How many of you reading this title first thought, but everyone says not to get into the habit of nursing your baby to sleep?
From day one, all I ever read about was the importance of putting your baby down drowsy, not asleep. You need to make sure they can self soothe. The baby will never be able to sleep through the night if you are always nursing them or rocking them to sleep. No one else will ever be able to take care of your baby if they only know how to go to sleep by nursing. It is okay if your baby cries sometimes, babies cry.
Is all of that sounding familiar?
Crying it out
I, for one, am not a proponent for letting your baby cry it out. If you are, you might want to stop reading now.
You still with me? Okay, good. I now assume you share my beliefs in the way we care for our babies.
I get it, babies cry. They cry about everything! It is the only way they can communicate. Sometimes we all get to the end of our tired rope, and we just feel like we can’t take another minute of hearing our baby cry to no end.
Numerous times I have listened to myself tell my baby: I just don’t know what you want. The hard truth is that sometimes your baby just doesn’t know what they want either.
Being brand new to this big world is hard. You think you have hard days as an adult? Imagine your little baby, defenseless, lacking understanding and growing a mile a minute.
There is a reason why we don’t form memories this young in life, and I think it’s because we would all suffer PTSD from the difficulties. However, just because we don’t have the capability of forming concrete memories at this young age does not mean we don’t begin to form the foundation for our emotional well-being. And that is why I do not believe it letting your baby cry it out.
Your baby spent 9 long months inside your womb (with the obvious exceptions of preterm births). All they have ever felt was warmth and receiving all the nurture they need. Then one day they get pulled into this cold, loud and bright environment. Do you know who they need now?
>>It’s you, mama.<<
Babies need their mamas
The only one they have ever known and felt. There is nothing like a mother’s touch. Her voice is the first a baby will recognize. Your baby does not know anything or anyone in this world. All they have to rely on is their instinctual habits to survive.
This is where you come in to reassure them they are safe. To continue their feelings of warmth and nurture. Teach them that they are going to be okay. Let them feel comfortable in their environment to grow and explore. Babies should not have to worry about things such as feeling alone or unsatisfied hunger. They have so much more on their plates. So much for such a little mind to comprehend.
With all that being said, I understand what we go through as moms.
We give and give and give to everyone in our lives, and sometimes quite truthfully feel like we have nothing left at the end of the day. Being a breastfeeding mom is probably one of these most selfless things you can do in your life. Not only did you give your body to your baby for 9 months, but you continue to do so for many months after.
Breastfeeding is no easy task. It requires your constant attention. Foods you should avoid. Medications you shouldn’t take. Is it okay to have another glass of wine with dinner tonight? This is the tip of the iceberg.
We are our baby’s lifeline– quite literally.
Our bodies provide our babies with the best nutrients they need. Our embrace when we nurse them gives them the comfort they desire. When we breastfeed our babies we are doing so much more for their overall well-being than we may realize. It is no wonder why nearly all babies will drift off to sleep while nursing.
When did this turn into a bad thing to do? When did comforting our children the way nature intended become a “touchy subject”. Why do people think it is wrong to let our babies be, well, babied?
It’s not wrong
Nursing your baby to sleep is okay to do. You shouldn’t be made to feel bad for it. You shouldn’t have to hear things like “she will never sleep on her own”.
But the sad truth is, you will hear negative things. You will hear negative things from people who either feel guilty they didn’t do it themselves, or probably have some emotional disparities in their own lives. Take them with a grain of salt. Or better yet, just ignore them completely because they aren’t worth any space in your mind. You are doing what is right for your baby. And you are giving your baby a warm and safe place.
Your baby will not always need to nurse to go to sleep. They will be able to sleep through the night. And your baby will be able to be put to bed by someone other than you.
Your baby will develop a strong emotional foundation. They are developing trust. Right now, your baby needs you.
It is only for a short time in the grand scheme of it all, and one day your baby will say, “goodnight mom” and head up the stairs to bed without a second thought.
One day, you will look back on these days of nursing her to sleep and know you did everything right.
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