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Thread: HELP- Won't nurse before bed- WHY??

  1. #1

    Default HELP- Won't nurse before bed- WHY??

    Starting about a week or so ago, my 12 week old will not nurse before bed, or really anytime that she is not "really" hungry (ie no cluster feeding) or sleepy.

    Before bed, I have to rock her with her paci until she is almost asleep, slip the paci out, and then slip her onto my nipple. If she wakes and catches on to my trickery, I have to start all over. Once she is on she'll nurse, and swallow, for what seems like a full feeding. In the MOTN she also takes a full feeding, no problem. But she also fights the breast if I try to clusterfeed in the evening. She definitely prefers to use the pacifier for comfort suckling and not my breast, maybe because I have a huge supply.

    Because I am trying to make sure she doesn't associate BFing and sleep, I always put her down drowsy but awake, which means after nursing her I have to wake her up to put her down. We also loosely followe E-A-S-Y so she doesn't nurse before sleep for anything but bedtime, unless she is showing feeding cues at that time.

    She just started daycare yesterday and that was pretty much her first experience with bottles but this has been going on for a few weeks now. Any thoughts? Most people have to BF there baby to sleep, I have to get my baby to sleep in order to BF. Seems CRAZY!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: HELP- Won't nurse before bed- WHY??

    Hello! I know it seems crazy, but it's surprisingly common, I think! My DD started that sort of behavior right around that age. She's my "dreamfeeder." I used to have to put her to sleep, then "trick" her into nursing. I have no explanation for it - that's just how she is, I guess! Perhaps it has to do with distractability - around 3 months they really start to become more aware of their world - it's much more exciting to look around then to nurse. Also, I know with DD, when she's tired, she'd rather just sleep, even if she's a little hungry. Hang in there. It will probably pass. I know there are other mamas on this board with babies with similar behaviors.

    Don't worry too much about the sleep/feeding association.
    Blessed with DS - born 9/2/09 - nursed/pumped for 12 months
    Blessed with DD - born 3/27/12 my dreamfeeder

    903 ounces donated.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: HELP- Won't nurse before bed- WHY??

    My ds did the same thing around that age. It was a phase and passed quickly enough.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: HELP- Won't nurse before bed- WHY??

    Just a thought that maybe you are teaching her to prefer the pacifier to you. Pacifier use is associated with early unintended weaning.

    Curious why you're not nursing her to sleep? In fact, you're waking her up to put her into bed ...? It's such an easy, peaceful, natural, and normal way for babies to fall asleep and results in such healthy attachment and sleep-bedtime association. I get that some parents don't choose that, possibly they aren't aware how useful and unharmful this can be.

    P.S. The nursing-sleep association is so tight that attempting to separate the two can also be associated with early weaning.

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