How to keep baby awake while breastfeeding
The comfort and soothing that baby gets while breastfeeding can sometimes make it difficult for baby to stay awake…
A baby that is under two weeks of age will need to be woken at least every two hours for feeding so that he doesn’t dehydrate.
With each feeding baby should be actively sucking and swallowing for at least 20 minutes. Mom also needs to keep to this so that her own milk supply doesn’t drop. Remember the more you breastfeed the more milk you will start to produce.
The first few weeks of breastfeeding are always the toughest…it does go by quite quickly though.
Co-sleeping at night can help when breastfeeding a sleepy baby and will allow baby to nurse whenever he wants to.
Watch the video on “tips for baby sleeping while breastfeeding…”
There are so many things that mom can do to help keep baby awake while breastfeeding…if you have some extra ideas…please share them at the bottom of the page.
Sleepy newborn breastfeeding tips
Tips on how to wake a sleepy baby for breastfeeding
- Act as if you are going to remove your nipple from baby’s mouth, or put your finger in-between your breast and his mouth to break the suction, this will usually get baby sucking again.
- Dribble some milk into the corner of baby’s mouth with a syringe or dropper to encourage him to start sucking again.
- Try breast compressions to get the milk to flow faster, this should get baby suckling again.
- Use a wet facecloth and either wipe baby’s head, tummy or feet with it.
- Switch breasts when baby starts to fall asleep
- Burp baby while he is sitting up right
- Use a breastfeeding position that will be less comfy…like letting baby lie in the football hold position or straddling position.
- Try tickling baby under his arms, on his feet or in his neck. Or just touching baby gently on his arms, legs or ears can wake him again.
- Undress baby or keep his feet uncovered if it’s too cold to undress him completely. It will be more difficult for him to sleep if he isn’t warm and cozy.
- Change baby’s diaper before you breastfeed him and/or during a breastfeeding session.
- Stroke baby’s cheek and lips with your nipple.
- Put some quick tempo music on…just loud enough to wake baby, not too loud as it might frighten him.
- Try taking a bath with your breastfeeding sleeping baby.
- Run a finger gently down baby’s spine.
If baby is still sleeping while breastfeeding after trying all the above, you can leave him to sleep and breastfeed him when he wakes.
All babies do sleep a lot in the beginning and many moms worry about this…if your baby is still pooping and urinating at least five to eight times a day, you don’t need to worry.
If you are still worried that baby is not drinking enough you can contact your lactation consultant.
After two weeks, mom can start to feed baby when he signals to be fed, but babies under two weeks generally need to be woken up for feedings every two hours.
Why some babies might sleep more
The Cause of over sleepiness in new born babies
- Over stimulation like loud noises and bright lights.
- Any medications given to mom during labor or c-section.
- Babies that are sick are usually sleepier
- When mom’s milk starts to come in within the third day, baby may be a little sleepier because of an overfull tummy.
Mom's let down reflex is too slow and therefore makes baby sleepy at the breast.
- Jaundice can make babies very sleepy. It's very important that a baby with Jaundice drinks enough breast milk because if he doesn't the jaundice will get worse.
- Comfort nursing (non nutritive sucking)
- Cluster breastfeeding (bunch feeding)
- Reverse cycling (breastfeeding more at night)Breastfeeding preemies
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Hi, My daughter is 10 weeks old and just recently she has been sleeping more, where as before she would be alert and awake and watching everything. she …
siham hami, nutritionist/cle Not rated yet
waking up the baby during light sleep will help,so once baby start moving/making noises/eyes twitching under eyelid ( are indicators of your baby going …