Breastfeeding is so beneficial to babies. It does way more than just provide a baby with nutrition. Breastfeeding can be a sort of comfort for your baby when he or she is sick, scared, in pain, or even just overly tired. When babies are breastfeeding, they feel safe against the warmth of their mom’s bodies. It is completely normal for a baby to want to nurse even when they are not hungry.
Some mothers consider their older children to be their “babies.” They treat them like their babies and often let them do things that small babies would do, including nursing. Older babies also like to nurse for comfort. They may have weaned off of breastfeeding in a lot of ways, but they will often want to nurse when they need a sense of comfort.
Comfort Nursing an Infant
Babies that are infants and newborns need breast milk or another type of milk to help them grow and develop. Even though your baby will be spending a lot of time at the breast to eat, they will also want to be at the breast for comfort. This can be frustrating from time to time, but you must understand that keeping your baby comfortable in any situation that they are facing is important.
When your baby first starts nursing like a newborn, it can be hard to determine if your baby is nursing because they are hungry or if they just want a sense of comfort. It is important to make sure that your baby is getting enough milk, so this is why it is important to try and determine if your baby is eating.
Should You Let an Infant Comfort Nurse?
If you have determined that your newborn is comfort nursing and not sucking at your breast because they are not getting enough milk, then there is no problem with them comfort nursing as much as they would like and as much as you would like to let them. If you feel that your baby is spending too much time at the breast, then you can try some other things to cut down on the time that they comfort nurse. Some of these things include:
Using Slings and Wraps
If you want to cut down on the time that your baby is spending comfort nursing, you can try to comfort them in other ways, including using slings or wraps to keep them close to your body while you are still getting the things done that you need to. A sling or wrap keeps the baby close and allows them to hear the heartbeat of the mom while also feeling the movements that you are doing. This helps them feel comfortable and keeps them calm.
Not every parent believes in using things like pacifiers, but sometimes they can be great things. Pacifiers can help stop a baby from comfort nursing so much because they can suck on the pacifier. This should not interfere with healthy breastfeeding and helps mothers until their milk comes in completely.
Giving Your Baby a Support Item
Things like blankies and loveys can be great things to use in place of comfort nursing. They are meant to use for comfort and soothing. They are not meant to replace nursing completely, but to kind of help, the baby finds comfort in other ways.
Cuddling Your Baby
Another way to comfort your baby is just by cuddling with them on the couch while watching television or doing something that allows you also to react. Babies love to be near their mothers, so being cuddled is a great option to soothe and comfort your baby.
Finding a Distraction
A lot of times, when a baby or child is upset about something, you can find a healthy distraction to help them through a tough time. You want to make sure the distraction is a healthy distraction like a toy or a television show. Distractions can be great things as long as you are not using the distraction all of the time. It needs to be just a temporary solution to a problem that you could be dealing with for quite some time.
What About Comfort Nursing in Older Children
Although there is no cut-off age for breastfeeding, it can be kind of frustrating when your toddler or older child constantly wants to nurse. Older children and toddlers do not so much need to nurse for nutritional aspects, but they often like to nurse when they are sick, or something is bothering them.
Often older children and toddlers like to comfort nurse at bedtime. Nursing helps them find a sense of calmness and relaxation. There is no harm in helping your baby get to sleep through nursing.
So, Yes Comfort Nursing Is Fine
Comfort nursing is an entirely natural part of any babies breastfeeding journey. Comfort nursing is not going to spoil your baby. It is going to cause no type of psychological issues with your child, although a lot of people will tell you otherwise. The most important thing to remember when it comes to nursing and comfort nursing your child is that both you and your child are happy.
Comfort nursing is a great way for the mother and child to bond. There is no reason to feel that you cannot nurse your child in any way, even if it is just for comfort nursing. Nursing is a completely normal type of living. A lot of mothers are not able to nurse their children so they have to find other ways to bond with their children, so if you can nurse your child soak up those moments of comfort nursing. Comfort nursing can be very frustrating from time to time because it takes up so much time, but you will never regret those moments once your child is grown up.