't know, almost a year. When my second one refused to nurse himself to sleep, I was at a loss of what to do! He wanted to be rocked to sleep (much more tiring) so we got a baby-swing! I wished he had nursed himself to sleep as I found these moments quite precious with my older one and it was so easy to go somewhere. Both are weaned now, and both fall asleep on their own and sleep through the night great. Same with naps. They're 31 months and 14 months old.

[deleted account]

I have nursed all four of my sons to sleep until they self weaned somewhere between 2 1/2 and 3 years of age. Mammals everywhere else in the world nurse their babies to sleep, why should we argue with nature?

Lisa - posted on 06/12/2010

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i have 4 children, oldest 9, youngest almost 6 mo. I nuse/d all until they are two years old. i also co-sleep. i have found that nursing baby to sleep is nice and cozy way to relax together, but--they don't stay asleep too often because of the need to burp. rocking is a good way until you stop rocking because the lack of motion wakes them up. but, if you nurse your baby then quickly burp, then nurse some more on an empty breast, they tend to keep sleeping. as for just having them go to sleep--i try to mix it up, so they go to sleep when ever how ever. in a sling, on my shoulder, rocking, bouncing, nursing, car rides.
and no worries about the college kid needing to nurse....all my kids go to sleep without needing to suck on anything. we've never done pacifiers except for a few weeks when they were newborns, and they don't suck their fingers, thumbs, or blankets.

Miranda - posted on 06/12/2010

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I still nurse my almost one year old!! He will be a yr. old in two weeks! Normally just to sleep, he eats regular foods durring the day though. My reason behind it, is bc he is so healthy and it is really good for him still. It gets him to sleep and makes him happy. And I honestly don't care what anyone thinks. I think it's the best thing to do for the babies sake, bc it still gives them vitamins and things like that. So you just keep on doing it, if you want and as long as your baby wants to. I will wean mine soon, bc he has almost weaned himself, I just want to help him a bit. bc him pulling my shirt down in walmart and other places is a bit too much lol. Good luck

Erin - posted on 06/12/2010

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Nursing to sleep only becomes a problem you are ready to wean.
I was really hoping my daughter would self wean but that wasn't the case. I was scared to wean her because she wasn't eating enough solid food nor drinking enough milk. (15 mths old)
That all changed when I started to wean her, she was hungry for solid food when she wasn't breast feeding.
Anyway because she always nursed to sleep I couldn't get her to sleep for her nap so I ended up driving her around for 2 hours every day so she could take a nap.
Because of my experience I recommend teaching your child to fall asleep on their own before you wean it doesn't take long.
And really once they start saying night night they are really ready to do something on their own.

Sharon - posted on 06/12/2010

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If that is what make you happy do it but it doesn't help the baby to learn how to sleep going to sleep isn't as natural as you think it would be. I ended up at Tresillian as he couldn't sleep with out me being part of a difficult routine. And the older they are the harder they fight to keep that routine. My boy now sleep 12 plus hours a night and after 21 months sleep approx 2 hours in the arvo ( we went to tresillian at 6mths) Now after all this time he is a good sleeper. I would hate to think how hard it would be to get a 2.5 yo to change to a self sleep routine after dealing with all the other daily things that come up!

Tanya - posted on 06/11/2010

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I nurse my 2mnth old son every night since he was born and i feel great doing it. He likes to feel that comfort.

Katrina - posted on 06/11/2010

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I nursed my son to sleep until he was 2 years old, which was when he weaned. He slowly transitioned to falling asleep to a sippy cup, and a few months later we put him in a toddler bed. Cosleeping and nursing him to sleep just made life so much easier! He went to sleep without a fuss, and when he woke in the middle of the night I didn't have to get out of bed. Nursing your baby to sleep and cosleeping so you can nurse throughout the night actually reduces your baby's chance of SIDS (per research conducted by Dr. Sears), so there are no cons at all! Enjoy these sweet moments, you will miss them before you know it!

