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  1. #1

    Did you breastfeed your baby to sleep?

    I am interested to know how many other mums breastfeed their baby to sleep at night? I have always done this and I think it is wonderful that breastfeeding is a natural and fairly easy way (once it is established) to get a baby to sleep at night. I also like the way the baby feels comforted whilst they are falling asleep.

    However, I'm now wondering if I should just carry on with this until my son (currently 15 months old) chooses to stop - ideally when he is old enough to get himself to sleep. The alternative is that I should try to stop feeding him to sleep (or at least fully to sleep) so that he can start to learn to go to sleep himself.

    I don't like controlled crying so we wouldn't do this. However, we are starting to stop co-sleeping now so I wonder if I should change anything about the way I breastfeed him to sleep?

  2. #2
    Hi Laura-Jane,

    I breastfed all of my babies to sleep. However, being that you're trying to stop co-sleeping, then this is what I'd suggest.

    When I was trying to transition my children from sleeping in my bed to sleeping in their own cot, I started with nap time.

    I would breastfeed after lunch in a chair or on the couch. They were pretty full from food, so the breastfeeding was just a supplement and more for comfort. Once they were really asleep, I'd try to put them down in their cot. If they woke up, I'd rub their back or pat their back to try to get them to settle. If they tried to stand up, I'd gently, but firmly, lay them back down. They needed to know that this was nap time and if they wanted me to stay in the room with them, then they needed to lay down. Once they were really asleep (I'd count to 60, and if I didn't see any movement, I knew they were asleep) then I'd tip-toe out of the room.

    It's one of those things that you just have to read your child, and decide how long you will work with them in their own cot. Don't try this if he's got a cold or isn't feeling well for some reason. You want him to fully healthy so that he can cope with the change as best as possible.

    I always found that once they were taking a nap in their own cot, it was much easier to get them to transition to sleeping in their own cot at night (at least going down in it for the first part of the night).

    If you're feeling strong enough, I would continue breastfeeding him to sleep, but maybe try to make your breastfeeding times first thing in the morning, nap time(s) and just before bed at night. The rest of the day could be food and sippy cup with raw goat milk, which is easier on baby than cow milk. That's what we use. Just make sure that if you buy it, you get an expiration date that is at least 2 weeks away. The fresher goat milk is, the better it will taste. Fresh goat milk, within 24 hours of being milked, tastes wonderful - better than cow milk, in my opinion, but that's pretty much "straight from the goat" (but cold, not warm). I get raw goat milk and my supplier will put it in bottles and freeze the bottles for me within hours of milking. Then I just thaw it in warm water when we're ready to drink it.

    Hope this helps :-)

    Kate

  3. #3
    Thank you Kate.

    I agree that I only want to make the transition at times when my little boy is in full health/ not teething - as I still want to provide extra comfort to him during these times.

    I've been trying some cows milk in a beaker but he is really not impressed! So maybe he will prefer the goats milk - it is certainly worth a try. I wonder which tastes the more similar to breast milk? Also does anyone know which of cows milk or goats milk is more similar in nutrients to breast milk?

    He has sometimes been having some of his naps in the pushchair. I don't know if this will help him to sleep in his cot at night-time? Although I suppose it doesn't involve me feeding him to sleep. I have decided I still want to continue with some breastfeeding at this stage and gradually reduce it over this year so it is manageable for me during the pregnancy (particularly as the morning sickness may continue into the third trimester like with my last pregnancy) and when the new baby arrives. So I will certainly give you suggestions a try this week - thanks so much.

  4. #4
    Breast milk is much sweeter than cow's milk or goat's milk, and goat's milk is easier to digest than cow's milk. A cow has 4 stomachs, so cow's milk is digested well by a baby cow with 4 stomachs. Goats only have one stomach, so goat's milk is easier to digest for those with one stomach.

    It doesn't matter how nutritious a food or beverage is, if it's not being digested well, the nutrients aren't utilized by the body very well. So though I don't know which milk is closer to breast milk in nutrient content, I do know that goat milk is easier for humans to digest, which means bub would most likely get more benefit from it, with less potential problems (i.e. allergic reactions like eczema, gas, burping, etc.).

    My nutritionist gave me a recipe for goat milk formula (made from carrot juice, goat milk, and a few other things) but that was years ago and I don't have it on this computer. Here's an article about homemade baby formula, and you may find some ideas there. Dr. Sears recommends adding rice syrup to goat milk formula (though don't try the powdered stuff in the can - it probably has a very strong "goaty" taste and I'm guessing your 15 month old won't like it). If you wanted to add a little rice syrup to fresh goat milk, just to make it slightly sweeter, he might like it better. Just a thought... You can also give him fresh green smoothies, he will probably love that. Banana, strawberry, orange juice concentrate (or fresh orange juice), water and a handful or two of baby greens (I use 6 handfuls in mine, but start slow).

  5. #5
    Thank you Kate - that makes sense about why the goats milk is easier to digest. I've also heard that baby's have less allergies/ reactions to goats milk compared to cows milk. All very interesting.

    He loves eating bananas, strawberries and oranges so I'm sure he would love drinking them too! Does anyone know the best way for a baby to drink these to protect their teeth. I think he is too young for a straw? Is an open cup the best?

    Thank you.

  6. #6
    Toddlers usually do pretty well with a sippy cup if he's too small for a straw. This is what I would use just to keep the smoothie contained

  7. #7
    Thanks Kate. The raspberry and orange smoothie went down a treat yesterday!

  8. #8
    Yummm... if he really liked it, you could try putting a little bit of deep green lettuce in it (baby greens). Will turn bright green but he shouldn't notice a difference in taste. It's a great thing to get them started on when their little :-)

  9. #9
    Thanks for the tip - plus my friend grows these!

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