How do I stop breastfeeding my baby to sleep?


Have you been told any of these?

 ‘You mustn’t breastfeed your baby to sleep’

‘Your baby needs to learn to self-settle,’

Or ‘you are creating bad habits allowing your baby to fall asleep on the breast.’

Although you may like to use other sleep cues as well as breastfeeding your baby to sleep, advice that letting your baby fall asleep on the breast will create ‘bad habits’ or that he will never learn to ‘self-settle’ is unrealistic and impractical. There are some magical chemicals in breast milk that support sleep as well as boosting your baby’s immunity, so it is the most natural thing in the world for a relaxed baby and mother to snuggle and doze together as they breastfeed.

The evidence

There is a wealth of evidence that the soporific effects of breastfeeding are hormonally induced: Breastmilk contains a range of hormones, including prolactin (your milk production hormone), oxytocin (which releases breastmilk) and cholecystokinen (CCK – this has an effect on satiety). These hormones are released in both mother and baby during breastfeeding and have a sedating effect on both of you. Breastmilk has also been shown to supply a type of endocannabinoid – the natural neurotransmitters that marijuana stimulates. So, when your baby falls off your breast all drowsy and relaxed, looking as though he is ‘milk drunk’ you could say he is actually ‘milk stoned’!

Research suggests that your ‘night-time’ milk may be even more effective at helping your baby sleep: melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone is barely detectable in breastmilk during the day, but peaks during the night and studies by Spanish researchers show that components in mothers’ milk can vary significantly over a 24 hour period. These researchers studied samples of breastmilk taken from healthy mothers at different times of the day and found concentrations of sleep-inducing nucleotides (proteins known to have a role in exciting and relaxing the nervous system), were stronger after dark than during the day.

The lead researcher of this study, Dr Christina Sanchez, advises that breast milk should be fed fresh or if you are expressing, it is best to take note of the time you express milk then feed it to your baby at the same time of day. She says, “you wouldn’t give a coffee at night, and the same is true of breast milk. It has day specific ingredients that stimulate activity in the infant, and other night-time components that help the baby rest.

With so much evidence that mother’s milk helps babies sleep, it makes no sense at all to resist this naturally sedating and bonding process, or to wake a baby who has fallen asleep against your warm body only to try some other settling technique or plug him up with a dummy to get him to sleep again.

Looking for gentle, respectful ways to help your baby (and you) sleep without compromising breastfeeding or the beautiful bond between you and your little one? See my book Sleeping Like a Baby (it’s available on Audible too, if you don’t have time to read). You can download the first chapter FREE HERE.

But what if I need to leave my baby with a carer?

If you are planning to leave your baby with a carer perhaps because you are returning to work, it can be helpful to have some other sleep cues besides breastfeeding, but you can introduce these gently when it feels right for you and your baby. It can be reassuring to know that when you return to work, your baby-sitter will be able to help your little one sleep because the carer won’t smell like breastmilk. Your baby will respond differently to you and a carer whether this is your partner, Grandma, or a babysitter – babies associate Mummy with breastmilk and her milky smell.

This means you can still use breastfeeding to help your baby relax and get to sleep when you are with her and need this magic tool, especially during the night when everyone needs to get back to sleep as easily as possible, however here is a gentle way to make changes so any transition is easier for your baby.

 ‘Baby steps’ to making changes

To ‘wean’ your baby off needing to be rocked or fed to sleep, you can use a ‘baby steps’ approach. Firstly, work out a realistic goal, then ‘reverse engineer’ that so you start changing one ‘baby step’ at a time, working towards your ‘goal’.

Introduce a new sleepy cue:

Start by introducing a more easily discarded cue as you feed your baby to sleep, such as gentle music  or a ‘sleepy song’. Simply swapping one cue for another will be confusing and your baby won’t know what to expect so the idea is to ‘overlay’ the new cue (the music). Play the music on a low volume without making any other changes to your bedtime routine for at least a week.

