It is recommended for a baby to feed every two to three hours. But it can happen that your newborn sleeps four hours in a row. Should you wake baby to eat?
Your reluctance is understandable. Considering how much time he spends crying while awake and needing lots of sleep.
Why wake baby to eat?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waking your baby if he sleeps more than four hours at a time during the first two weeks of life. But why does your dear and tender baby have to feed so often?
- His stomach empties very quickly: Being small, it cannot hold enough milk for many hours. In addition, it digests breast milk very easily and quickly. This ability to quickly assimilate food is coupled with a very small stomach (size of a ping pong ball during its first two weeks).
- They are better at sleeping on a full stomach, when they have an empty stomach, they shout to let it be known. They will go back to sleep very easily anyway.
- He needs to gain weight. Not eating enough can slow weight gain. Between the moment of birth and the 3rd day, they lose 5 to 10% of their weight and must recover it quickly, to avoid problems such as jaundice or hypoglycemia.
- It helps increase your milk supply: Not feeding your baby often enough can cause your milk supply to drop. It is important to have a sufficient quantity so that your baby sleeps well.
How to wake up your baby to feed him?
Here are the most effective methods to wake up your baby to feed him gently:
- Feed him when he is going through REM sleep. If he is sleeping soundly, it will be difficult for you to wake him up. You can recognize REM sleep times, with your baby moving their legs and arms as well as their facial expressions.
- Undress him gently, so that his brain transitions from sleep to wakefulness smoothly.
- Change her diaper: Do this by singing a nursery rhyme to him or stroking his hands and feet.
- Slowly place him in a seated position. This allows newborns to open their eyes;
How long will it take him to eat?
Once your baby is awake, make sure he's suckling enough so he can empty at least one breast so he can ingest enough fat essential for growth. Some babies take 45 minutes, others 10, let them go at their own pace.
How to keep him awake during feeding?
Nursing inevitably leads to sleep, so make sure he doesn't fall asleep in the middle. Observe the rhythmic suck-swallow-breathe pattern as it feeds. The infant's jaw and ear indicate if he is still ingesting milk. If he drowses during the meal, you can wake baby to eat by repositioning him or by moving your breast in his mouth.
Adapt to its growth
Around the 6th week, you will both have adopted a regular rhythm of meals and sleep. Some babies will want to nurse every two hours to four hours for others. This period will increase over time, his stomach constantly growing to store more and more.
It is only around 6 months that he will be able to sleep a whole night without interruption.