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Thread: falling asleep on the breast - bad habit?

  1. #11
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    Default Re: falling asleep on the breast - bad habit?

    I don't want to debate on this mother's thread. I just wanted to point out that YOUR experience does not dictate what would be right for every baby (re: "After 4 months old you have to find a way to teach the baby how to put herself to sleep").

    Quote Originally Posted by desperate View Post
    I have read all the sleep books out there and tried almost all methods (except cry-it-out which was actually what our pediatrician suggested) to teach my son to fall asleep on his own and sleep at least 4-hour stretches at night. (I gave up the idea of "sleep-through the night" long time ago, I just want him to sleep for 4 hours.) Waking up every 1-2 hours, sometimes every 20-40 minutes for 9 months is about to kill me and not good for my baby either not only because he has an over-exhausted impatient mommy but also because sleep deprivation affects my milk supply and let-down situation. There are days my body just goes into a self-protective mode and wouldn't let down the milk no matter what I do. He is also sleep-deprived all the time since he cannot sleep properly, I am thinking he may also be malnourished since he does most of his feeding at night between his sleep and always falls asleep before being able to nurse enough.


    Is it possible that you're maybe trying too many philosophies at once? All these sleep books give conflicting advice, you know? Maybe lstep back and look to your baby. What does HE need? What things make him comfortable, and help him sleep? Then, move forward from there.

    Most importantly, enlist the help of your family and friends. Find someone who can take care of him for a few hours while you catch up on your sleep.

    Quote Originally Posted by desperate View Post
    So attachment parenting, letting the baby do whatever he wants, get up 10 times a night and nurse sound fine in theory but do not work in practice.
    It did not work for YOU. Please be clear with that. It's not that attachment parenting does not work. It's that it is not your parenting style.

    Furthermore, attachment parenting is not about "letting baby do whatever he wants" or "get(ting) up 10 times a night to nurse". Attachment parenting is about listening to your baby, and meeting baby's needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by desperate View Post
    Dr. Brazelton's suggestions seem to make the most sense to me when it comes to sleep and the advice I wrote were from his book (though I couldn't apply them myself because of my son's bad eating habits.) He says the baby should not fall asleep suckling since that will make him associate sleep with the boob and he will wake up every time he has a brief awakening which is exactly what happens with my son. He cannot even nap for an hour or two without nursing a couple of times during the nap!
    You sound frustrated. Again, I'm so sorry you're experiencing this. If I could help you out, goodness I would! I can't imagine the kind of pressure you're under.

    The advice you shared is one expert's advice. It doesn't mean that it's a cookie cutter, one size fits all, recommendation for all babies. In many cases, the advice causes more heartache than anything.


    Quote Originally Posted by desperate View Post
    Now, this may not happen with all babies. I guess some are just natural sleepers but if you have a baby like mine and you cannot be tough it can be costly for both you and your baby. Of course anybody is free to take any advice but before making your decision you need to hear about the cases like mine along with the "I nurse my baby to sleep and we are just fine" cases.
    I don't think you have to have a "natural sleeper" in order to have a child who can go to sleep on their own when developmentally ready.

    I thank you for sharing your experience, but I urge you to be cautious about HOW you share it.

    And, I'm really sorry you're having such a tough time right now and hope that things look up for you soon! I hope that you will read the links I posted for the OP. There is some information there that will give you some tools for coping, and some hope for more sleep soon.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: falling asleep on the breast - bad habit?

    Well, there is no reason to debate anything on anyone's thread. Someone asks a question and I tell her my opinion based on my own experience (of course) since I don't have anybody else's experience. That is what a forum is I guess and everyone gets the advice they find logical. As for my problems, I actually have not tried many philosophies though I read most (actually if I had read this much for my dissertation I would have completed my PhD by now). I just tried the no cry solution because most entailed cry-it-out. I did not want to do it because the no cry solution worked in terms of teaching my son how to sleep but then he forgot it because I continued nursing him at night due to his bad nursing habits during the day. If I had listened to our pediatrician, I would have done cry-it-out at 4 months and stopped nursing at night altogether because according to her and many other pediatricians babies that age don't need to eat at night and she says he is holding me under his thumb. For those who are not dealing with a nursing problem I always suggest sleep-training one way or another (and the no cry solution really works too) unless their babies can do it naturally or they have plenty of energy for spending some time sleepless (I have heard there are 3 year olds who still wake up at night to nurse or suck on something.) Of course if you are not completely alone where you live and your baby does take a bottle when someone else can take care of him/her, maybe you can tolerate it that long but that is not the case for me. I am completely alone except for my husband, my baby does not take a bottle so my son is stuck to my breast 24 hours and I am burnt out. I am just an un-sugar-coated warning sign showing what you may become. Of course babies are not the same and some may be good at this stuff, then you can thank God and sleep away. But if you have a baby like mine here I am: look at the warning sign and ignore it or not, everybody's own choice.

