On Wednesday night, Benjamin stayed with my mom, while Raul and I had dinner that evening. When we got home, my mom said he wouldn’t stop crying, and he did not want the bottle. I started to feel worried, for instance, I thought I was doing something wrong. People tell you don’t pick up your baby because you’ll spoil them, let them cry it out, don’t give them too much attention, but consciously, I can’t do any of those. There have been studies that indicate that allowing your children to cry it out have a negative impact on the relationship. If babies feel ignored when they start signaling (crying) that they need you, they stop signaling and shut down. This can break down the relationship of trust between parent and child. Maybe my method isn’t culturally acceptable. Our culture tends not to be very baby friendly. We want to force babies to accommodate our life, and I know this because I hear parents say “oh she/he is a GOOD baby.” As if a demanding baby, is a “bad” baby.
One of my favorite sites, kellymom.com has so much expert information, and it’s so helpful for first time moms. This site gives me affirmation that what I’m doing is perfectly normal, like comfort feeding, feeding to sleep, co-sleeping, or “spoiling” my baby by picking him up.
1. Breastfeeding your child to sleep and for comfort is not a bad thing to do– in fact, it’s normal, healthy, and developmentally appropriate. Sucking releases the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK) in both mother and baby, which results in a sleepy feeling. In addition, breastmilk also contains sleep-inducing hormones, amino acids, and nucleotides, whose concentrations are higher during the night and may actually help babies establish their own circadian rhythm. Since babies can’t tell day from night and cannot produce melatonin, mother’s night time breastmilk has plenty of it. Prolactin levels are higher at night as well. Babies often want to nurse at night because quite simply, there’s more milk at night!
2. The breast was the first pacifier and the one that all others are modeled after.
3. To associate the breast with wanting to relax enough to go to sleep makes perfect sense. As adults, we also do things to relax ourselves so we can go to sleep: we read, watch TV, get something warm to drink or a snack, deep breathe, get all snug under the covers, etc.
4. Falling asleep without breastfeeding is a developmental milestone that your child will reach when he is ready. You don’t have to teach them to do this. They reach this as a milestone – when they’re physically, developmentally, and emotionally ready.
Happy Friday to all my wonderful families.