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Falling Asleep at the Breast/Bottle


It’s natural to let your baby fall asleep while nursing or drinking from her bottle. But this is a habit you should not encourage. If you do, you teach your baby to associate feeding with sleeping so that she cannot fall asleep any other way. Of course you want to give your baby every comfort. But by allowing her to fall asleep as you feed her, you may be sending her the consistent message: “You can’t go to sleep without me and your bottle.”  That message interferes with your baby’s ability to sleep through the night. Try not to use the breast or bottle as a sleep pacifier. If your baby needs the extra comfort of sucking to fall asleep, help her find her thumb or give her a pacifier. Don’t worry, more than half of all thumb-suckers stop before their first birthday. For advice on nighttime feedings or questions about sleep, talk with your pediatrician.


The above script is part of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) radio series 'A Minute for Kids,' which airs weekdays on WBBM-AM in Chicago, IL.
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