Breastfeeding children fall asleep so quickly — how can anything so perfectly designed be worrisome? Both my reading, my personal experience, and the experiences of other moms has convinced me that falling asleep without breastfeeding is a developmental milestone that your child will reach when he is ready. The first step often comes when your baby starts to nurse to sleep then stops nursing, rolls away and goes to sleep on his own. These incidents may not happen very often at first, but they are the first step and do make you realize that it IS possible for your child to fall asleep by himself.
There are countless numbers of children who have been nursed to sleep and nursed during the night from birth who eventually learn to fall asleep on their own without the breast. My daughter started to occasionally fall asleep on her own or with her Dad when she was around months.
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It has simply been a natural developmental progression that came about as she was ready for it. Many moms are worried about how their child will go to sleep when he enters daycare or weans, and feel that they must teach him to sleep independently before this time.
This is really not necessary, and can add lots of stress to something that is already a big transition for your child. Children are very adaptable and will find new ways to go to sleep when mom is not there. Your child and his other caregiver s will work things out just fine, and they will find new ways to comfort that work great for both of them. The same will happen when your child weans. First, remember that if breastfeeding to sleep is not a problem for you, your child will discontinue it on his own without help from you.
Try transitioning from breastfeeding your child totally to sleep, to breastfeeding him almost asleep; then to just really relaxed, and then eventually to no breastfeeding at all to go to sleep. The process may take a long time, or it may not. You might start by lying down with him in the bed he will sleep in for naps, or on the floor, etc. Your goal at this point it to get him comfortable enough and secure enough to go to sleep on his own. Then transition to nursing just till he is relaxed and settled from all the activity prior to the nursing session. When he has done well with you leaving after only nursing this long, then you can try to transition him to going to sleep entirely on his own.
Breastfeeding to Sleep and Other Comfort Nursing
You might offer him a favorite toy, book, etc. Try to have naptime and bedtime at the same time every day with a routine that he can begin to recognize and expect.
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For example, have naptime every day after lunchtime or have bedtime every night after snack or bathtime. That way he knows what to expect.
Being a leader
You might even remind him that naptime or bedtime are coming and talk excitedly about it. For an older baby or toddler, ask him what he would like to take to bed with him; talk about the place he will sleep, how nice it is, etc. Again, your goal is to get him to a comfortable enough place that he feels secure enough to go to sleep without nursing and by himself. They do grow out of it eventually. This can be demonstrated:. Following the recognition of qualification, and before entry to the register, all applicants are required to supply evidence that they have the necessary knowledge of English.
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