Nursing to Sleep
Updated: Jun 23, 2021
It’s natural, biologically appropriate, and perfect bonding time. If nursing or bottle feeding your baby to sleep works for you, keep at it.
My recommendation is just that you don’t do it 100% of the time. Aim to also provide your baby with some opportunities to learn the important skill of self soothing so they can fall asleep independently. If they can do this, they are much more likely to be able to return to sleep independently when they wake between sleep cycles.
Here are a few ways that you can practice allowing self soothing opportunities, whether or not you choose to feed to sleep most of the time.
- Feed your baby at the beginning of the bedtime routine in a room separate
from the nursery.
- Allow dad or another non-nursing caregiver to do the bedtime routine and
put your babe down. Babies will recognize that nursing isn't an option and will
then be less likely to fuss about it.
- Get into an "Eat, Play, Sleep" routine so that your baby gets used to getting their
biggest meals immediately upon waking, so they will not be hungry just before
each sleep opportunity.
The most important thing is to do what feels right for you and your baby, but if sleep is a priority for you, make sure that your baby has the opportunity to learn how to get there on their own.