Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: sleepy at the breast!

  1. #1

    Default sleepy at the breast!

    Hi,
    I am a new mother of a 3 week old girl. I have a concern because my daughter always falls asleep at the breast. It is all I can do to keep her awake 10-15 minutes on one side and then frequently she is too tired to start the other side. Then she is up and hungry again within about 45 mins to 1 hour.

    Otherwise she is healthy - she is gaining weight, peeing and pooping plenty (!), she looks good and is alert and happy when she is awake.

    Can you give me your opinion/advice on this?

    Is there anything I can do to get her to eat more in the first place so that she can last a ;ittle longer in between feedings?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1,293

    Default Re: sleepy at the breast!

    everything sounds normal to me. if she were not having good diapers or weight gain then there would be something to work on but it sounds like she is doing well.

    breastfed babies don't "fill up" because breastmilk is easily digested and utilized.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,652

    Default Re: sleepy at the breast!

    Welcome to the forum!

    Are you trying to time your baby's feedings? In general, moms are advised to watch their babies, not the clock. What that means is that you offer the first breast, allow the baby to finish at her own pace (which can take as little as 5 minutes or as long as 30, maybe more, depending on the baby), and then offer the second breast. A long as baby has normal diaper output and is gaining weight appropriately, there's nothing to worry about even if she is kind of dozy.

    However, if baby is excessively sleepy and is having trouble gaining weight, or if you simply hope to get her to nurse faster and take in more milk, here are some things which may help:
    - Annoy her to prevent her from falling asleep. Tickle the soles of her feet or rub against the grain of her hair using your hand or a cool damp washrag.
    - Keep her cool- strip her down to a diaper or a onsie when it's time to nurse, and keep a fan blowing in the room you are in. A cool baby is often a more alert baby.
    - Dim the lights- new babies often close their eyes in response to bright light.
    - Switch nursing- if baby is excessively sleepy, try taking her off the breast when she appears to be falling asleep. Burp her and change her diaper, and then switch her to the other breast. Repeat the process until the baby will no longer wake.

    All that being said, it does not sound like there is anything to be concerned about. Great diaper output, weight gain, and baby having some happy alert periods are all excellent signs of nursing going right! The feeding frequency you mention is completely normal, especially for such a young baby. Remember than infant tummies are tiny, and that breastmilk digests rapidly, usually in about 90 minutes. Many babies nurse every 1-2 hours, and it is not a cause for concern. It's pretty exhausting, but I promise that it will get easier!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4

    Default Re: sleepy at the breast!

    If baby is gaining well this is normal and nothing to worry about. If baby is not gaining well, that is a different story.

    as long as baby is getting milk, it matters little how long a baby nurses each time they nurse, nor does time between sessions matters (unless it is TOO stretched out.) Frequency of nursing is much more important in the early weeks, and at this age you want to see a MINIMUM of 10-12 sessions a day. It's fine for baby to want to nurse realy frequently-even more than once an hour some of the time. This is called cluster feeding and is normal and healthy.

    Nursing does naturally send a baby off to sleep. That's part of the natural process of nursing. It is also fine for baby to nurse one side at a time. But it never hurts to nurse more often. If my baby was prone to very short feeding sessions and it concerned me, I would just try to nurse more often.

  5. #5

    Default Re: sleepy at the breast!

    Thanks for the reassurance! I worry about running out of milk when she feeds so often also, even though I have read that this never really happens. My husband has been giving her a bottle once a night so that I can get a little more sleep. Does anyone have any experience with that?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,652

    Default Re: sleepy at the breast!

    It's true: you never really run out of milk. Milk is always being made, and the emptier the breast gets the faster milk is made to replace what is being taken out. A lot of new moms think they must wait for milk to "build up" in the breast, but nothing could be further from the truth. The more often the baby feeds, the more milk you will make.

    3 weeks is early to introduce a bottle. Usually it is recommended that a mom only nurse for the first 4-6 weeks, or until nursing is well established. This is supposed to reduce the risk of the baby coming to prefer the ease of feeding from a bottle, and also helps mom establish her milk supply. At this very early stage, if your baby skips a feeding because she is getting a bottle, you should ideally be pumping at the same time. Which isn't very restful, I know!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: sleepy at the breast!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*chivo View Post
    Thanks for the reassurance! I worry about running out of milk when she feeds so often also, even though I have read that this never really happens. My husband has been giving her a bottle once a night so that I can get a little more sleep. Does anyone have any experience with that?
    Although in theory it sounds great as a way to get a little more sleep, as mommal said, it could cause problems down the road with supply. We waited until the baby was 5-6 weeks before giving a bottle and then not more than once or twice in 24 hours, and I always pumped at the same time.

    One way your husband can help you get more sleep at night is by getting the baby when she cries during the night and bringing her to you (if you're not already co-sleeping). A friend taught me to feed my LO in side-lying position, and so I could sort of rest/doze while he ate. Of course I had to be sure to always do this safely - making sure baby was on the inside rather than outside of the bed and had no blankets or loose anything near his face so he could breathe freely, etc. And we made sure neither of us was ever under the influence of anything that causes heavy sleep (e.g., alcohol, medication that causes drowsiness, etc.) with the baby in the bed. Actually, we were already so tired in the beginning w/o any of that, that was a no-brainer for us! Anyway, once my LO and I got the hang of side-lying feeding, it was a lifesaver for getting more rest!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •