Should I keep trying to wake him to nurse?

by Karina
(United States)

Hi, I luv your website!

My lo is 6 wks old & I am ebf. At night he wakes up every 2-31/2 hrs. If I'm lucky he will go 4 hrs, but that's not always. Well lately during the night feeding he eats 10-15 min on one breast. I burp him then switch over to the other side.

Sometimes he only eats 5 min or nothing at all. He falls asleep & I can't wake him. I'm so tired at night that I just swaddled him again & lay him in his bassinette.

Should I keep trying to wake him to nurse on the other side? I wish he would sleep longer too. Thank you for your help!

Comments for Should I keep trying to wake him to nurse?

Click here to add your own comments

Mar 28, 2011
You dont need to wake him
by: Tracy

Hi Karina

Thanks for the compliment. ;-)

A baby that is older than six weeks does not "need" to breastfeed through the night like a newborn, so I would recommend just breastfeeding him when he demands it. So now you can enjoy the times he doesn't wake up!

You do not need to worry about breastfeeding him on the other breast until he wakes again, your body will adapt to the amount of milk that needs to be produced.

Also, I would recommend that instead of breastfeeding him 5 minutes on one side and then switching sides that you let him drink from only one breast every time he drinks; this is so that he can get to the more substantial milk "hindmilk" at the back of the breast. This hindmilk is much fattier and nutritious which will keep baby fuller for more extended periods. Meaning you get to sleep longer stretches at night!

But now you might ask...what about my other breast? As long as you alternate with each feeding, your body will adapt. In the beginning, if you do feel a little engorged on the "waiting side," you can pump a little milk or hand express some milk to relieve the pressure.

Pages that might also help...

Foremilk hindmilk imbalance
Weaning baby at night
Cluster feedings

Please let me know how things go!

Kind regards

Mar 29, 2011
Thank you much for your response!
by: Karina Jaimes


Thank you much for your response! I had a rough day with the baby. He was very fussy & didn't want to settle
well for a nap during the day. But at night I fed him around 9ish only on one breast. He was very fussy afterward, but my husband finally got him to fall asleep at 11 pm. He woke up at 3 am. I just finished feeding him in a full breast for 20 min. I'll see long he goes for. I thought I was supposed to have him eat at both sides & was always trying to keep him awake with diaper changes & tickling.

Thank you again for the information. This is my third baby, but I still need the help! I've used your website many times, and it's helped me a lot.

Mar 29, 2011
by: Tracy

Hi Karina

Shame man, I know what it's like when baby won't settle down, my little boy use to do the same...he use to cry every night until 11 pm, that was until he was about three months or so. They say it's mostly developmental.

I'm having my next baby now in June, so I guess I'll be joining you soon!

You know when I had to breastfeed the first time, I was also told to breastfeed on both breasts with each feeding, but the nurses and even the doctors don't have much experience or knowledge when it comes to breastfeeding.

I'm so happy that you find my website useful, its great to know!

Let me know again sometime how you guys are doing.
Kind regards

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Invitation 2.

One year old has stopped breastfeeding

by Sara

Hi, I have a one-year-old who has stopped breastfeeding the last three days, he bites me every time I offer it, And doesn't seem interested.

I was wondering why this is? Teething? Strike? Or weaning off? I usually feed him once a day in the morning and feed him three bottles through the day. I would like him to breastfeed again, what can I do?

Also, I am close to starting my period, would this affect him not wanting the milk? Please help! Thanks

Comments for One year old has stopped breastfeeding

Click here to add your own comments

May 22, 2014
self wean
by: Anonymous

Hello, it sounds to me like you're one year old is trying to self wean.

Some children like to breastfeed longer than others.

Something that may affect the taste of your breast milk would be the food that you eat.

While you can't force your child to continue breastfeeding, if it is his strong desire to wean, there are a couple of things that you could try to prolong your breastfeeding relationship.

You can offer the breast as soon as you know your child is hungry. Try to do it when they're first hungry, to avoid your baby being agitated because they have been waiting for a while. Try breastfeeding in a secluded environment. Children around the age of one can be easily distracted.

If your child is no longer asking to breastfeed verbally or through any signal he used to give, and none of these tactics work, you can continue to pump your breasts and offer your baby breastmilk in a sippy cup.

From experience, I know that the act of breastfeeding is a bonding moment between mother and baby and it is difficult for a mom to give up for that reason.

If your child is completely refusing to breastfeed, you can still be sure that they're getting the excellent nutrition and immunological properties of your breast milk, even if it is in a sippy cup.

You can also try to make breast milk lollies and breast milk ice-cream for him. I found the recipe on this is the link...

