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How Can I keep a sleepy baby awake long enough to get a full feed?

(9 Posts)
sharonE Tue 15-Jul-03 17:10:09

My DD is 5 weeks old now and is breastfeeding well during the day - about every 3 hours and then a bit of a frenzy at night when she likes to feed a lot between 5 and 9. She sleeps well during the day - silently and wakes her self up for a feed. Any attempts to keep her awake last no more than 20 minutes and she drops off as soon as I pick her up.

However, at night, she seems to turn into a sleeping monster - she makes very loud noises, ranging from grunts similar to a labouring woman, thru to a high squeal that sounds like the brakes being applied to a high speed car when cornering! These go on almost all night and sometimes she will start to cry - but all this while she is asleep. I try to wake her for a feed but she falls asleep despite my best efforts - tickling feet, chin, splashes of cold water, removal of clothes and so feeds for such as short space of time that she does not get enough food and so the noises start as soon as I put her down.

She is obviously doing OK for milk - she has put on 3lb in the first 4 weeks, but I can not cope with the lack of sleep -last night I managed to feed her for an hour by continually waking her up, put her down, thinking that would fill her for at least 3 hours and she woke 1 hour later!!

Has anyone any experience of this - or any ideas on how I can keep her awake long enough to get a decent feed - I am not expecting her to sleep thru but I would like to get more than 1 hour continual sleep at night!! I guess I could put her in another room until she wakes up crying with hunger but that seems too cruel and I think she is too young to be left?

Any advice would be appreciated



easy Tue 15-Jul-03 17:21:14


If she is making all these noises in her sleep she is not hungry, and waking her will not work. She will just feel like you do when you are being woken by her

I know 5 weeks seems young but I would move her into another room. My ds was 6 weeks when I put him into his room, cos I was like a zombie, his snuffling and snoring woke me all thru the night. Unless you live in Buckingham Palace her room is presumably close to yours, so you will get to her quite soon after she wakes for a feed.

Remember your well-being is just as important as hers, so take steps to get your sleep whenever she sleeps, even tho she sleeps at 900 decibels !!!

Enid Tue 15-Jul-03 17:30:52

Try not to let her sleep too much in the day? You will find as she gets older she'll be able to stay awake for longer periods in the day so (the theory goes) should sleep better at night. Also think easy's suggestion is right, although you should try and feed her once in the night at this age (although having said that dd2 slept for long periods at night and I DID NOT wake her )

mears Tue 15-Jul-03 17:52:15

Do not equate the noises with needing fed. Because she is not ready to feed when you waken her, you are getting nowhere. Leave her until she is fully awake and crying before trying to feed her. You will also start adjusting to the noises she makes ans sleep through them yourself. Babies can be incredibly noisy creatures

GenT Tue 15-Jul-03 20:48:06

Mine is 7 weeks tomorrow and still loves to sleep. When I breastfed her she fell asleep also and I couldn't intentionally stay awake. I brought her to bed with me and laid on my side putting her in a comfortable position. She fed for 1/2 hour or more at a time. Maybe whe was smart, but she was able to root in the dark and reattach if she felt hungry again.
Don't worry about if you may roll on her. When she slept next to me I heard and sometimes I didn't, but she was never crushed. Now she sleeps in her cot and mummy is off in dreamland leaving daddy with the worry of when she will wake. Usually she awakens 1 or 2 hours after he thinks she will wake, I find it quite funny.
Try sleeping with her next to you during the days as a trial.

Has anyone tried burping a sleepy or sleeping bottle-fed baby? I have had success numerous times with the dummy in her mouth. Usually when they are burp they will bring back some of the milk, with the dummy inside the mouth, they can still burp and hold back the milk. Works like magic. Less mess to clean up.

kaz33 Tue 15-Jul-03 21:00:23

Earplugs - I wear them for DP's snoring and still manage to wake up for my 6 week old, and he is next door ( with the door open ).

runragged Tue 15-Jul-03 21:13:00

I had this problem with dd. My mums gem of advice was to tickle her feet!! She said it is impossible to sleep if you are being tickled. However ds sounds much more like your dd and my goodness he was noisy at night. I put him in his own room at 6 weeks and he only got fed when I could hear him! He is 21 months now and is STILL the noisiest sleeper around. DH had to sleep with him the other day as we thought he was coming down with something and he didn't get any sleep - spent the whole of the next day on the couch - any excuse!

runragged Tue 15-Jul-03 21:15:39

Just read genTs message, I used to sleep with dd feeding on my side but got real fright with ds one day when I woke up and he was under the duvet. Just make sure all your breastfeeding pillows etc are out of the way before you crash out! You wont roll on him though - mothers instinct.

sharonE Wed 16-Jul-03 17:40:26

Just wanted to say thank you so much to you for responding to my plea for help - I started off with her in my bed but that failed due to her needing landing lights to find my boobs and then it completely fell apart when I resumed my normal sleeping position - with my back to her!!

So I put her in the spare room and that did seem to work as I did not hear her until she cried which meant she was awake enough to take a decent feed - and I managed to sleep between the feeds - the only problem was the feeds were still 2 hours apart - but guess that is another post!!

Thanks again for your help - I would never have had the confidence to put her in another room without you.

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