4 Benefits Of Breastfeeding Your Baby To Sleep

Ireyimika Oyegbami

Many mothers have come to recognise breastfeeding as a quick way to get their baby to bed down or to go back to sleep especially if they wake during the night. Breast milk is a natural sleep tonic; a baby’s craving to breastfeed to sleep is therefore natural. Breastfeeding is both comforting and nourishing, it is therefore easy for baby to associate nursing with sleeping; and some babies crave for this comfort nursing throughout their first year.

Below are 4 things to know about nursing your baby to sleep

1. Good for Supply: If you have a low supply of breast milk; try comfort nursing for a couple of weeks. When your baby breastfeeds to sleep your breasts make more milk as breast milk supply works on a supply equals demand basis.

2. Good for Baby’s Brain: Breastfeeding your baby is about so much more than your baby being fed; it’s also largely about brain wiring and forming pathways in your baby’s brain. The first pathways being formed from birth are those that connect emotional to social intelligence. Nursing your baby to sleep affords her additional occasion to be close to you and this is a good way for her brain to develop.

3. Good time for mother’s milk: Some babies only get to breastfeed well during the night as they grow older. This is because babies from about 4 months are easily distracted by their environment which they are always keen to investigate, so much that trying to feed them when they are awake and raring to go might be a struggle. A mother’s supply is maintained when a baby is allowed to feed at times when she will not be distracted and hence able to feed well.

4. Children adapt well: Many are the children who have been breastfed to sleep who in time go to sleep on their own without the need to comfort nurse. Children are able to adapt to new ways to go to sleep and your baby will eventually outgrow the need for comfort nursing when she is ready.

Breastfeeding to sleep is good for the mother who somehow is able to cope with night feeds interrupting her night sleep although breastfeeding to sleep may be a problem if it’s negatively affecting the nursing mother. However, a mother who opts to sleep-train her baby is not doing any wrong as each baby is an individual and both parents and babies ultimately adapt to each other’s sleep pattern and alter their lives in order to cope. It is a comfort that sleep patterns disappear, appear and change as your baby matures.

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