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How to put your baby to sleep without breastfeeding?

One of the most common questions asked by a sleep counselor is how to wean a baby from falling asleep without breastfeeding. Is it possible to separate sleep and food, and is it necessary to teach a child to fall asleep without breastfeeding?

Why does mom want to stop breastfeeding?
Very often, at the age of 9-15 months, sleep worsens. The child does not sleep well, can wake up to 10 times a night, it is difficult to put him to bed again, he constantly requires feeding (especially if breastfeeding is requested).
Mom and baby do not get enough sleep. Permanent sleep disturbance, irritation and lack of strength are unbearable.
Many read on forums that "the baby cannot sleep well while breastfeeding," "only the refusal to breastfeed helped the baby to sleep." Mom believes that the reason that neither she nor the baby can sleep normally is breastfeeding. She decides to wean the baby from breastfeeding.
Stop mom!
Sleeping problems of the baby are not related to breastfeeding. It's all about sleep associations. This is how a child falls asleep. If you want to keep breastfeeding and sleep well, you need to separate food and sleep. That is, to divide the time of sleep and feeding. When you can separate food and sleep, you can quickly euthanize your baby again at night, reduce the nighttime bedtime in a dream, but do not give up the HB.
This is a very important topic. It is very difficult to defeat a stereotype based on many years of experience. Year after year, mothers improve their children's night's sleep by weaning. Sleep and food are separated, the association for sleep - sucking, is removed, and the baby begins to sleep wonderfully at night. Pleased by such achievements, Mom talks about this method of improving sleep to all her friends and willingly shares the secret of a good dream on the Internet. She sometimes regrets that she had to turn off the HB at 10 months, she wanted to feed longer, and the child began to get sick more often. But sleep is more important. It was simply impossible to tolerate sleep problems anymore, I had to excommunicate the child, there was no choice. In the end, the child is already eating “adult” food, and the mother is important to the child, not the breast. But there is a choice!

How does a baby sleep, who falls asleep on his chest?
Let's observe the dream of a child who falls asleep exclusively with breasts in his mouth. In the evening, the child is tired, it is time for sleep. From birth, the child is used to falling asleep with the help of his mother, she gives him a chest. It is so natural and pleasant, warm and comfortable. This is the dream association. In this case, to fall asleep, the child needs to eat, that is, sleep = food.
Somnologists of Russia, America and Europe in most cases consider falling asleep on the chest after a year as an incorrect association for sleep. Why wrong? Because it worsens sleep. Waking up at night, the child will cry out to demand to create those conditions in which he usually falls asleep. That is, he does not need food, but help to continue his sleep.

Indeed, children very often wake up at night and this is the absolute norm. The child sleeps with constant awakenings between sleep cycles. We adults, too. But we immediately fall asleep again and do not remember this. And in order for the child to continue sleep after the next awakening, he will need the usual conditions for falling asleep (in other words, he simply does not know how to fall asleep), in our case, the chest.

Does everyone need to share food and sleep?
I would not categorically call bedtime on my chest the wrong association for everyone. Most sleep experts are men. Perhaps they cannot fully believe that some mothers, when sharing a dream with their baby, do not know how many times their baby is fed per night, because night feeding does not interfere with their sleep. The main criterion in this matter is a calm child and a good mom.

What else affects the baby’s sleep?
So, now we know why the situation may arise "hangs all night on the chest, doesn’t eat much, but it’s impossible to put it again without the chest." The baby falls asleep as he can, but he knows how to fit only with the chest in his mouth.
At the age of 9-15 months, there are several more objective reasons that can worsen the quality of a baby’s sleep (not counting “eternal teeth” and diseases):
Stage of development: the baby gets up, tries to walk. It is likely that he can do this at night - jump right in a dream, so he is practicing a new skill.
Change of regime, transition from 2 dreams to 1. Temporarily, this may affect the duration and quality of night sleep.
At such moments, you need to help the baby survive this difficult stage, if possible, do not introduce new incorrect associations to sleep - motion sickness, for example.

