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The Number One Sleep Prop: Nursing to Sleep

The Number One Sleep Prop: Nursing to Sleep

Today, I want to shed light on the most common sleep prop that parents use: nursing to sleep. This method leads the list, closely followed by bottle feeding to sleep.

First, let’s clarify – the issue isn’t with breastfeeding itself. In fact, breastfeeding is commendable. If you can and choose to breastfeed, that’s wonderful! The challenge arises when breastfeeding becomes a crutch to induce sleep.

Sleep as a Journey

Imagine sleep as a journey. On one end, we have alertness, and on the other, sleep. The process or method we use to transition from being awake to asleep is crucial.

When babies depend on nursing to embark on their sleep journey, they’re likely to seek the same comfort during their natural wake-ups at night. It morphs into a habitual sleep routine.

Nighttime Wake-ups: Is It Really Hunger?

  • For the Newborns: When babies below six months wake up at night, their hunger might be genuine. At this age, they often biologically require nighttime feeding.
  • For the Older Ones: For babies aged six months and older, nighttime feedings may not stem from hunger. While they might enjoy the food – and who wouldn’t – it’s the act of nursing as a strategy to return to sleep that they primarily seek. The meal just becomes an added bonus.

This nursing-as-a-sleep-strategy is why we find babies, even as old as two years, still feeding at night. It’s less about hunger and more about their established routine to get back to sleep.

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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.

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Baby Not Sleeping Through The Night?

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The Sleep Sense Philosophy

Cry-it-out? Coddle? Co-sleep? Attachment parenting? Ferberizing?
If you’re going to let me help you with something as precious as your child’s sleep, you probably want to know a little bit about who I am and exactly how I think...

Dana’s Sleep Blog

Straight talk about sleep, parenting,
babies, toddlers, relationships… and
just about anything else!
My blog is a great place to find opinions, advice, the occasional rant, and some great videos about sleep.

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