Q. My baby always dozes off during feedings. It’s an easy way to get him to nap, but is it okay?
A. Not really. “Nursing will become his cue to snooze,” says Stephen Sheldon, director of the Sleep Medicine Center at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. When he wakes, he’ll need the breast or a bottle to resettle, when, ideally, he should learn to drift back to sleep on his own.
By 2 months, you should start to break the feeding-to-sleep habit by creating a sleep-feed-play daytime routine. Give your baby a full feeding each time he wakes up, then play. At night, feed him, read a story, and then put him in his crib groggy but awake. Infants thrive on consistency, and your child should quickly adjust to this cycle.
If your baby is older and you’re still lulling him to sleep with a snack, don’t worry; he’ll pick up on the routine after a few days. Help him along with soft music or a lovey.