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Thread: Very hungry baby falls asleep immediately after latching...

  1. #1

    Default Very hungry baby falls asleep immediately after latching...

    My 1 week old will not stay awake to nurse...after just a few minutes there is no amount of tickling feet, rubbing back, lifting arms/legs, cool washcloths, blowing cool air will keep her awake. When I unlatch her, she stays asleep unless I spend several minutes sitting her up, laying her down, etc. I have been pumping to stimulate milk production and have also tried my breastmilk in a bottle, which she takes fine and has no problem staying awake to finish the entire bottle. Suggestions on what to do? I have seen a lactation consultant several times and a physical therapist for craniosacral therapy. The PT visit seemed to help her latch which had been pretty good for the first few days, but then seemed to be getting worse. Now the latch doesn't seem to be a problem anymore, but she just won't nurse! Any help would be fantastic.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,984

    Default Re: Very hungry baby falls asleep immediately after latching

    Does she wake up after a few minutes after you unlatch her or will she sleep for hours? When my little one was one week old, she was really sleepy, and I put her at the breast at every opportunity - a lot of times she'd fall asleep, so I'd change her diaper, strip her down, tickle her feet, etc., and eventually she'd perk up again, and I'd put her back at the breast. Rinse repeat. It was really exhausting, actually, I had no idea how tiring a really sleepy baby could be (my first was really demanding and I thought that was worse, but it wasn't!). Keep trying! Definitely keep waking her up; I set an alarm to feed my baby at night! Tiring, but when she started really putting on weight, it felt really good.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,259

    Default Re: Very hungry baby falls asleep immediately after latching

    The following assumes this is a full term baby of normal birth weight with no health issues:

    I agree with pp. Keep trying to get baby to nurse at the breast as FREQUENTLY as possible. This may or may not require that baby wakes fully every time-see last 2 docs i posted links to below. At least 12 times in 24 hours is normal nursing frequency. If nursing sessions are short, that can be fine, as long as baby is nursing with good frequency. If it is reaching the point your baby needs a supplement, (and be supplement I mean your expressed breastmilk or formula) try giving baby a VERY small amount in the bottle (1/2 ounce) first, and then giving baby the breast-think about using any supplements to 'get baby going.'

    It is important to realize the at a one week old typically takes a very small amount at each feeding. Their tummies are TEENY TINY. Anywhere from a half ounce to two ounces would be a normal feeding for a baby this little. This increases rapidly, and by 2-3 weeks it’s more like 2-3 ounces per session. But a baby takes in different amounts at each feeding and will often take more at a bottle than needed.

    You do not say how much you are giving baby with the bottle, but if you give your baby all she needs via a bottle, then it is unlikely baby will wake enough to nurse efficiently. Why should she?

    Rarely, some weaker and/or smaller babies do need to get bigger and stronger by being supplemented before they can nurse effectively. Supplementing is also sometimes needed if the latch is very poor. How to best supplement and if it is needed is something to discuss with your LC or your doctor. There are alternative feeding methods that might be appropriate.

    But the danger is, if you supplement with bottles more than needed you will head down the road of exclusively pumping and I assume you want to avoid that.
    ideas for getting sllepy baby to take more at the breast-

    switching sides

    breast compressions- http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...tion&Itemid=17

    more ideas here http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...py_newborn.pdf

    http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf

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