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Nursing back to sleep?

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  • Nursing back to sleep?

    My four month old has not slept longer than 4 four hours and that only happened once. The easiest, quickest way to get him back to sleep is nursing. It doesn't even take him that long to go back to sleep this way and it certainly makes things easier on me. I guess my question is twofold, is this a bad habit to get into (I've been led to think this by the ped. and others trying to be "helpful") and will he eventually learn to get himself back to sleep? We are bed sharing.

    Thx from an exhausted, incoherent first time mama

  • #2
    Oh geez...I just read the other post where someone esentially asked the same questions...sorry.

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    • #3
      don't apologize. it takes time to get used to the forums. i do want to say, though, that four hour stretches for a 4 mo. old sounds pretty good. ds2 never slept more than an hour at a time for more than a year, and he did not go back to sleep easily or through nursing. you're lucky to have such an easy time of that! and don't worry, i assure you, he won't be needing you to get him back to sleep when he's 16 so, yes, he will eventually learn.

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      • #4
        My babies did the exact same thing at that age. My first son was easier to discourage constant night nursing by 12mo. My second who just turned a year last week still nurses 2 times a night, but sleeps really good in between. They both did the -nurse a lot- waiting for me to get up thing, but I don't count that!

        What I am try to say is depending on your child's personality and how they handle your desire for less nursing at night, night waking for nursing could go a little longer or shorter. Remember the middle ground is a nice place for both mom and baby and it dosn't have to be all or nothing (co-sleeping and nursing all night -or- sleep trained and in a crib.)

        Keep listening to your child's cues and find some creative ways to meet your own needs.
        Do you lay down and nurse? Can you fall asleep while she is nursing? Can you catch up on sleep during a day nap?
        What you describe is expected for her age, but if in a few months you would like to try some different things you might look into The No Cry Sleep Soulution.
        Keep checking in with us! We love questions!

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        • #5
          One thing I've found very helpful with this whole nursing back to sleep scenario is to do it "consciously". ie. deliberately and with thought.

          There is much of society that is against it and will constantly let you know that it is bad. If your baby is young, you are told that you are creating problems in the future. If you have an older baby/child, you will be told that they should be sleeping through the night "by now". I don't know of any parent, AP or otherwise, that hasn't had any sleep-related challenges with their child. So, likely you will have some kind of "sleep issues" in the future with your child. So, if your baby is still nursing back to sleep at 12 -18 months or having some other sleep difficulty how will you feel?

          Do you think you'll be happy with the method you chose? Will you wish that you'd tried some gentle techniques to get you LO back to sleep without nursing when they were younger? Will you be glad that you had all those months of ease and closeness with your child? What are the pros and cons of this method? What are the advantages and disadvantages of other methods?

          I found that asking myself all these types of question (& trying some gentle sleep techniques) with my first really helped me be at peace with my decision to nurse him back to sleep. I new others didn't like it, but I knew I had thought it through and this was the best possible course of action for us. I was able to accept the difficulties that came along with this method along with all the benefits.

          If you don't feel the type of societal pressure I describe, disregard all of the above. And do a little dance.

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          • #6
            Enjoy these months, they will soon be over!
            I read a very helpful article about this.
            Sleep Pattern

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            • #7
              night nursing a 6 month old

              The article Peppa Dew recommended was very useful notleast to remind me that I am generally happy with nightnursing at the moment and to ignore the views of family and new postnatal friends about sharing sleep and nursing. I reckon that I look and feel less haggard than other mums. I am happy about my hubbie getting behind the wheel of his car in the morning as his sleep has not been disturbed.Article has shown me that there are things I can do if it does get too much. Also I reckon baby does grow out of it as she is sleeping for longer early evening without calling for me.

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              • #8
                It may or may not change as your baby ages. From personal experience, our son at now a little over 26 months STILL does not on a regular basis sleep more than two or three hours stretches(unless he is just exhausted or is not having teething troubles) during the night without nursing back to sleep. Are you co-sleeping with your baby? That is the only way I have had any luck in getting more sleep personally, and it helps too because our son doesn't have to wake up to be nursed... he just roots in his sleep to find my breast, nurses, and we both fall back to sleep (or rather I do as I am momentarily awakened). Some babies sleep longer stretches than others and at various ages. If your baby is getting the recommended amount of sleep overall during the day (I forget how much it is at that age... does 14 hours seem like too much?) with naps, etc., then I am sure all is okay and this stage will pass. When the teething starts, be prepared for your baby awakening more often until the two year molars have all come in which can be anywhere up until age 3 1/2. Teething Tablets help, I think, better than Tylenol or Motrin (unless there is a fever with it). Good luck! Dr. Sears' Nighttime Parenting book is short, concise, and great for any sleep questions.
                Last edited by loveleighbird; 11-03-2008, 07:14 AM.

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