Jamia - posted on 06/11/2010

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i had began by nursing my daughter to sleep then after i began pumping i began to nurse only sometimes mainly at night though because i have school during the day now i have placed her on formula but i still breastfeed at nights and early morning when shes fussy. my mom thinks its okay and my daughter will still go to sleep on her own

Kyndra - posted on 06/11/2010

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I am pregnant with my fourth, and nursed my first son to sleep, did the whole laying him down gently, etc... of course I loved--what mom wouldn't? BUT, I must say that with my next two girls I was a little wiser and nursed them until they were content and a little drowsy, and then laid them in bed to learn how to fall asleep on their own, happily. I must say that it has made a WORLD of difference for their future sleep patterns! My son is much more reliant on having things a certain way to sleep now (he's almost 6), while my 3 and 1 1/2 year old are wonderful sleepers and are great at putting themselves to sleep and staying asleep. They have less night terrors, too (which I've read can come when they don't go into a deep enough sleep because they are reliant on an outside source for their sleep pattern/sleepiness). Just a thought! But I've done it both ways and with this little one due in a few months I'll definitely continue my loving but healthy pattern I've done with my girls! Hope it helps :)
Good luck!
:)

Akeeba - posted on 06/11/2010

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I nursed my son who will be 1 this month till he decided he didnt want to nurse anymore. He was about 71/2 - 8 months old. He did nurse in the evening when he was ready to fall asleep and that was fine. Depending on your child - its possible that they might become accustomed to only falling asleep unless they nurse. How is your child throughout the day? Does your baby fall asleep without having to nurse? All things to consider.

Ana Maria Jo - posted on 06/11/2010

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I love it, I nursed my eldest unitl she was a year and 7 months, until I became pregnant with the second who is turning 1 soon. I'm still nursing her and will continue to do so. Being a working mum of two & nursing a little one is great.

Christie - posted on 06/11/2010

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I nursed my nearly 2yo to sleep anytime she wanted until she self weaned and she is still a terrific sleeper. My 11week old is also nursed to sleep and will be until he is ready to give it up too :) For the record he sleeps through the night also, so there goes that "they won't be able to self settle when they wake" B.S. :P People tend to frown upon it (usually those not BFing themselves), I think because they aren't willing to put in that "effort" (not that I find it as such) themselves. Unlike falling asleep with a bottle in mouth it's not linked to risk of tooth decay and obesity etc etc. I say good on you! :)

Angie - posted on 06/11/2010

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I nurse my 7 month old to sleep because it is the only way she will nap when she is fussy. I really do not want her to depend on nursing in order to fall asleep. I hear that falling asleep with a bottle can lead to habits w/overeating when they get older so I think maybe it's the same for nursing...not sure tho. Also, when I am at work she naps just fine without nursing or feeding, so I kinda think she just behaves this way with me which concerns me as well. But I am sure she will eventually stop needing to nurse to sleep some time

Stephanie - posted on 06/11/2010

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Nursing her until she is drowsy should maybe more your goal than to completely asleep. At about 5 or 6 months of age is when children learn how to soothe themselves to sleep, and this is kind of the beginning of putting themselves to sleep for their life of sleeping! I, too, nursed until my son was asleep, then it became a huge issue because everytime he would wake up at night - which we naturally have wake cycles like every 2-3 hours, he wouldn't be able to soothe himself back to sleep - so in went my boob, and I never got any decent sleep. My son didn't wean until 15 months, and that was only because I was pregnant, and my supply went down so much that it was painful when he would nurse, so I slowly weaned him off then. Once I gave him the ability to soothe himself to sleep, he has been a GREAT sleeper ever since. he is 19 months, asks to go "nigh-night" for nap and bedtime, sleeps an average of 12-13 hours a night, and a two hour nap in the afternoon. He is a complete joy. Good Luck!

Colleen - posted on 06/11/2010

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I still do most of the time and my LO is nearly 18 months old! Some days he'll fall asleep on the boob and others he wants to self sooth...I let him make the call. I hope to breastfeed until he is at least 2...but if he decides to give it up before then...well that's his choice. Here is an article you might find interesting...I did:
http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleepp...

Good luck! And keep up the BFing!

Amanda - posted on 06/11/2010

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My daughter turned 8 months old today!! She still nurses to sleep!! She also sleeps with me and will nurse during the night!! I love the connection between baby and mommy!! They are also very cute and look like angels when a sleep!!

Nichole - posted on 06/11/2010

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I'm still nursing my 15 month old daughter to sleep. I also nurse her first thing in the morning and before nap time. I don't always let her fall asleep on me but I give her a drink and she usually is drowsy when I put her crib. I love to nurse it's a feeling of closeness like no other and it is so good for the babies immune system. I plan on letting her self ween but stuff doesn't always go according to plan... I will nurse all of my children this way if it is possible! Do what ever feels right for you and your child :)

Paula - posted on 06/11/2010

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I've never heard of breastfeeding to sleep causing cavaties. I think cavaties come from bottles in the mouth for long periods of time.

