Babies: 3 - 6 Months

Question for moms who nurse to sleep/4 month wakeful and sleep cycles

I nurse LO to sleep for naps and every now and then at night if her dad can't put her down. She is 15 weeks and I think going through the 4 month wakeful as she was a fantastic sleeper and is now only sleeping 3 hour stretches at night. I have been casually trying the Pantley Pull Off do that she isn't always associating having to nurse to fall asleep. I know nursing to sleep is normal, but my question is doesn't it hinder their sleep since when they start coming out of a deep sleep into a light sleep/wake-up they will then need to breast to fall back asleep? I go to for resources and I know that the nursing to sleep association is normal, but it just seems to me now, especially during this wakeful period, that it is hindering my baby's sleep since she can't put herself back to sleep without the boob.

Re: Question for moms who nurse to sleep/4 month wakeful and sleep cycles

  • I don't know the answer but I'm curious to see if anyone has any helpful tips about this.  We're also going through something similar.  DD2 will be 4 months old next week and she has been sleeping horribly for the last month (up every 1-3 hours).  95% of the time she is inconsolable unless I put her on the boob.  It's really getting frustrating, and no one in the house is getting a good night's rest.  Something needs to change soon or I'm going to lose my mind.
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  • We are also going through this in our household. It is frustrating. I look forward to hearing other people's thoughts but our pediatrician told us to put her to bed when she is sleepy and not actually asleep. It is hard to do this with my DD b/c her I'm getting tired and I am passed out are pretty quick. So, this hasn't worked for us yet but I was told to try this. I plan to give it a whirl. He also told me to not nurse her and to cry it out but I can't b/c she will continue to scream forever and I can't let her do that but I also don't want to keep giving her the breast for her to fall back asleep. I don't know about you ladies but the problem I am having is that she will go to bed and then within 15 minutes to 1 hour she will wake up screaming. She never screams (so maybe she is having tummy issues??? not sure) anyway, when I go back there I give her the boob and she falls asleep but then she wakes up a few hours later and this continues through the morning. I am exhausted. Sorry I can't provide more help/info but I too will be curious to see what others say. Thank you for posting this.
  • I nurse my LO to sleep and she naps on me while nursing. It seems to me that she is a very light sleeper during the day and when I try to move her she wakes up and gets really mad.

    She does horrible at night if she misses a nap, so I am rolling with it now.

    At night, she wakes up once or twice, but she fusses a few times. I check if her eyes are open, if so, I pick her up and nurse her. If she seems sleepy, I go to the bathroom. If she is awake when I am back, I pick her up, sometimes she goes right back to sleep. I don't let her cry. Once I stopped picking her up every time she seemed ready to fall asleep again.

    My pedi recommended CIO for naps, but I just ordered the no-cry book. Doesn't hurt to try!

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  • I nursed to sleep until DD was probably 8 weeks then gradually started breaking the association between nursing and sleep.  First, don't allow your baby to fall asleep at the breast.  You can nurse until they are drowsy, and the put them in the crib to fall asleep the rest of the way.  Your babe will probably wake up and that's where you have to tell her, shhhhh, shhhh, it's ok, or whatever you like to say.  This is all part of sleep training.  Your LO needs to learn how to put herself to sleep without the boob, because you are essentially becoming a pacifier.  She'll figure out something else, mine sucks her thumb.

    I've now stopped night feedings since she's able to put herself to sleep consistently for naps and bedtime.  I've had to go in and reassure her for some of the wakings, some of them she puts herself back to bed.  It's a process, but we're all get more sleep because of it.

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  • I am a believer in that parents should do what works for them and their kids. 

    Our son is almost 5 months old. He occasionally nurses to sleep at naps (I work so this is only on weekends) or we lay him down drowsy and he falls asleep.

    For night we use a routine of bath, book, boob. He falls asleep eating most nights and I unplug him and rock him for about 2 more minutes. I lay him in his bed, sometimes he wakes, sometimes not. EIther way he falls asleep and sleeps about 6-8 hours.


    If he wakes before that he will suck his thumb and almost always go back to sleep. Sometimes we go in and just pat his back and shush him when he fusses for 2-3 minutes and they get louder. He had 2 weeks of waking several times a while back but lately he is back to his routine.

    He goes to bed between 6:45 and 7:30 every night. I don't feed him unless I think he is hungry (has been 7-8 hours since last feeding) so about 3-4 he wakes up for a bite to eat, never the same time, just randomly. He will sleep until 6-7 which is fine because i need to wake him then to get ready for daycare.


    I am sure he will continue to have 'good nights' and rough ones.

    I don't see nursing to sleep as hindering him self soothing as i have seen him suck his thumb back to sleep (we have a video monitor) so i know he is able to do so and does most times so we will keep our routine until i see it hindering his ability to become more independent.  



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  • my 5 month old sleeps in the bed so she nurses whenever she wants through the night. i dont believe in any type of sleep training. the baby wants to be with you .i have the la leche league book , the womanly art of breast feeding and i use that for any questions i have. my baby only sleeps for 3-4 hours at a time also .
  • image neumc14:
    my 5 month old sleeps in the bed so she nurses whenever she wants through the night. i dont believe in any type of sleep training. the baby wants to be with you ..



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