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To think that feeding your baby to sleep is okay?

(69 Posts)
StinkySaurus Thu 09-Aug-18 19:51:24

I’m a FTM and have been feeding my 5 month old to sleep at night and during the day for naps. My LO will sleep if carried, in the pram or car as well, but they do not ‘self settle’ and need a lot of support in going to sleep. This situation is working for us at the moment... however I worry about what will happen when I go back to work, how will they nap? Will I have to be feeding LO to sleep forever?!?!

I am hoping that one day LO will just decided it’s not for her any more and just go to sleep by herself. So AIBU ( or naive) to think this? AIBU to ask about your experience with feeding to sleep?

Broussard Thu 09-Aug-18 19:53:12

If its ok for you, its ok. Baby may or may not stop on their own, but you can't know.

QuilliamCakespeare Thu 09-Aug-18 19:56:57

Of course it is. It's natural. In the evening breastmilk naturally contains hormones to make you both sleepy - it's literally designed for that purpose!

I fed my 19mo to sleep until he was 17mo and just decided he didn't want to anymore. Now he has cows milk, a teeth brush, a cuddle lots of bloody chatting and then drops off. Ignore all the bollocks about creating bad habits - both my kids had to be rocked/fed/cajoled to sleep when they were tiny and both are great at doing it independently now.

lozengeoflove Thu 09-Aug-18 19:57:36

I did this with both of mine. They did it until 13 and 16 months respectively, when I gave up bf. It worked for them, it was tough on me as they also slept with me during this time and I hardly had any sleep.
Eventually they went in the cot and eventually slept through the night. Both are good sleepers but early risers.
Pregnant again and planning on being guided by the baby this time too.
I’d say do what works for you and baby. smile

InASarnie Thu 09-Aug-18 19:57:49

It’s so natural, comforting and relaxing for both of you. In my experience all of mine have slept fine and been extremely independent in their own time. Just enjoy it.

QuilliamCakespeare Thu 09-Aug-18 19:58:01

Also - nursery are magic and get your baby to nap 100 times easier than you can. I don't know how but I suspect they are wizards.

StinkySaurus Thu 09-Aug-18 19:58:47

@Quilliam that’s reassuring to hear! Did you have issues if you weren’t around for naptime, was your baby still able to sleep?

And thanks @Broussard, I keep telling myself that, but it’s always nice to hear it from someone else too

PurpleMac Thu 09-Aug-18 19:59:25

I'm very much of the "do whatever you need to, to make your life easier right now" when it comes to babies/toddlers (except for behaviour - stay firm with that one!).

At some point, they will stop BF. At that point or before then, they will feed from a bottle. My DS is 20 months and still "feeds" to sleep from his bottle. Sleeps beautifully too - 12 hours at night and a 2 hour nap in the day. Feeding to sleep is not an issue as far as I'm concerned.

StinkySaurus Thu 09-Aug-18 20:01:30

Thanks everyone! @PurpleMac good to hear that feeding to sleep hasn’t stopped your baby from sleeping through. We are far from that, but it’s good to hear that some babies can do it even when they are feed to sleep! I keep reading about sleep associations and getting unnecessarily worried I think. Need to stop over thinking maybe and just keep doing what’s working for us in this moment

mummabearfoyrbabybears Thu 09-Aug-18 20:03:39

I've always done it. One day you'll look back and realise it all just stopped. Midnight cuddles, needing their back patted, being picked up and carried. It's fine. My youngest got to three and I just told him one night that he could try to close his eyes and go to sleep by himself and he did. Kids are awesome (can you tell I'm a little nostalgic as my eldest 'baby' goes back to Uni soon sad)

bookwormnerd Thu 09-Aug-18 20:04:06

Its absolutly fine. I breast fed mine to sleep and both of them are good sleepers now. Mine both self weened about 2 but they were not breast feeding to sleep at that point. They would fall asleep for husband if needed (usually I was there anyway) as he did not smell of milk. Do what is right for you and your baby. Its completely natural and in my experience meant nice calm bedtimes with very little stress.

MimiSunshine Thu 09-Aug-18 20:06:43

Absolutely. Believe me they do with some very gentle encouragement from you start to self settle.

