Pros and cons of BFing baby to sleep.

Kunang - posted on 01/06/2011 ( 56 moms have responded )

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I think I've been reading too much about how to "properly" get my baby to sleep. It feels natural to BF her to sleep, nursing is obviously designed to comfort her and to help her sleep. But the majority of what I'm reading is telling me that she will NEVER learn to go to sleep on her own if I don't teach her. I find it a bit over the top to say that she'll never learn. Having said this, don't nurse her to sleep every time, its just an option if shes not settling, so I know she can go to sleep without it. I should also note that I'm planning to BF until she naturally weans and that shes not 4 months.

Personal experiences, regrets, advice, ideas etc etc are all welcome!
Thanks ladies!

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Merry - posted on 01/11/2011

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For the mom
Pro- quick way to put baby to sleep
Easy, no brain work necessary
Natural relaxer for mom
Works when baby is sick, teething, etc
Works at another persons house, anywhere mom is!
Cons- baby usually wants mom to put to sleep
Can keep mom from a social life at night

For the baby
Pros- natural way to fall asleep
No crying
No training out of instincts
Simple and efficient way to be comforted
Cons- none
(there's nothing bad about breastfeeding to sleep for the baby)

For the dad
Pros- dad is free of night time rituals
Cons- dad can't takeover as easily if mom is sick, or unavailable

As for the whole "baby will never learn to self sooth, you will never get baby to learn, etc etc etc"
Babies naturally and gradually wean, not just from the breast, but also from their dependence on mom for comfort and stability.
When a baby is given all they need, emotionally and physically and mentally they thrive.
So as a toddler is slowly weaning from the breast they also slowly wean from breastfeeding to sleep. If you let the child take the lead they will on their own eventually fall asleep on your lap without needing the breast, and then eventually fall asleep in their bed without needing your lap!
They do grow up, on their own terms.
You can try to make them grow up sooner then they are inclined to do, but this has side effects, minor, or major.

Personally I always help my son fall asleep, in the early days that was always with the breast, now as he nears two years old he falls asleep often with just me rocking him.
He will sometimes fall asleep with me just laying in his bed with him.
So I can already tell he will one day grow up and not need breastfeeding to sleep.
But now he is very sick with a stomach virus and he has needed my breasts more then ever!
And he deserves to be comforted, not only when he is sick, but every night I think.
I have no regrets, but only one concern as my daughter is due in may and I'm wondering if I will have a hard time putting both to sleep.
But worries or not, I wouldn't change it for anything, I'd never use any form of forced self soothing and I will manage with both kids as best I can and I think it will all turn out good!

Kat - posted on 01/08/2011

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I nurse my LO to sleep. About half the time I also put her in the crib awake after a feeding and she falls asleep on her own. She is definitely not an easy baby to put to sleep because she is very active and curious and never wants to go to sleep and be left alone. The nursing relaxes her and me. If she is fussy and already ate and still refuses to sleep, I just switch her to the other boob, even though she already emptied it out, and just the sucking calms her down and she usually falls asleep. I always put her to sleep and we don't generally have anyone babysit her at night, so it's not an issue. We've had the grandmothers and my husband put her to sleep a few times and she fussed quite a bit, but they all found their own way of doing it. For me, nursing is the easiest because she it works every time and is the fastest way to get her back to sleep in the middle of the night.

Kunang - posted on 01/06/2011

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I should also put in, I STRONGLY do not agree with the "cry it out" method!!

Shawna - posted on 01/08/2011

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OK for starters I have 4 kids and have BF everyone until they weened them self. I have bfed all four to sleep and each of them has been left with sitters and such. What you want to make sure of is that your child will take a bottle. if they are hungry they won't sleep but if they are full most babies will finally give in and sleep whether it is by being rocked, patted, or laying down and rolling around. I do not agree with the let them alone and let them cry it out. My son is bfed to sleep and he is 9 months old and guess what he will take a bottle stays with a auntie and daddy sometimes to be watched and will fall asleep without if he must. sometimes he chooses to sleep without so do what you feel is best for you and your child and that is what matters. Not what "they" say.

Minnie - posted on 01/08/2011

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I happily nurse my 27 month old to sleep. Sometimes she puts herself to sleep. I know you saw my response in the debating community but thought I would put in here, too.



