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Not a good habit to get in to?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Falling alseep at the boob or bottle before bedtime? I've read several places that this isn't the best habit to get in to and we're trying to break our almost 6m (bottle fed) DS from this habit.

Some nights it works, some nights it doesn't and he fusses and fusses. We try to calm him down by rubbing his back, singing to him, turning on his mobile, etc., He doesn't do this every time before going to sleep - only at night.

Our routine is very simple - dinner, change in to jammies (sometime a bath before hand), lotion, rock in the glider, sing a song, look at a book, and then bottle. Now, not all of this is done EVERY night, but a majority is. And there are times where I've worn him on my back because he's not 100% ready for nap time, but gets sleepy while he's in there after a while and I have to get dinner ready for my ODS when DH is out of town.

We watch for cues. Fussiness. Rubbing his eyes. Becoming disinterested in toys. Squirmy. Those are all his cues that he's ready for a nap or bedtime.

So, keep doing what we're doing or change something. What would you change?
post #2 of 22
The only thing I would worry about with him falling asleep with a bottle in his mouth would be tooth decay from formula or milk (with an older babe). To avoid that though, you could give him water in a bottle after brushing/wiping teeth, or try a pacifier. All of mine have fallen asleep on the boob since birth, and the 5 and 7.5 year olds have no problems going without it now (or since about 1.5 years old).
post #3 of 22
horrible habit!!!!!

no, i only say that b/c it sounds like you're doing great, imo.
if you're worried about the occasional fussiness would a swaddle-type situation work? not like you have to full-on swaddle him but a nice snug wrap around the body?
post #4 of 22
I don't see any problem with nursing to sleep the first year or two. Admittedly, I don't know anything about bottle-feeding but my instinct would be that it doesn't seem like a big deal the first year.
post #5 of 22
I LOVE nursing to sleep! Now, other sorts of parents might think this is horrifying. . .but I think it's perfect. I don't expect him to be able to fall asleep alone for awhile yet and I expect to keep BFing him as long as he wants, so why not? If it works, go with it!
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by kismetbaby View Post
I LOVE nursing to sleep! Now, other sorts of parents might think this is horrifying. . .but I think it's perfect. I don't expect him to be able to fall asleep alone for awhile yet and I expect to keep BFing him as long as he wants, so why not? If it works, go with it!


If your goal is STTN? Probably not a good idea... But IMHO? The goal should be well rested Mom and child and those ARE NOT THE SAME THING. My babes popped on to nurse throughout the night without really waking me and when they were old enough to talk about it? they night weaned fairly easily.

If however, you (like me at the beginning) listen to babe wake up... wake up and start counting hours slept, rethinking CIO at 2am, comparing your DC to your neighbors? Your babe will sleep well and you will be exhausted.

Go for it for a while... If it works for you two? keep it up
post #7 of 22
I would just work on it like you are, but don't stress about it. Eventually a month will come along when baby is more receptive, and you'll notice it'll begin to stick. My first daughter nursed to sleep for threeee yeeeears while I was waiiiiting for her to weeeeannn like everyone saaaaiid she would. But I'd never been active about getting her to sleep another way. With my middle daughter, I was conscious and active about it from early on but didn't let it become stressful, and we wound up with a sleep routine that made both of us happy (at age 18mos, she loved to play "bedtime" with all of her dolls because it was such a happy thing for her). If it's a lot of work now, it's okay to pack up and try again next month. Babies change so much and so fast; they go through phases where certain things become harder and other things easier.
post #8 of 22
Our 5 mo old either nurses or sucks her paci to sleep. We swaddle her 50% of the time and still give her the boob or paci for either swaddle or unswaddle. In the bed, unswaddled, we will usually come to bed to find her holding the paci in her hand, sucking on the side of it :P I think it's ridiculously cute!! I have PPD and it is very important that I can get sleep at night. The paci has helped tremendously with keeping Evelyn asleep, but she still wakes 3-5 times per night to nurse. After the first night nursing, she doesn't need the paci for the rest of the night, but when she is going down the first time, she has to suck on something. I think what you're doing is great! Babies who get to nurse to sleep are so lucky!
post #9 of 22
I watch for cues and try to switch out DD2's bottle for a paci right before she falls asleep. Now that she has a tooth, I "brush" her tooth with a wet washcloth before the switch.
Even if your DS doesn't have a tooth yet, toothbrushing is a good habit to get into.

DD2 gets a little frustrated with the tooth brushing sometimes, but when I switch her to the paci (she doesn't always need it, but usually does), she happily nuzzles my face until she falls asleep. She usually spits it out once she's soundly asleep.