Regardless of promises on lullaby labels, it will take your baby 7 to 10 days to ‘condition’ him to any music, and you want a positive association with this new routine. Going too quickly can be stressful to your baby, especially when you have worked so hard to make sleep time a calm and positive experience.

Making a change:

After a week, keep playing the music, but remove your baby from the breast before he falls asleep, just holding him until he dozes off. If he is upset, pop him back on the breast or rock a little until he settles, then try again.

Tip: as you remove your baby from the breast, press your fingers under his chin and gently hold his mouth closed – he will suck on his tongue a moment and relax, instead of grasping for the breast again. 

Next Steps:

Once your baby is happily falling asleep in your arms without being fed /rocked to sleep, the next step is to cuddle him until he is very relaxed then gently place him into his cot. It can help to warm the mattress a little with a heat pack (don’t overheat it), so your baby isn’t going from your warm arms to cold sheets. Keep your hand on your baby as you move him (patting is usually too stimulating) and gently rock him a little if this seems to help him drift to sleep.

baby is settling at this step, you can start moving the bedtime breastfeed back a little and pop him into the cot with his music playing. If at any time your baby gets upset, always move back a step until he is ready to move forward.


See Pinky’s webinar ‘Milk, Sleep And Your Baby’s Brain – this will be recorded in case times or babies mean you can’t listen live. There will be a Q and A  – See More and Book NOW!

Gradually with love

This gentle baby steps approach can be used whenever you want to make changes, whatever these are – whether you want to ease off rocking or feeding your baby to sleep or if you have used a dummy and want to discard this. Remember the mantra, ‘gradually with love’ and plan backwards from your goal, then work out small baby steps and implement these, one at a time.

If you are enjoying precious bed-time snuggles there is no need to change anything or to rush through any steps: breastfeeding or cuddling and rocking your baby to sleep is not a ‘bad habit’ or a ‘sleep prop’. Consider, how do you go to sleep yourself – Do you like to read a book to wind down? Have complete darkness or a light on in the hallway? Enjoy a hot drink before bed? Do you snuggle up to your partner – or do you tell each other, “we must get onto our own side of the bed and self-settle, we are creating ‘bad habits’?”

And, just in case you are still worried about those voices warning you about ‘bad habits’ or that your baby will never outgrow needing a breast to help him sleep, take heart: I am sure there aren’t many parents who have had to set up side car cots next to their grown up kids and, if your child does still like to snuggle up to a breast when he’s twenty one – you can be sure it won’t be yours!


Pinky McKay is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and best-selling Baby Care author. For more support to help your baby sleep, check out Pinky’ book Sleeping Like a Baby – this  “baby steps” method is outlined in detail. You can download the first chapter FREE .


Baby steps weaning from breastfeeding to sleepBoobie Bikkiesbreastfeedingbreastfeeding baby to sleepfeeding baby to sleepPinky McKayweaning from breastfeeding to sleep
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  • JJ's mum

    This could not have come at a better timing! I’m trying to wean my 15 month old off his night time feeds but it’s the only thing that’ll put him to sleep!
    He’s bed is side car’ed our bed. I put him in his bed after he falls asleep. But by 1am onwards, he’s back in our bed wanting a feed/comfort nurse and this goes on till 8am and it’s killing me!! I have not rest because he’s constant latched on throughout the night.
    So I tried to wean him off cold turkey by taking him to his cot to CIO (which I HATE doing) but that doesn’t end well because I get upset and so does my husband (and of course my LO too) This happened last night and everyone was in tears at like 3am 🙁

    Thanks for this. I’ll try to do this as I have no clue what I’m doing.

    • Maro

      hi i am in the same boat as u.. 🙁 my son does ”exactly” the same.. did u have any luck so far? if yes then do share! i am getting so frustrated i have an exam coming up n i feel so sleep deprived..

      • lisa

        How did you go? I have a 20 mth old I am desperate to wean. 🙁

      • Jess

        Have you heard of the book “Nursies When the sun shines?” I think you could still do the dude car crib so he can snuggle, but just night wean. Also Google the Dr. Jay Gordon method.