  3. #13
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    Smile Re: falling asleep on the breast - bad habit?

    Hello There,

    I totally agree with home executive.
    My DD is 7 month old now and ever since she was born I either rocked her to sleep or nursed her to sleep. She is very big and long for her age so I can not rock her anymore, so I decided to nurse her to sleep. It gives a both of us a chance just to relax and treasure that moment. My pedi told me at 4 month, too that My dd does not need to eat at night, and she'll teach me a method that my daugher will go to sleep on her own within 3 days. Well, I got very upset at her. First of all, she does not live with us, and does not know how my family works, what makes my kids happy. Second of all, you shouldn't take everything to the "bank" what you hear. Babies don't always use the breast to eat. My DD has been teething forever and last night I had to wake up almost every hour and put her on the breast. That helped her ease the pain. Then the next day I try to squeeze in a little nap, although beside my husband I do not have any help. Motherhood is not easy, but we always find a way to manage, aren't we?
    I used to do the same thing with my son, and used to co-sleep. He turned out to be a fine boy, so in my opinion there is no problem letting your baby fall asleep on the breast.
    I talked to a mother and she was totally against babies falling asleep on the boobies, and said she has a lot to do and always on the go. It made me wonder and thought to myself: Your lo will not care if the dishes aren't done or the laundry is not folded, but they will remember your closeness and the time you've spent with them. It gives them a boost and makes them more secure and confident. I think babies bad sleeping habits will eventually get better.
    On second thoughts the shows on TV are not realistic. They always edit the moments where the babies are happy and sleeping, everybody is happy, dinner is done, laundry is put away, but they don't show the process how they got there. Or they show couples who have nannies and they are hardly dealing with their kids. I stopped watching those shows a long time ago, because it made me think, maybe I do something wrong, or instead of this I should do that, and sometimes I got mad at my daughter not falling asleep on her own, lke they show on TV, but then I found what works for us and yes when I'm out and about I do the same thing. I am not ashamed of it, and got used to nursing in public, of course covering myself. Everybody should just find what works for them, not always "competing" with others. Sorry, this post got long, but this subject is very meaninful to me.
    Everybody take care!

  4. #14
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    Default Re: falling asleep on the breast - bad habit?

    Quote Originally Posted by desperate View Post
    Well, there is no reason to debate anything on anyone's thread. Someone asks a question and I tell her my opinion based on my own experience (of course) since I don't have anybody else's experience. That is what a forum is I guess and everyone gets the advice they find logical.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by desperate View Post
    As for my problems, I actually have not tried many philosophies though I read most (actually if I had read this much for my dissertation I would have completed my PhD by now).
    I can totally relate. If I read my textbooks as avidly, I'd be much further ahead!


    Quote Originally Posted by desperate View Post
    I just tried the no cry solution because most entailed cry-it-out. I did not want to do it because the no cry solution worked in terms of teaching my son how to sleep but then he forgot it because I continued nursing him at night due to his bad nursing habits during the day.
    I understand. You did what was best for your child at that time. If you had encouraged him to sleep at night, then he might not have got all the nutrition he needed since he wasn't nursing well during the day.


    Quote Originally Posted by desperate View Post
    If I had listened to our pediatrician, I would have done cry-it-out at 4 months and stopped nursing at night altogether because according to her and many other pediatricians babies that age don't need to eat at night and she says he is holding me under his thumb.
    That was awful of your pediatrician to say that to you! 1) Babies CANNOT manipulate and 2) You did what you had to do in order to get your baby to take in enough nutrition.

    For every pediatrician that says that a four month old doesn't need to eat at night, there are probably three that know that this information is dead wrong. Some four month olds may not have a physical need to eat at night, but most do. Besides, that advice does not take into account the fact that breastmilk digests quickly, different babies growth rates, storage capacities of the mothers' breasts, ect, ect.


    Quote Originally Posted by desperate View Post
    For those who are not dealing with a nursing problem I always suggest sleep-training one way or another (and the no cry solution really works too) unless their babies can do it naturally
    Most babies DO learn to sleep on their own, without guidance from mom or dad.

    Quote Originally Posted by desperate View Post
    or they have plenty of energy for spending some time sleepless (I have heard there are 3 year olds who still wake up at night to nurse or suck on something.)
    Some babies do continue to wake to nurse until they self wean, but that is the exception and not the norm. Most mothers would have gently encouraged night weaning by that age (if baby hadn't started sleeping through on his own), while other mothers are perfectly okay with nursing at night until baby weans. It's a matter of personal preference.


    Quote Originally Posted by desperate View Post
    Of course if you are not completely alone where you live and your baby does take a bottle when someone else can take care of him/her, maybe you can tolerate it that long but that is not the case for me. I am completely alone except for my husband, my baby does not take a bottle so my son is stuck to my breast 24 hours and I am burnt out.


