Never Wake a Sleeping Baby?

Newborn sleeping

Breastfeeding seemed to go OK at first. After all, the baby was nursing a lot and slept well. It didn’t seem right to the new mom that her 1-week-old baby slept 6-8 hour stretches, but everyone said “don’t worry.” A pediatric visit at 2 weeks confirmed this mom’s worst fears. Her baby had lost weight!  She was told to supplement with formula and contact a lactation consultant.

I met with this mom a few days later. She explained to me that her nipples had been cracked and bleeding from day 1. Baby was fussy after feedings but slept for hours with the help of a pacifier. Since the baby slept so much, she thought he was getting enough milk.

At first glance, the baby appeared to be eating well, but there were early warning signs. Sore nipples indicated a poor latch. The baby was often at the breast for an hour at a time and not satisfied after feedings. His urine was concentrated and poopy diapers were rare.

So, when do you wake a sleeping baby? In the first few weeks the baby must eat at least 8 times per day. Your baby will pee and poop multiple times per day and will be content and sleepy after feedings. If you’re unsure if your baby is breastfeeding well, schedule a visit with your pediatrician or lactation consultant to weigh the baby. Once you know your baby is thriving and all is going well, you can relax a little, and trust that your baby will tell you when it’s time to eat!

6 comments on “Never Wake a Sleeping Baby?

  1. bexstir on said:

    with my oldest, she was a preemie, and I was never able to nurse her, she was on a feeding tube , so during the day, I kinda stuck to a schedule which for us was very important due to trying to get her to learn to drink a bottle, , tube feed and have tummy rest. So during the day, if she was not awake, she was never allowed to go more than 4 hours, night was 5 hours, by 6 months 6 hours at night.

    with 2nd daughter, she generally woke up on her own, about 2 1/2 hours – 4 hours, and she slept 5-6 hours at night almost from the start. I never really had to wake her. she has nursed great and our biggest struggle was my supply, always had more than enough, since I worked I had to pump, she never had formula, nor has she has frozen bm. Now at 15 months, seh sleeps though the night, nurses 2- 3 times a day, and i pump once daily,, she now also gets a little cows milk too . I love nuring her and will truly miss it when she is done. She is just one active lo who finds other thing more intresting than nursing now.

  2. Pingback: To Swaddle or Not to Swaddle? « Breastfeeding Between the Lines

  3. Pingback: To Swaddle or Not to Swaddle? | The Second 9 Months

  4. Thank you for this valuable information.

  5. You’re so right! It is crucial for the baby to get 10 to 12 feedings a day. However, my first son was a slow drinker and it would take him forever to get those feedings in, so he’d only sleep a couple of hours at night until he got hungry. With my second, he was sleeping 5 to 6 hours a night from the start, switching to 8 hours in a month. I was very concerned about him not drinking enough, but the pediatrician told me that as long as I got those 10 feedings in, I could let him sleep as long as he needed to. The key is in getting ALL of the feedings every day.

    98% of all moms out there are physically and mentally able to breastfeed, and start their newborn’s life by doing it. There is no good reason to explain why so many stop, except the fact that they experience lack of support and societal pressure. It’s time to enpower women to make breastfeeding a first step in their baby’s life.
    http://perfectingmotherhood.wordpress.com/2010/05/28/10-things-people-dont-tell-you-about-breastfeeding/

    • Thank you for commenting! I hope you visit often. I’ll be posting video soon of some great latches. And I agree with the lack of support issue. I believe we can make a difference one mother at a time!

      Renee

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