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I practice comfort nursing with my baby and at this point I wonder if it’s becoming his sleep association and possibly contributing to his unwillingness to fall asleep without the breast.

My baby is currently 6 months old but he is a premie. His adjusted age is 4 and a half months.

Note that he can actually fall asleep being rocked but it’s much more tiring and time-consuming. He also seems to be learning to self-sooth, although he hasn’t got the hang of it yet. Also, he doesn’t usually need comfort nursing at night.

So, can comfort nursing become some sort of problem in the future?

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I have breastfed two kids until they were 2 years old. Comfort nursing is a temporary problem for the mother, not the child. It’s an emotional need. I comfort nursed them both whenever they wanted. Was it tiring? Yes. Did it have any long term effects? No. All I know is that I was able to comfort them when they needed me. For a little child who cannot express that they want something and the only person most familiar to them is you from living inside of you for 40 weeks, comfort nursing doesn’t seem unnatural to me.

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I only have one child and so not that much experience, but as no one answered, I will try to answer this question based on my experience.

Yes, it may become a problem insofar that a child can get used to nursing to fall asleep and they might - at first - have a problem falling asleep without.

BUT: Your child is still very young. Be glad for any help that gets the child to sleep fast. If it works for you now, then don't change it until it becomes a nuisance. A lot of 'problems' will solve itself once a child is older.

In my case, I breastfed my child before sleep and night until ~1 year. When the night feedings became too difficult for me, I started to sleep in another room for some time. My husband would try to soothe our child back to sleep and, if it did not work, bring them to me. Night time feedings ended within a week.

The evening feedings also stopped without much fuss on our baby's side a bit later. After all, they were full from the evening meal, so a pacifier and cuddling were adequate replacements. Getting rid of the pacifier was much more difficult, but again, we waited until we felt, they did not need it anymore (which they showed us by biting through it twice). Three difficult evenings later, they did not even ask for it anymore.

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