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How do you keep a newborn "awake" during breast-feeding

I am "toxikSedation's" Mom and she just brought baby Jezebelle home yesterday. Every time she tries to breastfeed - Baby Belle just falls back asleep. Mom spends at least one hour breastfeeding - and says the doctor said to start counting from the time you "started" till the next try - which is every 2 hours. Therefore, she seems to be "trying" every other hour. Any suggestions? We'd both be grateful!
Grandma Sue

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Asked by ToxikSedation at 11:02 AM on Oct. 23, 2008 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (10)
  • Strip her down to her diaper. I know it sounds cold, but it is what I had to do with both my BF babies. The cold wakes them, but don't worry you will keep them warm enough and awake enough to feed. Don't be shocked if fall asleep while feeding too. It's natures way of keeping you calm. Good Luck.


    Answer by wmbeener at 11:05 AM on Oct. 23, 2008

  • If the baby falls a sleep she must not be hungary any more..Every 2 hours is stupid to me I feed my kids  as babies when they cried or every 4 hours...Doctors don't always know whats right...


    Answer by louise2 at 11:09 AM on Oct. 23, 2008

  • you can strip them, but you can also play with them it seems to wake them up also. like play with their little feet, rub their back ect.. you will find what works best for your baby.

    Answer by DeenieR at 11:12 AM on Oct. 23, 2008

  • Also.   I was told with my daughter to try and feed her every hour.  You will not survive a schedule like that.  There is not enough help in the world to keep you awake.  I don't know how small your little one is, but I brought both of mine home around 5lbs.  Yes, little ones.  I was told to feed every hour, well after 24 hours of no sleep, no one was happy and baby did not want to eat.  It is best that the little one does not go more than 3 hours without feeding.  That is 3 hours from the last time you started feeding.  So, sleep when baby sleeps and set an alarm if you have to, but if baby does not sleep, baby will not have energy to eat.  If you don't sleep you run the risk not being awake when baby does need you. 

    Again Good Luck, DON'T GIVE UP!  Baby will get hungry and will let you know that she loves her mommies milk.


    Answer by wmbeener at 11:14 AM on Oct. 23, 2008

  • My son was still jaundice when we brought him home. This made him really sleepy and he wouldn't nurse. We had to strip him down,rug him, tickle him, they even wipe a little cool rag on him to get him to eat.

    If jaundice is an issue here with baby belle that baby has to eat to get the jaundice out her system. (my son ate so little that he ended back up in NICU with high jaundice levels). If jaundice is not an issue and she's just way sleepy try all these tricks the ladies have suggested.

    Good luck!

    Answer by Nika75 at 11:34 AM on Oct. 23, 2008

  • Strip the baby down, and use skin to skin contact. And tickle the babys foot if she starts to fall asleep.

    Answer by isra1986 at 11:58 AM on Oct. 23, 2008

  • my dd didnt eat every 2 hours it was a feed when she wanted to eat thing = the baby and mommy need rest and force feeding is not necessary!

    Answer by vakatia at 2:00 PM on Oct. 23, 2008

  • BTW my dd wanted food about every 3 to 4 hours

    Answer by vakatia at 2:00 PM on Oct. 23, 2008

  • it sounds like you've got a sleepy eater on your hands!
    taking off baby's clothes is a great idea. skin to skin contact with mommy will stimulate her to nurse more. you can also try tickling her feet or rubbing them while she is eating to keep her awake. there were times when i had to take a damp cloth and wipe my daughter down in order to keep her awake.

    when it comes to how long to nurse, don't watch the clock. once you get past her being sleepy then you can start to watch her cues. she will tell you when she has had enough and she most definitely will tell you when she's hungry, lol.
    congrats, momma!

    Answer by heatherama at 2:22 PM on Oct. 23, 2008

  • I had a jaundice baby and went through the same thing. I couldn't do a thing to keep her awake and she wasn't eating very long. I was so frustrated because she wasn't doing what the nurses said she needed to. But you know what? She did just fine. Never needed suplimental feedings, got rid of the jaundice, and gained weight quickly. Baby Belle may not have jaundice, but my point is that sometimes we need to trust that the baby knows what it needs and when it needs it. You can feed the baby every 2-3 hours and try all of these suggestions to keep her awake. But if she sleeps, then she sleeps. Just make sure she's wetting and dirtying at least 6-8 diapers a day so you know she's eating enough. Tell your daughter not to stress!

    Answer by flalbert at 2:43 PM on Oct. 23, 2008

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