Paula - posted on 06/11/2010

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I always nursed my daughter to sleep as well. I really liked Rebekah's comment about not nursing through the night. But that is not what I did. I would nurse my daughter every time she woke up and now I'm doing that with my son. I did it and do it to keep my husband from waking up in the middle of the night - I'm a stay at home mom. She is 21 months now and for the most part sleeping through the night well. My husband started putting her to sleep when we stopped nursing to sleep - around 1 and that worked well since she never asked for me or seemed dependent on that way of getting to sleep. I'm not sure when I stopped nursing her back to sleep. She weaned herself when I was too pregnant to comfortably nurse her - about 4 months into the pregnancy. She's dependent on her binki and we started giving her that when I stopped nursing back to sleep b/c I needed more sleep.

[deleted account]

My daughter just turned 2 and I nursed her to sleep until a few months ago. I still nurse her and tell her a story before she goes to sleep but now I put her in her crib and she is still awake and she goes to sleep on her own. I don't see any reason to do it any other way unless someone else has to put her to sleep like a babysitter. I've never left her so I don't know if it would be difficult. I do nurse her to sleep for the afternoon nap. For me there are no cons to nursing at all! I don't believe in any cry it out methods or any other torturous weaning techniques. I think everything comes in due time when the child is ready and there is no hurry. Enjoy their infancy!

Nikkita - posted on 06/11/2010

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My daughter is almost 4 months. I feed her whenever she wants and for however long she wants to eat. She fights sleep really bad, and sometimes letting her nurse herself to sleep is the only way I can get her to go to sleep.

Elizabeth - posted on 06/11/2010

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I want to clarify that I loved nursing my daughter to sleep for as long as we could. I loved when she drifted off, popping off the breast, sometimes a little milk dribbling out the side of her mouth.

Do what you feel most comfortable doing. My earlier post was just pointing out that all children are different.

[deleted account]

If you go to a La Leche League meeting you will meet other like minded mothers and find support for your decisions. Personally I cannot think of any negative reasons for nursing a baby to sleep for however long you decide. 1+800-LALECHE (525-3243) or www.llli.org

Karman - posted on 06/11/2010

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I nurse my son to sleep, he's 12 weeks old. I like to do it as he seems to settle better when i've nursed him. I think i might stop when he starts solids.

Margaret - posted on 06/11/2010

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I still nurse my 13 month old daughter to sleep. It works like a charm, but she takes naps with a bottle and does fine that way. I don't let her keep the bottle in the crib though. Nursing to sleep is the best feeling ever!

Heather - posted on 06/11/2010

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I nurse on demand. This is my second child, and I did the same for my oldest. We also Co-sleep. This is a decision that takes a toll on you as a parent/spouse, but I have found it so rewarding. My philosophy is that someday soon they wont want to sleep with you. It is a short term decision and personally I feel as though I have a stronger bond with my children because I spend so much time with them.

When they are infants you dont let them cry because you are teaching them "when you cry, I will come bonding," Well it makes me sad to think, "Mommy I am crying, why arent you coming?" My first daughter weaned herself. It wasnt a big change because she still got to snuggle us. Kids fight giving up the bottle because often time it means less bonding time with their parents (not always!)

Whatever you decide to do as far as breastfeeding/bottle feeding/co sleeping/crying it out...needs to work for you. I always try to keep an open mind, but I stick to my plan :o)

Elizabeth - posted on 06/11/2010

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I did that until my daughter's teeth came in around 9 months. Then we had to make sure to brush after nursing before bed to prevent tooth decay.

Also, I didn't have this issue, but I know some babies end up never wanting to sleep without nursing and this can be an issue if the baby is waking several times in the middle of the night.

My daughter self-weaned at 17 months old. But by the time she was 11 or 12 months old, she would not fall asleep while nursing. So be aware of that, too.

Sarah - posted on 06/11/2010

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I nurse my 10 month old to sleep in our comfy chair, but often when I get up to put her in her crib she wakes. Sometimes I can hold her close, nuzzle her then put her down to sleep. Others I need to call in Daddy. Since he has no milk, he isn't quite as alluring. I kiss her and leave and she settles easily for my husband.

