Feeding to sleep

It is totally normal for a baby to feed to sleep, make the most of it while you can!
‘Mother Nature has designed milk to contain lacto-opioids that help the baby fall asleep so use that to your advantage, feed to sleep as often as you can for those first six months. In time, the baby is able to handle their lacto-opioids and they grow out of being fed to sleep’


You are not alone if you’re taking your baby out for walks in the pram or drives around the block in the car to get them to sleep. The movement reminds the baby of the womb and helps them to drift off to sleep. If your baby is slightly older (5-6 months) and you want to move them away from sleeping in the pram or sling, then Claire’s top tip is to buy an exercise ball. ‘Bouncing on the ball emulates walking much better than rocking a baby. Over the period of many weeks, slow down the bounce when you’re soothing for each sleep to the point where you’re no longer bouncing and you’re just using a gentle rock as your starting point.’ Then you will eventually be able to phase out using the ball altogether.

Sleep cues

One of Claire’s top tips to stop your baby from becoming over tired is being aware of early sleep cues. By being aware of these behaviours, you can notice when your little one is in need of a nap before they reach the overtired stage.
Here are some signs to be aware of:
• The first yawn
• Starting to fuss
• Losing interest, looking away or going quiet
• Waving arms and legs. If the baby starts to touch their eyes they have reached over tiredness, so look out for any upward movements of their arms.
By getting to know what these cues are and working on responding to your baby’s signs you will start to develop a routine.

Soothing tips

‘Anything that reminds the baby of the womb calms them and helps them feel safe.’
Gentle rocking while feeding, some patting and maybe some shushing is very soothing for the baby. Place the baby’s hands together in the centre of their body, this is incredibly soothing for them and can also be a way to prolong their sleep. Cup their feet with your hands which will remind them of the womb and make them feel safe.

It is so important to be aware of safe sleep guidelines and the best place to keep up to date with this information is by visiting the Lullaby Trust Website

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