- Why do babies often fall asleep while eating
- Your options to stop the baby from falling asleep at the breast or bottle
- How you can make small changes that help baby prepare to eat better and sleep through the night.
Sleep Struggles Solved + Results Guaranteed
Podcast Episode Transcripts:
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Welcome to the kids sleep show, where we help tired parents from around the world to get their children to fall asleep independently, sleep through the night and build healthy sleep habits for Life. I’m your host, Courtney Zentz.
Now let’s sleep together. Hey, everyone, welcome back to this season of the kids sleep show. My name is Courtney Zentz, the founder of tiny transitions. And I’m so excited to have you here today. Because we are covering all things, helping your baby to take a full feed without falling asleep during the process. So a common question that I get, and something I often incorporate into my infant sleep coaching plans is around how to help baby decouple themselves from either the breast or the bottle as a way to go to sleep. Right. That’s a habit usually, but also how to make sure they’re getting a nice full feeding, without falling asleep, you know, so often the two are kind of joined together. And when I work privately with clients in sleep coaching, we need to separate them, we need to make sure baby’s eating enough to sleep well. But not using it as the way in which they fall asleep. Right? There are two very distinct things even from birth, I would never tell a parent don’t feed a hungry baby. There’s often kind of this idea or stigma that if you’re sleep training, it means you’re not feeding anymore. And that’s not accurate means you’re not feeding to sleep, if a baby wakes because they’re hungry, they should eat. Absolutely. If they’re using food as the way in which they fall back to sleep. That’s a habit that you need to fix. Okay, so we’re going to talk about like, what are some things you can do as it relates to the environment or the process or the bedtime routine for naps, and throughout the day to make sure that your little one is decoupling food from sleep, so they don’t build an unhealthy Association, but also so they’re maximizing their intake. Okay, first thing, maximizing intake, what does that mean? Every baby, regardless if they’re breastfed, or bottle fed, needs 24 to 32 ounces of milk in a given 24 hour period. Okay. So once a child achieves that in the daytime hours, right, that’s typically when a baby sleeps through the night, I have clients at three months old that sleep through the night, I have clients at six months old, that are still taking one feeding overnight. It really depends on the baby, the situation, the intake, you know, if a mom is exclusively nursing her supply, like there’s a lot of variables that go into this. It’s not some, you know, decision point, if you will, that this age, it should happen. I will tell you that in my experience, which has been with over 1000s of families around the world coaching, and sleep training, it is typically over six months, always a habit, unless there’s something from a medical necessity standpoint, going on over six months, if your baby’s still eating overnight, you have a habit in there. And some of it is going to be a volume habit, right where you have to get them off the milk to move it to the day. But it is deeply rooted as a habit where they are eating and now we need to adjust both of those things. So when you are trying to start working on this and you’re like, Okay, Courtney, I know that my baby’s using a bottle to fall asleep or falling asleep on the breast and waking overnight for the breast. How do I stop this? Right? So the first thing is a shift in your timing, make sure that you’re properly structuring their day, so that they’re feeding about every three hours. Okay, so a typical day and an example I use with many of my clients is 710 147. That’s a really balanced healthy feeding schedule for a baby. Okay? They take nice full feeds. It minimizes colic, because when I have clients that tell me they have colic, it’s often because they’re fed on demand. By the end of the day that Hank is so full that there’s nowhere for the milk to go. So by setting up more of a structure in the feedings that allows them to take full feeds versus grazie eating right? If your toddler ate snacks all day, and then you told him it was dinnertime, he’d be like, I’m not hungry, because he ate snacks all day. That’s kind of what happens with babies and we’re sort of perpetually snacking. So the brain is never going, You know what, I’m actually hungry. This time, I’m going to take this nice full feeding. Okay, so you want to set up the right structure and schedule in the day. That’s your first thing. The next thing you want to look at is how your routine is set up. Right. So if for example, your baby is always falling asleep during the bedtime routine or during the nap routine, in the chair in your room, it’s pitch dark, you’re rocking them, they’re getting cozy and comfy, right and they’re tired, of course, they’re gonna fall asleep. So change the environment up, feed them a few minutes earlier, downstairs where it’s a little bit brighter, that can be helpful, right? You’re decoupling food from the feeding situation, going to bed, right? So that food now gets pulled out of that and put somewhere else in the house. Maybe it’s near a window, maybe it’s outside, you know