We oftentimes see a baby that falls asleep while being breastfed or after the fact. And to some, that may seem ok, they are babies after all and they need all the sleep they can get for their development. But, that can get tricky. We don’t want babies to get used to the idea of sleeping only after getting fed for a lot of good reasons.
We shall discuss these reasons and give you more information and technique on how to keep a baby awake while breastfeeding. We must correct both our and our baby’s habits early on before they become problems later. Read on!
Why Do We Need To Keep Our Baby Awake While Breastfeeding?
First of all, the challenge here is that babies, especially the ones that are only a few weeks to a few months old tend to really sleep right after they’ve had their fill. But as much as possible, once your baby is much older, try to make sure to keep them awake after feeding them.
Why? Well, there are a couple of important reasons why. First, we need to make sure that they don’t associate feeding with sleeping because if they do, they will have a hard time sleeping on their own later on. We need to help them fight this instinct which can be hard. Also, don’t make it a habit to feed them to provide them comfort.
But how come? This leads us to our second reason, to make sure that we establish their sleeping habits properly. Babies will feed frequently, especially since breast milk is much easier for them to digest so they get hungry fast. We don’t have a choice then, we need to feed them. But their sleeping habits or schedule will all be messed up if they sleep every breastfeeding session.
We need to keep them awake so they can sleep on time. Instead, practice doing some other activities to associate with their sleeping when you are now trying to establish the right time for them to sleep. Singing, reading, and maybe even bathing them can be good sleeping routines you may apply. These are especially soothing for babies and are highly recommended.
Some Important Notes:
- Only use a pacifier to help them sleep after breastfeeding has been established.
- They should be awake for at least 3 to 4 hours in their first couple of weeks until weight is gained.
- Their sleep periods will only be at around 4 to 5 hours so better get yourself ready.
- Don’t let your baby sleep with you in your bed to prevent SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
- Your body will adjust your milk supply base on your breastfeeding habits.
Now, you’ve learned why so next is we learn how.
How To Keep Babies Awake While Breastfeeding
Here are your tips!
Establish That It Is Time For Feeding And NOT Sleeping
Knowing when to feed is essential to keep this routine and tips effective. If you just feed at random times then your baby’s eating habits will also be all over the place.
Make sure to establish that it’s feeding time and not sleeping time for your baby. And the first thing to do so is to know when they are tired and feed when they are most awake. And the best time is if they’ve just woken up, of course.
Turn on the lights, keep things cool, make them feel that you are moving around, and also make a little bit of noise while feeding them. After all, we are helping them fight instinct and that battle for babies is hard.
Do Some Stimulating Yet Functional Activities While They Breastfeed
This can get tricky how to keep baby awake while breastfeeding. We need to somehow keep them awake but not come in between their feeding with a few activities that might help.
If they fall asleep prematurely and you think that they haven’t fed enough just yet then we suggest that you try keeping them awake by changing their diapers, switching to the other breast, burping them, and maybe even undressing them and rubbing their backs. And believe it or not, you may actually tickle them but only slightly and tenderly.
You also need to make sure that you position your baby properly as you feed them as they fall asleep if they aren’t latched on properly.
Get Milk Flowing
Do you know that babies tend to just doze off once they think that milk flows slow or does not do so at all? Yep, they can impatient and just fall asleep altogether. This can be a problem, because A) they surely haven’t fed enough and B) they can once again turn this into a bad habit.
So you need to make sure that you have enough milk and get it flowing every time it’s chow time for them. Yep, just another one of those challenges being a breastfeeding mom, but it’s all going to be worth it.
Try to do breast compressions to ensure that you always have enough milk flowing fast.
Keep Them Close
Having skin-to-skin contact with your baby actually helps with telling them that hey, it’s time to feed and not sleep. Dress them only with their diaper and keep them close and tight. They won’t get too cold either as your body will keep them warm.
Their instincts will kick in for the better and they will even explore lick, smell, and feed on their own without any guidance. And, that’s good news for both of you!
Some Other Breastfeeding Tips!
Here are a few other important breastfeeding tips for you to follow and remember:
- You both must stay together after birth to develop that bond.
- Make sure to always observe proper position when feeding them.
- Always be patient, this is no easy task no matter if it’s natural, and it’s challenging, hang in there!
- To reinforce point number 1, keep your baby in the same room with you as much as possible.
- Avoid complementary feed, teats, or dummies.