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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Ashley - posted on 06/05/2010

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I nurse my 7 month old daughter to sleep as well. I love that time with her because I get to cuddle with her as she falls asleep. The only thing I don't like about it is that it makes it hard for anyone else to put her to sleep if I can't.

Becca - posted on 06/05/2010

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I breastfeed my son back to sleep when he wakes up at night (ussually 2x) it's just faster and i get more sleep. I've tried to settle him without the nursing but it takes over an hour. Nursing can take less that 10min from the time I get out of bed to the time I get back in. This is just better for all involved and I have no concerns about him self settling because he never nurses before naps and doesn't nurse to sleep at bedtime (we nurse, brush his teeth, say goodnight to the house, read stories and then he gets tucked in).

Victoria - posted on 06/05/2010

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I nurse my son to sleep. I love it. Unless im super tired and its like 330 am. But i love having that time with him. The last thing he sees before he naps. =]

Merry - posted on 06/05/2010

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I have a comment on this community called breastfeeding to sleep at 14 months. There ismy story and a few other moms too so check it out, you are in good company!

Rebekah - posted on 06/05/2010

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First off, I love the book, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." It is a sleep life saver. This is some advice I gave on this same topic in another community.



One thing that book mentions is that there is NOTHING wrong with nursing a child to sleep. If that's part of her bedtime routine I wouldn't give it up (if you're happy with it too). The problem comes when you are nursing her as she wakes up, or to get her back to sleep. What the book recommends is to put her in her bed (after you've nursed) and then leave her to take her nap or sleep all night.



Here's what I do/did. My daughter nurses before bedtime (60% of the time she's asleep when I lay her down). If she starts fussing 5, 10, 20, or even 30 minutes later, I ignore her. But, if she starts getting really mad (when the cry changes more to screaming) I'll go to her, cover her up, tell her goodnight, and then leave. I would continue to go and cover her up every 5-10 minutes if she continued to cry, but I would NEVER offer to nurse her again or pick her up. The point is to teach him/her that after they are nursed to sleep then its bedtime. [Side Note: This would be the same for a preschooler that might read books before bedtime. It's okay as part of their routine, but after you've told them "goodnight," you don't return and read more books.] So, after you put her in her crib, no more nursing, rocking, cuddling... Just sleeping. I do the same in the middle of the night if my daughter wakes up. I ignore her if she's just fussing and if she starts crying I'll give her a little pat, cover her up, tell her goodnight and then leave. If you are consistent and only use nursing as part of the bedtime routine it can be nice for a long time.



Edited to add: My daughter is 1.

Erin - posted on 06/05/2010

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i dont think we will have the problem with her associating nursing with sleeping, i only nurse her in bed laying down before nap and bed time. so i think she will more associate then bedroom and being in bed with sleeping rather than nursing.people keep telling me i will never be able to put her to bed with out nursing now that i started this. i just reply by saying "i am sure when she goes way to university she will find some other way to help her fall asleep" haha, that shuts them up. i really have no problem nursing her to sleep so long as she is still nursing. thanks for the reply's ladies :)

Susan - posted on 06/05/2010

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I fed my little girl to sleep every time until 7 months old. Then she started associating breast with sleep and I had trouble feeding her at all. I didn't want to, but I taught her how to put herself to sleep (it only took a few days but it wasn't nice) Every now and then i still let her fall asleep on me (even though some people say that confuses them) I agree, it is the nicest thing in the world to have them fall asleep so peacefully. Especially as they are only little for a short time. When she wakes up at night I feed her and most of the time she is asleep again by the time i put her back down.
It can get hard as they get older when you want them to sleep and they fight it and don't know any other way of getting themselves to sleep. But they all learn to sleep eventually no matter what anyone tells you. If she is happy to sleep on you all the time then let her. The other bonus is its easier to get them back to sleep in the mornings if you want a lie in!
If it works for you then you can't go wrong! I am glad that my LO goes to sleep on her own now but I really do miss feeding her to sleep. I just make sure I get as many cuddles in as I can, but when they get mobile they aren't so keen to sit in your lap if they aren't nursing! Good Luck and enjoy ;)

Kristin - posted on 06/04/2010

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I nursed mine to drowsy during nap and bedtime, but middle of the night feeds were until pass out. It just was easier all around.

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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