    • Jess

      Check out the Dr. Jay Gordon method of night weaning and read the kid the book Nursies when the sun shines. You can still cosleep 🙂 good luck

    • Rach

      What did you end up doing to cure the all night latched nursing? I am currently in this predicament.

  • Vanessa

    Thank you so much for this advice! My son is five weeks old and he either falls asleep at my breast or in my arms. I had started to worry about how to move from this to him falling asleep in his bassinet.

    I no longer feel like I’m doing the wrong thing and setting us both up for stress and tears down the track!

  • JenV

    That was a very nice article, and very good advice. However, your baby will do just fine with the really don’t have to wean from the breast to get your baby to go to sleep at daycare. Your milk has wonderful ingredients that will nurture your baby, not only with the nutrients, but with the love that you give while you nurse. Please don’t give that up because you *think* your baby will not sleep without nursing first. Babies are very adaptive, and s/he will adjust to life at daycare without you. My advise is to nurse until your baby doesn’t want to any more (although I know that is not feasible for every one). Good job, Mama, and keep up the good work!

    • Carly

      Thank you, great advice about baby adapting
      I left baby at home with hubby to get a few things from the shops when l returned baby was asleep on her play mat, it was then that l knew that my husband will have different ways to me but it works for them, and when reading your opinion l really agree, baby will adjust to daycare.
      I am going to keep enjoying my baby sleeping on me while l sit down to a movie or book for me time, we are both happy.

      • Erin

        I really needed to see this right now!
        My LO only sleeps on me during the day literally latched on.
        At night, she will fall asleep and detach for most of the night. I’m not worried about the night, she cosleeps in bed with us and often will sleep straight through 10.5 hours because we are literally right there on either side of her when she stirs.
        It’s the day and naps that are a struggle since she will not sleep for me at all unless my boob is there for her at all times. So much so that I now have a pinched nerve in my neck/arm for side laying with her so much.
        Today I just had a casual discussion with my work about returning in a few months. And I’m now freaking out because I just don’t see how she will sleep without me.
        So I needed this. I needed to know that when I send her off to daycare, they will somehow get her to sleep, and then I can still co-sleep with her at night.

  • Mel

    If I’ve been feeding my baby to sleep for months playing relaxing music (your dream cd), do you think this process will still work or will she associate the music with the feeding?

    • Pinky McKay

      It will probably be fine as you have already created the sleepy association with the music, just try slowly taking her off the breast before she is completely asleep. If she isn’t happy, pop her back on the breast and try again at the next sleep time. This does take time, but we don’t want babies upset. Its lovely your baby has such a gentle calm sleep time and if nursing to sleep works for you this is absolutely fine too.

      • Mel

        What happens if you already have music playing as a bedtime routine?

  • Elle Morgan

    Thank you Pinky you have become my journey into motherhood life raft.
    I spent the first two months of my beautiful little girl’s life desperately reading all sorts of wacky advice. I listened to any advice thrown my way, in the check out line, from a 13 year old, well meaning friends and strangers. I was so desperate to do the best job possible, I was relentless in my search for all the miracle answers. For the most part I just ended up plagued with guilt and insecurity. I did plenty of breathing her in as well but I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to trust in my own instincts. I still doubt myself of course, but since a beautiful midwife friend recommended your blog, it has become my daily hug if you like. A reminder that so many other mums feel the same and go through the same things I do so thank you.

  • Jes

    Love your advice – has helped me with my toddler and bub. Do u think it would work playing music when bub wakes during the night to resettle?