Anyone who assumes that a child will NEVER put himself or herself to sleep if he or she is nursed to sleep simply needs to loosen the expectations. Sure, a child might not go to sleep without help by nine months or a year, or even a year and a half but it will happen. Just at a later age than many expect.

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Kimberly - posted on 09/28/2013

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I am. Currently experiencing this with my 11 week old son. I find that, when he fussed on the blob, he often needs to burp!

Kimberly - posted on 09/28/2013

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I love the idea, but can you please give some more details on said "pick up put down method"? Thanks!

Charlene - posted on 01/14/2011

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Do what you feel is right. My baby BF to sleep at night and has a small drink before I leave for work in the morning. When her nany or someone elses looks after her she can fall asleep with BF. I feel that she will fall asleep how she wants when she wants. She is small and comfort is an important part of your baby's life. They learn...

Carolyn - posted on 01/13/2011

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i just think its very easy to for a young baby to become dependant on one specific method to fall alseep. Nursing to sleep is a prime example of that, making it difficult for anyone else to put that child down without doing a magic show of tricks and guess work to figure out how to sooth that child to sleep, as they are unable to maintain the routine that the child is used to.



But im also one who beleives that a child is a compliment to ones life and should not consume it, and that we should not martyr ourselves for the sake of our children and deny ourselves even simple pleasures. So for me, nursing to sleep would make me feel house bound.



And you are totally right - provide our children with an appropriate environment in wich they can develop the ability to fall sleep ! In my view point, on a nursing pillow, in the rocking chair, the couch in the living room with a boob in the mouth, is not such an environment.

Lise - posted on 01/13/2011

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Cute - a "stuffy" sounds fun. My daughter has a pink glow worm she dances to during the day and that she uses to calm her at night if we're in the car.

Methods of teaching self-soothing and putting babies to sleep are varied and work for everyone different, and not every method is for every person. I just admit that it bothers me when people make blanket statements that children will "never" self-soothe/go to sleep by themselves unless we intervene and teach them... It makes slacker parents like me who go with the flow think we aren't doing our job. :) I think that falling asleep is developmental and it's our job as parents to provide them an appropriate environment in which they can develop it.

Carolyn - posted on 01/13/2011

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Lise, that definitely seems to be a common train of thought !

Its something we do on a regular basis as adults, wether is taking a walk to clear our heads, having a nice relaxing bath to unwind at the end of a day, curling up with a bucket of icecream after a fight with the man .. these are all things we have learned to do to sooth ourselves emtionally.

My little guy, 7 months, has his stuffy ( blanket with a stuffed animal head on it) he will play with it, rub the soft fabric against his cheek, open and close his fist to feel the material in his hands, sometimes he will even cover his eyes with it, it calms him right down and helps him doze off. its really quite cute to see. but he will also just roll on his side and to hell with everything including his stuffed animal and go right to sleep !

if stuffy isnt around, he will use his blanket and do the exact same things when he needs that gentle calming sensation.

i used the pick up put down method when Logan went from being easy to put to bed, to a little nightmare. It worked beautifully and quickly, and was easy on both of us. He was still able to trust that mom and dad were there for comfort when he needed it, but that it was okay to go to sleep and he could do it on his own ! worked like a freaking charm !

Lise - posted on 01/13/2011

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Carolyn, that's a good point. I've only heard of self-soothing paired what CIO/sleep training, but they aren't the same thing.

I guess what I should say is that my daughter learned to soothe herself by being soothed; I don't feel I was ever actively teaching her to do so. I never did anything with the goal of her self-soothing (or putting herself to sleep).

Yes, I've been lucky to have a pretty easy going child (lately). The first few months were harder; I've blocked them out. ;-) I remember nursing, rocking, bouncing, burping, etc, etc, etc. for 40 min with a screaming baby, laying her down so I could take a deep breath or two, and then picking her up and trying everything again. There were times it took 2 or 3 rotations before something calmed her. Then we found she was sensitive to caffeine, and she's a different baby. Those were hard times.

Carolyn - posted on 01/13/2011

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Jennifer, My comment was to some who seem to think that the only means for slef soothing is through crying it out, and relate it specifically to falling asleep on their own.

Im not judging or commenting on anyones particular choice on how to teach / help their child learn to self soothe. I simply pointed out that they 2 are different things in and of themselves.

