The Only Way She Will Go To Sleep is by Falling Asleep on the Breast - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-18-2011, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is my first baby and I'm breast-feeding.  I star.ted breast feeding, completely uninformed and had no clue what I was doing.  Fortunately for me, my baby seems to be a natural and we have a good latch and schedule.  I feed her on demand, but she seems to have a pretty good little schedule going.  She is now 7 weeks old.

 

My problem is that she seems to only fall asleep while breast feeding and I'm at a loss at how to get her down without falling asleep at the nipple.  One day I would like to go out and have daddy or a babysitter put her down.  Does anyone have any tips for me?  She does not take the paci, seems to love to suck on her hands and thumb when she can find it.  DH works out of town, so I don't have the option of him rocking her to sleep, etc.

 

The last two nights (we just got over the 6 week growth spurt and home from a week of travelling, so our whole world was rocked), I've put her down when she is 3/4 asleep but she wakes up and starts furiously sucking on her hand and then cries shortly afterward, so I pick her up and offer her the breast again, in which she sucks good for about a minute and then she falls asleep and is barely sucking.  I've tried sneaking my nipple out and a paci in, but that doesn't seem to work.  I'm not down with CIO. 

 

HELP!  I really want to start healthy sleep habits soon.  I realize that sometimes when she is not feeling well or is scared, that I may have to nurse her to sleep but I would like her to go to sleep on her own.  (P.S. I'm thinking about transitioning her out of bassinet and to her crib in her own room very very soon as she is too big for her bassinet).

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Old 10-18-2011, 02:10 PM
 
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Probably not the answer you are hoping for, but I would say not to be in a rush to worry about her sleeping habits.  DS also only nursed to sleep at that age, I think it's pretty common.  I would argue that you are creating healthy sleeping habits as you are forming a very positive association for her with sleep.  You are teaching her "It is nice to fall asleep.  I feel good and comforted and safe".  This will pay off down the road and in a few months someone else will be able to put her to sleep.

 

Irrespective of what the Baby Whisperer says (I thought her ideas sounded great until I actually had a baby!) I think your DD is too young for you to be worried about putting her down "drowsy but awake".

 

If you want to be able to have a break, plan it around her sleep schedule (ie leave right after she's fallen asleep at bedtime or something.  In a few weeks you should start getting a longer initial stretch and an earlier bed time) or you could try expressing milk and having DH give her a bottle once in a while.

 

Good luck!  She's still just so little and all things will come with time!  In just a few weeks even you will see a difference.


N, wife to my goofball K partners.gif and mamma to my EC grad D (July 2010) and my new little love S (May 2013).  Exploring the uncharted territory of tandem nursing with my two boys.

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Old 10-18-2011, 02:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nstewart View Post

Probably not the answer you are hoping for, but I would say not to be in a rush to worry about her sleeping habits.  DS also only nursed to sleep at that age, I think it's pretty common.  I would argue that you are creating healthy sleeping habits as you are forming a very positive association for her with sleep.  You are teaching her "It is nice to fall asleep.  I feel good and comforted and safe".  This will pay off down the road and in a few months someone else will be able to put her to sleep.

 

Irrespective of what the Baby Whisperer says (I thought her ideas sounded great until I actually had a baby!) I think your DD is too young for you to be worried about putting her down "drowsy but awake".

 

If you want to be able to have a break, plan it around her sleep schedule (ie leave right after she's fallen asleep at bedtime or something.  In a few weeks you should start getting a longer initial stretch and an earlier bed time) or you could try expressing milk and having DH give her a bottle once in a while.

 

Good luck!  She's still just so little and all things will come with time!  In just a few weeks even you will see a difference.


I agree with all of this.  I know we don't want to "mess anything up" when it comes to so-called bad habits but you should try to focus on cherishing that time with the little one.  When my youngest child was a baby I read an article that say try to put the baby to sleep without a nipple (real or artificial) in her mouth...Well good luck!  I know some babies will do this happily but it hasn't been my experience that many do. 

 

I hope you don't feel I'm being dismissive of your question because I'm not.  I completely understand.  I think as your baby gets older you can develop a routine for bedtime the will eventually help her to fall asleep not nursing but try to keep a realistic eye on it.  I guess I'm just trying to emphasis not being "worried" or stressed about doing something wrong.  If you feel you want to change things, I think that's fine but don't feel like you should change for anyone else's reasons.

 


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Old 10-19-2011, 08:28 AM
 
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Hi there! I basically agree with everything that was said up above. You really don't need to worry about sleep habits yet with a tiny 7-week-old!

 

I nursed my son to sleep every night (and for all weekend naps) until he was a year old. Now I still nurse him before bed, but only for 10 minutes, then his dad sits with him and plays with/comforts him until he falls asleep. (I still nurse him down for most weekend naps.) When DS was your baby's age, he would not take a paci either. However, he does now use one to help him settle down to sleep if he's not nursing. (He also goes to daycare and manages to fall asleep there without my help!)

 

I'm not concerned about DS's sleep habits, even at this age. I know that someday he will be able to fall asleep without needing to suck on something. But I'm fine waiting until he is older.

 

Right now, I think you should focus on enjoying your time with your baby! Now that DS is almost 14 months and pretty much is only willing to stop playing and nurse when he is tired, I miss all the time we used to spend nursing. (Although when I was in your shoes, I would never in a million years have thought I would say that!) When your baby is a little older, you can worry more about sleep habits - but basically I think you only need to "worry" about that if you are not getting enough sleep to function or if your baby seems like she is not getting enough sleep.

 

Oh, and as for being able to go out and do things without the baby - we do what other posters have suggested, and plan around nap/bedtimes. We don't get out as much as we used to, but I am content living this way until DS is a little older.


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Old 10-22-2011, 10:37 AM
 
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Congrats !

 

Breastfeeding is pretty amazing, isn't it? Did you know that mothers make a compound in their breastmilk that helps babies to sleep? Isn't that awesome? That said to me "babies are supposed to breastfeed to sleep." We have evolved to nurse our little ones to sleep. It's normal.

 

 

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Old 10-26-2011, 03:53 PM
 
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It's great your baby is a natural. My first also was. It was 1979 when no one nursed so it was a good thing he knew what to do.

 

It's good your baby refuses a pacifier. The pacifer can cause problems with breastfeeding and sore nipples. You don't want your baby sucking and chewing on you like she does on a pacifier. It's normal for babies to only fall asleep at the breast. It's a sign you are doing things right! Some babies will only sleep during the day on or next to their mother. Some you can wait until they are very asleep and sneek and lay them down. Breastfeeding mothers and their babies have a symbiotic relationship.

 

When do you get to go out? It depends on you, the father, and your baby. With my first the only way I could get away is if my husband drove me where I wanted to go so the baby would fall asleep in the carseat. It was a little easier with the second.

 

 


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