Nursing babies to sleep
When I first had Levi I was taught not to “feed him to sleep”.
If I did that, I would create a baby who was dependent on me.
…Kind of a funny thought considering of course he was dependent on me. Um, he’s a baby.
Yes, there’s something to be said for teaching children to sleep independently.
There is a certain liberating feeling putting your baby down for a nap when they are awake and happy and then seeing them drift off to sleep happliy minutes later. (I used to love watching the process on the baby monitor with Levi after he learned to sleep on his own.)
But freaking out about creating a “dependency” in terms of holding or feeding your baby to sleep is kind of silly.
I’ve never heard of a 12 year old that still needs his mother to rock him to sleep. (Have you?)
So why all this fuss about “sleeping independently” anyway?
it will come.
Partly with our coaxing and teaching, partly as a developmental milestone like any other thing babies or children learn.
With my second baby I let him fall asleep in my arms all the time.
In fact, I encourage it.
He loves it and so do I.
Do you know that breastmilk actually induces sleep? (God’s clever like that… So why wouldn’t we want to go with it and take advantage of this amazing sleep elixir?)
These months race quickly. Quickly. Soon, I will be aching for one last chance to hold him in my arms.
So why wouldn’t I take advantage of the time I have now to let him fall asleep in teh most pleasant way possible for both of us?
I love it. And so does he.
Q for you: Getting babies to sleep can be tricky, I know that, and every parent needs to discover the best way to help their child to sleep in a way that honors the child and fits with the family values. I just happen to have a wide opinion on what fits within “right”… and it defininitely includes feeding and rocking my baby to sleep as much as he needs or I want (in addition to encouraging him to learn how to sleep by himself as he’s ready/able). When’s the last time you nursed/rocked a baby to sleep? Was it as beautiful and therapeutic for you as it no doubt was for baby?