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Welcome To The Members Area! Forums Baby Sleep Help Nursing to sleep Reply To: Nursing to sleep

  • Emma H

    March 28, 2024 at 10:15 pm

    Hi Natalee,

    It sounds like you both find feeding to sleep enjoyable and it’s ok to keep doing this if you want to.

    What happens around this age is that your little one’s sleep matures; as a result, he will cycle through 4 sleep stages and partially wake between sleep cycles. This partial wake happens every 30 – 45 minutes during the day and may result in catnaps. Overnight, you tend to see that your little one may fall asleep easily at the beginning of the night and sleep for 4+ hours before waking for his first feed. This first stretch of sleep is dominated by deep sleep, so he may sleep well. As the night progresses, Stage 2 NREM sleep and REM sleep, which are lighter stages of sleep, start to dominate your baby’s sleep. You may notice that your little one might wake up more often. To get him to fall asleep, you might feed him off. These wakes could be as often as every 90 minutes to 2 hours. If this is happening with your little one, it would suggest he is waking between sleep cycles (not because he is genuinely hungry) and needing a feed to fall back to sleep because that is how he knows how to fall asleep. If you are happy to wake up and feed your little one to get him back to sleep, that is completely fine. You don’t need to do anything.

    But if you don’t want to wake every 90 minutes to 2 hours overnight or you’re too tired, you will need to help your little one learn how to fall asleep without feeding him to sleep.

    You could start the pre-sleep routine with a feed and then stop the feed when he is drowsy and use the settling pyramid to help him fall asleep in the crib if you wish. Alternatively, instead of rocking him in your arms, do you have a rocking chair or an exercise ball you could use? This way, you can still bring in some calming movement as part of the sleep routine but not need to stand up and rock him. I’m unsure if that would be any easier for you, but I thought I would suggest it.

    I hope that helps