Where does breastfeeding fit into your baby's bedtime routine

Emily - posted on 01/23/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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I know my 6 month old still needs to nurse before going to bed, but right now it is still the very last thing we do before I lay him down. I don't want him to only be able to fall asleep after nursing, but I want him to sleep as long as possible before waking up to eat again. Right now our bedime routine is a bath, a story, then nursing. I guess I am wanting to know what other moms do. Is nursing the very last thing you do before you lay your baby down?

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Renee - posted on 01/23/2009

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What works for us is this: change diaper and clothes, nurse, then story and song and then into the crib (awake). He eats before bed, but it's not what puts him to sleep. Oh, and he's 8.5 mos. old but we started this routine at about 5 mos. old. (at that time he did not go into the crib awake - that has taken a lot of training!). 

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Lorilynne - posted on 01/25/2009

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My son is five months old and nursing is still the last thing I do before his bedtime.  Sometimes he falls asleep while feeding and I just put him in his crib and sometimes he doesn't and I just put him down when he finishes eating.  Regardless, he still goes to bed at the same time every night (8pm) so whether I nurse him to sleep or not he will sleep the entire night.

Jenna - posted on 01/24/2009

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bath, nursing, storytime, then rocking and cuddles, bed



My lil guy is 15wks

Lauren - posted on 01/23/2009

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My daughter is almost 1 and we have the same routine. Bath, quality/quiet time with mom and/or dad, reading, nursing then bed. For the first few months she fell asleep while nursing but now she stays awake most of the time. We sing and cuddle and go into the crib awake. I tried to nurse her before the books but she then looks to nurse again after anyway, even if it is only for a few seconds.

Melissa - posted on 01/23/2009

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My son is 10 months old and I still nurse him right before bed.  Our bedtime routine is bath, stories, nursing, and then bed.  He used to fall asleep nursing all the time, but has gradually grown out of that on his own.  On occasion if he is really tired he will fall asleep, but most of the time after eating, we cuddle for a little bit and then I put him down awake.  

Joanie - posted on 01/23/2009

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If you are concerned that your baby is dependent on nursing to fall asleep, try avoiding it for his naps during the day. That's what I do, and I still nurse him to sleep. Every once in awhile he won't fall asleep and I just cuddle him for a minute and put him in his crib. His dad puts him down when I'm not home and there's no problem. With my first I always nursed her to sleep and I was nervous when I weaned her. But I gave her a cup of formula and she drank it and was still wide awake, then I gave her loves and laid her in her crib and she went right to sleep. The routine was established and she was used to it.



If you are still wanting to try something different, you could nurse before reading books, and it's not a bad idea to brush his teeth after nursing, if he has any. The feeding is only a few minutes earlier than it would so it's not going to effect his sleep.

Madison - posted on 01/23/2009

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try feeding him before you bath him, worm water and a story should be enough to send him to sleep, it may not work over night, babys love routine so stick with whatever you try, dont go back on it or it wont work good luck

Crystal - posted on 01/23/2009

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All my kids nursed right before bed. Our schedule is like this (with 3 kids) we eat dinner, the middle child plays her game before bed, then goes to bath with youngest while my oldest plays his game before bed. The youngest come out where I get them dressed for bed while DH bathes oldest son. Then we brush all 3 of their teeth and we put them in their room. DH cuddles, talks quietly and hugs and kisses to the older two while I nurse youngest. Then youngest and I go around and give hugs to oldest two, and then I put youngest in bed and we leave the three of them to sleep.

My oldest two nursed to sleep, and were fine after weaning and going to sleep on their own. My youngest never nurses to sleep, even in the middle of the night I'm putting him in his crib awake and he falls asleep on his own.

Alison - posted on 01/23/2009

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My son is only two and half months old, but I always nurse him before I put him to bed. I'd rather him be full and drowsy, rather than having him wake up soon after having to feed him right after I fall asleep. Usually after his before bedtime feeding, he'll sleep his longest period without having to feed again. This works well for both my husband and I right now, so we plan on doing it until my son decides to change.

Emily - posted on 01/23/2009

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For us, nursing is still the very last thing, my baby is almost 13 months. If she finishes nursing and is still not asleep, she cuddles with daddy... but usually falls asleep nursing. My 2 1/2 year old still nurses once before bed also, but she's almost always awake afterwards, and falls asleep after I leave the room.

Check out the "No-Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley for ideas on moving the nursing session to a bit earlier in the routine if it's bothering you, and for finding other ways for him to fall asleep.

My kids always prefer to nurse to sleep, especially if I'm there. But, if I'm not available, they'll accept Daddy and other substitutes to fall asleep.

Amaris - posted on 01/23/2009

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hey there,



the best advice i could say is that breastfeed your baby before bed, just because he still so young and nursing before bed is expected from mothers of infants. I breastfeed my daughter every night before bed untill she was 8months and then pumped breastmilk and bottled it until she was a year. and then she sleeps longer if she eats before bed

Katie - posted on 01/23/2009

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Definitely. I always nurse my daughter before sleep - because from experience, if I don't she's up in an hour and is hungry. It is not as bad of a habit to get into as you think. I nursed my oldest daughter to sleep every night until she was 12 mo and she stopped on her own. I now nurse my 7 mo to sleep every night - but she doesn't NEED too, if Daddy puts her to sleep she's fine! I am a firm believer that nursing is also comfort for them - like a thumb, or a blankie. I'm okay with being that for my daughter, but I know not everyone is the same. You do what you feel is right in your gut - if you want to nurse him, you nurse him. Only you know what's best for your baby :)

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