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Do Babies Have Habits?

They say you can’t spoil a baby but I think we’re starting to grow out of that phase. Lately Karson has been going down for naps like a dream. His sister Lucy on the other hand is a different story. After Karson has peacefully nodded off, Lucy will remain tossing and kicking, screaming until I give in and bring her to my breast to nurse her to sleep.

Giving in sounds a little harsh, but “nursing to sleep” isn’t as easy as it sounds. It may take another 20 to 30 minutes after we’ve already done the whole nap time routine so it might look like an hour to get her to sleep for what might only be 45 minutes or so. It’s not a very efficient use of time for either of us. And I can’t start nursing her to sleep until Karson falls asleep. Otherwise, he’ll see us and want in on the action which means we have to go to another setup with all the pillows and then I’m pretty much stuck there with two babies sleeping on me.

I haven’t always had to nurse Lucy to sleep. There was a time when I’d lay her down and after 10 or 15 minutes of light fussing, she’d turn her head to the side and close her eyes. But in the last few weeks, I wouldn’t describe her fussing as “light.” At first I started out nursing her to sleep only here and there. But now it seems as if this has turned into a habit. And for those of you who say babies don’t form habits, from my experience I have to disagree. Now it’s nearly impossible to get her to sleep without the boob, and sometimes even stay asleep. Another disadvantage to this routine is it makes it difficult for Dad to put her to sleep since he’s lacking in the lactation department.

Just a few weeks ago I was in the school of thought that of course we should nurse our babies to sleep if they need it and it’s silly to think of it being any kind of issue. And don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy nursing her to sleep. It just is a little more complicated with two in the mix and it does seem like an issue when she can’t fall asleep without it.

So what do I do? I can continue nursing her to sleep. In the whole scheme of things, it’s not going to last all that long. Or I can try to break her of it. The hard part is, for Lucy I think it has to be either/or. I don’t think there’s a middle of the road where I can sometimes nurse her to sleep and sometimes not.

I haven’t yet figured out what I’m going to do. I don’t want to completely throw out this tool, especially when we have teething on the horizon. But I would be really happy if going down for naps could be a little less traumatic for her.

And who knows, next week, the tables may completely turn and this may no longer be an issue. Cause it always seems like just when I get things figured out, everything turns upside down and we’re figuring out a new set of challenges. It’s a good thing they’re so darn cute!