Ask Our Experts: Can I Breastfeed Until My Baby Falls Asleep?


Moms and moms-to-be have a lot of questions when it comes to children, babies and pregnancy, and our healthcare experts are here to answer their questions. Robin Hollen, an international board-certified lactation consultant, recently answered a question we receive often: Can I breastfeed until my baby falls asleep?

Healthy babies sleep when they’re tired, and they eat when they’re hungry. There’s not much we can do to make babies engage in these or any activities on our schedule. So do what works for you: If allowing your baby to fall asleep at the breast feels right, then follow your mommy instinct, ignore the naysayers and stick with it.

Babies who are breastfeeding well — meaning they are growing normally and mom’s breasts are not sore — often fall asleep after a feeding at the breast, as they associate that with calm, rest and nurturing.

Eat, Sleep, Cry, Breastfeed

In the early months a healthy, growing baby sleeps when they are tired. There is little you can do to make him/her sleep or, as you may know, make him/her wake up to eat. Moms often feel conflicted about what others tell them about handling sleep issues and preventing  a negative potential outcome. Some moms are told “you’re spoiling your baby,” yet it may feel right that your baby is so content with you.

Perhaps on a different note, you are frustrated with the baby falling asleep at the breast and then awakening every time you lay him/her down. Most transitions for babies are difficult — breast to bed, held to car seat, sleeping in the car seat to getting out, and even mom to caregiver hand-off. The ease of transitioning develops over time.