How to separate chest and sleep without folding the hepatitis B?
It was decided that we will not introduce new wrong habits, but what about feeding at night? Maybe we will stop breastfeeding and the association food = sleep will disappear? But WHY finish the GW when you can simply spread the moments of feeding and falling asleep in time.

How to teach a child to fall asleep without breast? When to feed the baby?
You can breast-feed 30 minutes before bedtime. And be sure in the morning (5-8 in the morning), if you plan to maintain lactation. If you want to qualitatively improve the sleep of the whole family, then you can and should teach the child to fall asleep on his own. Waking up at night, the baby will calmly roll over onto his other side, or you just need to say: “sleep, my good one”, and he will be able to continue his sweet dream. There are many methods of teaching self-falling asleep, but not in this article. Now we are interested in how to wean sleep on the chest, how to separate food and sleep?
We assume that the parents decided to wean the baby to fall asleep with the chest. We decided, because he is already 2 years old, the child hangs all night on his chest, cries, does not fall asleep and does not get enough sleep; decided because the baby falls asleep only at the chest and sleeps on mom, and mom sleeps sitting (and soon she’ll just go crazy). They decided, as they decided - everyone has their own source data. I will give you some practical ways that I hope you can adapt to your child’s needs and your situation.
How to separate food and sleep? Practical tips
When a 4-6 months old baby suddenly falls asleep without a chest himself - rejoice
If the child himself gives you this opportunity, do not miss it. This ability (often natural for many children) will make your life in the future much easier. When the baby wakes up, feed him well. After the games, try laying it again without a chest. When the baby falls asleep on his chest -  fine; when without - support it. As a result, sleep will not depend on the chest.

Conduct training
If you decide to wean sleep on your chest:
Spend as much time as possible with the baby. Physical contact and intimacy will help a lot. A lot of attention during the day - a good night's sleep.

In the afternoon, suggest not so much breasts for calming, but other methods - hug, carry on your hands, stroke, play together, lie on the bed.

Believe that comfort and comfort come from YOU, and not just from your chest. Your confidence will pass on to the child.

You can try to change the situation, the ritual of laying or the direct "stacker" - most often this is mom
Mom will breastfeed, and then dad or grandmother read books for 30 minutes, sing a song, hug, and help the baby fall asleep. The first night at least on the handles, most importantly - without a chest. Practice shows that this method often works. The chances increase when there is a fairly clear regimen, a ritual of going to bed, the skillful abilities of family members: an affectionate, calm, confident voice and methods of distraction.

You can apply one of the methods of teaching self-falling asleep

Training methods are different. BabySleep does not use methods based on the separation of the child and mother (“leave to cry”) and does not recommend them. We work using proprietary techniques combining softness and fast efficiency. The methodology is selected by the consultant individually, depending on the age of the child, his individual characteristics and temperament, habits, wishes of the mother and many other factors.

The technique of “fading”
Fading is a gentle gradual separation of food and sleep. We act according to the rule "two steps forward - one back". 

Essence: Do not refuse to suck before bedtime! Mom feeds, and then offers to listen to a fairy tale or a song, talk, stroke - you need to experiment and find a way to calm down.

The baby may ask for breasts again. It is important that entertainment and sucking do not occur at the same time. Mom gives the breast, but after a while takes the breast again and distracts the baby with a book or conversation. If the baby wants to listen or talk, he stops sucking. At this stage, the mother’s goal is for the child to get used to the idea that you can listen to something interesting in the performance of the mother before going to bed, or that the mother can stroke it, and that you can sleep without breast in the mouth.

After some time, the baby can sometimes fall asleep without a chest in his mouth. When it will turn out to be stable to feed a little, then to sing or read for falling asleep, you can begin to “forget” to give breasts for sleep - that is, immediately switch to other ways of calming. If the child does not want to forget, then let him suck a little. 

I wish you a good sleep and a happy breastfeeding! 

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