Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Help Breastfeding Preemie!

My son was born 7 weeks early. He is now 15 days old. I am breastfeeding him and giving supplements with a bottle. He latches on and nurses good for about 5 minutes. After that I have a hard time keeping him awake. Any of you know any tips/tricks to keep babies awake better to feed?

Answer Question

Asked by FroggyFeet at 6:00 PM on Jan. 23, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 16 (2,353 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • breastfeeding will wear out you preemie. feed more often. three or two hours is too long for preemies. feed as often as your baby wants too. worry about schedule later. try kangaroo feeding for now. it might help him stay awake longer. that is skin to skin. if he is wearing nothing but a diaper he wont be as cozy or as inlined to nod off. my son was a preemie too.

    Answer by KJ_on at 6:10 PM on Jan. 23, 2010

  • Feed them naked, and in a dim light... the coolness will help them stay awake and if its dim they are more apt to open their eyes... tickle them, basically just continuous stimulation so he's not comfortable to go to sleep. Change his diaper after he nurses on one side so that their is motion and the coolness of a wipee will wake him up. Hope this helps!

    Answer by babyruby02 at 7:23 PM on Jan. 23, 2010

  • Well, not naked nake, just with a diaper only!

    Answer by babyruby02 at 7:24 PM on Jan. 23, 2010

  • Every 3 hours is the schedule the hospital had him on. 8, 11, 2, and 5 around the clock.

    Answer by FroggyFeet at 7:57 PM on Jan. 23, 2010

  • Forget about the schedule. Feed often on demand. It's important the breastfeeding not be scheduled. Go to   for a lot of info. There is a section on premies.


    Answer by amileegirl at 8:38 PM on Jan. 23, 2010

  • i agree with feeding on demand, or rather whenever your preemie is awake, put him to the breast. my preemie was in the nicu for 26 days, and we didn't get much breastfeeding in until he got home. it took 3 days, but he went to ebf. my son was being fed on schedule in the hosp until one night a different nurse tried on demand feeding, and his consumption actually doubled! i hate to wake a baby to feed it. mine get cranky and angry, and then go back to sleep...that is a lot of wasted energy for a preemie!
    good luck and Congrats!

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 9:13 PM on Jan. 23, 2010

  • I agree with dropping the every 3 hour schedule! Newborns, even full term,need to feed frequently. Every three hours is not enough. Spend lots of time skin to skin and encourage him to feed frequently, 10-14 times in 24 hours. He will likely cluster feed a bit. My preemie usually couldn't stay awake for a full feeding. She'd nurse for 5-10 minutes then fall asleep, then start to wake to nurse again 10 minutes later.

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 10:06 PM on Jan. 23, 2010

  • You might want to try an SNS for supplemtal feedings. It'll eliminate he risk of nipple confusion, give baby any extra milk he needs while your supply is adjusting and stimulate you to produce more. Kangaroo care and lots of skin to skin time will help, too. The reason the NICU has babies on a 3hr schedule is because it's easier for them. If they fed all the babies in the nursery on demand, they'd never get anything else done. Dump the schedule and feed on demand. If you have any questions about the SNS, PM me. I used one for 6 months. Good luck, momma!

    Answer by vances_mom at 12:05 AM on Jan. 24, 2010

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.