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Invitation 2.

Losing appetite

My name is Jane, l have a baby boy of 4 months and nine days, suddenly l discover he is not eating well as he used to eat before. Also, he is spitting up frequently. His poop is a dark green color.

L have been avoiding anything sugary in my food. Don't know what this could be? please l need your help

Comments for Losing appetite

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 19, 2014
baby lost appetite
by: Tracy

Hi Jane

I would suggest that you take him to a "breastfeeding friendly" pediatrician in your area.

A lactation consultant too, if the pediatrician cannot help.

Has he been showing signs of teething?

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Invitation 2.


by Celina
(Kitchener, ontario)

My 3 and 1/2-month-old had been sleeping well since he was a couple of weeks old sleeping from anywhere between 5/6 long stretches at night.

Over the last couple of weeks he got a cold, and due to his congestion he was up often and wasn't feeding long enough. Now he seems to be better but still feeds for 5 minutes on only one breast and does not want to feed anymore until 2hrs later and at night he's waking up every 3 hrs and doing a 5-minute feed.

I've tried to offer him the other breast, changing his diaper, so he wakes up, but he will not open his mouth, (his feedings before were about 30 minutes long, and I have been told I have an oversupply of milk and for a few feedings offer the same breast, which I've done). What can I do to have him do longer feeds during the day so at night he can get a longer sleep?

Please help I'm running out of ideas.

Comments for Snacker

Click here to add your own comments

May 19, 2011
Maybe a growth spurt...
by: Tracy

Hi Celina!

Are you giving him anything other than breast milk during the day?

I know it's frustrating having to wake up so often at night, but I'm sure things will change again soon...maybe the baby is just going through a growth spurt. Babies usually go through a growth spurt at about four months. A growth spurt can cause a change in appetite and sleeping patterns.

Read more about how to handle growth spurts here.

Other things that could be causing this...

- Your baby's nose is still a little blocked, making it difficult for him to breastfeed for long stretches at a time.
- Your baby is already starting to teethe...this usually results in a change in feeding patterns. Check your baby's gums for swelling.
- There has maybe been a change in baby's daytime schedule.

Read tips on how to breastfeed a sleepy baby.

Co-sleeping can also help, this will keep you both snug, you won't even have to get up, and baby can breastfeed as much as he likes.

Read more about co-sleeping here.

Things you can do during the day...

- Make sure baby has a good breastfeeding session just before bedtime.
- Stick to one breast at a time so that baby gets the Hindmilk which is fattier and more filling. Because you have an oversupply of milk, maybe you should pump your milk for the evening feeds...this way you can control whether the baby is drinking hindmilk or foremilk.
- Try nursing more during the day.

Just also remember,  baby won't wake up at night too much longer...they usually start sleeping through the night after a few months. Hang in there; it will be worth it!

Hope something here will help...please let me know how things go

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Invitation 2.

Difficulty nursing

by Trupti

My baby is six weeks now, and I'm not sure whether I have oversupply letdown.

But it has been a week now that my baby latches properly for 5 minutes and then unlatches and has difficulty nursing because she becomes very fussy and keeps crying and tries to hold the nipple and again unlatches as if she is struggling to get the milk.

During a letdown, she struggles too. Initially this used to happen only in the evenings but lately, it's started happening during the day as well.

Please help...

Comments for Difficulty nursing

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 21, 2012
Nursing Difficulty
by: Katelin Granados

Hi, my baby will be five months at the end of this month and went through the same phase. Sometimes now he still struggles to handle my letdown. To begin, I have a very strong let down which would almost choke him. The lactation consultant told me when you notice him struggling and gulping or clicking noise, take him off the breast and express in a towel to slow down the amount of milk coming out.

My baby would also become fussy when it seemed like he wasn't getting the milk so I would massage and do breast compressions while he was on the breast. It gets the milk flowing faster after the initial let down.

You're doing a great job, and breastfeeding is not as easy as people think. It takes patience and effort to keep it up, mama!

Jul 23, 2012
Tried almost everything
by: Trupti

But the problem is that she continuously wants to be fed and often ends up crying and throwing up.

I googled some of the websites and yea she does make a clicking sound while eating. Now not sure whether she has not latched correctly or has an oversupply problem.

This has been going on from past two weeks and now what I do is that I let her nurse for 5 minutes and then once she becomes fussy then give her the bottle.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Invitation 2.

Baby not drinking breastmilk

I have three months old baby. I am on/off breastfeeding my baby and using infant formula. Due to the low milk supply of mine, my baby is habituated to formula milk and is not interested in breastmilk.