  • Stacie

    We’ve always had a lovely feed to sleep routine but suddenly my 4 month old bub is getting quite fussy and unhappy when sitting down to feed to sleep. She is definitely tired at these times though not necessarily hungry. It’s making this once calm routine really unhappy and I’m worried that we are creating bad feelings about sleeping. I’m not sure if I should change how I’m putting her to sleep which could be distressing as it would be sudden or if I should persevere with the feeding though I feel like I’m forcing her to do something she no longer wants to. I hate the thought of undoing our lovely close bond and creating bad feelings about sleep time. I always felt quite stressed about feeding to sleep until I read your book and didn’t just make peace with it but felt really proud of being responsive to my daughter. But this change is causing me a lot of new anxiety about this .

  • Pinky McKay

    Stacie, what a lucky baby that you are so intuitive and have this lovely connection. Sometimes babies quite suddenly communicate that they will be OK with just being cuddled and popped into bed. One of my own babies did this – I had been trying to ‘help’ her fall asleep, offering boob but I desperately needed to go t the loo so I popped her down. She almost sighed with relief as though to say. thank goodness my mum and her boobs are out of my face. When I cam e back she seemed perfectly happy, chatting and watching her hands. So I sat and watched her, quietly, she just went off t sleep. have seen a number of babies who get to this stage with no pushing, they seem to be ready, secure and calm. You could try just popping her down and sitting next to her, or introduce some gentle music on a low volume to help her relax at sleep time as you cuddle or offer the breast and, gradually as she gets used to the music, she ma be happy to lie in bed listening, relaxed and ready to fall asleep. Please try not to worry, baby development is such a dynamic process, they keep on changing and all you can do is follow her lead, just as you are doing. You are doing a great job!

  • Shana

    This is a great article. I am ok with feeding to sleep most times, whoever. Once asleep I cannot put her down, every time she falls asleep and I try to place her in her cot or my bed or anywhere she wakes up and we feed and fall asleep again. Any suggestions? its exhausting, i literally get nothing done in the day. I have read sleeping like a baby and really enjoyed it and agree with what it says. i would just like to be able to put her down once she is asleep.
    Thank you

    • Debbie

      Did you ever find something that worked? I am having the same issue. 20 min after I set her down she wakes right up. It’s exhausting and frustrating.

    • Erica

      I’m having the EXACT same problem with my 8mo. Love to hear some suggestions to help, I can’t baby wear for long periods due to a bad back. I feel terrible for my 4yo cause I end up spending so much time with his brother and get NOTHING done.

  • Roya

    I’m desperately needing advice and wil try your suggestions. I tried CIO and have felt so much guilt. I love BF my baby but this is his only sleep association and it’s making daily tasks difficult as well as he will only nap this way. Shushing and patting tends to aggravate him more.

    • Rosie

      This thread is old but I wanted to comment as I went through this same thing with my now 6 month old and if I stumbled across this earlier it would have helped me.
      After about a month of feeding to sleep & then waking whenever I put her down, I realized I was so happy when my daughter would fall asleep that I wasn’t making sure she had eaten enough. She was waking up because she wasn’t finished nursing, she just fell asleep on the job! I fell into the trap of listening to advice about “flutter sucking” & detaching her when her sucks weren’t strong as these are just comfort sucks (I wish I had stopped to think what is wrong with sucking for comfort?) then trying to put her down.
      If you aren’t sure, try hand expressing a bit to see if the milk is creamier (meaning she has got to the good stuff) or empty. Once discovering this I found my milk was still watery – it was such hard work she needed a rest in between the fore milk & hind milk.
      Once we sorted this out she would stir briefly when I put her down, sometimes even wake briefly to look up at me and smile before turning her head & going to sleep.

  • Alex

    I am feeding my 11 week old to sleep every night. I have been doing this his whole life. He sleeps through the night from 8.30pm-6am and has done so since 5 weeks old so I am reluctant to stop feeding him to sleep. But I am worried, does it become harder to stop feeding him to sleep the older he gets?