something to try to distract them from the fact that they’re warm and cozy in their jammies up on your grill and falling asleep right. The next thing is probably the greatest advice that I ever got from another sleep consultant friend of mine which was feeding them with just the diaper on. So if you feed them with just a diaper on, they’re cold, they’re not comfortable, they’re not falling asleep on you, right. They’re a little bit nippy. And they’re getting like a nice full feeding because they’re more awake, alert and aware. So essentially, it allows you one to feed them with just the diaper on so they’re more awake to you have to burp them. Three, you have to change them. So there’s no chance in that situation where they’re going to fall asleep during those particular things. Now, if you ever have a situation where a nap conflicts with when a baby should be eating, just flip the feed. So for example, a lot of times you see this around like seven months of age, right, you’re supposed to nap around 10 o’clock. And you’re also supposed to feed around 10 o’clock to split the feeding, do half of the before, let them take as much as they want and then finish it up when they wake up at like 1130. And then you don’t skip a feeding, they’re still getting that 24 to 32 ounces in the day. But they’re also eating, you know, nice, full feedings in that balanced way across the day while getting the right amount of sleep, which for seven months is about three hours of daytime sleep with about a three hour awake window. So that’s going to be the the biggest tip that I have is around using just a diaper in the middle of the night. You know, do you have to strip your baby down to just a diaper? Well, no, but you have to listen right if in the middle of the night, they’re falling asleep on the breast or bottle, you have to listen for their swallowing to stop because that means they’re now just sucking ie using it as a pacifier to go to bed. And you have to make sure you’re kind of burping them. Now it’s it’s hard in the middle of the night, they’re tired, right, they just kind of want to eat and go back to bed. You have to pay attention though to when that’s happening and stop them from using it as the pacifier. So start to watch and listen to when they’re swallowing. And make sure to decouple that from the situation and burp them and lay them back down awake so that they can resettle themselves to sleep. That word to sleep should not exist anywhere in your equation. If you want a child to take long naps to sleep through the night to settle independently at bedtime to settle independently for naps to go to sleep without crying. You have to teach them how to do that, right. And that’s the skill of sleep training and sleep coaching and behavior
and balance and skill development right all the things that we teach in our private coaching, which is sleeps a skill set. So if you’re the thing that they need to sleep, then you’re never going to get yourself out of that they’re not just going to wake up one night be like, bye, thanks so much, right? So you want to make sure you’re setting their structure up for success. From a schedule standpoint, you want to make sure that you’re doing full feeds every three hours. So they’re getting the right intake, okay. And then you want to make sure that to keep them awake to get a nice full feeding, especially before bedtime, right? That you’re doing so in the diaper. And so that they can be a little bit uncomfortable, right? Feed them in a different part of the house. Sometimes it is changing your schedule around or looking at how your day is aligning to make sure that they are you know in that right place and check your expectations. Right. How old is baby what should they be doing? Where are they at and if you’re ever unsure, join me out my Facebook group. I have a free sleep community. We do live q&a every week. I’m out there all the time. So as my team it’s called slumber made simple. And it is an awesome community where you have the absolute opportunity to learn everything from me that I can share with you to help build healthy sleepers. And you know, if you’re running into these issues, join there and let’s connect and see that you first start with managing awake windows, feeding in a diaper, changing the environment kind of building a little bit of structure in the day, and then we’ll go from there. And each week I’m here taking you through some very quick and easy sleep tips to help you build a healthy sleeper for life. Until next week, I hope everybody has a great rest of the day. And enjoy lots of cuddles with your little one. Bye for now. Hold on one more thing before you go. As a valued listener of the kids sleep show. I want to help you build a great sleep or not just in the times you’re listening to the show. But all day every day. Every week of the year. I have a new Facebook group called slumber made simple. It’s a place to gather with other parents looking for sleep support, laughs and the latest in sleep research to build a family that is rested and at their best day in and day out. If you want to be part of the community where you can get free sleep support, weekly training sessions, unbelievable content and so much more. Head on over to tiny transitions.com forward slash community that’s tiny transitions.com forward slash community or head over to Facebook and search slumber Made Simple. drop me a note and let me know when you join. I can’t wait to see you there.