Your baby has probably grown up expecting breastfeeding as part of the going-to-bed routine.
It’s perfectly normal and healthy to breastfeed your child for comfort and to put them to sleep. Infants usually nurse to sleep in the first few months and wake up 1-3 times a night.
However, if you want him to sleep through the night so you can, you’ll need to change his nighttime feed.
It’s possible to teach a baby to fall asleep without nursing in several ways. You can choose different methods based on factors such as your baby’s age, your family situation, and how patient you are. But first, we need to know why you should stop nursing your baby to sleep.
Table of Contents
How to Stop Nursing Baby to Sleep
Using the following steps, You will learn how to stop the baby from nursing to sleep.
Start With a Healthy Napping Habit
The difference between napping and sleeping should be understood. Thus, when you’re trying to nap your baby, you might not follow the same routine as you normally do while sleeping.
You should provide napping sessions for your baby to help overcome breastfeeding dependence. You will need to make sure that there will be no feeding at all this time. If you can accomplish this, you can break your child’s association with nursing and sleeping.
Nursing is still possible, but not right before nap time. A simple example would be nursing your baby outside in the morning. Even while you are nursing your babies, the sunlight will prevent them from getting sleepy.
Don’t Nurse Your Baby Before he’s Asleep
To break his nursing-to-sleep habit, you need to ensure he does not nurse as the last step before sleeping, and that he stays awake for the entire feed. Mitelman suggests breaking the habit at bedtime first. You can learn from here how to break feed to sleep association.
Find Some Ways to Make a Baby Stop Crying
New moms sometimes find listening to their babies cry difficult. When our baby cries, our instinct is to put them to the breast so they will relax, no matter what the cause. Although sucking is a great way to calm down a crying baby, it isn’t the only thing that works.
In the same way that you are just like your baby, a comfortable and safe environment is essential to be able to fall asleep and stay asleep. Sleeping in an environment designed specifically for sleeping helps a child to get to sleep quickly – not to say that they will always do it. Also, they’re more likely to sleep without being disturbed by noises, chills, or hot sweats.
In the first year of your child’s life, blankets, pillows, and toys shouldn’t be left in their cribs because of the risk of SIDS. In older children, a soft toy or blanket to which they have grown attached can provide an anchor for helping them to self-soothe back to sleep.
We admit, it’s one of the sweetest things to find your child asleep in your arms, but when that child is transferred to their crib, they’ll awaken to an environment different than the one they fell asleep in. In this situation, the distress can make it more difficult to return to sleep.
You should also consider that all children can form habits, even very young children. They will learn to self-soothe if they fall asleep in the crib. If you want to place your baby to bed at a sleepy level, but not yet asleep, place them into their crib while drowsy. After they fall asleep, they will go back to their crib to adjust to its new environment.
Let Your Partner Spend The Night
You feed your babies in the evening regularly. Be sure your husband will be responsible for your child’s nighttime feeding.
Your child should learn that nursing is not only about the matter. Also, let them know how it feels to be fed by their father so they can feel comfortable even without you.
It is simply a matter of pumping out some breast milk and storing it in a milk bottle. While their dads are cradling their babies, your babies can still receive the proper nutrition.
The goal of gradual weaning is to gradually reduce breastfeeding sessions over a long period until your child does not require breastfeeding. In many cases, weaning gradually can take weeks, months, or even years.
You can adjust your body, your breasts, and your hormones with time by gradually reducing the amount you breastfeed your child. Breast milk supply is also allowed to gradually decrease over time so that you can avoid painful breast engorgement, clogged milk ducts, and mastitis, which can result from weaning suddenly.
Don’t Stimulate Baby at Bedtime or Naptime
Why Should You Stop Nursing Your Baby To Sleep?
Nursing your baby to sleep is perfectly fine when you want him to sleep through the night so that you can too. But you will need to change his midnight feed if you want him to sleep through the night.
Sleep Association – We use sleep associations to connect feelings of tiredness with falling asleep. They teach us to relax and give in to our bodies’ needs for sleep. Typically, infants have one or two sleep associations or several.
The baby is likely to develop an intense dependency on these cues to fall asleep over time. Oftentimes, babies will protest and cry when they are separated from their sleep associations. They can become more unsettled until they can sleep on their own and learn self-soothing skills.
Postpartum Depression – A woman’s body and mind undergo many changes during pregnancy and after. For more than two weeks after your pregnancy or during it, you may feel empty, emotionless, or quite sad. When you don’t feel like you care or love your baby, you might be suffering from postpartum depression.
Harder For Your Partner To Feed The Baby – When Mom is taking care of the feedings, it’s difficult for dad to help. Then there will come a time when you will need a short break for your health and sanity. During this time, it will be difficult for him to feed the baby.
When to Stop Nursing Baby to Sleep?
We know that breastfeeding moms often believe that every moment spent at the breast is important for the development of the child, his nutrition, and health, as well as increasing the production of milk.
Having a close relationship with a mom is important to your baby, who wants to hear her heartbeat, feel your warmth, and enjoy sucking on your breast. Spending time at the breast can be beneficial for both mother and child.
As soon as the baby latches on, we need to check to make sure he’s actively taking milk from the breast. Often a baby appears to be nursing at the breast, but in fact, they may not be actively sucking milk. The baby is using it as a pacifier. As a result, the baby will gain little weight at the breast, milk production will decrease, and mom will lack sleep.
In many cases, mothers of sleepless babies nurse their babies back to sleep. You may not need to nurse your baby to sleep if he is old enough.
When your baby nurses at night, it’s because she NEEDS this, whether she’s hungry or she just wants to get close to her mom.
In these situations, you should stop nursing your baby.
Your baby is safe with pacifiers. It’s up to you and your baby when you give them one. If you want them practically to come out of the womb with a pacifier, it might be better. Alternatively, they may need to wait a few weeks, especially if they don’t latch on well.
Finally, you have learned to stop nursing to sleep. You should put him in his crib while he’s awake once you break the association between nursing and sleep. It probably won’t be easy and it may take him three to five nights to learn to conk out in this manner.
If he wakes during the night, you may nurse him back to sleep. But whatever you do, try not to give up. You will be able to put your baby to bed without your assistance as soon as he learns how to soothe himself during bedtime.