Nursing to sleep help! — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Nursing to sleep help!

FTM, my babe is 4.5 weeks and she is hungry every three hours, I try to put her down when she's not completely asleep to make a good habit of her settling herself to sleep, but she wakes up 20 mins later hungry. I don't want to get her addicted to nursing to sleep, but with a little one who eats and sleeps so much how do I not nurse her to sleep? Seriously please help, I want to start on a good foot. FYI I read the book "cherish the first 6 weeks" which I guess is same theory as baby wise (eat play sleep) but our schedule now is more like eat, play, eat, sleep. I don't let her cry it out, is she stirs and whimpers I give it a bit but if she starts sucking on her hands I pick her up and feed her. Thanks in advance!!

Re: Nursing to sleep help!

  • At 4.5 weeks you should still be feeding on demand . It is way too early to start a sleep training method . Let her eat you will probably get yourself a little longer stretch of sleep 
  • Agree with above. I wouldn't worry too much about instilling "bad" habits at this age. And really, it's not a bad habit to nurse babe to sleep. It's a natural instinct and response for baby to get sleepy from nursing. If she is only nursing for a minute or two before falling asleep when she is clearly hungry, you can try to keep her roused long enough to eat enough so she won't wake again hungry. My LC suggesting tickling or wiggling his feet or rubbing his cheeks until he fed for enough time.

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  • Thanks ladies, my mama instincts tell me it's the right thing to do, (nurse her to sleep) I feel like there's a lot of benefits from it other than just food for her. I'm just scared when I hear other parents stories of their little not sleeping more than a few hours and having to be nursed for ever and ever. I think I will try to put her down for one nap a day not nursing, and take it from there... Thanks again
  • Have you tried a pacifier? My LO is on the same sort of rotation and often after she's no longer interested in eating she still wants to suck of something. Swaddling and a pacifier does the trick most of the time. She usually spits it out at some point in the night.
    ME: 32  DH: 32 DD1: June '16 DD2: March ‘19 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
  • It's really hard to get her to take it, also I feel like she is actually hungry when she cries so I just feed her.
  • Oh! Like everyone said, nursing to sleep at this age is even almost a good thing! It means baby satisfied. Plus at that age, that's all babies really do is eat and sleep.
    My little guy is 15.5 weeks and I'm not ashamed to say I'd nurse him to sleep if we're out and about and he just can't get to sleep on his own. At home now I do not. But that's just a recent thing. If he is hungry, he won't sleep. Period. At that age, he liked to be topped off before his nap.
  • I joked that when LO was tiny, the only thing I knew to do when he cried was to feed him. (It was only partially a joke.) At our 2 month appt, when he was nice and plump, I was able to start spacing his feedings out on a reasonable schedule. It wasn't hard to make the adjustment, so I don't feel like all of the 'extra' meals had a negative impact when he was little. 

    In addition to having a tiny tummy and being hungry often, your baby probably wants that close time with you to soothe him. I'm sure you're doing great! 
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