  • RJ'S Mum

    I’m so glad I found this site. Obviously I wish we didn’t all have these challenges but I’m encouraged to know I’m not alone and not a complete failure at this momhood thing. I’ve been quite overwhelmed and upset with my daughters sleep patterns the last few weeks. She’s 13 months and still feeds to sleep. I was happy to breastfeed to 2 years, and still am I guess but I’m beginning to be over it being the only thing that will put her to sleep. Because every child is different you just don’t know if what worked for your friend will work for you. I don’t know whether I should just keep going doing it, in the hope that she will eventually grow out of needing it to sleep or if I should take steps now to save myself grief later on. Its just a lot harder than I thought it would be and the crying is just too much at times.

  • fotografo matrimonio reportage

    Greetings! Veery useful advice within this post!

    It is the little changes which will make the greatest changes.
    Thanks ffor sharing!

  • Fatou

    Excellent article! And thank you all for your comments. I feel like I’ve been impersonated, because I am going through the same thing. My baby won’t sleep without breastfeeding, and it’s very very exhausting. Now 10 months, she doesn’t want to be with nobody, but me and my family. At times, when I need her to be with the babysitter, she cries so hard, and that’s worrying because I’m afraid no one would want to watch her for me when needed. Please advice!!!

  • Julia

    Hi Pinky, I love your site and your gentle approach. It is against everything in my nature to let my baby cry or not to do anything to help her. I feel a lot of stress, pressure and judgment about feeding baby to sleep (or sleepy state). I play music when my baby sleeps and usually feed her til very drowsy and place we down and pick her up if she gets upset and repeat this until she falls asleep. I also have a lamb she touches while feeding and I nestle him up to her cheek when she sleeps and she seems to like this. My only “problem” is that this is fine while we are at home, and I don’t mind getting up a few times a night to feed her to sleep, it works within minutes, but I’m having trouble while we are out. She doesn’t sleep much at all. In the baby carrier she might sleep half an hour, in the pram very rarely will she sleep. It makes me stressed because if we are expected to be out longer she gets so tired and upset and I feel upset and like I just need to get her home. I can’t be put longer than 2hrs without this happening. Do you have any advise for this? Thank you

  • Ash

    This was a great question! I’m currently in this predicament, with a 12 month old that nearly always feeds to sleep. Occasionally she’ll let me rock her, then put her down and pat her until she is asleep (as she wakes up as soon as she touches the mattress). We’ve tried a few different things, but nothing recently as we’ve just been going with the flow, and of course feeding to sleep is such a lovely and easy thing to do! But in a couple of months she will be going in to care part time, and while she can be rocked to sleep in a pram, it is time consuming and not ideal. I think we’ll have to try music as a sleep cue, and fingers crossed it makes a difference!

  • Kate

    I have just been searching in desperation for suggestions for our little one so may put some of these into play. My darling two year old has fed to sleep for the last year or so, he has only just gone into his own room after cosleeping for the first two years of his life, the second year bed-sharing. Have been the most peaceful and interrupted nights sleep of our lives having him in bed with us, so it’s worked so so well for us all. He’s now in his own room, and in a big boy bed which if he feeds to sleep he stays in until around 4.30am when he jumps in with us. It’s lovely. Our biggest issue is when he doesn’t feed to sleep, we don’t really have any tactics to help settle him other than lying next to him – the last couple of nights it’s been for over an hour and a half and I’m newly pregnant, so we’re just exhausted because by the time we’re done settling him, it’s almost our bed time. Will start with some music ASAP – I’m sure it will work on a 2 year old too 🙂 🙂 thanks Pinky.

  • Kate

    Pinky can that sleepy association be made with a comfort teddy?