Malkara L. - posted on 01/13/2011

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You might have noticed alot of BF babies do not us pacifers. I am not saying they don't, I have seen some that do. *Sucking is natural for a baby* it helps calm them down. Before a baby is born, you might remember reading "they suck their hands, fingers, toes and umbilalcords". I agree with BFing to sleep as I did with my son and will do with our next child (due in May). It is importent that your child does take pumped milk from a bottle as I have friends who had to be there to put "little-one" down. When your child feels confident and self-assured, (it is different with every child) she will fall asleep off the breast. Meaning she will be full after you nurse her and will feel safe that you are not "leaving" her and bedie-bye she will go!
I hope this helps you decide what you will do, but above all, there is no "one thing fits all" in child rearing. What works for one might not work for the other. Use your own judgment- she is YOUR child.

Heather - posted on 01/13/2011

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I breastfed to sleep in the young months most of the time, and mostly b/c it "just happened". As they got older, I would say around 3 months or more I would do this schedule- wake, eat, play, sleep, wake, etc, unless it was in the middle of the night. That way they are full and will go to sleep easier without the breast. I frequently would do it for comfort if we were out or if I needed the convenience of that comfort, kwim? Just go with it. I didn't read any one book and follow it to the T. Do what feels best, and logical. Yes, I think that if you do bf every time she will have a more difficult time learning to self soothe, and I feel that the older they get the more difficult it is to teach them. We used Dr. Sears book, and we used Richard Ferber's book and they do not go well together! I love Sear's approach to everything except for sleep. I did co-sleep until the boys could crawl (around 6 months), and could be expected to sleep through the night, without nursing. Then we followed Richard Ferbers progressive waiting approach in his book (you can look this up online I am sure). With my first, we did not do this until he was 1 and boy was it so much faster doing it when the youngest was younger. I don't think I have the same approach for BF as everyone- it is a source of food and does not have to be the only way to comfort, you are obviously going to have to comfort her in other ways in the future! I have friends that nurse every time their kid gets upset or tired. I personally cannot do that. My kids self weaned as well, and I don't know if it is because I offered milk and other drinks, and didn't do it for comfort, but they both weaned on their own right around the 1at bday.

Jennifer - posted on 01/13/2011

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Lise, so you dont understand the plague of the mother with an infant with difficult temperment (colic even), and nor do i hope that you ever would need to. All i am saying here is that what works for one infant, parrent or family as a whole may not work for another. I absolutely had my son on a schedual for bed time 9 oclock every night no rocking no b/f and its never been a problem, but my example for nap time when i gave him something to assist (swing) it did end up kicking me when i gave it away, as i am not able to assist him anymore as im helping out friends providing care temporairly and need to attend those childrens needs not be stuck in a nursery. So if this woman is un able to b/f until her child is ready, she may end up kicking herself too.



Carolyn your right self soothing does not need to be achieved by the crying it out method, ( i have previously given an example how it can occur through the day) But It is an option which is what this woman was asking for.



This woman was looking for peoples different stratagies and will pick whats best for her child. As i have with mine and you for yours.

Terri - posted on 01/13/2011

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i try nursing my youngest to sleep but sometimes i nurse with her on my lap sitting up and she won't stay asleep a lot of the times when i move her so i put her back on the boob but sometimes she does get to a point where she stops taking them and idk what else to do other than let her cry it out...have the same problem at night too but after she cries for a little while at night she falls asleep and stays asleep for at least 4 or 5 hours

Carolyn - posted on 01/13/2011

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i would just like to point out , self soothing is not crying it out, and does not need to be acheived through crying it out.

I never did the "cry it out" with my son and he will happily go to sleep on his own, after being layed in his crib awake, without out crying to get himself there. He will also go back to sleep on his own if he wakes in the middle of the night.

there is also a difference between self soothing and the ability to fall asleep on their own. soothing is done when there is emotional discomfort. Falling asleep is done when it is time to fall asleep.

Lise sure sounds like your daughter knows how to self soothe to me, make herself emotionally comfortable before bedtime.

Kat - posted on 01/13/2011

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My 2 yr old still has breast during the night and in the evening before she goes to sleep,i breastfeed her to sleep each time,its comfort mostly.She will learn as she grows up and gets older to sleep on her own,dont read things in books its not always the best advice,good luck x

Jessie - posted on 01/12/2011

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personally i prefer to nurse my baby to sleep its easier he goes to sleep better and tends to sleep longer i could care less what all the books say i know what is beast for my baby they don't

Lise - posted on 01/12/2011

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Jennifer, to answer your questions...

My daughter first fell asleep by her own at 7 months. She has been put to sleep without nursing since her birth when she was with my husband. Our first daycare had a hard time getting her to sleep, but they were overfeeding her. We then got a nanny and she was able to put her down easily - no more than 10 minutes of parenting to sleep (rocking, walking, etc.). When we put her back in dc at 10 months, she started walking to her cot, climbing in and going to sleep when they started their sleeping music.

The first time she fell asleep on her own for me was after she was a year old, but I always offer to nurse or she asks to nurse when sleepy.

If a baby is happy to be put down sleepy but awake and goes to sleep happily, awesome. Nothing wrong with that! I don't personally see why I would ever let my daughter cry herself to sleep or be miserable/sad when I have a tool that will make her happy to go to sleep.

I hear parents complain all the time about how they hate bedtime, how their children fight being put down for bed, etc., etc., etc. I have never had that. My daughter loves her pjs, brushing her teeth, and is so easy at bedtime, I wouldn't trade that for her "self soothing" ever.

Carolyn - posted on 01/12/2011

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Katrina, you do realize you are still using external means to soothe your child and help them fall asleep ? such as the motion of your vehicle, the body heat and motion in a sling, and the holding part. You are still soothing your child, as opposed to the child knowing how to self soothe and fall asleep with out physical intervention from a parent or prop.

Jennifer - posted on 01/12/2011

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At what point did your child naturally develope the ability to self sooth dispite not having the oppurtunity to learn?

Im just saying its nice of you guys to offer the advice but what was your child age, a year +?

personally when my son hit 6 months i started to become uncomfortable with breast feeding and as soon as he got teeth i was done. And im not saying your choice is wrong or that mine is right....but for those moms who might start feeling uncomfortable or who are in college or back to work dont you think they deserve to put there kids to bed with out spending potentially hours rocking them by there own choice with out guilt. Allowing there child care provider an easyer time and the baby an easyer transition. Dont they deserve the peace of mind that that there are other ways you can break this habit and there are theorys that support them?

Food for thought.

Katrina - posted on 01/11/2011

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I have let my kids nurse to sleep until they decided they didn't need to nurse to sleep. My oldest 2 are almost 10 and just turned 7. They are both perfectly capable of getting to sleep on their own. They could do it before they were completely weaned. My youngest is 19 months old. Most of the time she likes to nurse to sleep but she will fall asleep perfectly fine in the sling, carseat or just being held so long as she's not hungry or anything like that. I see no negatives from having done this with any of my kids. I let them acheive their sleep maturity at their own pace.

Lise - posted on 01/11/2011

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Yeah - my child development classes were more like what Mary Renee described; we were taught that STTN (like all developmental milestones) cannot and should not be pushed and cannot/should not be taught. Granted, I only took 2 classes ;-). All depends on where and when you go to school. Psychology today is not what it was 20, or even 10, years ago.

Jennifer - posted on 01/11/2011

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Interesting how child development is tought different school to school, country to country. like i said to each there own for thoes interested heres a link to wikipedia reguarding Eriksons Stages of psychosocial development
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erikson's_stages_of_psychosocial_development

Sandie - posted on 01/11/2011

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hiya, when people found out i co-slept and breastfed all through the night (sometimes without waking up!) and nursed him to sleep for all naps and at night, they said i was digging myself a hole and that he'd be in my bed forever. however, at 11months we moved house and he had a lovely new bedroom, we set it up, put him down to sleep and on the most part he goes down pretty well. yeah he wakes up now and then and he still comes into my bed but its natural and when you think about it ... do you know any teenagers, or grown adults that need to be rocked, nursed etc to sleep...they all grow out of it and find their own pattern in their own time. x

Amy - posted on 01/11/2011

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I did this with my daughter and it worked great till she started waking up at night again and wanting nursed to sleep. It would have been fine but it took her a long time to be conferted to sleep. I fianly had to break her of it and it was much harder with her being 6 months already to break it. I did the cry it out method and it did work. It was hered and I tried other ways but she just screamed in my ears and face. I fianly let her just cry it out it took a bit for the first few days. I still would go in and check on her. Now she is one. Takes napes, sleeps fine at night even daddy puts her down. Crys for a few mints but usaly is out not long after getting put down. If she wakes up and cries we normaly just check her and see if somthing is wrong. Right now she is sick so I kind of have been getting her asap. I don't think your doing any thing wrong but like others had sad. You are the only one who then can put the baby to sleep. I had the flue when I was still nursing to sleep and well that was so heard for me. I am so not nursing our next one to sleep at all!!

Leslie - posted on 01/11/2011

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I guess it depends what you want and what works for your family. I didn't want to get in the habit of BF to sleep b/c if he wakes up in the middle of the night I wanted him to be good at falling back to sleep on his own. It would be no big deal to nurse him to sleep durring the day and bedtime, but in the middle of the night I didn't want that. So I follow a routine of nursing, then waketime, then nap time. My son doesn't cry it out b/c he's always had this routine so he's good with it. When I put him to bed he rarely fusses and usually plays for a few min. then falls to sleep. Once he was like 9-10 weeks old he didn't need to be nursed in the middle of the night except on occasion like for sickness or growth spurts. So he would wake up and settle himself back down in a few min. It works for us. That being said, there have been times I've nursed him to sleep if he has had a really long day and is restless he falls asleep at the breast.

Carolyn - posted on 01/11/2011

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I LOVE having my baby fall asleep next to me while nursing. She's calm and she feels safe. I am also going to stop when she decides. I'm sure when she gets older she'll be able to eventually put herself to sleep. Lately she has been doing it somewhat. I also think it's a comfort thing. I think she might not necessarily be hungry but just comforting!!!

Mary Renee - posted on 01/11/2011

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I also took a child development class in college (just a year ago) and it said the "Cry It Out" Method was dated and damaging and it actually cited Erikison's "Trust vs. Mistrust" as one of the reasons why. That stage doesn't end at age one, it ends at age TWO because the next stage is Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt right in time for potty training. Potty training is the appropriate time to teach them independence (or autonomy). Letting a baby cry it out teaches them that they can't trust their parents to be there for them when they cry.

Jennifer - posted on 01/11/2011

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to answer your questions Lise
im told that the selected cry it out method teaches the child that when i need mom that i will have her (extra attention for uncomfortable times such as teething) but i have to learn to be independent. (this is from a child development i took in college)
I also stated that I would go in to show the child im there every three min for the crying it out method the child is not "ignored". Have you ever cryed because your sooo tired and for no other reason? you know your babys crys you can tell what is needed. accomodate accordingly.

Reguarding the word "teach" modeling behaviour and vocal instruction while very important tools for teaching, they are not the only way we learn lessons.
When your baby is going from sit to crawl and bonks its head do you run over and scoop up the baby who isent yet crying, or allow him/her to work out the emotions. If the fall was very minimal and the child is just slightly sobbing you sit the child up again, If the child is uneffected you draw no attention to the bonk and if it is full out crying you cuddle it because your needed. (teaching the baby to self soothe by accomodating your responses to the babys needs.) Give your little babys more credit,they can put togather that they get attention based on behaviours and different crys.

With reguards to your children self soothing with out being taught there are a number of factors that could contribute to it, age, temperment, where the baby sleeps.

I hope that Kunang Agung is able to find the right match for her child based on all of the peoples experiences and knowledge. When i wrote my post it was to give facts that i have gained from post secondary education and beleifs that stem from those facts.
To each there own.

Lise - posted on 01/10/2011

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@Jennifer, you don't think that will be confusing to the baby? Sometimes Mommy rocks me/comforts me/etc., and sometimes I'm ignored?

As for "if you havent allowed your child to learn to self sooth than your child wont know how," I believe that's completely false. My daughter has never, ever cried herself to sleep, we never even attempted to make her self-soothe, and she is able to fall asleep on her own. My husband and all three of his brothers were parented to sleep and they all do it on their own. Ironically, I was allowed to fuss myself to sleep and suffered from insomnia for years. I don't believe cio led me to insomnia, but it certainly never taught me to go to sleep easily on my own.

How do you "teach" your child to self-soothe? Model the behavior? Teach by vocal instruction? No, you wait out the baby and teach them not to cry because you won't respond. I don't see how that is now considered self-soothing.

