Baby keeps Sleeping when Breastfeeding

sleepy baby breastfeeding advice

How to keep Baby Awake while Breastfeeding

The extreme growth and development in the first few weeks, as well as the comfort and soothing that your baby receives while breastfeeding, can sometimes make it difficult for a 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/she does not dehydrate.

With each feeding, your baby should be actively sucking and swallowing for at least 20 minutes. A mother also needs to keep to this, so that her own milk supply does not decrease. Remember, the more you breastfeed, the more milk you will start to produce.

After two weeks, a mother can start breastfeeding on demand. Once Mom and Baby have discovered their own unique breastfeeding routine, things should start improving.

The first few weeks of breastfeeding, are sometimes tough… it does get easier!

Co-sleeping at night, can help when breastfeeding a sleepy baby, and will allow your baby to nurse whenever he/she wants to.

Watch the video above 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.


Baby Keeps Sleeping when Breastfeeding
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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/her mouth, to break the suction, this will usually encourage your baby to suck again.

- Dribble some milk into the corner of your 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 face cloth and either wipe Baby’s head, tummy or feet with it.

- Switch breasts when your baby starts to fall asleep.

- Burp baby while he/she is sitting upright.

- Use a breastfeeding position that is less "sleep inducing", like letting your baby lie in the football hold position or straddling position.

- Try tickling your baby under the arms, on the feet or in the neck. Just touching Baby gently on the arms, legs or ears can wake him/her again.

- Undress your baby or keep his/her feet uncovered, if it is too cold to undress completely. It will be more difficult for your baby to sleep, if he/she is not warm and cozy.

- Change your baby’s diaper before you breastfeed, 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.

- Try taking a bath with your baby. 

- Run a finger gently down your baby’s spine.


If your baby is still sleeping while breastfeeding, after trying all the above, you can leave him/her to sleep, and breastfeed when he/she wakes.

All babies do sleep a lot in the beginning and many moms worry about this; if your baby is still producing enough dirty and wet diapers, you don’t need to worry.

If you are still worried that your baby is not drinking enough, you can contact your lactation consultant or pediatrician.

After two weeks, you can start to feed your baby when he/she signals to be fed, but babies under two weeks generally need to be woken up for feedings every two hours.


Breastfeeding Sleepy Baby

Why Some Babies are more Sleepy than others

The Cause of over sleepiness in newborn babies

- Over stimulation like loud noises and/or 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, her baby may be a little sleepier, due to an overfull tummy.

Mom's let down reflex is too slow and therefore makes her 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/she does not, the jaundice will get worse.



Other pages on “breastfeeding problems” in connection with this page on "baby keeps sleeping when breastfeeding"

- Comfort nursing 

- Cluster breastfeeding 

- Reverse cycling 

- Breastfeeding overfeeding

- A breastfeeding routine

- Breastfeeding preemies

Keep your baby's concentration with a nursing necklace...

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Fussy newborn 
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 …

Baby Light Sleep Help 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 …

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