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Thread: why do some babies sleep at breast?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    19

    Default why do some babies sleep at breast?

    my last son totally conked out when put to the breast which ended our bf'ing days too soon. This time, with my 3wk old, he's conking out too - no matter what I try. I'm at my wits end as next week won't have the support of my husband and will have my 3 children to care for. He's been fed supplement to build up his weight and energy but I so want to get him on my breast and he just sleeps. He's compeletely alert and gulping it down from the feeding tube and finger (another post previously made with details of why). Why do some babies sleep automatically? It's like neurological overcharge.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    6,564

    Default Re: why do some babies sleep at breast?

    What do you mean? I don't understand why a baby falling asleep would end breastfeeding? My first daughter did that all the time - my pediatrician said that some babies get that drop of milk in their tummy and think it's so comfy and just go to sleep. You combat that by nursing more often during the day and night. Was your 3 week old son born prematurely?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    19

    Default Re: why do some babies sleep at breast?

    No he was born on time. He sleeps constantly on the breast and doesn't swallow - was losing weight so we'd to start supplement feeding (breastmilk through tube and him sucking finger with tube attached). The milk pours out of his mouth literally, while he sleeps.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: why do some babies sleep at breast?

    I read your other thread. How much are you supplementing during the day? I know that it's your own milk, but he may be going to sleep because he doesn't want to work to get the milk out. OR he may just have gotten enough to eat. How many wet and dirty diapers does he have a day? Are you still using the shield? If the milk is pouring out of this mouth, perhaps he's comfort nursing. That happened with my infants. I had a bit of oversupply so I had more milk at a time than they wanted. They would just let it run out of their mouths.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    19

    Default Re: why do some babies sleep at breast?

    Since he'd to gain weight I've been told to give supplement after each breastfeed. Unfortunately as he sleeps during breastfeed, he guzzles down the supplement after! Even when he's hungry he'll go to sleep as if on shut-down/overload rather than feed at my breast. He's having wet or dirty nappies each time I change him, which is every 2.5-3hrs. I'm still using the shield and try every so often to feed without - sometimes he manages to latch on but doesn't suckle at all, just slips off. He does tend to seek comfort nursing when he's in pain and will latch on and lightly 'chew' rather than suck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    6,564

    Default Re: why do some babies sleep at breast?

    I wonder if you could try nursing, supplement and then nurse again? Maybe put less in the supplement? Are you using the SNS or bottles? How many ounces of milk are you supplementing him for the entire day?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: why do some babies sleep at breast?

    I have no answer for you, but I wanted to say that you aren't alone. My son (who is now 16 months and still breastfeeding) was one of those babies who fell asleep EVERY time I put him to the breast for the first 2 months of his life, at least. He was a slow gainer because of it, but I refused to supplement (because he seemed healthy). Other mothers talked about "dream-feeding," but my son was not able to do that. One drop of milk and he was out! So, again, while I have no answer for you as to why, I wanted you to know that I feel your pain. I hope others can chime in with more helpful information. The ladies here are why I didn't give up on breastfeeding my son. Best of luck!

  8. #8

    Default Re: why do some babies sleep at breast?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mumofthree123 View Post
    Since he'd to gain weight I've been told to give supplement after each breastfeed. Unfortunately as he sleeps during breastfeed, he guzzles down the supplement after! Even when he's hungry he'll go to sleep as if on shut-down/overload rather than feed at my breast. He's having wet or dirty nappies each time I change him, which is every 2.5-3hrs. I'm still using the shield and try every so often to feed without - sometimes he manages to latch on but doesn't suckle at all, just slips off. He does tend to seek comfort nursing when he's in pain and will latch on and lightly 'chew' rather than suck.
    have you tried nursing after supplementing rather than before? This is called "letting baby finish at the breast" and is the usual recommendation when a baby requires supplemental feeding. Maybe a half ounce to an ounce will wake him up enough to get him to start nursing more vigorously. It would have to be a smallish supplement, of course, not enough to fill him up and make him uninterested in nursing.

    Also when you see the IBCLC, ask her if you are a good candidate for a before and after nursing weight check. These are of limited value as they only tell you what happened the one nursing session; however I am very curious how much milk your baby is capable of transferring before he conks out, and I don’t know another way to find this out. I still wonder if the supplementing or the amount of supplementing is necc. If a baby is being over supplemented, they are not going to be very interested in nursing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,607

    Default Re: why do some babies sleep at breast?

    Tips for waking a baby who is excessively sleepy while nursing:
    - Annoy him- an annoyed baby is usually a more alert baby. Tickle the soles of his feet or rub against the grain of his hair while he nurses, using your hand or a cool damp washrag.
    - Keep him cool- a cool baby is usually more alert. When it's time to nurse, strip him down to a diaper or onesie, and keep a fan blowing in the room you're nursing in (not directly on the baby, though).
    - Dim the lights- newborns sometimes close their eyes in response to bright lights
    - Do breast compressions to speed the flow of milk to the baby
    - Switch nursing: when baby's suckling slows and he seems to be dozing off, remove him from the breast, burp him, change his diaper, and switch him to the other side. When he falls asleep on the second breast, repeat the process, and keep repeating it until baby will no longer wake. Switch nursing is great for supply and also gets baby into the habit of nursing actively when at the breast, because he knows that as soon as he slacks off you're going to remove him from the breast and annoy him with a diaper change.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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