Jennifer - posted on 01/10/2011

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with reguards to crying it out. The first stage of Erikson's theory of psychosocial development is Trust vs. Mistrust. you will not do any perminate emotional damage if you allow a baby to cry it out after the age of one.
BF to sleep rocking to sleep its all the same. if you havent allowed your child to learn to self sooth than your child wont know how. Keep in mind factors where your babys emotions are at, If the baby is teething of coarse you should assist. Just keep in mind that separation anxiety peeks at a year so it will be even tougher to train then. I use to put my son in a swing the moment i saw a sign of sleepyness. I gave the swing away and woah nap time became a struggle. he is only 7 months so i do the 3 min method, if i see no other factors that show me he needs my assistance to settle, i allow him to cry and go back in 3 min later so he knows ill come back. HEs never gone more then 10 min. mind you he wasent falling asleep with me in the first place.

Lise - posted on 01/10/2011

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As a side note, I agree with the women who say it's baby-specific. I know women who now can't get their babies to sleep because they lost the lovey/blanket, because they're weaning from the binkie, without giving them a bottle, if the baby hasn't had a bath, etc.



Honestly, I value my daughter's sleep, then mine, then the "right way"/sleeping in her own room - in that order. If nursing gets her to sleep or keeps her to sleep, fantastic.

Amanda - posted on 01/10/2011

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I ALWAYS nursed my daughter to sleep. it was the only way she would go to sleep. we also co-slept until she was 6 months. then somewhere around 8-9 months she just stopped nursing to sleep. she would drink what she wanted and I would put her in her crib, rub her back and she would go to sleep. sometimes I would have to rub her back for 5-6 min before she would sleep. I don't agree with "crying it out either" at least not until there older like 8-10 months, but only let them cry for a couple of minutes. I had to let her cry to take naps, but she would only cry for 3 min max, and I didn't start doing this until she was 11 months. she just turned 1 on Saturday. so I say do what feels right for u and forget about what everyone else tell u!!

Carolyn - posted on 01/10/2011

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there is actually a sleep inducing protein our breastmilk that makes baby drowsy and well sleep. ( cant remember the name of it atm).

So all though babies are comfy and feel safe in moms arms while nursing, those are not the only reasons babies pass out.

so if baby is tired , with the added tiring effect of breastmilk, yes of course your child is going to fall asleep...

feed them when they arent tired/sleepy ( like when they wake up in the morning) and you should notice that despite the make up of breastmilk, they are awake ;) especially as babies age.

User - posted on 01/10/2011

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my experience is this: my son has nursed to sleep at every nap and bedtime since he was born- (with the exception of those occasional times where he fell asleep in the car or stroller if we were out, or very occasional times that he actually fell asleep on daddy)....i am not positive, but i might venture to say that he has never just been laid down awake and fallen asleep (crying included- he outlasts me by a long stretch)....he is now about to be 15 months end of jan. and i am quite weary of it - to be honest.
i have loved breastfeeding and don't regret that one bit, and as i've seen it said here, obviously they are comforted and fall asleep while nursing, so it just seemed like there was not really any other option to it all. i have read to nurse them right when they wake up - then have their play/awake time, then let them have their nap/sleep time - which would allow another method of putting them to sleep cause they've already been fed - i sort of tried this when my son was maybe 2 months or so, but we had already been in the routine of feeding to sleep and neither one of us really got the hang of it.
everyone does things different, i really don't see it as right or wrong, and i definitely don't see it as a regret to this point, but for me, it is beginning to form some resentment, i'm ready for the days of "i love you, have a good nap" lay in crib, walk away, crying or not, a nap will occur! i am not sure how far away those days are but i am weary of our current methods :(

Inaharta - posted on 01/10/2011

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babies fall asleep while breastfeeding because they feel comfort n save. don't worry about what she learns or not. she is a baby after all. babies are the best student. they'll learn to adapt in any environment we put her through.
i agreed with Shawna Martin said. it is your experience. As for me, i'm still exclusively bf my daughter now at 18mths and still she wakes up in the middle of the nite crying. feed her then she sleeps again. we dont have to get up in the nite to make him milk.

