That’s right… I will say it again for the people in the back, YOUR BABY DOES NOT NEED TO STOP NURSING TO SLEEP TO SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT!
I just read ANOTHER POST by another sleep consultant/sleep trainer telling a mom that nursing to sleep is the reason her baby is waking and I really cannot believe that this myth is still circulating.
I hear all the time, “how your baby falls asleep at night is how they expect to return to sleep in the middle of the night.” Says who??!!???
I have worked with over 1,000 families and I can say with 100% confidence that this is just nonsense. You DO NOT need to stop nursing your baby to sleep so that they sleep through the night. I have only ever removed this in a small number of families because they either no longer want to do it (which is 100% ok), or when they put their baby down asleep, they wake up so we needed to find a different solution.
There are real benefits to nursing your baby to sleep (if you want to). As babies get older, they can get very distracted and they will need these really drowsy nursing sessions in order to get their daily milk intake. These nursing sessions can be really critical for not only keeping up moms supply, but for getting the extra calories to baby.
It is important to remember that breastfeeding is designed to help your baby to sleep. Breastmilk contains sleep-inducing hormones and for really young babies, it can actually help to establish their own circadian rhythms.
“…the oxytocin we release when she starts to nurse is ‘the triggering hormone for maternal behaviour’. So your baby’s nursing behaviour helps you fall in love with her. Because you come hardwired to respond to her, the sound of her crying cuts to your core. When you respond by nursing, the hormones in your milk help her digest her food… and they make her sleepy. The hormones you release when nurse help you relax… and they make you sleepy. It’s another hormonal synchrony between the two of you that encourages rest and relaxation. Those who advise ‘Don’t let the baby fall asleep at your breast’ are fighting nature on both ends – your baby’s and yours – with no research at all to support them.” Sweet Sleep
Pay attention to mommy groups – you will often hear, “I did drowsy but awake or my baby falls asleep on their own but they are still waking every two hours all night long.” I will work with the middle of the night wakes and getting the longer stretches in the beginning of the night and leave nursing before sleep if mom is loving it (or needing it).
I would love ❤️ it if some of the families that I have worked with (who are still nursing to sleep) could comment below and help to get rid of this myth. I would also love for those of you whose baby falls asleep independently but is still waking at night to comment.
Keep the pieces of your nighttime parenting that you love ❤️ and change the pieces that you don’t!