She does not like to suck my nipple. So I am supplying formula milk only. Is this ok for my baby`s health? What can I do to increase my breastmilk? Is it possible now?

Comments for Baby not drinking breastmilk

Click here to add your own comments

Dec 11, 2014
just pump your breast milk
by: Anonymous

it will make you supply more milk the more you pump, the more milk

The more you pump the more milk

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Invitation 2.

Distracted baby help

by Sarah

I just wanted to share a nursing story that hopefully will be helpful to other moms out there.

My baby boy would NOT latch on, stay still, he was always all over the place, getting distracted and not feeding well.

I was so scared he wasn't getting enough, so I had to supplement with bottles, but I didn't want to do that, I just wanted to breastfeed my baby.

After a couple of weeks, I was looking online for tips and tricks to help and came across a post talking about a color patterned bra from Leading Lady nursing bras.

I checked it out and thought it was just a gimmick, so I continued my search. Another week later and I kept wondering about that bra.

On the inside fabric after the cup folds down, there's this black and red patterned cartoon thing that "claims" it helps babies focus on feeding and gets their attention.

So I finally broke down and bought it, got it a few days later and tried it. I didn't expect it to work, but I was so glad I had been wrong.

I'm not sure what it was, but that print thing did get his attention, and he started to be calmer during feedings, they lasted longer, and I was able to breastfeed him without and supplemental bottle.

It was a miracle. Again, I just wanted to share this because I know I'm not the only mom out there who had trouble with feedings. I hope that if someone sees this, they consider looking into this bra because as cliche as it sounds, it worked for me. Now with another little one on the way, hopefully, my arsenal of tools will make this time go better :) If anyone is interested, here's the link to the website where I got it

The product is the "baby sees it." I had gotten the wire-free, but there is a wired option if you want it. Good luck, happy bra shopping and God Bless you all!

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Invitation 2.

My 3 month old eats very short meals...

by MichelleMichelle

He will only spend about 5-7 minutes on my boob and refuses to eat more.

He is gaining weight, so I figured it was fine. But yesterday he had one green poo, and last night he woke up to poo three times (he never goes at night) and went so much all day today.

The last couple Diapers had a little red blood in them. Also, he has been very fussy. Do you think I have a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance?

It makes sense that he doesn't stay on there long enough to get to it. I haven't changed anything with my diet... I pretty much always eat the same things. So it couldn't be an allergy right? Thanks for your help. I appreciate it.

Comments for My 3 month old eats very short meals...

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 18, 2016
blood in stool
by: Tracy

Hi Michelle

Have you started taking any new meds?

If this continues, I would suggest that you get him tested for allergies. Nowadays it is not recommended to avoid anything in your diet. Unless if he has tested positive for an allergic reaction towards something.

Avoidance of specific foods (even cows milk, nuts, fish) is not necessary as avoidance can cause a reaction to something specific.

Since you have not had a problem before and have not changed your feeding frequency, I do not think you need to worry about foremilk/hindmilk imbalance.

Just give it some time, if it continues to go to a "breastfeeding friendly" pediatrician.

Please keep me updated.
Hope this helps

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Invitation 2.

Baby not taking mom breast milk

by Shan


My son hardly five times taking mom breast milk, he is around four months old now earlier he used to take more nowadays it reduced to 4 to 5 times in a day.. even if we try to feed him also he is crying not taking milk from his mom....

I'm much worried about this since he stools five days once... I meant he is pooping hardly five days once... we have consulted a doctor suggested colicaid syrup .. please help me. Thanks.

Comments for Baby not taking mom breast milk

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 04, 2012
by: Tracy

Hi Shan,

It sounds completely normal to me.

Does your baby seem happy? Is baby still picking up weight?

As babies get older, it is common for them to start drinking less frequently as they can remove more milk from the breasts at one feeding. Try to breastfeed him at least every three hours. (Not needed at night, unless baby wants to breastfeed)

About the stools, it is normal for breastfed babies to either have seven poops per day or only one poop per 7 - 10 days. Breast milk is absorbed better than formula, and this is why your baby may only poop once every few days, it is normal. If your baby's stool is hard, or baby seems dehydrated, that's when you need to do something about it.

Hope this helps

Oct 30, 2012
Baby not taking mon breast milk
by: Anonymous


Thanks. I had consulted a pediatric specialist; the doctor told that he had gained weight, but looks underweight I meant as per baby age 4months he has gained 6kg.

