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Thread: 2 day old baby w/jaundice can't stay awake

  1. #1

    Default 2 day old baby w/jaundice can't stay awake

    I had my baby 2 days ago (first time mom)and she is a little jaundiced. I hear this
    makes them more
    sleepy than usual. I've been having a really hard time with feeding her and trying to
    keep her awake during her feedings. Does anyone have any tricks to keep her awake
    to make sure she gets enough milk? I've been trying everything to distract her and
    keep her up- blowing in her face, tugging her ear, shifting, tickling her feet, tugging
    back on my breast so she'll wake back up.

    Also anyone else who might have gone through this- how long does this usually last?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 2 day old baby w/jaundice can't stay awake

    Welcome and congratulations on the new baby!

    Tips for waking a sleepy baby:
    - Keep the lights low. New babies often close their eyes in response to bright light.
    - A cool baby is a more alert baby. When it's time to nurse, strip baby down to a single light layer, and keep a fan blowing in the room where you nurse (but not directly on baby).
    - An annoyed baby is a more alert baby. Rub/tickle the soles of baby's feet or against the grain of baby's hair using your hand or a cool damp washcloth.
    - Switch nursing. Wen baby starts to fall asleep, remove her from the breast, change her diaper or burp her, and latch her on to the other side. Repeat the process until she will no longer wake.
    - Breast compressions:

    In addition to the above, take your baby outside without sunscreen or put her in a sunny window from time to time. The UV light in sunlight breaks down the bilirubin which causes jaundice. Taking baby outside is preferable since glass will block some of the UV rays.

    Jaundice can last for a few days or for several weeks, depending on the baby. Watch the baby's diaper output carefully during this interval- if it drops below normal, take her in to the doc.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Cleveland, OH

    Default Re: 2 day old baby w/jaundice can't stay awake

    My son was the same way. Have you also tried stripping her down to her diaper to keep her cold and uncomfortable? How about stroking her cheek or palms of the hands when she falls asleep? That triggers a sucking reflex sometimes. Also, try compressing your breast so some milk gets in her mouth to either wake her up or she might swallow it while half asleep.

    I saw an lactation consultant when DS was only 2 days old and we ended up supplementing with pumped milk for a couple of weeks. After that he was able to stay awake to nurse for all he needed. Our LC just told us to make sure that he latched on and nursed a little bit on his own every 2 hours before we topped him off if 1-2 oz in a bottle, but I would consult a lactation consultant first, if you can, to come up with a personalized action plan. My son was right on the edge of having to go in for light treatments, which we wanted to avoid.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 2 day old baby w/jaundice can't stay awake

    FYI here is the suggested jaundice protocol written by and for doctors from the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine

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

    For keeping baby awake. try breast compressions and switch nursing. I used to jiggle my babies chin to keep him actively sucking. In most cases, babies can nurse in their sleep, so think about keeping baby actively sucking, not so much on waking necessarily. If baby conks out quickly, wait a bit. Baby may be easier to wake a short time after feeding. Remember it is normal for baby to wake and nurse on a irregular schedule.

    Some babies are EXTREMELY sleepy and need more extreme measures for waking. Try not to worry, this will pass!
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; May 12th, 2013 at 06:29 PM.

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