  • semicvet

    Hi PInky,
    Could you shed some light at my query? Would really appreciate your comments!
    Last Monday my son (4.5 months) was as if switched to a different baby! On one hand he became a lot more alert and vocal and started rolling. On another hand, he completely ‘forgot’ how to self settle and would only fall asleep on my boob. I heard about sleep regression which happens around this time and it definitely feels like this is what’s happening (though I know some say that there is no such thing as sleep regression, it is all because they need more re-assurance as so much is happening around this time, which is really the same thing). Besides the above, I can not tell anymore when he is sleepy. He is so easily destructed now and so alert that old sleepy signs don’t work anymore… And he also gets more hungry. So, I never know if he is just feeding for comfort or because he is hungry. He can feed hourly during the day! and that is in addition to having some solids morning and evening.
    So, is this a stage and would it pass o its own or is all my good work done previously with teaching him to self settle is gone now and I have to start over? :((( This is so disheartening! I did sort of a CIO method, a more gentle version of it but still with quite a bit of crying. I can not go through this again :(( Your article is great and it is what I am starting to do, but I worry that I won’t have enough time to get him back to self settling before I have to go to work in March…

    • Csun

      Semicvet, I’m in almost th exact same situation as use but will be returning to work in two weeks. Wondering if you ever got an answer to your question or tried any strategies that worked? It’s nice to hear that I’m not alone in having these similar challenges. Any insights you have would be helpful, thanks!

  • Adrianne

    Thank you for the advice about holding a finger under baby’s chin. That alone has helped tremendously. We’re not to the point of getting to sleep without nursing yet, but it has helped me get him off the breast and into the crib so that his naps aren’t all on me anymore.

  • iva

    Thank you for this wonderful advice. My baby is 13 months old. He nurses at bedtime, gets sleepy and then he needsto be rocked to sleep. He comfortable nurses in between and sometimes needs to be rocked again and/or patted back to sleep.
    I want to stop nursing him to sleep first and after that I would like to stop rocking him to sleep. If stopped together will distress him.
    My question is should I continue this way? Replace nursing with music first? Then replace rocking with music?
    Also, how should I stop the comfort nursing in between after he has slept?

  • Hayley

    I love breastfeeding my 5 month old to sleep but feel I need to give him the opportunity to fall asleep himself so that he is able to get back to sleep between sleep cycles which he can’t at the moment (he does seem shocked to find my breast is no longer in his mouth). I intend to take these baby steps and was just wondering, if the music will now become the sleep cue, does it then need to play all night so that when he does wake between his sleep cycles, he has his cue to fall back to sleep?

    • msmz

      i’m wondering the exact same thing.

  • Abby

    Hi Pinky, can you please help me, I am at a loss with what to do. My 10 month old screams every time I put her down to sleep and will only go back to sleep at night with a breastfeed. She used to go down into her cot awake and happily go off to sleep by herself but now stands up and cries as soon as I put her in her cot. I usually leave her for a few minutes but she no longer self settles and if I go in she either gets more upset or I have to spend 40 minutes patting her to sleep. I also have a 3 year old to look after so can’t afford to be in the baby’s room for that long. I have been using soft music, quiet bedtime routine for months but it’s not making much of a difference! I am also going back to work in 6 weeks so am wanting to wean her of the breast but this is often the only thing that will settle her and she isn’t taking a bottle at this stage. Thanks so much for your help!

  • Jemima

    Hi pinky, my 17 week old daughter loves being breastfed to sleep but i wish to begin weaning her off this ritual.
    Im worried she wont get to sleep by anyone else only me.
    I lay her in her basket when drowsy but cant seek to pass the 15min mark without waking & wontinh boob comfort.

    Also, she us currently hating the car right now & crues after 10-15mins which is making jt impossible for me to drive further distances.

    Any suggestions?


  • MomofDnD

    Im struggling with a medical issue right now and the meds I need to take require me to stop breastfeeding right away. My son turns a year in a week, and we not only nurse to sleep but we also cosleep. He doesnt even have his own bed. Ive been putting off the meds over a month now and I cant do it much longer. What do I do? Hes a year, cio is so mean and at this age he will remember it and resent me.

  • Phil

    We’re trying hard to get our baby sleeping without nursing now. He needs nursing to sleep for every sleep (night and day) AND will wake the minute my partner leaves the bed.

    We’ll have to try creating new associations but it’s starting to become a problem so hopefully the process doesn’t take too long.