The doctor told that he is underweight suppose to be 6.5kg... apart from that pooping is normal, not tight but he poops every five days once.
Baby is regular activity playing, but not taking mom milk frequently not even every three hours ... in case if the baby is too hungry that time he drinks mom milk well. apart from feeding every three hours, he is not taking mom milk he just crying

Now baby age is four months 15days.

Please help me here am not getting. Thanks, doctor

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Invitation 2.

Problem of lazy baby

My baby is going to be four months, but she insists on being fed with the lying position only. It causes so many problems; she rejects to eat in any place and feed with my sitting pose.

Comments for Problem of lazy baby

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 07, 2012
Breastfeeding laying down
by: Zelda Behr

Okay, you didn't give a lot of info, but it sounds to me like you have a forceful letdown.

What this means is, your breast milk is running or squirting out too fast, which makes baby choke and struggle to drink.

If you lay down and feed your baby, the position you are in takes the pressure off, and the milk flows slower, making it easier for baby to drink.

Try pumping or hand expressing a bit of milk before a feed and then try other breastfeeding positions.

You can also try having baby saddle your leg and drink while you support her head and back (Saddle hold or Australian hold).

Look at these breastfeeding positions...

Here is more on forceful letdown...

Hope this helps.

Don't hesitate to ask if there is something else.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Invitation 2.

Not able to drink milk from the breasts

by nisha

My baby is 20 days old he is not able to drink milk from the breasts although my breasts are producing more than enough milk.

I first eject milk through breast pump and then feed him through the bottle.

I just worry about the thing that when would my baby be able to drink milk from my breasts and whether enough milk produced does any harm to me?

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Invitation 2.

Nursing strike? Help!!

My 14-month-old was a ravenous nurser before to the point of waking several times throughout the night to nurse both sides in a sitting.

Last week he started biting down and tearing at my nipples, I reacted as I always have with a firm, gentle mouth or no thank you and removed my breast before trying again if he gave the nursing cue.

At first, I thought he was just upset at teething pain, so I went on with my day and dropped him off with a little extra breast milk for the morning.

That afternoon and evening he proceeded to do it every single time I tried to nurse him when he gave me his nursing cues.

At this point I thought, wow that's odd he must be just off today. He refused all night and the next morning to the point of screaming slapping pinching and biting even just holding him not trying to nurse but all while he was giving me the nursing cues.

I was (is) miserable and at a loss. My boyfriend's take was that our son was ready to be done breastfeeding, but yet would only calm down when he got like this if given a bottle with breast milk, he's allergic to dairy and soy isn't healthy, so we've also tried goats milk, but he refuses it.

He will only take breast milk from a bottle now although I continue to try to nurse. My milk supply is already dropping despite pumping, a lot (ugh!). I'm at a loss! Help, please.

Comments for Nursing strike? Help!!

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 07, 2015
Nursing strike
by: T


Have you tried giving him something cold to chew on just before nursing?

I use to make breast milk lollies and give those to my daughter before she nursed, the cold will numb the gums and breast milk also I've heard that it contains anti-pain that helps too.

For now, you could try keeping your supply up with herbs. I make my tea with fenugreek, fennel, anise, and blessed thistle. If you would like the recipe, I could send it to you.

Other than that, oatmeal helps as well as seaweed and coconut water.

I would hang in there; it could be a few things, maybe it will pass? It doesn't sound like self-weaning, looks more like teething pain or maybe earache?

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Invitation 2.

Loss interest in feeds

by Sarah Baldwin

Hi, My lo is now 7 and a bit months and has had a bottle (originally of expressed milk) for six weeks and otherwise been exclusively breastfed. She has started to lose interest in feeds, and my production slowed, so I stopped pumping and gave formula in the bottle.

Last week she dropped a further feed (late afternoon), and now due to colleague sickness, I have agreed to go back to work earlier than anticipated and so I need her to take a formula bottle at lunchtime as I won't be here. I will still feed her first thing in the morning and last feed before bed, and she will have formula at lunch and as her dreamfeed, if she still needs it - do you think this sounds ok? Any help/advice would be much appreciated, Thanks

Comments for Loss interest in feeds

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 21, 2012
mommy going back to work
by: Tracy

Your baby will most probably take the feed while you are not there, but if she doesn't, she will take in more calories at night and in the morning when you breastfeed her. Just make sure to keep your milk supply up while you are at work too.

Some babies completely stop drinking during the day while mom is away and then drink at night or through the night; this is okay, as long as she is still picking up weight and having urine nappies daily with one poop nappy at least every ten days.

You could also try expressing at work so that your baby has breast milk to drink during the day, this will make it more familiar for her, and she will, therefore, be more likely to drink it. Whoever is looking after her can also try cup feeding her if she does not want to take the bottle.

