Why is nursing to sleep considered bad? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-15-2011, 04:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I recently joined a more "mainstream" online baby community and was a bit shocked as to how many people still practice CIO, self-soothing, and early weaning with rice cereal to get baby to sleep longer. One thing that seems to be a popular misconception is that it is bad to let a baby fall asleep on the breast. I have always nursed my baby to sleep- never even thought twice about it because it just made sense to me. Anyone know the reasoning behind that one?

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Old 11-15-2011, 06:05 AM
 
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Because if you let them nurse to sleep, they'll be doing it forever- and they'll *never* learn to go to sleep on their own. eyesroll.gif
In all fairness, my 20mnth old is still nursing to sleep. This would make a lot of folks cringe, it's not a problem though, because she sleeps with us. Older DS wanted to sleep in his "big bed", but still wanted to nurse to sleep at a little over 2 years. That was actually kinda difficult.

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Old 11-15-2011, 06:15 AM
 
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Yep, what the previous poster said.  My last dd nursed to sleep for 18 months or so.  Then I laid her down and sat with her until she fell asleep.  You're doing a great job, mama!

 

I sometimes think there is the fear of being "ever-tied down" when nursing to sleep.  Maybe some moms feel overwhelmed by the thought of not getting "me" time or whatever.  I've heard this in arguement for giving a breastfed babies bottles to get used to them.  I certainly have no problem with a bf baby having bottles while mom is out, but I always found, for myself, that when they were that young to need to nurse quite a bit and weren't eating any solids, I usually didn't want to leave them with a sitter (mostly for the sitter's sake).  For me those months passed so quickly that it never seemed worth the pumping and storage.


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Old 11-15-2011, 06:26 AM
 
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The assumption is that children will never fall asleep on their own if you help them when they're babies. I haven't found that to be true. My oldest was nursed to sleep until she was 2.5, and I stayed with her while she fell asleep until she was 3, but she certainly falls asleep on her own now at almost 10. My little one never nursed to sleep - she'd nurse in bed and then wanted to snuggle until she fell asleep, and she still wants to snuggle until she falls asleep at 2.5. I'm sure she'll eventually go to sleep by herself. But there is a belief in the world that it is wrong at any age at past a few months (I've even heard someone say after a few weeks) to help your child fall asleep. I don't personally understand the idea that people have to learn to fall asleep. Babies who are nursed or parented to sleep don't need help falling asleep because they are unable to soothe themselves or fall asleep their own - they need help falling asleep because they get scared and lonely when it's dark and they're by themselves. When they're old enough that it isn't scary for them, they're fine.

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Old 11-15-2011, 09:01 AM
 
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I nurse my baby to sleep sometimes (and wouldn't wake him up just to take him off the breast) but I also look for opportunities to get him to sleep in other ways. I am hoping to build sleep associations with other things besides nursing for a few reasons. I want him to be able to go to sleep if I'm not there without it being big traumatic deal for him and whomever is watching him (99% likely to be my partner or MIL)

So I don't think it's a BAD thing, but I can see why moms would want to encourage other ways of going to sleep.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:28 AM
 
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If you let them do this now, then they'll ALWAYS do it. Next thing you know, your college student will be coming home in the evenings so you can nurse him to sleep, only to eventually drop out of college because it takes him away from Mommy too much. Then you'll be battling it out with his wife. Then she'll leave him, he'll move back in with you, and your husband will leave because he's sick of Junior getting all the love and boobs. Next thing you know, you're a full-time single mom to a middle-aged, balding, pizza-delivering divorcee who spends his free time in your basement playing WoW and chatting up his internet girlfriends (who of course will never provide you grandchildren). Obviously no one wants this travesty of a life, so the only solution is to the cut the apron strings right off the bat and make that needy, Mama's boy slacker of a baby grow a back bone. eyesroll.gif

 

I actually heard a similar rant as a result of concerns about my parenting choices when DS was a newborn. I guess DS will just have to go to college close to home.wink1.gif

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Old 11-15-2011, 11:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tooraloora View Post

If you let them do this now, then they'll ALWAYS do it. Next thing you know, your college student will be coming home in the evenings so you can nurse him to sleep, only to eventually drop out of college because it takes him away from Mommy too much. Then you'll be battling it out with his wife. Then she'll leave him, he'll move back in with you, and your husband will leave because he's sick of Junior getting all the love and boobs. Next thing you know, you're a full-time single mom to a middle-aged, balding, pizza-delivering divorcee who spends his free time in your basement playing WoW and chatting up his internet girlfriends (who of course will never provide you grandchildren). Obviously no one wants this travesty of a life, so the only solution is to the cut the apron strings right off the bat and make that needy, Mama's boy slacker of a baby grow a back bone. eyesroll.gif

 

I actually heard a similar rant as a result of concerns about my parenting choices when DS was a newborn. I guess DS will just have to go to college close to home.wink1.gif


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Old 11-15-2011, 01:20 PM
 
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It all depends on the mother and the baby. Sometimes it's nice for dad to be able to put the baby to bed (or grandma, or a sitter). Some babies wake up constantly. Some babies have a sibling. (my babies nurse to sleep a lot of the time, but I can't always nurse them to sleep, because sometimes their sister is hungry and it's her turn). Sometimes they wake up and they've just eaten, and if they can only sleep by nursing, you have to wait until they get hungry again to go to sleep.

 

And sometimes, for some mothers and babies, it's no problem at all.

 

They'll all learn to sleep without nursing eventually. But some families do better with a bit of help.

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Old 11-15-2011, 07:46 PM
 
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Western culture has a style of parenting centered on separation of mother and child, in the name of independence. This style of 'hands off' parenting became popular during the Industrial Revolution when people perceived independance to equate to success. Most of the world follows a traditonal culture style of parenting, which is more instinctive. Babies rarely sleep alone, are carried most of the day, allowed access to the breast when they want and need it, and often fall asleep at the breast or while being carried. 

 

 

http://www.parentingscience.com/baby-sleep-patterns.html

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Old 11-16-2011, 03:08 PM
 
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I think it depends on the baby. My son needed to nurse to sleep, there were several reasons for this and looking back it may have been different if I had figured out his food sensitivities early on, but DD is the opposite. It almost makes her more awake if I try and keep her on the breast until she goes to sleep. She'd rather nurse, me put her in her crib with a paci and her blanket and go to sleep on her own. I never thought I'd have a baby like that, but here she is! I feel like if it seems like the baby needs it, then do it, if not, don't worry about it. But that said, I did suffer a bit from postpartum depression after the birth of my son because he was attached to me 24/7 lol.Looking back I wish I had worked on getting him to sleep without nursing, or not nursing as much.


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Old 11-16-2011, 04:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mntnmom View Post

Because if you let them nurse to sleep, they'll be doing it forever- and they'll *never* learn to go to sleep on their own. eyesroll.gif

 

Yup.
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by tooraloora View Post

If you let them do this now, then they'll ALWAYS do it. 



Exactly.

 

Always.  Never.  As a FTM I heard those words all the time about bf'ing, sharing a bed, nursing to sleep.  Then DD weaned in her own time, slept thru the night, slept in her own bed, etc.  Never came pretty fast.  I actually just had someone scoff at me b/c I nursed DS (3 mo) and she was all, "You LET him fall asleep eating!?" I laughed as if I had a choice.  I said "of course.  He's so young!  How could I not!  He'll outgrow it and then I'll miss it being so easy to get him to sleep."  She shushed up right away.


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Old 11-16-2011, 04:54 PM
 
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FTM= first time mom?

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Old 11-16-2011, 05:18 PM
 
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Quote:
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FTM= first time mom?


lol, yes!!  sorry!!


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Old 11-16-2011, 05:57 PM
 
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I needed to add to this: it is a wonderful tool to be able to nurse a toddler to sleep!  I am 31 weeks pregnant and exhausted by the end of the day (SAHM to very busy 2.5 year old).  He sometimes falls asleep with Daddy, sometimes falls asleep with books, but on nights when those don't work I am thrilled when nursing can put him out!  He's pretty much down to nursing at bed only, and only for a short time.  I'm often amazed at how quickly he falls asleep at the breast, and it can be such a relief to know there is a quick way to get him to sleep so I can rest!!  He'll fall asleep on his own eventually, we all do :)

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