I did it and often wondered how I’d ever stop but one night I put her in her cot to put her in her grobag and she rolled over to go to sleep, so I went with it.
She needed a couple of nights of back patting and reassurance but suddenly no more feeding to sleep at night.

The nap time one dropped too once she was at Nursery.

StinkySaurus Thu 09-Aug-18 20:06:46

You are all being so lovely! flowers

I was worried I would get flamed as everyone I come across all look at me like I’m crazy when I say I feed to sleep. They all seem to have babies that can be just left to ‘self settle’. And they are quote the mantra ‘put down sleepy but awake’

StinkySaurus Thu 09-Aug-18 20:08:00

@mimisunshine how old was your baby when she did that?

cocoamore Thu 09-Aug-18 20:09:00

This thread is so reassuring to read as I lie feeding my 7 month old to sleep!

Ijumpedtheshark Thu 09-Aug-18 20:09:12

Just keep doing what makes you happy. I fed my boy to sleep and when he went to nursery after I went back to work they could settle him. He’s two and a half now and I don’t feed to sleep but I lie with him while he goes to sleep and we co sleep. But I’m happy with that so do what makes you and your child happy and forget about the rest.

Bambamber Thu 09-Aug-18 20:09:17

I fed my baby to sleep all the time until about 8 months when by herself she started to self settle

Rebecca36 Thu 09-Aug-18 20:10:02

Quite normal for a baby of that age.

Ijumpedtheshark Thu 09-Aug-18 20:10:49

And my son is particularly difficult so hopefully you have a much more easy going baby.

Smurf123 Thu 09-Aug-18 20:10:51

I've just fed my 5 month old to sleep... Works for me atm.. Or I rock him to sleep in the pram during the day

TeaForTiger Thu 09-Aug-18 20:11:01

Feeding to sleep is the most natural thing in the world! Don't stop until either you or your DC are ready I say. I fed both of mine to sleep and neither have had any sleep issues in regards to nursery or long term.

I chose we wean mine off feeding to sleep at around 9 months and it was a process, but completely fine.

I never regretted those snuggly feeds with just me and my baby (and Mumsnet of coursewink). Enjoy!

Dreamingofkfc Thu 09-Aug-18 20:11:54

Yep, totally. Did this with both of mine. However eventually it stopped working, and the husband stepped in to read to sleep (I'm talking 15 months in). Other ppl seemed horrified and that I was 'making a rod for my own back' and 'ruining my baby' but worked for us at the time and now we have no issues leaving them to self settle for bed, just took a bit longer than some!

Mermaid36 Thu 09-Aug-18 20:13:27

I breastfeed my twins to sleep at night and they are 28 months old. They sleep through the night now so just feed morning and night.

They've been going to nursery for a year and sleep totally fine there without being fed to sleep.

deptfordgirl Thu 09-Aug-18 20:26:05

Of course it's fine. I did this with my ds, was made to feel I was creating a rod for my own back and needed to stop by just about everyone but I actually really enjoyed the sleepy cuddles. At just before a year he self weaned and was able to self soothe. Now he has no problem going to sleep. I can see why people tell you not to do it but I think it's so useful and convenient and love knowing I can get my dd to sleep almost instantly.

KTCluck Thu 09-Aug-18 20:27:26

DD is 16 months and still feeds to sleep some nights. Other nights she pushes me away when she’s had enough, shouts ‘Da!’ and DH comes up and rocks her to sleep. Night times are pretty chilled unless she’s teething (in which case we just have to wait til she eventually passes out). I stopped feeding to sleep at nap times when she was about 6 months as she started going to sleep in her pram really easily, and I could never put her down if she fell asleep feeding. No problems with her sleeping at nursery - they put her in the pram there to start with but now she just lies on the mat and goes off apparently.

I have absolutely no regrets. Yes there have been some hard nights when I was stuck feeding for ages, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed those cuddles. If it stops working for us before she naturally weans then we’ll try something else, but at the minute I want an easy life! She’s never been a great sleeper and still wakes at least once at night, but she settles quickly again and is improving all the time. I have every faith she’ll get there in her own time.

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