Read more on cup feeding here.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Invitation 2.

baby seems more content on the bottle

by C.H.

Why is it, that my son will get more rest after the bottle, compared to when he drinks from the breast?

He seems to rest longer and does not cry as much!

Comments for baby seems more content on the bottle

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 17, 2012
bottle vs breastfeeding
by: Tracy

Are you talking about a bottle filled with formula or breast milk?

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Invitation 2.

Baby dropping feeds

by Lorraine mum of two

Hello, this website is amazing, but it has not answered my problem...

My baby is 16 weeks old, and two weeks ago he began refusing feeds during the day. It started as one feed then days later he was going 6 hours between feeds. Then he used to wake once at night, and now he wakes three times a night. I think he is teething.

He used to feed every 3 hours throughout the day, but now he has two feeds in the morning then nothing till evening.

He is slightly moodier when awake. I've taken him to the doctors, but they have found nothing wrong. He had chicken pox a few weeks before this. And before the chicken pox, he refused some feeds for three days. But he always eventually took each feed, all be it a bit late.

I have tried positioning, laying down in which he took some feeds but has now begun to scream and arch his back as soon as he knows what is coming.

I have now taken to feeding him as soon as he wakes from a nap. He seems to take the feed if he is half asleep. The problem is I'm spending all day trying to get him to feed and sleep, and I have a 3-year-old daughter who is being sidelined.

I feel horrible and think I'm getting depressed now; I have knots in my tummy when I wake in the morning. I don't know what the day will hold, and cant organize anything for fear of putting him off a feed.

Ant advice would be great.... my health visitor says he has dropped a feed and is getting his days mixed up, but I'm not convinced, it came from nowhere, he was feeding like a dream before. Now I'm trying to get him to take a bottle, but he's refusing that too... help!

Comments for Baby dropping feeds

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 29, 2013
reverse cycling
by: Tracy, CBC, CLD (CBI)

Some babies do something called reverse cycling, in which they take in more calories at night than in the day.

If your baby is still picking up weight and having a few wet diapers every day, and you don't have a problem with waking up several times at night...then you don't need to worry.

Here are a few tips on how to cope with reverse cycling...

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Invitation 2.

My 4 month old doesn't really drink at noon

by Claire

My baby refuses to drink at noon, from 11 am to 5 pm, if I force him to drink, he cries out loud, is it ok if I don't feed him at noon?

Comments for My 4 month old doesn't really drink at noon

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 18, 2012
baby not drinking at certain time of the day
by: Tracy

Hi Claire

It sounds as if your baby might be consuming more milk during other times of the day; this is a common occurrence, especially if he drinks a lot in the evenings.

It doesn’t matter when baby is receiving milk, just as long as he is getting in enough. Does baby sleep through the night yet?

You do not need to worry yourself about this, as long as your baby is still happy and picking up weight; everything is fine.

He might be going through a growth spurt too, at four months they do usually have another growth before you know it, the feeding patterns will change again.

Another reason could be that your baby is distracted too easily while breastfeeding, do you have a bustling household? If so, you will need to breastfeed him in a quiet, dim lit room.

Here are some pages that might help...

Growth spurts

Reverse cycling

Hope this helps! Let me know how things go, would love to hear from you again

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Invitation 2.

Baby only breastfeeds in the evening

by raphael
(dormaa ahenkro, Ghana)

a mothers job demands that her baby only suckles in the evening when she returns from work, can that cause stomach ache and running stomach in the baby?

Comments for Baby only breastfeeds in the evening

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 04, 2012
Foremilk /hindmilk imbalance
by: Tracy


Yes, especially if mom has an overproduction of milk. What happens is that moms breasts are overfull, baby drinks but only receives the foremilk (because there is so much of it)

Foremilk is the watery milk in the front of the breast's milk-producing cells (alveoli), this milk is high in lactose which causes the runny tummy and colic symptoms.

Has she just started working again? It could be because her body has not yet regulated the amount of milk needed for the baby. Her milk supply should drop within a couple of days...which means that baby will stop having runny stools and tummy ache. It will take a while, and her body will start producing just the right amount of milk needed for the night feedings.

If the oversupply continues (which is very rare, if mom is only breastfeeding once or twice per day) she can use certain herbs to decrease supply.

There are more tips on how to handle oversupply and foremilk-hindmilk imbalance here...


Foremilk/hindmilk imbalance

Working and breastfeeidng

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Invitation 2.

Problems starting the feeding

by Katie

My 5-day old baby cries every time he starts to breastfeed. He is getting milk but seems not to like the taste. Help

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Invitation 2.

privacy policy