Ideally, I would nurse her to a very sleepy yet still awake state, kiss her and transfer her to her crib. I found with my 2 older kids that if she falls asleep on her own, she will be better able to self soothe right back to sleep at the end of an REM sleep cycle and be able to sleep through the night.

Sharee - posted on 06/11/2010

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I nursed my son until he was 14 months old. I had to quit because I got pregnant again. Almost always it was until he fell asleep. It comforted and calmed both of us. There weren't really any cons for me at all. Anytime I would get anxious because I was too tired, I just fell asleep with him and it worked perfectly. My husband would sometimes come cover the both of us up with a blanket and just let me sleep. I completely agree with self weaning. Even though I wasn't ready to stop nursing, my son was.

Katie - posted on 06/11/2010

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I have 3 boys, and I did with all 3. By the time each of mine were starting to wean, at 12 months, they were pretty much able to go to sleep on their own. What works best for you and your little one is the only plan that will work for you!

Elysia - posted on 06/10/2010

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i nursed my son to sleep until he was 9months old and then i weaned him onto the bottle as i was 3months pregnant and a growing belly and growing toddler was becoming an issue. to begin with he would go to sleep on the bottle or straight after finishing it. now he has his bottle and we snuggle in bed till he drifts off. I didnt ever see it as a con because nobody else could feed him ne way so it didnt bother me and i loved that he was happy and content enough to drift off. i would say pros were that i knew when i fed him he would go for a nap and i would get a little bit of time to wat needed doing. I say if it feels rite for you and your baby then keep going.

Angela - posted on 06/10/2010

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Hi Erin,

Looks like you have lots of support here, which is very exciting. EVERYONE told me that nursing my son to sleep was a bad habit and I would regret it because it would cause him to be a bad sleeper. My son was born a bad sleeper and nursing him to sleep was what worked. My husband decided he needed to sleep in his own bed when he was 7 months old and we moved into his room and slept with him on our mattress on the floor. By 8 months we managed to get him in his bed, and part of this was getting him to fall asleep on his own because it was a problem for my husband to put him down for a nap when I was at work. He did fine learning that skill but I did resort back to nursing him down at night because he's just sweet and loved our cuddling time together so much. We did get out of it naturally, as he started to nurse less at night. More for comfort than anything. He weaned himself at 18 months, just after I became pregnant with his baby brother or sister. So, have faith that nursing your child to doesn't lead to all the bad things they say it does. Yes, it's easier to put him in his bed and say goodnight and walk away for him to fall asleep (and he's fine with that), but I would never, ever trade all the memories I have of that sweet face falling asleep as I nursed my son. The bonding and the trust it created between us is still evident now, as the precocious yet stubborn, and still sweet toddler he is.

Laura - posted on 06/10/2010

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i nurse my 6 1/2 month old to sleep every night, and whenever she wants to for a nap...and i, too, plan to continue as long as she wants it! many people say that it will inevitably cause her to NEED it in order to go to sleep which will teach her bad "going to sleep" habits, but my baby proves this theory wrong....sometimes she doesn't want it when i offer it to her before her nap, and she will let her daddy put her to sleep as long as she's not hungry. i see breastfeeding as much more than "feeding"...it is a great source of intimacy and comfort (for my daughter AND me!), and as long as she wants that feeling of comfort and security to drift off into dreamland, i'm not going to deny her of that or "train" her to do without it. why would i? i have many close friends and family, though, that have done this with their children, so knowing that the myths about it are untrue (by seeing their children develop great sleeping habits, become independent toddlers, and self-wean at an age that was 'acceptable' to their mothers) definitely has made it easier for me to feel comfortable with my decision to do so. this is why those of us who do so need to share more about our experiences, so that others would see that it's okay and can be healthy for a child. all babies are individuals, just like all of us adults, and need different things from their mommies to feel secure. i hope some of that made sense!

Karen Sue - posted on 06/10/2010

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I nurse my LO to sleep every night; she is 6 1/2 months old now & it is the most peaceful time of my day. I plan to breastfeed until she weans herself (she does get about 4-8 oz. of formula a day while I'm at work, since I am sometimes gone for up to 9 or 10 hours for work & I only get about an ounce when I pump, but when I'm home she only nurses).

Karen - posted on 06/10/2010

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Nathaniel is 22 months and I still nurse him to sleep. we love the cuddle time together and I will stop when he is ready. I did the same with my daughter.

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