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Old 05-23-2007, 08:16 PM   #1
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No nursing to sleep?

At my son's 6 month checkup, our pedi said i need to not nurse him to sleep anymore as it will cause tooth decay.

She's a little standard on co-sleeping and cereal feeding, so I'm wondering if this is something i should chalk up in the same vien, or if i do need to teech my little man how to sleep without his boobah!

All opinions appreciated!
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Old 05-23-2007, 08:20 PM   #2
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Re: No nursing to sleep?

Well, when I was young and didn't know any better, my Pedi told me to let my DD CIO at night. I did it too (it worked ) So take what wisdom you want from your Pedi. I have never met a baby who had tooth decay from breast feeding to sleep at night. Now, falling to sleep with a bottle of cow milk or juice is a different story. But not boob. I ain't buying it.
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Old 05-23-2007, 08:25 PM   #3
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Re: No nursing to sleep?

I breastfed my first two dc's to sleep until they weaned themselves, (around 2yrs old). They have fabulous teeth! My pedi was fully supportive of breastfeeding and knew I co-slept. I fully intend to do the same with dc#3.

Sounds like your pedi isn't very supportive or knowledgeable.
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Old 05-23-2007, 08:33 PM   #4
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Re: No nursing to sleep?

Tooth decay is mostly determined by genetics so if you or your DH have a history of cavities as young children, then I say do not nurse to sleep (Many Dentists know this to be true). That said, I nursed all my babies to sleep and not one of them ever had a cavity (and still do not 12 years later even though I am not nursing them anymore - the oldest 2 only). My DH was given Tang in a bottle as an infant and drank Kool-aide from a very young age all night long so yes, he did have cavities but it was only from all the sugar he drank constantly. Our DS does not have any cavities at all yet probably because I do not give him Tang or Kool-Aide! LOL
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Old 05-24-2007, 12:00 AM   #5
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Re: No nursing to sleep?

Hi, new here, but not to nursing...

Here's the deal... If decay occurs because of milk sitting in the mouth it's usually bottle fed babies who literally suck themselves to sleep, now they may be sucking gently, but a bottle cannot tell the difference between nutritive, and not-nutritive sucking Your breast on the other hand does. In fact nursing to sleep is even better than nursing, stopping and then sleeping. Because the non-nutritive sucking that they do after they are full actually works to cleanse the mouth of all remaining milk!

This following is from HERE

Myth #14: Night nursing causes dental problems.

Reality: Generally, the worries about babies getting cavities through nighttime milk consumption arise from the practice of leaving babies to sleep with bottles of formula or juice. When this is done harmful bacteria have unlimited access to these sugary mediums and will thrive in the baby's mouth. The acids excreted by the bacteria cause tooth decay. Such decay has been seen occasionally in breastfed babies if these children happen to fall into a small category of people with easily decayed teeth. For most children night nursing will not be a problem.

One advantage that the human nipple provides over an artificial one is that it delivers the milk further toward the back of the mouth, past the teeth. Artificial nipples deliver the milk into the front and middle of the mouth where it can cause decay. Also, the human nipple does not continue to drip milk when it is not being sucked. In contrast, bottles will drip milk all night if left in the bed with the baby. Reminder: no baby should ever be left alone with a propped up bottle!

If you notice anything strange looking happening to your child's teeth consult a breastfeeding supportive dentist for help. There are many articles on this subject available through La Leche League.


~Molly
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Old 05-24-2007, 12:31 AM   #6
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Re: No nursing to sleep?

We just had a huge debate about that on my AP board. The concensus was that unless you have a family predisposition to it, your generally safe. There is a relatively new product out called spiffies that you can use on young babies to clean their teeth. My dentist and my friend who is dental hygenist love these and tell me to recommend them to everyone. We 'brush' DD's teeth every night in the bath and she loves it. She gets mad when we take them away. We still nurse to sleep every night too, but I feel better that we are doing this just in case.
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Old 05-24-2007, 12:38 AM   #7
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Re: No nursing to sleep?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seven View Post
Hi, new here, but not to nursing...

Here's the deal... If decay occurs because of milk sitting in the mouth it's usually bottle fed babies who literally suck themselves to sleep, now they may be sucking gently, but a bottle cannot tell the difference between nutritive, and not-nutritive sucking Your breast on the other hand does. In fact nursing to sleep is even better than nursing, stopping and then sleeping. Because the non-nutritive sucking that they do after they are full actually works to cleanse the mouth of all remaining milk!

This following is from HERE

Myth #14: Night nursing causes dental problems.

Reality: Generally, the worries about babies getting cavities through nighttime milk consumption arise from the practice of leaving babies to sleep with bottles of formula or juice. When this is done harmful bacteria have unlimited access to these sugary mediums and will thrive in the baby's mouth. The acids excreted by the bacteria cause tooth decay. Such decay has been seen occasionally in breastfed babies if these children happen to fall into a small category of people with easily decayed teeth. For most children night nursing will not be a problem.

One advantage that the human nipple provides over an artificial one is that it delivers the milk further toward the back of the mouth, past the teeth. Artificial nipples deliver the milk into the front and middle of the mouth where it can cause decay. Also, the human nipple does not continue to drip milk when it is not being sucked. In contrast, bottles will drip milk all night if left in the bed with the baby. Reminder: no baby should ever be left alone with a propped up bottle!

If you notice anything strange looking happening to your child's teeth consult a breastfeeding supportive dentist for help. There are many articles on this subject available through La Leche League.


~Molly
great link & article, DD just went to the dentist for the first time last Friday and I asked about her nursing to sleep, he said that it rarely causes a problem and her teeth are in great shape (still nursing to sleep @ 21 months)
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Old 05-23-2007, 08:23 PM   #8
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Re: No nursing to sleep?

It's true. I know many mamas will disagree and say that it's fine and their kid made it etc. And in many cases it's fine. But I would not make a habit of it. The main thing is that they nurse and then you rock them or have some readjusting activity after is fine. This gives the baby time to finish the milk that might have been lingering in the mouth. What it amounts to is the sugars that are naturally in milk, juce, etc can cause decay if the baby goes to sleep with a bottle, breast, or sippy cup on a regular basis HTH
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Old 05-23-2007, 08:25 PM   #9
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Re: No nursing to sleep?

imo, as long as your baby unlatches and swallows, it will be okay! its the pooling milk in the mouth that causes tooth decay.. hth
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Old 05-24-2007, 12:42 AM   #10
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Re: No nursing to sleep?

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imo, as long as your baby unlatches and swallows, it will be okay! its the pooling milk in the mouth that causes tooth decay.. hth
well said! my DD is 13mths old, has 4 teeth & there all perfectly healthy she nurses to sleep every night. Great article, Seven!
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