    Can your dh take your son for a few hours so you can just sleep or have some "me" time? Can you load baby in the stoller or sling and go for a walk? Fresh air and a change of scenery may be good for both of you!

    Will your baby take a sippy? Is he taking solids? That may make it all the more easier to get a much needed break.


    Quote Originally Posted by desperate View Post
    I am just an un-sugar-coated warning sign showing what you may become. Of course babies are not the same and some may be good at this stuff, then you can thank God and sleep away. But if you have a baby like mine here I am: look at the warning sign and ignore it or not, everybody's own choice.
    I understand your concern and your frustrations. I honestly do. However, I don't think that telling mothers that they should consider early sleep training is the best answer. Afterall, from your posts, it does not appear that that was your situation, either. You had to nurse at night in order to help your baby meet his nutritional needs (how could sleep training help with that?). And that is not YOUR fault. No matter what others try to make you feel, or how you make yourself feel, please know that you did not create this problem, and your baby is not manipulating you. And furthermore, you should be PROUD of the efforts you have made to take the best possible care of your son. The love you have for him shows through your posts.

    Best of luck to you!

  5. #15
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    Default Re: falling asleep on the breast - bad habit?

    Quote Originally Posted by desperate View Post
    Waking up every 1-2 hours, sometimes every 20-40 minutes for 9 months is about to kill me and not good for my baby either not only because he has an over-exhausted impatient mommy but also because sleep deprivation affects my milk supply and let-down situation.
    This sounds exactly like what we have been going through these last two weeks. We were up 8 times last night and one time there was a lot of screaming as dd tummy is full and milk keeps coming out of the breast. I'm exhausted. I wouldn't be able to handle it if it lasted for months. I would just give up! Thank you for sharing your story.
    Mummy to sweet little Roselyne, born 20 Dec 2006 and Baby Arthur born 4 Aug 2008

  6. #16
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    Default Re: falling asleep on the breast - bad habit?

    Quote Originally Posted by dorothy View Post
    Hi Caroline, you are concerned about developing good sleep habits early on. And that's important. Babies are as different as adults come. So, I think there's more ways than one to teach good habits to your sweet Roselyne. As you and baby get to know each other, you will discover what works for you and her.

    I have a fall-asleep routine for my baby: I bring him to the room with his bed, shut the door, give him a short feed at the breast, and then JUST before he falls into a deep sleep, I remove him gently and say "mama's going to rock you for a while now and you're going to fall asleep, ok?" I hold him in my arms and walk about and talk/sing to him softly until he begins to loosen up (arms and fingers going limp). Then gently lay him in his cot, pat his back for a bit.

    Over time, I try to shorten the walking about and to put him down before he is fully asleep. Sometimes, he will settle himself and sleep. Sometimes he stirs and I have to hold him a bit longer. Eventually, I believe he will learn to fall asleep on his own.
    HTH.
    Thank you so much for your post Dorothy. I found it very friendly and helpful and really like your style. We'll have a go at this.
    Mummy to sweet little Roselyne, born 20 Dec 2006 and Baby Arthur born 4 Aug 2008

  7. #17
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    Default Re: falling asleep on the breast - bad habit?

    Quote Originally Posted by home executive View Post
    To the OP, here's some helpful info:

    "Your baby's desire to nurse to sleep is very normal and not a bad habit you've fostered. Don't be afraid to nurse your baby to sleep or fear that you are perpetuating a bad habit. Baby often will seek the breast when sleepy or over-stimulated because it's a comforting and familiar place to him. To associate the breast with wanting to relax enough to go to sleep makes perfect sense. As adults, we also do things to relax ourselves so we can go to sleep: we read, watch TV, get something warm to drink or a snack, deep breathe, get all snug under the covers, etc. Nursing does the same thing for your baby. "
    http://www.kellymom.com/parenting/sl...rtnursing.html

    PLEASE read the above link. There is far too much information to quote. It's that good of a resource.

    Here's another helpful link:
    http://www.kellymom.com/parenting/sleep/sleep.html
    Thanks so much for the information. It has been very helpful and I will not feel guilty when my dd falls asleep in this way. I am much more relaxed about the whole thing.
    Mummy to sweet little Roselyne, born 20 Dec 2006 and Baby Arthur born 4 Aug 2008

  8. #18
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    Sep 2006
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    Default Re: falling asleep on the breast - bad habit?

    I have always nursed my 11-month old to sleep and i want to wean him now but it is very difficult because I cannot bare to hear him cry for long and also because I want to get some sleep. If I had to do it a second time, i would definitely do it differently simply for the reason that it's harder to wean him off when i want to. i would do what is comfortable for you and maybe try to get your baby to sleep on his/her own as much as you or baby is willing to. on the other hand, i've heard of babies that one day just decided to sleep through the night on their own without nursing so you may be lucky. so good luck!

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