Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Nursing to sleep is a bad thing?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    12

    Default Nursing to sleep is a bad thing?

    Sorry, this is a long one...

    I have been feeling discouraged lately because I am trying to get my dd to nap without me (holding her or laying beside her.) She's 5 months old. I am also trying to get her in her crib for the first 2-3 hours of the night before I go to bed so I can have a little time with my husband. The problem with naps is that if I do get her down, she'll only sleep for a grand total of 30-45 minutes.

    At night she'll sleep about an hour or a little longer, if I'm lucky, after I put her down in her crib.

    We bedshare and she nurses about every two hours all night long. It's not that bad...I'm only half awake and I've been really enjoying the co-sleeping other than the laying too long on one side problem.

    Anyway, every sleep book I read says that nursing and rocking to sleep, whether at bedtime or in the middle of the night, will cause a sleep association and she will NEED these actions anytime she awakens from a sleep cycle.

    I like nursing her to sleep. Won't there come a time when she will naturally sleep longer without my help or not need to nurse every 2 hours at night?? It seems like nursing to sleep is a natural thing to do, so why would it be ruining her naps because she can't "self-sooth" Does the self-soothing come in time as they mature or am I creating a "crutch" for my LO? I love my BF relationship with my dd and I hate that I have limit when I use nursing for comfort. Maybe I'm asking too much.

    Plus, I have a hard time believing that every baby who is rocked to sleep needs this to go back to sleep each time he or she briefly awakens from a sleep cycle. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,393

    Default Re: Nursing to sleep is a bad thing?

    "if it ain't broke don't fix it".. follow your instinct, and if it's working for you, then stick with it. There might come a time when you decide to nightwean, and there are gentle ways to do that (when she is older). We night weaned at about 15 months, when he could understand more. I would tell him that mommy and milkies are sleeping, and offer other comforts, such as daddy rocking him.

    He did have that nursing to sleep association, and does still nurse to sleep for naps, but at night I can put him down awake, and he sleeps all night (this is after 15 months of all night nursing). However, there are times he wakes and needs to be rocked by Daddy. If he is sick or we travel, I sometimes still nurse him a couple times at night. I do believe they get "sleep associations", but I do not believe it is a bad thing (as so many Dr's and books say), as long as it is working for your family. KWIM? Also, your LO will not be a teenager needing to nurse to sleep...and these early years just fly right by.

    Kathryn,
    Mama to my sweet blueberry eyed boy Joshua
    born on 11/2/2006

    and my blueberry eyed baby Jonah Henry...my water birth baby!
    born on 6/15/09



    MOBY WRAPS ROCK

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,236

    Default Re: Nursing to sleep is a bad thing?

    Forming an association between nursing and falling asleep is only a problem if it is a problem for you. Most women get fed up with all-night nursing after a certain point in time. (I know I did! )

    Eventually your child will no longer need to nurse in order to fall asleep. However, it may be some time before that happens. She's not going to be 10 years old and still nursing all night, she'll probably stop on her own, but she could still be doing it at age 2 or 3. Again, this is only a problem if you feel it's a problem. Who cares what the books have to say? You are the mama and you know what works for you and your baby!

    Have you read Elizabeth Pantley's The No-Cry Sleep Solution? If not, I really recommend it! Pantley really understands the special challenges faced by the nursing mom and recommends very gentle techniques that can help you teach your baby to sleep more independently, if that's something you want to do.
    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
    Oct 2008
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    2,242

    Default Re: Nursing to sleep is a bad thing?

    I started a thread about this a while ago and got some great responses!

    http://forums.llli.org/showthread.php?t=63697

    Hope this helps!


    I'm Laura, mamma of 2

    5-27-06

    8-30-08

    We love and

    We have been nursing for over 2 years now!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Nursing to sleep is a bad thing?

    Thanks for the replies. A huge problem for me is laying her down after she's asleep in my arms or on the boppy. I may need to nurse her in my bed and let her nap there. "The books'" answer the the laying her down is that she shouldn't fall asleep in your arms. Whatever.

    I read Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution and I felt she was also trying to break the sucking association, but now that I think of it, she is just trying to get them to stop sucking right before or even after they've fallen asleep. I did like her book for the most part and I'm using it to try to change our napping situation.

    I am going to do what is right for us and try my best not let advice, actions and judgements of others sway me, especially those of my mom and sister in law. We all have our own style.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    2,242

    Default Re: Nursing to sleep is a bad thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*chipper26 View Post
    Thanks for the replies. A huge problem for me is laying her down after she's asleep in my arms or on the boppy. I may need to nurse her in my bed and let her nap there. "The books'" answer the the laying her down is that she shouldn't fall asleep in your arms. Whatever.

    I read Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution and I felt she was also trying to break the sucking association, but now that I think of it, she is just trying to get them to stop sucking right before or even after they've fallen asleep. I did like her book for the most part and I'm using it to try to change our napping situation.

    I am going to do what is right for us and try my best not let advice, actions and judgements of others sway me, especially those of my mom and sister in law. We all have our own style.
    Amen sister! Do what works for you and your family. When I nurse my daughter down, I have my husband come pick her up and lay her down. It's a lot easier for him to grab her than me try to get up out of the rocking chair with her.


    I'm Laura, mamma of 2

    5-27-06

    8-30-08

    We love and

    We have been nursing for over 2 years now!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    373

    Default Re: Nursing to sleep is a bad thing?

    Nursing to sleep is a wonderful parenting tool. Dr. Sears says that the biggest problem is that adults have a misconception about when children can sooth themselves to sleep. He states that is is closer to 2-4 years that they are capable of doing so.
    Renee
    LLL Leader


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •