When your brand-new child arrives, you simply can’t get enough of them. That soft child skin, that new baby odor … there’s just nothing better. But as your love grows for your kid, so does your absence of sleep. You forget what it feels like be fully-rested as you nurse your baby to sleep for the millionth time. You begin to wonder if there’s a method to get your infant to sleep without nursing.
Fortunately, what you’re going through is normal. Young babies need to nurse and sleep a lot that during the newborn phase they work together. As much as you love every waking second with your child, you both know you need more sleep. Here we’re going to talk about strategies to utilize to get your child to sleep without nursing so you can both finally start sleeping much better.
When to Stop Nursing a Baby to Sleep
If your infant is still under one month old, then you’ll want to hold a great deal of this details in your back pocket up until your infant gets a little older.
Although there are ways to start moving far from a pattern of nursing your baby to sleep throughout the older newborn stage, your main focus must be on guaranteeing your child is getting plenty to eat. In our short article, “Newborn Sleep Patterns and Schedules for the First Year,” we talk about how the first 6-8 weeks of your infant’s life will be anything however scheduled. Which’s OK! They will consume and sleep a lot as this is a period of fast growth. Now is not the time to tension about trying to keep your baby awake after you nurse them – simply love on that sweet child of yours since this period of time goes oh so quickly.
As your child nears the 2-month mark, you can start investing more energy helping your infant discover to fall asleep independently without needing to utilize you and your boobs as a sleep prop to get some shut-eye.
We know you like your baby more than anything and want to be with them, however you also can’t go on forever working on such little sleep. Which is what will likely take place if you continue to nurse your child to sleep.
Why You Want to Avoid Nursing Your Baby to Sleep
Moving far from nursing your baby to sleep is hard. Whether you breastfeed or bottle-feed, watching your child fade off into sleep good and full in the convenience of your arms is genuinely something unique. So why would you wish to consider that up?
The problem is that when babies end up being familiar with going to sleep by doing this, they become dependent on it. Significance, they will get to the point where they won’t drop off to sleep till they are nursed or have a bottle even when they’re not hungry. And the longer it goes on, the harder it is to take it away from them. Nursing, at this point, has actually turned into comfort nursing.
What is comfort nursing?
Comfort nursing is when your baby becomes calm and unwinded through breastfeeding. You may discover that there is no other method to console them or prepare them for sleep unless you breastfeed. Babies find convenience in sucking and being huddled versus you, so nursing is typically used in these circumstances even when the infant isn’t starving.
To be clear, there is definitely nothing incorrect with convenience nursing your baby if that is your parenting choice. All of us mom in different methods and there is no right or wrong way. If it’s working for you, that’s fantastic.
However if you are at the point where your baby is waking multiple times a night or you find yourself continuously taking out your boob because that’s the only thing that will work to soothe your youngster, you are likely exhausted. We want to bet sleep is something you are longing for.
As quickly as you begin moving far from nursing your infant to sleep, the sooner your baby will begin taking quality naps and sleeping longer stretches during the night.
So if you’re ready to move far from nursing your infant to sleep and they’re beyond the newborn (0 – 6-week) stage, we highly suggest you begin gradually executing our strategies so that your infant no longer depends on nursing for sleep.
5 Ways to Help Your Baby Learn to Sleep Without Nursing
It may appear like an impossible job, however your infant CAN discover to drop off to sleep without nursing or without a bottle. It will take some perseverance and planning on your part, however your baby can make the shift to dropping off to sleep by themselves.
1. Follow a Sleep Routine
Just like you likely do, your infant grows off of regimen. They do best when they have hints to let them know what’s coming next. Making use of a consistent sleep regular each time you put your baby down for bed will help them prepare for sleep.
We reveal you extensive how we set about developing a baby crib regimen, and here is a simple outline you can follow to get going:
Soothing bath 45 minutes– 1 hour prior to bedtime (avoid this action for naptime).
Diaper and Jammies.
Place your child in a Dreamland Baby weighted wearable blanket or swaddle.
Switch off the lights and switch on relaxing music or nature noises.
Nurse or bottle-feed in a chair in your infant’s space.
Rock your baby, while cuddling and singing your preferred lullaby till he/she shows signs of sleepiness.
Lay infant down awake, however sleepy.
If you are having a hard time to keep your infant awake while they nurse in the evening, you might want to nurse your infant at the start of the sleep regimen (but after their bath). Then use the Dreamland Baby Swaddle or Sack and calming music to unwind your baby up until they’re close to sleeping, but still awake. Finding a comforting replacement such as a weighted sleep sack or pacifier can assist tremendously.
Mama Jessica composes:.
” My 6-month-old was still up every hour, just wanting to be held or convenience nursed- shouting to the point of throwing up if I couldn’t. Since putting her in the sleep sack for both nap and bedtimes, she goes to sleep faster, hasn’t been shouting, even fusses less. She naps longer, sleeps much better and longer. If she does wake, she simply needs a little “shhhhh” and she’s back to sleep. We’ve only had it 5 nights and each night keeps improving. I am thrilled!”.
The Dreamland Weighted Sack will assist your baby sleep without nursing.
2. Get Your Baby on a Schedule.
Moving your child into a schedule means their little bodies and brains will move into a rhythm of when to anticipate food and sleep. For example, if they always go to sleep right around 7 o’clock, then they will naturally start to get drowsy close to that time. This will make it a lot easier for them to fall asleep without requiring to nurse.
As part of your schedule, you’ll want to implement a sleep-eat-wake cycle. This means you’ll feed your child as quickly as you get them up in the early morning or after a nap, instead of nursing them right before sleep. This way, your infant will no longer associate nursing with sleep.
You can find our advised sleep schedules at the links listed below:.
4 – 6-Month-Old Schedule.
6 – 9-Month-Old Schedule.
9 – 12-Month-Old Schedule.
3. Do Not Let Your Baby Get Overtired.
Babies who are overtired have a really hard time going to sleep. It sounds counterproductive, but infants who get overtired get so developed that they really struggle to cool down enough to fall asleep.
According to The Baby Sleep Site, “Once your baby is overtired, tension hormonal agents such as cortisol and adrenaline flood your child’s bloodstream, making it even hard for your child to relax and cool down.”.
So, how do you prevent overtiredness?
Pay cautious attention to your child’s drowsiness cues. Eye rubbing, yawning, clinginess and fussiness are all indications that your child is ready to sleep. As quickly as you see these signs you need to wrap your child in their Dreamland Baby weighted swaddle or sack and begin winding them down.
Understanding wake windows that are developmentally appropriate for your baby will help you have a concept of for how long a child your age must be able to remain awake.
4. Lay Your Baby Down Drowsy but Awake.
Although you’ll begin following an eat-wake-sleep cycle, you’ll still require to feed your baby one last time before you put them down for the night. The objective here is to keep your infant awake while they nurse.
To do this, you may want to wait to swaddle or put your infant’s weighted sack on until after they finish nursing. Because something like Dreamland Baby relaxes your baby a lot, you can finish nursing and after that wrap them up. Proceed and rock them in your arms and sing to them as you carry them to their crib. Keep a close watch on those eyelids of theirs to ensure you lay them down drowsy, but awake. This is the sweet area for your child to put themselves asleep independently.
A note on dream feeds: In this post, we review how and when to implement dream feeds. Dream feeds are completely various and do not fall in the classification of “nursing to sleep.” A dream feed is a method to top your child off with milk before you head off to bed for the night. Since your child is half-asleep as they nurse, and you’re the one generally waking them for the dream feed, they will not associate nursing with going to sleep. Keep doing your dream feeds if they are working for you!
5. Follow a Sleep Training Plan.
Whatever we’ve noted above are perfect strategies to use with your infant two months and up to help move them far from nursing to sleep into a position where they can put themselves to sleep. The more “pre-work” like this you do, the much easier it will be when it comes time for more official sleep training.
We suggest you sleep train around 4 months of age.
In our Sleep Training Guide, we get handy recommendations from sleep consultant Rachel Mitchell of My Sweet Sleeper. She tells us, “Sleep training is the procedure of teaching your kid healthy sleep practices. The objective of sleep training is generally to assist your child sleep individually, without the requirement for somebody or something to help them go to sleep and stay asleep.”.
Contrary to what you may believe, sleep training does not need to be done through a Cry-It-Out method.
For your kid who has been convenience nursing, it’s finest to select a mild technique which is precisely what we discuss in our sleep training article.
The reality is that you can’t just snap your fingers and expect your child to end up being an ideal sleeper. It takes work on your part and persistence in teaching your child how to sleep on their own. And complete disclosure, it will likely consist of a couple of rough nights to get your child on board. But in the long run, making the option to not nurse your infant to sleep will mean more sleep for everyone. And that means a lot more smiles and bonding time throughout the waking hours.