Today I’d like to address one of the most common misconceptions I hear about sleep training. Many parents believe that you can’t breastfeed and sleep train your baby at the same time. They often feel the need to wait until the baby is fully weaned off breastfeeding before venturing into sleep training. I’m here to debunk that myth.
It’s not about whether your baby is breastfed, bottle-fed, or not feeding at all; sleep training revolves around teaching your little one the right skills for sleep. Often, babies use breastfeeding as a comforting mechanism to drift into sleep. This can be confusing for many moms, especially when they’re trying to decipher the real reason behind their baby’s frequent nighttime wake-ups, especially around the 8-12 month age range. While it might seem like hunger, it’s usually more about the familiarity and comfort of nursing that helps them fall asleep.
The Sleep Sense Program emphasizes the importance of independent sleep skills. The goal is to help babies sleep without the crutch of always associating it with food. That said, breastfeeding continues to play a significant role. It can happen throughout the day, at bedtime, and even during the night. The key is to ensure that feeding isn’t the only way a baby knows how to fall asleep.
Furthermore, if your baby still needs nighttime feeding, it’s entirely possible to combine that with sleep training. They don’t cancel each other out. With some careful planning, these two can work in harmony. If, as a parent, you want to take things slower, that’s perfectly fine. There’s no harm in retaining a nighttime feed while sleep training and seeing how your baby adjusts.
In a nutshell, you don’t have to wait for breastfeeding to end to embark on your sleep training journey. The two can and often do go hand in hand. Thank you for joining me, and always remember that every baby’s journey to a good night’s sleep can start tonight.
Ready to transform your baby’s sleep habits?
The Sleep Sense course is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step system that gives parents the tools they need to get their toddlers sleeping straight through the night.
As seen on Good Morning America, it’s been the Internet’s most trusted resource for over 20 years and has already helped over 125,000 families finally solve their children’s sleep problems.
The Sleep Sense course comes complete with Direct Messaging access to a team of sleep professionals, and offers a no-hassle money-back guarantee… so you have nothing to lose and a great night’s sleep to gain!
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