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Thread: Comfort Sucking

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    11

    Default Comfort Sucking

    My daughter is 2 months and I think I have finally found what works to get her down at nap time- nursing down. However, she is no longer just nutritive nursing. She comforts sucks. But it works. There is usually never any crying when it is time for a nap. Her daddy puts her down with a bottle of expressed BM at night, but when it comes daytime, I have found that nursing down works best.

    Why do I feel guilty about this? It the myth about starting a bad habit really true? My lactation consultant even told me to nip it in the bud now and get a pacifier in her mouth? It didn't settle right in my mommy filter. Any good research out there in support of comfort sucking at the breast?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,891

    Default Re: Comfort Sucking

    Since it appears (at least, anecdotally) that almost all breastfed babies comfort nurse and nurse to sleep, (given the opportunity, that is) and it almost universally works great not only for baby but for moms, And breastfeeding is the biological norm for feeding infants upon which other feeding and comforting methods are (or should be) modeled, my question would be, where is the research, good or bad, that supports the idea that comfort nursing is in any way harmful or 'habit forming' or that one should NOT let a baby do this?
    But I have no idea about specific research, aside from the experiences of generations of breastfeeding moms that suggest this is normal and beneficial to both baby and mother. It's an interesting question- Anyone know of any studies?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,341

    Default Re: Comfort Sucking

    The myth about comfort sucking starting bad habits is just that: a myth. A baby who prefers to nurse to sleep is not a baby with a bad habit; she's a baby with an entirely natural sleep strategy which is sometimes an inconvenient one for mom and dad. But it's not a habit that will in any way damage the baby!

    There's tons of research out there on the importance of unrestricted nursing- though I don't know if there's any that specifically addresses comfort nursing as opposed to nutritive nursing. This article talks about some of the benefits and reasons why comfort nursing is good for baby and for you: http://thebabybond.com/ComfortNursing.html
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Comfort Sucking

    Thank ladies! I knew in my gut that the lactation consultant was completely wrong, but being a FTM makes me a little more susceptible to bad advice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    1,687

    Default Re: Comfort Sucking

    Not a bad habit at all. I say enjoy it while they're still little. I nursed my first to sleep all the time until he weaned at 22 months. He sleeps just fine without nursing
    I'm Anna
    Proud mama to my 2 little high needs "koala bears":

    Ethan born 8/23/08
    Bfed for 22 months, weaned with love 7/2010

    Lucas, born 1/6/11
    Nursing strong for 19 MONTHS!

    Cloth diapering 1 full-time even though I'm constantly ! Currently in potty training mode. We also and

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Comfort Sucking

    I found a brilliant way to get my baby to sleep - have you heard about The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp? Check it out on youtube - he's a genius! We use this method for naps and for getting her back to sleep in the early morning - works like a charm!

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