View Full Version : Nursing to sleep

10-21-2003, 07:58 AM
Hi! Laura (4 1/2 months old) is in the habit of having her last meal of the day be the very last thing she does before going to sleep at night. She usually conks out during or immediately after her feeding; if she fusses in her crib, it's generally only for a few minutes before she goes to sleep.

My question: I can't breastfeed her forever, and I'm concerned that she's developing a reliance on that to fall asleep at night. I've thought about incorporating something else as part of the nighttime routine (a story, for example) and eventually substituting that for the feeding, but how exactly would I do that? I've also thought about not putting her to bed immediately after that last meal, but it seems stupid to feed her, make sure she wakes up, and then put her to bed. Maybe changing her feding schedule? But I feel like one of the reasons she usually sleeps so well at night is because we send her off to "Sleepytown" (as DH calls it) with a full tummy and some cuddling (both of which she gets during that nursing).

Any suggestions?

Mom to Laura 6/9/03

10-21-2003, 10:28 AM
Honestly, I wouldn't worry about it yet. Many, many babies nurse to sleep. With my DD there was no physical way possible to keep her from falling asleep during that last nursing. But once she got to be 6-7 months old, she was able to stay awake after the last nursing and that is when we started trying to work on laying her down for naps and nighttime while she was still awake.

So it early days yet and I wouldn't worry about it. :)


10-22-2003, 05:27 PM
I actually stopped stressing over whether or not DD fell asleep while feeding or not. She can go down without feeding, but she loves having a bottle before bed and most naptimes. I don't worry about it. Just do what seems right to you.

10-23-2003, 12:35 PM
I BF both my boys, and let them nurse to sleep.

With my first son, our ped had told me after about 4 or 6 months not to let him nurse to sleep anymore - that he would not be able to fall asleep on his own. I was told that if he nursed to sleep, to change his diaper or something before I put him in the crib so he would wake up a little bit and could then fall back asleep on his own. What a nightmare that was! When I woke him up, he just cried and cried. And then I started thinking how would I like it if every night when I fell asleep someone woke me up and then I had to fall asleep all over again :(

I then read the Weissbluth book and followed his recommendation of letting a baby nurse to sleep if it happens, but if not, it is still bedtime. That worked very well for us. We read etc. before nursing, and then afterwards if they were not asleep it was still time for bed. After most babies reach a certain age, they stop falling asleep while nursing most of the time anyway.

I wouldn't change a thing unless you are experiencing any problems, which clearly you are not at this time. Good luck!

10-25-2003, 02:19 AM
>And then I
>started thinking how would I like it if every night when I
>fell asleep someone woke me up and then I had to fall asleep
>all over again :(

Aren't some of the suggestions/recommendations people give just senseless? So often it seems they just totally disrespect the child. Your little one is lucky to have a mama who thought that one out!

10-25-2003, 02:20 AM
Oh yeah, and what Beth said, Ellen! =)

Plus, my broken record answer: "Have you looked at the 'No Cry Sleep Solution' by Elizabeth Pantley?"

10-27-2003, 11:40 PM
i still nurse dd to sleep she just turned 1 and she sleeps in our bed but thats whats right for our family. we have tried put dd down awake and she refuses. so she nurses to sleep. i dont see anything wrong with it, myself. good luck.

10-30-2003, 10:38 PM
I have been nursing DD to sleep (she is now 7 months old). She has no problems going to sleep for a nap without nursing. Sometimes she doesn't fall asleep after her last meal, but stays up for 20-30 minutes. When she starts to rub her eyes, we put her in the crib and she ends up falling asleep on her own.

Not much advice, but I thought knowing it would be helpful for you to know that it isn't the worst thing to nurse your baby to sleep.

11-06-2003, 11:30 AM
On the contrary-- it's wonderful. What a special time. It's transient. You won't have to follow her to college to nurse her to sleep. She'll do it when she's ready.

Mom to Abigail Rose