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Thread: suggestions for keeping 3 week old awake while feeding?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    37

    Question suggestions for keeping 3 week old awake while feeding?

    she just doesnt seem to stay awake past 7 minutes of sucking.

    i try to change her diaper when she does this, but i feel bad letting her "sit" in a dirty diaper while eating for those 7 minutes just so i can wake her up by changing it.

    my mom says she should be eating 20 minutes on each breast during a feeding. idk if thats a general rule or if 7 minutes is okay, but it doesnt seem like enough. her diapers are normal, and her weight is gaining when we go to the doctors. but idreally like her to eat for a little longer without falling asleep after 7 minutes on one breast.

  2. #2

    Default Re: suggestions for keeping 3 week old awake while feeding?

    I recently visited a lactation consultant for this same question. I was told that as long as babies are gaining the appropriate weight and soiling enough diapers they are fine, just getting their job done quicker than most. To soothe my mind, the consultant weighed my daughter before and after eating. She had a 2 oz weight gain after only eating for 5 mins.
    However, you can try ways that generally make your baby uncomfortable. For example, stripping my son down to just his diaper or playing with his feet always helped him stay awake while eating. Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2010
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    Default Re: suggestions for keeping 3 week old awake while feeding?

    If she is gaining weight then you should be okay. My LC told me some babies are just really efficient nursers.

    Anyhow here are some ways to keep baby awake to feed:

    - Tickle their feet
    - Rub their head
    - Blow gently on them
    - Talk to them
    and if that doesn't work then get them stripped to the diaper before feeding.

    Also if baby falls asleep a diaper change and/or a burping can sometimes help wake baby up. (although burping mine usually puts her to sleep).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,149

    Default Re: suggestions for keeping 3 week old awake while feeding?

    You'll hear a lot of advice to strive for time limits at the breast. 10 minutes, 20 minutes, whatever. It's old-fashioned advice from the days when moms were told to watch the clock, not the baby. Now the advice is reversed: watch the baby, not the clock. As long as she is producing enough diapers and gaining weight appropriately, there's no reason to worry about how much time the baby spends nursing. As the PP mentioned, some babies become efficient feeders quite early.

    Some other things you can do to keep baby awake:
    - Breast compressions
    - Rub a cool, damp washrag on the soles of her feet or against the grain of her hair
    - Switch feeding: when sucking slows and baby shows signs of falling asleep, take her off the breast and switch her to the other side
    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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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    932

    Default Re: suggestions for keeping 3 week old awake while feeding?

    Please please PLEASE disregard that advice about how long they "should" be feeding! That is TOTALLY outdated advice. Some babies are just really efficient nursers and can drain the breast or get however much they want/need in ten minutes or less.

    The actual number of minutes they are on the breast is a fairly useless bit of information. What really matters is what they are DOING while on the breast. A baby can be on the breast for 20 min (or 40!) and be just nibbling the whole time, not really sucking and transferring milk effectively. Even though that baby is nursing for the "right" amount of time, that same baby can have major weight gain issues because they are not getting enough milk because of improper milk transfer. Or, they can trigger a letdown within a minute or less, transfer all the milk they need by nursing very efficiently, and be done within 7 minutes. Or, like my son did, they can get all they need by obviously draining the breast within 7 min or so, but stay on and comfort suck for another 20 min. It has NOTHING to do with the clock but EVERYTHING to do with how they are latched and how they are transferring the milk.

    If you can clearly see/hear/feel that your baby is sucking and swallowing milk and she seems to be done within 7 min, then HOORAY!!!! That is great!

    My DS was a very sleepy nurser for the first six weeks, too. We did all the tricks, from burping often to diaper changes to taking off all his clothes. Nothing really worked very well, but his diaper output and weight gain were fine and I KNEW he was getting a good amount of milk transfer every 2-3 hrs, as well as lots of comfort sucking too. Just hang in there, after about 5-6 weeks they really wake up and it won't be an issue anymore.

    If her diaper output/weight gain are fine, then I wouldn't worry about it! It will be a whole different ball game once she is 6-8 weeks and especially when she is around 3-4 months old. Things change so quickly!
    Last edited by @llli*lovebeingmommy; March 20th, 2010 at 12:51 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: suggestions for keeping 3 week old awake while feeding?

    Oh yes try the breast compressions, they helped me quite a bit.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    145

    Default Re: suggestions for keeping 3 week old awake while feeding?

    My LO was a real sleepyhead for the first 6 weeks or so and the only thing that ever really worked was stripping her down to her diaper and putting a cold (and I mean COLD) washcloth to her face, feet, hands... She hated it and would cry, which made me feel kinda guilty, but it worked and she gained.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    652

    Default Re: suggestions for keeping 3 week old awake while feeding?

    I always tickled los chin to keep him awake during a feeding.
    Ds 9/09 nursed for 20 months

    Dd 12/11 nursing a toddler again

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Nashvegas-ish
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    Default Re: suggestions for keeping 3 week old awake while feeding?

    Tori was a sleepy baby as well. I tried everything - tickling, rubbing, etc. to try to keep her awake. Being naked didn't even keep this girl awake. The only thing I could do was feed her whenever she did wake up and she eventually grew out of it. It tested my patience but after about 6 weeks I didn't have any more problems with her being a sleepyhead.

    Hang in there Mama!
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  10. #10

    Default Re: suggestions for keeping 3 week old awake while feeding?

    My 18 day old son is very sleepy too, and I found that to undress him down to his diaper and then lay him on his back in his bassinet works wonders to wake him up. Sometimes I have to do this like 5 or 6 times just to get in a good feeding! The only problem I am having is that what I THINK is a good feeding seems to only result in him still being hungry even after it seems both breasts are drained. I am currently supplementing with formula (due to too much weight loss after birth) and am in the process of trying to wean him from the formula with the help of an LC. The part about him still being hungry after feeding with me really has been stressed!

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