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(Breast)feeding a newborn - can't wake him to feed ..

(13 Posts)
IrishMaeve Mon 22-Jun-09 19:35:30


Not sure I'm posting this on the right place so feel free to point me somewhere else if needed.

Our little boy was born on Saturday morning and we came home from hospital yesterday. He's a great sleeper, so much so that we're struggling to wake him and feed him. I'm finding breastfeeding itself a struggle but think that's to be expected for now.

On the waking and sleeping issue though, any suggestions or experiences which might help us at the moment? He's managed a couple of good half hour feeds today and is really quite content. We're trying to get into a four hour routine but he's too happy sleeping! I'm starting to get worried that he won't be getting enough food. Our first midwife home visit is tomorrow so we will see what she says but I'd also like some real mums' feedback as this is usually invaluable.

Thanks in advance ..

WowOoo Mon 22-Jun-09 19:39:59

If he's hungry he'll wake for food. Don't worry!

If you want to feed him you can just wake him gently. try again gently. be noisy, move him to another room whatever. May get sad but a feed will then cheer him up.

It really doesn't seem like they get much sometimes but remember they have teeny tiny lovely little stomachs that work perfectly and will let you know if they are starving.

think you're doing everything perfectly. COngrats! grin

WowOoo Mon 22-Jun-09 19:41:38

Oh perhaps try to relax about the time thing for now too. Plenty of time for that later when you're more settled in.

nigglewiggle Mon 22-Jun-09 19:45:51

I would just feed on demand at this point. It's far too early to think about establishing a routine. As WowOoo says - he'll wake when he's hungry and it'll soon get more frequent.

It sounds quite normal to me, but speak to the MW if you are concerned about his sleepiness. I suspect he will soon be feeding more often and you'll wish you enjoyed a rest while he was sleeping.

Congratulations BTW and it sounds like you are doing a fab job. smile

bedlambeast Mon 22-Jun-09 19:52:07

Message withdrawn

EldonAve Mon 22-Jun-09 19:52:57

I would wake him at least every 4 hours tbh

TheProvincialLady Mon 22-Jun-09 19:59:25

I agree with bedlam's excellent advice and think that you need to speak to your MW/HV about this.

My DS2 was very sleepy and did not demand feeds - this was because he was jaundiced and was too sleepy to wake up. It is really, really not a good thing in a tiny baby. And nor is a 4 hourly routine - this is bad for your milk supply and is likely to result in an unhappy baby.

therealpf Mon 22-Jun-09 20:04:49

I have three children and have bf'd all of them. Mine generally slept a lot for the first few days and you think 'my baby is angelic, no issues here' etc then they wake up, HUNGRY. I don't have any friends who had babies who went four hours between feeds this young (if ever, before they went onto solids) I think you are setting yourself up for a fall there personally hoping for that to establish iself as a routine! If it were me I would wake your baby up after three hours if you can stand it as otherwise they will catch up in the night instead. Expect to feed every two to two and a half hours to start with. And..... it may take up to an hour to feed each time (I'd say with mine it was about 45 minutes to begin with). So you will feel like you are feeding all the time to start with. Enjoy this time while your baby is still not very awake as I can pretty much guarantee that it won't last.
And if you are finding bf difficult then get help now as if you've got the latch wrong and you carry on getting it wrong you will end up with painful cracked nipples. I am lucky as have always found it very easy but am in the minority as regards my friends experiences. Good luck!

therealpf Mon 22-Jun-09 20:07:03

and yes your little boy may also have issues like jaundice but mine didn't, they just slept the first few days.

thisisyesterday Mon 22-Jun-09 20:12:48

it's true that some babies are just generally sleepy in the first couple of days.

but personally i would be trying to wake him at least every 4 hours to feed.
sleepy babies may not take enough food. then they get tireder and don';t wake for feeds. thus getting less food and getting more tired. so it IS important to make sure he is feeding frequently enough,

personally I would call someone like la leche league and ask them for advice
midwives don't have a huge amount of breastfeeding training (although of course you may be lucky enough to have one who knows her stuff)

you can call LLL now. or any of the other breastfeeding helplines.

i would be trying to spend plenty of time in bed, naked (both of you) and just feeding evey time baby stirs

Qally Mon 22-Jun-09 23:30:02

I'm sorry, but newborns do not always feed on demand. Mine slept the clock round - woke every 5 or 6 hours left to himself - because he wasn't able to get the milk out, as he had a tongue problem. He became really rather nastily unwell. He needed to be woken every 3 hours, from all I've since learned.

Some are just great sleepers/sleepy newborns. Others are in trouble, unabl;e to get as much milk as they need for some reason, and trying to conserve energy by sleeping.

If you post on the breastfeeding area (under "Feed the World") people will be able to help advise you.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 22-Jun-09 23:39:32

Message withdrawn

morocco Mon 22-Jun-09 23:54:59

as others have said, even 4 hours is a long time between feeds at this age could be normal for him but could also lead to problems.

you can also call the mw if worried about jaundice or dehydration for example

ds1 was a sleepy baby - i stripped him before every nappy change, then fed him, then did another nappy change to wake him and fed him again during feeds i annoyed him by tickling his cheek and toes


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