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Thread: Nursing to sleep- FTM feeling guilty/ concerned

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Nursing to sleep- FTM feeling guilty/ concerned

    I sometimes wish we could go back in time and see what moms did hundreds and thousands of years ago when it came to nursing, before the bottle and before it was "socially acceptable" in the western culture for children to put themselves to sleep.

    I nurse LO to sleep right now and she is almost 3 months. I love it, she loves it. But, I'm still hearing mixed concerns, which in turn is making me concerned, that it will be difficult to get her out of wanting to fall asleep at the breast when she is older. I've read about how children can naturally wean themselves off when they are ready, but because very few women in my family breastfed (only my SIL but she weaned her babies before a year) I have no one to ask for advice. My mom is all about not CIO so she just tells me to do whatever works, but even still she doesn't know from experience what kind of advice to give me.

    Can anyone put this FTM's mind to rest? When it does come time to wean (a while from now, as I hope to BF over a year), what is a tear-free way to do it? Resources I can go to?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Nursing to sleep- FTM feeling guilty/ concerned

    Well - I bet that if you went back to see what cave mama was doing - she was nursing her baby to sleep and every time her baby cried, so they wouldn't get eaten by predators.

    I'm not sure why you are worrying about weaning now? When the time for that is closer, it will become more obvious to you. You will either want to do mother-led weaning, some combo of mother & child-led weaning or child-led weaning. It's hard to say, right now, with an almost 3 month old how you are going to feel 9 months, a year, two years from now.

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Northern CA

    Default Re: Nursing to sleep- FTM feeling guilty/ concerned

    My DD nursed to sleep and refused to nap anywhere but directly on top of me until she was almost 20 months old. At about that time she became really interested in her toy dolls. I asked her one day if she wanted to keep them company in her crib so they wouldn't be lonely. Ever since that time she has been sleeping every night in her crib and taking naps there as well. It was a very easy transition for her because she was ready for it. Prior to that point I had tried many different ways (except CIO) to get her to sleep on her own and she always met me with extreme resistance.

    My point is, don't let others make you question your instincts. Your baby will grow up faster than you can imagine and she will learn how to sleep on her own even if you nurse her to sleep now.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Re: Nursing to sleep- FTM feeling guilty/ concerned

    I'm just starting out with my 2nd. With my older son, we nursed to sleep for quite a while (9 months maybe) and then transitioned without too much trouble. In my experience, you do what works for your family, and when you need to make a change you do. With some patience and good humor, those things you thought were going to be a big problem begin to work themselves out. Remember: You are the mom. You and the baby's father work together to make good decisions for your child, and whatever anyone else has to say really doesn't matter that much.

    edited to add: We didn't wean at 9 months, we just transitioned to going to sleep without nursing.
    Last edited by @llli*lehall; September 18th, 2012 at 05:42 PM. Reason: forgot one thing

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Nursing to sleep- FTM feeling guilty/ concerned

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommy2lilah View Post
    Well - I bet that if you went back to see what cave mama was doing - she was nursing her baby to sleep and every time her baby cried, so they wouldn't get eaten by predators.
    and I can't really imagine the cave mama fretting about whether or not her child would go to sleep on his own, not when the sabertooth tiger was prowling outside the cave...

    I think many mamas spend far too much time worrying about the future instead of enjoying the present and focusing on what works right now. I know a lot of people will warn you against nursing to sleep because they claim you're fostering a "bad" habit. But IMO a bad habit is something that hurts the baby, and nursing to sleep isn't one of those things. It can be an inconvenience for mom, but it's not bad for the baby. And really, what's the alternative? With a 3 month-old baby, you're just doing what works, because that is all you can do. It's not like you can reason with a 3 month-old or change his behavior in any way that he will understand.

    One thing I would suggest is to get a copy of Elizabeth Pantley's book "The No Cry Sleep Solution". It gives you a realistic perspective on infant sleep and suggests some gentle ways to encourage longer stretches of more independent sleep.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Nursing to sleep- FTM feeling guilty/ concerned

    I can tell you what a cave mamma was NOT doing to get baby to sleep...
    driving baby around in the car
    putting baby in a mechanized swing
    putting baby in the stroller and circling the block
    putting baby to bed three caves down and letting baby 'cry it out' (whatever IT is.)
    Why are there not scads of cautions about these other typical methods to get baby to sleep?
    And if nursing a baby to sleep makes a baby 'always' need to nurse to to sleep, does crying it out make a baby always need to cry herself to sleep?

    Nursing a baby to sleep is a mothering tool, not a lifelong sentence. It can be used or not used, although i cannot imagine a bfding mom not wanting to use this easy comforting to sleep method for at least part of thier breastfeeding journey. Being able to do this is a benefit of bfding. And there certainly is no reason not to use it when and for as long as it works for you. When your child is ready to fall asleep on their own, they will.

    For reinforcement, There is plenty of evidence and experts who show that cio, sleep training, et all are not needed and that nursing a baby or toddler to sleep is normal, healthy and fine. IMO LLL and Attachment Parenting International are good resources, as is the Dr. Sears books and website and this website: http://www.isisonline.org.uk/ The books The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and Motherign your Nursing toddler are great books.

    But don't ever sell short your very best resource-your own mother's heart.
    I love it, she loves it.
    That is all you really need. YOU know your baby and yourself better than anyone else does or ever will. Trust your instincts. That is what a cave momma would do.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Re: Nursing to sleep- FTM feeling guilty/ concerned

    FTM 4.24.12


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