I feel accomplished, relieved and at peace when our two year old finally falls asleep. I also feel trapped if I look down and see she still has the nipple in her mouth.
And so… here are three things I do when baby falls asleep on the breast.
1. Avoid It
Sometimes I am able to put our toddler to sleep simply by swaddling her in a cozy blanket and rocking her. I have to be standing, because sitting or laying down triggers breastfeeding in her mind.
So I’m always happy when my family offers to put our two year old to bed. She seemingly falls asleep with no fuss, simply because they hold, rock or sing to her. Maybe it’s because they do not smell like milk. Or maybe they really do have the magic touch.
2. Take Her Off
I’ve gotten bitten multiple times, because our two year old was in a deep sleep and clamped her jaws closed. I’ve gotten used to the pain, so it definitely doesn’t hurt as much as the first bite — but it’s still uncomfortable.
To avoid getting bitten, I unlatch by slowly pulling away from her so as to not wake her with sudden movements. Or I stick my pinky in her mouth to remove the nipple.
I’m assuming all children do not bite in their sleep. Both of our girls did. And unfortunately, the only way I found out was by getting bitten — multiple times.
3. Let Her Stay
At 3 our baby still loves to sleep with the breast in her mouth. And if I move, she will wake. So we sleep attached. Yes, that makes an uncomfortable night for me — meaning every time I toss and turn, I have to lift her body to the other side and reattach her to the breast. Yes, that means I rarely reach REM sleep because I have someone sucking me dry. But it’s all a small sacrifice I am willing to pay so our whole family will have a peaceful night.
Has your baby ever fallen asleep on the breast? What do you do?
Until next time...
More breastfeeding posts you may love...