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Thread: Nursing to sleep

  1. #1

    Default Nursing to sleep

    Any thoughts on beginning to transition from nursing to sleep to putting baby down after fed but still awake. My son is 4.5 months old and nurses to sleep quite often. I thought I may need to start moving him to learning how to put himself to sleep at some point. He only receives breastmilk and no solid food at this point either. Is he still young enough that this is ok?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: Nursing to sleep

    There's not really a cut off age where it's not ok, most don't go to college still nursing to sleep. lol They all eventually get to a independent stage in life where they will go to sleep with out nursing...each different and in their own time, like many other milestones.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern Cal.

    Default Re: Nursing to sleep

    I nursed Joe to sleep until he about a year old. At that point, he didn't always fall asleep at the breast, so I started to try different soothing methods to get him asleep when he didn't nurse to sleep. Honestly, most of the alternatives were more difficult than just nursing, and I just wished he'd go back to falling asleep at the breast!

    But I will say that my husband found ways to get Joe to sleep that didn't involve the breast pretty early on (again, I'd probably rather nurse than rock, walk, shush, etc.). Some babies can be put down awake and will fall asleep no problem, so it's always worth a try - tank baby up on milk, then pat and shush rather than nurse and see what happens - but Joe was always pretty resistant to this, so I don't have much advice. What I do know is that if you continue nursing to sleep, it won't last forever. A time will come when your child settles themself to sleep.

    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Nursing to sleep

    The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests exclusive breastfeeding (so, no solids, water, or anything else) until baby is 6 months old. In real life, an occasional baby may be 'ready' for solids a bit earlier than that, and many are only ready much later. It's individual. Learn the signs of solids readiness and let baby lead when introducing solids would be my suggestion. Also remember that for many months after they are introduced, solids are not going to provide much nutrition, they are for fun and learning. Baby still needs to get most of his nutrition from breastmilk for at least a year (and for many babies, for longer.)

    As far as falling asleep at the breast-this is normal & healthy and virtually all babies do this. There is no need to worry about training a baby to go to sleep other ways unless YOU are being inconvenienced by it. In that case, you could try introducing other comfort to sleep measures/associations, but imo it is pretty early to be expecting baby to get himself to sleep without nursing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: Nursing to sleep

    I started pretty early on getting DS to fall asleep by himself -- around 1-2 months maybe? It was very gradual and gentle. We started by swaddling/rocking/shushing till sleepy, then put him in the crib but stuck around to see if he needed more help. I did not hesitate to pick him up and comfort or nurse if that's what he needed. In the beginning he was able to fall asleep on his own only occasionally, but since we let him try as often as he was willing, eventually he got the hang of it, and now he's a pro.

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