  • Sarah

    Seems like really good advice. Would this work for a 20 month old? I am trying to wean him altogether but he is not wanting to let me. I nurse him to sleep and his schedule is all over the place. After almost two years i am ready for some routine and some sleep. Since nursing is tied into his going to sleep I dont want to stop cold turkey and I feel crying it out is too harsh. Any more advice would be so appreciated!!!

    • Laura

      Hi Sarah,
      How are you? I was wondering if you ever got any advice and how things are going for you now? We are in exactly the same boat and really struggling as to know what to do.

  • Jen

    Dear Pinky

    I have been breastfeeding my baby to sleep in bed (as this was an easy way to feed after a c section)then placing her in her cot when asleep since she was born, she’s now 4 months. About a month ago I started weaning her of breastfeeding to sleep gently, i’ve got her to the point of removing her from the breast before falling asleep and she’ll then fall asleep in bed next to me after which i’ll move her to her cot. But now I’m having a hard time placing her in her cot drowsy but awake, I’m removing her from the breast while she’s drowsy and instead of letting her fall asleep in bed I try to move her in her cot and place my hands on her firmly but she puts up a fight and doesn’t settle. Should I not be feeding her bed?

  • Manal

    Finally an approch that take mom and baby feeling into consideration <3
    Merci Beaucoup 🙂

  • jo jo

    Hi Pinky, my one year old is still breast fed to sleep. and when and if she wakes during the night. I know she can and has gone to sleep without being fed to sleep. so when im around i really dont mind doing it. My mat nurse has advised me not to do this anymore as she is too old to be doing this. Is this correct?? She relaxes so quickly and i know then she is fed and hydrated for her sleep. not to mention its our down time too. Will she just stop this on her own? or should I start weaning her?

  • Chand

    I have a 3 month old and she falls asleep in my arms during the day and after a lot of bouncing and rocking and after she’s alseep i put down and she wakes in 20 mins. And she just seems tired all day. The only way she sleeps longer than 20 mins is if I’m holding her or she’s lying on me. Any suggestions on what I should do during the day to put her down and keep her sleeping?

  • Vivienne

    My daughter is 9months. Can this approach work at this age. I’m feeling desperately worried that baby will never fall asleep any other way. She also only naps the day either in the baby carrier or pushchair.

  • Pranki

    Hi Pinky,

    I love reading your articles and big fan of yours. I have a 2.5 years old daughter. She has been exclusive on breastfeed coz she hated bottles and formula. I never forced bottles on her and continued to breastfeed her. We co sleep and she still does night feeds. So far it was not a problem for me and I enjoyed this special bonding time. Now I am back to work full time and she is in child care 5 days. She doesn’t take day naps anymore so is not dependent on daytime feeds but nights are becoming tough. I love to continue co sleeping but wants to put an end to breastfeeding. She is dependent on BF to go to sleep and wakes up 4-5 times in night for short feeds. We have tried using other ways to put her to sleep but nothing worked so far. She cries for me and I can’t hear her crying for more than 5 minutes so I gave up every time. My problem is that I cant see her crying at all. I want to wean her with love not with tears. I dont know what to do, how can I wean night feeds and make her sleep through the night without making her upset. Please suggest some tricks or tips. Any advice from other mums are most welcome.

  • kelly @breastfeed Mom

    I have another idea, which I wanted to share here. just apply any sour thing on nipple it also tested way to stop breastfeeding.

  • m88

    This text is worth everyone’s attention. When can I find out more?

  • Monique

    This seems like a lovely, gently approach. Should I leave the music play throughout her nap or is it okay if it stops. I have purchased the fisher price calming vibrations soother, which only plays for about 10mins.. Does anyone recomend something that plays for longer?

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  • Nat

    Hi Pinky,

    I have a 27 month old… EBF We also Co-sleep. I was hoping that he would have self weaned by now. He is in daycare now full time. As soon as he walks through the door he wants his first drink… Most of the times I would have his supper ready and even though he will finish his supper, his first drink for the night must follow straight after.