Autumn - posted on 01/09/2011

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I bf my daughter until she was 8 months old. I always bf her to sleep. Because I liked the time to bond with her and it always soothed her. My daughter always took a bottle as well though when she was tired she expected me to bf her. It was really hard to try to get her and myself out of that habit. Anytime I would try to put her to sleep she would wake up because their wasn't something in her mouth. She also would never take a binkey so it's not like I could just put one in her mouth to put her to sleep. I read a book on how to put babies asleep. Best advice in their said that if you feed the baby until they are almost asleep then lay them done its better for them to get into the habit of not having something to put them to sleep. As well as rocking you baby to sleep. The author wrote anything you do over and over your baby starts to expect having the same thing done to be put to sleep. I couldn't let my baby cry herself to sleep. Though I realized if I get my baby in a routine it's easier. Play time, bath time, laver with relaxing lotion, dim the lights play the musical mobile while feeding her a bottle. Lay her down awake she tends to fall asleep on her own. 9/10 times she doesn't fuss or anything. On occasion she will fuss for maybe a minute and fall asleep, but it's not like she is screaming or crying. It's just a I am tired type of fuss. This worked for me. Though every baby is different so good luck = )

Ramona - posted on 01/09/2011

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I agree. I think those little tidbits are out there as a GUIDE, not as a end-all be-all. I pay more attention to research and do with it what I think I should do with it than I do to advice that I read. I have read that too, and usually put her to bed sleepy but not asleep. However, some nights I do nurse her to sleep. I think she will turn out just fine.

Amy - posted on 01/09/2011

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Disregard the last sentence, I typed it on my iPhone and couldn't get to it to delete it, lol.

Amy - posted on 01/09/2011

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It definitely depends on the baby. My daughter who is 10 months old sometimes nurses to sleep, but there are many times where she finishes nursing and is awake so she goes into the crib and babbles herself to sleep. If she starts crying and it's a distressed cry I go in and calm her down by rocking her, or nursing her. Once she's settled I put her back in the crib. I work full-time in retail so I have to work late some nights, so my mil or husband can get her to sleep too, she's not a snobby baby, lol.
My son who is almost 5 is a nightmare to get to sleep, he's not an independent kid. Someone has to lay with him till he falls asleep and then usually climbs into our bed in the middle of the night. He was only bf'd till about 5 months old but always had to be rocked to sleep and never learned to self settle. I honestly don't think there is a right or wrong way and what works for one family won't work for another family.
She is completely different from my son who is almost 5. I

Ashley - posted on 01/09/2011

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I've always co slept and fed my daughter to sleep and she's six months old and it's been a NIGHTMARE trying to get her to sleep in her bed!!! She does, however, eventually go to her own bed almost every night. I think, like with almost all things, it depends on the child. But I wouldn't necessarily recommend it, as it is ALOT of pacing back and forth and bouncing =p

Elaina - posted on 01/08/2011

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I BF my son for 22 months, I BF him to sleep for almost 1 year. Then I would nurse him down for naps. Eventually I stopped that as well. He was able to adapt to different people putting him down for naps and for the night. The main thing is to form a routine and that should be all the baby needs. I BF baby #2 and co-sleep, no regrets about anything.

Amanda - posted on 01/08/2011

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i nurse my 8.5 month old to sleep- there are times he's still awake after nursing, so i keep quiet, in the dark, and after a few minutes i put him down and he falls asleep. i sometimes work until later in the evening so my husband has to put him down- its never been a problem because he is the one who does his nighttime bath and massage, so continuing with a bottle in the rocking chair is a natural extension of that routine for them. at around 4 months i was very stressed with our nighttime (cosleeping with multiple multiple wakings) and i thought the same (that nursing him to sleep was a bad idea).....i really feel like baby has to be old enough to be able to sleep on their own for longer periods of time- i dont think it has anything to do with nursing. if anything, that helps comfort baby and is simply EASIER at night (who wants to make a bottle???)

Celeste - posted on 01/07/2011

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I guess I'm just lucky... I nursed my son to sleep every night, and before every nap - until one night around 4 or 5 months he finished his night feed and was still awake. We were staring at each other like "um... OK what do we do now?" So I kissed him good night, put him in his crib, and he went to sleep. At one point it got to be like a 50-50 mix - sometimes asleep on the boob, sometimes awake until I left the room. And now at 8.5 months I lay him down awake every night after nursing, and at every nap - and he falls asleep on his own. Not always right away, once in a while it takes a few tries - but usually it's automatic. And he usually sleeps through the night, except for teething/growth spurts.

