Nursing to sleep

Rebecca - posted on 12/07/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I have to say, hands down, nursing is an amazing experience. My baby boy and I enjoy the connection and I am so proud of how healthy he has been feeding solely on breast milk. I've been fortunate to have an over supply of milk, however, I feel that this may have led me and LO to develop some sleeping routines that i don't feel are sustainable as he grows older. Firstly, he naps in the carrier throughout the day. As soon as I put him down, he wakes up. Secondly, he seems to have trouble winding down and side-nursing so it seems I always have to start off having him nurse in the carrier. E is now reaching 9 months and I am concerned that I'm coddling him and not helping him self-soothe. Any moms out there dealing with this? Also, he seems to nap for 30 min intervals after which he stirs, looks for boob, or needs to be rocked back to sleep.

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Lori - posted on 12/09/2013

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I know what you mean about bombarded all around. I thought I must be doing something wrong too. Everyone else's baby seemed to be sleeping through the night, and going to sleep on their own. And napping longer than mine. My first wouldn't nap longer than 30 minutes at a time… until well past her 2nd birthday. My 2nd took slightly longer naps, but never the 2 or 3 hour naps I get so jealous of when I hear my friends talking about their LO's napping. I DO believe part of that is personality, and sleep needs. Babies sleep needs can differ up to 4 hours from other babies. That's HUGE!
I finally have learned a few things. First, not every one else's baby sleeps as well as I had thought. When talking with other Mommy's who actually have babies my babies age - sure there are a few sleeping more - but there's also plenty of other babies doing exactly what mine were doing. It seems to be the moms with older kids or grown kids that don't remember that their LO's used to wake them up at night, or didn't nap for very long.
And Second: My children (now 3 yrs and 5 yrs) are very happy and very confident children. They interact well with others, they're sensitive to others feelings, they're not overly shy. They ALWAYS knew that I'd be there for them when they needed it.. and they're confident now that even if they try something new, I'll still be there for them when they need it. And yes I got told I was coddling them. And yes I got told they would never get off the boob. But it's just a bunch of hogwash. You're the MOM. Trust your instincts. If it's working for you, then don't change it cause someone else says you should. If it isn't working for you, then you can look for what might you do differently.

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Rebecca - posted on 12/09/2013

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Thanks again for sharing :), your reply has really given me an extra boost in confidence. I'm actually living in a foreign country so it's not always easy to find other moms for support.

Rebecca - posted on 12/08/2013

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Thanks for your feedback, Lori. It's just that I've been bombarded all around about how I let him nurse and nap in the carrier. But he is very happy and content and that ought to tell me that what I'm doing is ok. Glad to hear from another mom that your children eventually learned to fall asleep on their own. Any suggestions on longer nap times? I'm starting to think it might just be my boy's personality... Wants in on all the action :)

Lori - posted on 12/08/2013

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Rest assured that helping him to sleep now does NOT mean that he will not learn to sleep on his own later.
I don't necessarily think that an over supply of milk would have led to any of the sleep issues you've mentioned except perhaps not wanting to nurse laying down.
I nursed both my girls to sleep until I weaned them. the older one was 23 months. My younger one was 33 months. They both go to sleep just fine now without any boob!!!!! :)

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