    He also drinks for short intervals during the night, sometimes I would hold him tighter and he will continue to sleep further ….. Any gentle approach for this age? PLEASE SHARE! I would prefer something that is not upsetting for either of us….

    TIA xxx

  • Champaz

    My little girl has been breastfed to sleep since forever and will also only day nap in my arms, she is now 9months. I too am close to returning to work and introduced music months ago, put her to sleep in a dark room, same room every time. have tried to remove her from the breast as she falls to sleep but she starts getting grisley and searches for it and if she can’t get it back becomes upset and wakes. I have tried leaving her with my husband for a couple hours on a few occasions so he can try to get her to sleep and feed her as this will need to happen when I return to work but no luck. Won’t take a bottle and definitely would not close her eyes for him on any of the times I have left her.
    I don’t mind feeding her to sleep and snuggling but now I have to return to work it’s really stressing me because although Iv been told “she will learn to sleep for other people” it doesn’t seem to be happening and I definitely don’t want to cause her distress. Was hoping she would grow out of it or adjust easier as we practiced and she got older but not happening. 😩

    • Megan

      Hi, how did you end up going? This sounds exactly like my 10 month old now. Any suggestions on how to get to sleep in cot during day?

      • Clem

        Hi Megan, how are you getting on with this? I’m in exactly the same position as you. My daughter is 9 months next week and is breastfed to sleep every time. She screams the house down if my husband tries to bottle feed her at night. She also won’t nap in the day for anyone else. It’s really starting to worry me as I go back to work soon. Any suggestions are greatly received! Thanks

  • Katie

    I’d really like to try this with my son.p, who is coming up for six months old. The thing is, at the moment, I feed him to sleep, then sit him upright on my lap for five minutes or so, just to let the milk go down and let any wind out so he doesn’t spit up when I put him in his cot. So I’m wondering how this works when we move to stage two (feed until drowsy but awake then put down awake)? Maybe I don’t actually need to be keeping him upright after his bedtime feed at all anymore? Any advice would be much appreciated! Thanks.

  • April

    Thanks for the wonderful and really helpful article. I really enjoy your non- judgemental approach! I was wondering, does it matter if I use white noise or music as the sleep association? I have been nursing my 5month old to sleep for about a month now with white noise. Can I just continue on from ‘step 2’ I.e. Taking her off breast before she goes to sleep and use the white noise? Or should I start at the beginning and replace white noise with music? I’m in a similar predicament where I have to go back to work in 3 months and daddy is taking over- don’t want to leave him with a bub that needs breasts to sleep! thanks for your advice!

  • Judith

    I have been breastfeeding my baby to sleep in bed fro 8 months so i needed to teach my son to fall asleep without it and move him to his own crib. I used the Hold WIth Love method to do both those things and I am very happy with the results. I followed the HWL method from How to teach a baby to fall asleep alone guide:
    Big help from such a short ebook – great!

    • Bonnie

      well Judith you were totally right! the method from this guide is a miracle! I am soooooooo happy I saw it and try it! thanks a lot!

    • Samantha

      Good one! thanks for sharing!

    • Janet

      couldn’t be better! This guide is pretty awesome 🙂 short with step-by-step instructions! that’s what tired and sleepy parents need! And what is the most important it really works! I highly recoomend

  • Charlene

    I have an 11 mth old that looks to feed prior to sleep. I can get her drowsy and then place her in the cot to sleep with white noise and she will sleep. If she is “awake” and not drowsy enough when I put her down I find that she will get upset and then the only way to calm her is to put her back on the boob. I have tried rocking her and talking and patting but it upsets her more when she is already upset.
    I am returning to work in 6 weeks and need to find a way to get her off the boob so she can go to sleep without me. She has refused the bottle after numerous attempts. Do I simply bring the feeding forward (day by day) and try to get her to a point where we don’t feed at all prior to sleep time? CIO was a complete disaster for the ENTIRE family and won’t be used again. Desperate for advice?