..but you didn't mention a paci, so if you (or your DS) don't have interest in using one, then this is all kind of irrelevant.
post #10 of 22
nak

breastmilk contains a compond that makes babies fall asleep. nursing to sleep is normal
post #11 of 22
we nurse to sleep. i.e we swaddle, and then i rock and sing to her while she nurses... just after she stops actively sucking, i switch out my boob for the pacifier and lay her down. usually when i come back in to go to bed, she's spit it out. i suppose i could probably put her to sleep without that last nursing session, using just the pacifier, but it seems kind of pointless... she needs to eat just before bed to get a good long stretch of sleep, so i could either nurse her, get her nice and full and sleepy, then wake her up to swaddle, rock and sing her back to sleep, but that seems like an awful lot of work. and honestly, my goal for the first 12 months is to do the least amount of work possible!
post #12 of 22
I've also questioned the way we nurse to sleep for every nap and at night. So many books and people seem to think it's a "bad habit". I've also wondered if that's what I want for the next 2+ years. My DS is 3.5 months and I think I've finally settled on just continuing. I love nursing and it works like a charm, and in our case DS is not waking to nurse all night long so that's not an issue, so I figure why not? My only problem with it is that when DH or my SIL or MIL take care of him, they don't have that advantage...and thus far have only used my pumped milk for feeding not for comforting with the bottle. Sometimes when they have to put DS down, there is a struggle...but they're working on that by making longer pre-sleep routines, and I guess they could also try the bottle.

Anyway, if you decide you don't want to do that, there is a chapter in the book The No-Cry Sleep Solution (and The No-Cry Nap Solution too) about changing the suck-to-sleep association as she calls it. GL!
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by P.J. View Post
I've also questioned the way we nurse to sleep for every nap and at night. So many books and people seem to think it's a "bad habit". I've also wondered if that's what I want for the next 2+ years. My DS is 3.5 months and I think I've finally settled on just continuing. I love nursing and it works like a charm, and in our case DS is not waking to nurse all night long so that's not an issue, so I figure why not? My only problem with it is that when DH or my SIL or MIL take care of him, they don't have that advantage...and thus far have only used my pumped milk for feeding not for comforting with the bottle. Sometimes when they have to put DS down, there is a struggle...but they're working on that by making longer pre-sleep routines, and I guess they could also try the bottle.

Anyway, if you decide you don't want to do that, there is a chapter in the book The No-Cry Sleep Solution (and The No-Cry Nap Solution too) about changing the suck-to-sleep association as she calls it. GL!
I have that book. I'll have to check that out tonight.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatioGardener View Post
nak

breastmilk contains a compond that makes babies fall asleep. nursing to sleep is normal
post #15 of 22
I'm going with the "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" approach.

I know it MIGHT be difficult to get her to go to sleep another way later.

I know it WILL be difficult to get her to sleep another way now.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jillmamma View Post
The only thing I would worry about with him falling asleep with a bottle in his mouth would be tooth decay from formula or milk (with an older babe). To avoid that though, you could give him water in a bottle after brushing/wiping teeth, or try a pacifier. All of mine have fallen asleep on the boob since birth, and the 5 and 7.5 year olds have no problems going without it now (or since about 1.5 years old).
This and

Quote:
I LOVE nursing to sleep! Now, other sorts of parents might think this is horrifying. . .but I think it's perfect. I don't expect him to be able to fall asleep alone for awhile yet and I expect to keep BFing him as long as he wants, so why not? If it works, go with it!
This!

DS1 was an easy baby. When he was tired - he would just fall asleep. At a very young age (a crawling baby! lol), he would even take himself to his usual sleepy spot (he loved to sleep on his play mat during the day when we were at home) and fall asleep! - Crazy! lol

I thought - when I have another child, I NEVER want to get into that horrible habit of them falling asleep at the boob. DS1 never did and never needed that - so it will work out find for my next child....

DS2 is a whole different fish! He had different plans from the bloody start of it all! lol .... and I was just thinking to myself last night 'What on earth was I thinking! - This isn't horrible at all! It WORKS for starters!'...it is something that I have and will hopefully always work. I really don't care if he still needs a boob to fall asleep with at the age of four in all honesty - life is too complicated to make it more complicated than it need be! lol
post #17 of 22
mmm... I think baby's are programmed to fall asleep nursing.
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
mmm... I think baby's are programmed to fall asleep nursing.
But I'm no longer nursing - as I mentioned in my OP - DS is bottle fed!
post #19 of 22
my almost 7 month old DS is bottle fed and i let him fall to sleep using the bottle. the sucking motion seems very comforting to him, and as said above, it's natural for them to want to nurse to sleep.

i'm trying not to get hung up on all the DON'T DO THAT! sort of advice i see. i'm doing what works for us and allows us both to get some decent sleep.

i tried for a short while to fed him then rock him to sleep in the rocking chair and it's a total joke for us. he falls asleep while eating, and waking him to continue eating or to clean his teeth (the little tiny buds that they are) only causes him to be a total crab monster that then doesn't sleep as well anyway because i pissed him off.
post #20 of 22
I don't really buy into the 'bad habit' thing. Babies just fall asleep while nursing/bottle feeding. Why wouldn't they? They're fed and happy and cozy and warm and safe next to mama. The perfect environment for deep sleeping. Eventually you can implement a bed time routine that gradually weans him of the bottle, but I don't think that is necessary for quite a while. Trust me, eventually babies grow up with or without our help. I haven't seen many 12 year olds drinking bottles at night.....lol.

The only thing that would be of concern for me personally would be the possibility of tooth decay. But this only really becomes an issue when the bottle or breast is left with the baby overnight. The milk pools in their mouth and starts the decay process. I assume you're feeding him a bottle in your arms and then putting him down without the bottle? In that case, the tooth decay issue is void.
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