Yes, I Breastfeed My Baby To Sleep

You know what I just don't understand?  Anyone who has a problem with "feeding to sleep".

I went without wine for 9 months, pushed a human out of my vagina and somehow figured out how to get Big Sister to school ON TIME while simultaneously managing diaper blow outs and cluster feeding.  These precious minutes of sleepy feeding are literally gold dust...they allow me to slow down, to connect, to breathe.

Why oh why anybody would have an issue with this gift from above is beyond me.

We've all heard it, right? The torrent of opinions that encircles this particular aspect of mothering...

"You're making a rod for your own back!"

"He'll never learn to self-soothe!"

"You're creating an unhealthy sleep association!"

An unhealthy sleep association?  Really?  There have been studies proving that sleeping with somebody you love literally lengthens a person's life.  Because what could be better than falling asleep, safe and secure, in the arms of the one who loves you most in the world?



You see, science really is on our side...just take a look at the composition of breast milk. This liquid gold of ours is laced with sleepy juice (also known as the hormone cholecystokinin).  It is no coincidence that babies fall asleep at the breast; it is by design.

Not only do our little ones fall asleep more easily while breastfeeding, but researchers are also finding that night-nursing is a crucial aspect of establishing a baby's circadian rhythm.  A rise in nocturnal levels of nucleotides in human breast milk is responsible for what the researchers refer to as "the 'hypnotic' action of breast-milk at night in the infant."




Hypnotic...I couldn't love the terminology more if I tried.

Moms, breastfeeding your baby to sleep is not a bad thing.  It isn't a habit that needs breaking or a rod for your back.  It is biologically expected, healthy and developmentally appropriate.  Trust in your instincts, trust in your babies...and when the noise of damaging cultural expectations becomes too loud, trust in the science.

I'll be doing the same thing from over here, doped up on oxytocin and enjoying these precious life-lengthening snuggles with my baby.

#NurtureThem
#FedToSleep

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Mama Bean’s Sleep Relief email series shifts our focus away from the idea of changing baby and towards the rare concept of supporting mom…The 7 day series offers a short daily message of solidarity and practical tips for coping with exhaustion.  Fill your mommy cup and join the sisterhood today!  (It's totally free - no hidden agendas or expensive sleepy stardust involved, I promise!)