Advice on keeping a sleepy baby awake to keep him bfing

(14 Posts)
Chocaholics Tue 22-Jan-13 14:15:02

DS is 4 days old and was 4 weeks early. I am ebf and am finding he will latch on ok but normally won't feed for very long (some times only a few minutes sometimes longer) before going to sleep. The midwives at hospital did say its common for a slightly early baby to be sleepy and to try striping him off, tickling his feet but I am finding once he snuggles into me and latches on he just goes straight back to sleep.

Hoping someone can give some advice on how to keep him awake as really want to keep ebf but worries about the fact he isn't getting enough to eat.

devonsmummy Tue 22-Jan-13 14:18:49

I was gonna say tickle feet & undress!
Does he wake if you take him back off the breast?
I used to tickle dd under her nose too

Oh I was an expert on this at one time! DS was a terror for falling asleep 2 minutes in and then waking us all up again soon after.

I tried rubbing feet (not tickling though), or rubbing his palms in circles sometimes helped a tiny bit but not much. Only things I found that were really effective were 1) singing The Grand Old Duke of York very energetically, complete with some (gentle) bouncing or marching blush, or 2) taking him off the boob and laying him down (on bed or rug) for a moment - that was guaranteed to make him wake up with a loud yell and then have a bit more!

Other than that, just try to go with the flow - it's hard work, and infuriating when it's the middle of the night and you just want to get some milk into him and get back to sleep, but it DOES pass relatively quickly.

(You could also consider co-sleeping so he can just have some whenever he wants, I never tried that though so am not the best to advise there!).

PPT Tue 22-Jan-13 14:25:04

I once read that a cool flannel does the trick (never tried it)... But could work? I had the same problem!

Pascha Tue 22-Jan-13 14:26:50

blowing gently on his head works for DS2, also stroking under his chin towards his throat can stimulate him. Otherwise I stop, change nappy, piss him off a bit and try again on the other side...

mcsquared Tue 22-Jan-13 14:28:10

Mine was the same, very sleepy initially. I tried stripping and tickling but no amount of cajoling would make him feed longer than he wanted to. I just offered a breast frequently and had lots of skin to skin and felt reassured once he was gaining weight. To start with he spent maybe five minutes max feeding. Now at three months, he rarely spends more than ten minutes feeding. My HV says he may just be an efficient feeder!

Don't worry and keep an eye on his nappies. They're the best indicator he's getting enough milk.

Meringue33 Tue 22-Jan-13 14:28:43

Tickle cheek
Blow on face
Undress before feed so skin to skin
Change nappy either before or during feed
Sing
Pace room

Hope he wakes up soon - ours has now, try not to worry, it does come with time

PPT Tue 22-Jan-13 14:30:10

Also read somewhere that it can be useful to slip a tissue into nappies- as they are so efficient sometimes it's tricky to tell if they've done a wee or not.

Chocaholics Tue 22-Jan-13 14:32:24

Thanks everyone, that is loads of things to try! When I take him off the breast he just happily stays asleep but wakes up just a short time later wanting a bit more but only till he's back to sleep again. But will have a go at all these, fingers crossed one of them work.

I had this too and found a tickle on the ear helped grin. Good luck

PPT Tue 22-Jan-13 17:51:45

If he carries on doing this then please also ask the mw to check for tongue tie- my ds was doing something similar... And tt was the cause (latching on, slipping off- v.small baby so slept a little excessively and got a bit jaundiced)... He had it snipped in the end x

RedKites Tue 22-Jan-13 19:17:03

There are lots of good suggestions on Kellymom including switch nursing (where you change from side to side so baby gets more letdowns and stays interested for longer) and breast compressions (which helped me back when DS1 was a sleepy baby).

roseum Wed 23-Jan-13 22:40:53

I used to blow on DS' cheek (fairly firmly) or ruffle his hair (obviously only works if they have hair!) or tickle the back of his neck. I also used to switch feed swapping back and forth, back and forth....

nickelbabe Wed 23-Jan-13 22:45:07

I used to pick up dd's arm and drop it again

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