Making babies sleep is one of the most challenging tasks faced by mothers. The right ambience is necessary to make her sleep and ensure that she has a long restful sleep. This ambience doesn’t only mean minimum noise in the house but also includes a full tummy and an empty bladder. It’s quite frustrating to see that you spent half an hour in making her sleep and she is awake in 30-40 min.
Why Can’t the Baby Sleep Without Feeding?
Babies don’t know intuitively how to go to sleep. So when they feel sleepy, they get worked up and begin crying or wailing. Mothers or other care givers, like dads or nurses, have to soothe them to sleep. For a mother, the best and the easiest way to comfort the baby is to nurse her, so why not use the best option.
Am I Doing the Right Thing?
Feeding your baby to sleep ensures that her tummy is full, so that she has a longer and more restful sleep. But still, many moms, especially first time moms, feel guilty about doing that. With my first baby I also had the same qualms initially but found that she was more comfortable when she slept while feeding. Infants anyways feed so frequently that you will invariably find them dozing off while doing so. This means feeding to sleep is the most natural and hence the right thing for the baby.
What if the Baby Sleeps with Milk in Her Mouth?
This is a major concern for many mothers. But there is no need to worry. Babies gulp the milk down when they stop feeding before dropping off to sleep. Or, if they are fast asleep, the milk will flow out of the corner of the mouth.
How Will My Baby Learn to Sleep on Her Own?
This is a concern for most mothers. As we just discussed, nursing to sleep is the natural thing. If you try to make your baby sleep otherwise, you are actually trying to “train her” to sleep. I personally feel that we are doing injustice to the baby at such a tender age. She will have all the time to get trained later. In fact, by her natural development process she will start to roll off while feeding and go to sleep. And with personal experience I assure you she will not suffer for having started that “late.”
Can I Bottle Feed the Baby to Sleep?
All the while we have been talking about breast-fed babies. What about those who are formula-fed or bottle-fed? Well, that’s a bit tricky but that can also be done. Care has to be taken that the baby doesn’t get overfed in doing so. Also, additional comforting techniques like massaging the feet, humming a lullaby or putting on sleep-inducing music could be used.
No one can deny the fact that nursing is a comforting experience for the babies. Nursing to sleep definitely gives a higher feeling of satisfaction to the babies. To those who oppose the idea of feeding babies to sleep, I have just one question to put – how else do I make my baby sleep? Let her cry to sleep? As a mother I find that repulsive. Feeding the baby to sleep is the most natural thing for both mother and child.