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Thread: Acting hungry, but then falling asleep.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Salt Lake City
    Posts
    86

    Question Acting hungry, but then falling asleep.

    Sometimes by baby acts hungry, but when I offer her the breast, she falls asleep almost right away. I'm pretty sure only one of my twins does this, but I could be forgetting that the other does, too. They are four weeks old and breastfeeding exclusively. I'm mostly feeding them on-demand, unless they go longer than four hours because they weren't gaining weight in the beginning. At times I have given her a bottle (usually breast milk) when this happened because of the weight issue and often she takes it. Most of the time she doesn't have trouble latching on, though sometimes it takes her a few minutes. Is this a common issue? Am I misreading her cues, and what she needs is comfort, or is this a sign that she is struggling with breastfeeding more than I realize? Maybe this is an issue of excessive sleepiness or lethargy. Currently she is gaining weight, has her required amounts of both kinds of diapers, and seems content. Though, to be honest, she seems almost too content. She's almost never gets upset.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,643

    Default Re: Acting hungry, but then falling asleep.

    Newborns are often quite sleepy, and fall asleep rapidly when at the breast. It's only a problem if the baby isn't nursing enough (you're aiming for at least 10-12 nursing sessions per day in the early weeks, and at least 8 sessions after 6 weeks, or more if the baby has trouble gaining weight) or isn't having adequate wet/poopy diaper output.

    This link on sleepy babies has tricks for getting your LO to wake up more: http://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/new...sleepy-babies/
    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!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Acting hungry, but then falling asleep.

    ugh I tried to edit my post and it was being weird. So anyway,

    First congrats on your new babies and kudos for exclusively nursing twins!

    When your baby falls asleep at the breast, does baby stop nursing as well? because a baby can nurse effectively in thier sleep.

    So, there is nothing wrong with a baby falling asleep at the breast unless this is causing baby to not get enough milk.
    The way you tell a baby is getting enough milk is if their weight gain is on track. A secondary indication is stool output, and things like behavior tell us something as well. But that can get confusing. So if you had weight gain concerns early on I think it's best to be going mostly by weight gain for now.

    So if weight gain is on track, that is a strong indication all is well.

    In the early weeks a breastfed baby generally needs to nurse a minimum of 10 times during each 24 hour day to be sure they are getting enough milk. Some babies may grow fine on less but this high frequency is very important anyway because it allows for some sessions to be less 'productive' than others during this important stage when baby is learning to nurse and a mothers milk production is being 'established. ' Do you think your babies each nurse at least that often? If not, then you may want to keep waking your babies as needed for now.

    Here are some things you don't want to worry about
    1) babies willingness to take a bottle. most babies will take a bottle even if they are not the least bit hungry, so it means nothing if a breastfed baby drinks from a bottle or how much baby will drink from a bottle. I would suggest stopping bottles entirely as long as weight gain via nursing at the breast is good, as the pumping and cleaning is just more work and you certainly do not need that!
    2) whether or not baby is 'comfort nursing.' Babies do not differentiate between nursing for hunger or nursing for comfort. This is an adult concept that has little to do with a babies nursing experience. To a baby, all nursing is for comfort. Babies are born with a need to suckle and they need to do so a lot, and it is important for trouble free breastfeeding that this sucking happen as much as possible at the breast. Also when comfort nursing baby is still getting milk. So 'comfort nursing' is a vital and important part of breastfeeding.

    What some people mean by comfort nursing is non-vigorous sucking. Again, non vigorous sucking is going to be a normal part of most or all nursing sessions. BUT IF a baby is not sucking vigorously as well, often enough, and thus not getting enough milk via nursing, (which you can tell by weight gain) then it is very important to encourage more vigorous sucking. Also a mom (especially with twins) may have a need to speed up nursing sessions, which you can do by encouraging your babies to nurse vigorously more. Breast compressions at the point a baby 'slows down' can get baby nursing with more vigor, you can also try stroking baby, gently squeezing or 'pumping' baby's foot or hand, gently jiggling or stroking your babies cheek or chin.

    Links I hope you will find helpful

    Breast compressions http://www.asklenore.info/breastfeed...pression.shtml

    What is normal in the early weeks for breastfed babies http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/

    Great website for breastfeeding twins info http://www.karengromada.com/mothering-multiples/

    waking sleepy baby http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...py_newborn.pdf

    nursing cues http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...eding_cues.pdf

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Salt Lake City
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Acting hungry, but then falling asleep.

    Thanks for the responses. She is gaining weight and has the correct diaper output so it would appear she is getting enough to eat. That's great information about bottles and babies nursing in their sleep. It looks as though I've just been rushing her. I've started just setting her down for a few minutes after this happens and then she is willing to eat.

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