What do you do? Wait until they're awake and asking? Do they go right back to sleep then?
The way we're doing it is very peaceful, but he doesn't really eat too much and I'm just exhausted in the morning.
The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
So, I'm guessing that your baby does want to nurse, but you could hold off for a few seconds, watch him, and just see what his reaction is. Sometimes I think my DD wants to nurse but she doesn't take the nipple, she just tosses her head about for a second then goes back to a sound sleep. So you could try just not offering the breast, but if he starts to get upset and it escalates I'd give him the breast right away.
Unfortunately, there is no way to "prove" that YOU created this behaviour. You can't turn back the clock and do the experiment again, YKWIM? My personal feeling is that your baby is still VERY young and his eating/sleeping patterns are hardly established and still subject to change. So I would hang in there. I honestly don't believe that you can create "bad habits" like that in a BF newborn. He'll eat when he needs to, and not when he doesn't need to. And if he just needs some comfort sucking well...that's what boobs are for too, lol.
Best of luck! Hang in there, it won't last forever I promise!!
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Mama to DD14 and DS12, both born on MDC.
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