I agree with Lise, I never used any kind of "method" - I think sometimes we can overthink things. But then again, I realize I've been blessed with an easy baby!

If nursing to sleep feels right for you, don't avoid it because you read somewhere that it didn't work well for other people.

Sarh - posted on 01/07/2011

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I don't read into any of that! I just do what works for my babies.
I don't remember what I did with Jada, but with CJ I nurse him to sleep if that is what he wants. Some nights he falls asleep after/during a feed and other nights he is still awake and I lay him in his crib and he goes to sleep on his own. This works perfectly fine for us. Yes, some nights I am busy doing things and wish he would just fall asleep on his own in his crib instead of nursing longer then normal to fall asleep, but I'm glad her does.
If we as mothers read into everything we do with our babies or everything our babies do we would go insane!!!
My advise is to do what is best for you and baby!!! Continue to nurse her to sleep if that is what comforts her. :)

Mary Renee - posted on 01/07/2011

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I think it's a BIG con because I've been doing it for the past 8 months!!!!! I'm now the only person who can get our daughter to sleep because she's used to nursing to sleep, whether it's bedtime or naptime and our bedtime routine takes HOURS and if she wakes up after she's done eating and she's full, it's almost impossible to get her to sleep any other way.

On New Years I had pumped milk to give her so that I could drink champagne. I had two glasses of champagne and a Heineken, thinking I was in the clear because I had plenty of milk pumped for her... she would NOT take it. She wouldn't take the bottle, not from me, not from her father, she just cried and screamed at the top of her lungs like "Why oh why oh why won't you give me the boob Mama!?" and to make it worse she kept saying "Mama, Mama, Mama" and crying and a half an hour later I had to give in and breastfeed her because she was inconsolable and wouldn't take the pumped milk. I felt so guilty but you know what? I'm really not a bad person for having champagne on New Years!

The only "pro" I can think of is that at least their stomachs are full so maybe they sleep longer? And my daughter has fought sleep since she was a few weeks old so at least SOMETHING gets her to sleep. I bought the "No-Cry Sleep Solution" and am going to try that to break this habbit.

Codie - posted on 01/07/2011

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I'm not sure if you pump but you could also try pumping and giving breastmilk in a bottle at night if you're worried she won't sleep for others without the breast. I do both for corbin, we alternate and he usually goes off just fine with either! good luck:)

Lise - posted on 01/07/2011

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Always nurse my baby to sleep and have no regrets. When someone else watches her, they find their own way to help her sleep (walking her, rocking, etc.) AND she falls asleep on her own with daycare and sometimes with us.

We have never "taught" her to go to sleep; the whole idea of that seems weird to me. Like teaching someone to breathe...

Carolyn - posted on 01/06/2011

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well just something to consider : if you ever want to leave the house at night and go out, or leave baby with a sitter, you wont be there to breastfeed to sleep. So if she doesnt know how to settle with out the breast, it can be very difficult for someone else to be able to settle a child with no self soothing ability. ( because you stated you use the breast to sooth to sleep when she is unsettled)

I dont nurse to sleep myself, at 8 weeks Logan learned to put himself to sleep without crying it out. We used the techniques in the Baby Whisperer book and they worked beautifully. Also, anyone who has ever babysat is able to put Logan to sleep with out issue and can deal with bed time no problem so long as they follow his bedtime routine.

I prefer feeding up wake up in the morning and from naps as Logan will nurse more vigorously, all active sucking, no lulling off to sleep, dinking around, trying to rouse him, etc. he gets the job done efficiently and quickly and we have more time for play and learning .

Codie - posted on 01/06/2011

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I think that if you're planning to naturally wean, when she stops nursing she'll also want to put herself to sleep without nursing, that's part of her wanting to be more independent from mom. my son is almost 7 months and usually prefers to bf to sleep but its not impossible for him sleep by rocking or patting to sleep.

My aunt was going to bf my 1yo cousin til 14months however, jenna was only nursing at night. so one night my aunt just decided to see what would happen if she skipped the bf session. jenna went right to sleep without it and hasn't bf since. Yes, i realize every baby is different but the statement that bf to sleep will lead to a child who doesn't kno and will never learn to put themselves to sleep, seems much like bogas to me! Do what you're comfortable with and what feels right for you and your baby:) good luck and you're doing a wonderful job!

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