Baby Falling Asleep During Feedings — The Bump
August 2014 Moms

Baby Falling Asleep During Feedings

What do you do when baby nods off during breast or bottle feeds? Do you try and wake them up to continue feeding? Or do you let them get their fill, and when they fall asleep, you put them down for a nap? Or maybe something else?
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Re: Baby Falling Asleep During Feedings

  • Depends how deep into the feeding session they are. My LC told me to keep them awake at least 10 minutes per boob. They have to learn boob time is food time, not nap time.
    I will switch boobs if he falls asleep. I don't have an issue with his falling asleep at the bottle. He chugs those down like a champ.
    camichalskialy&sam
  • I try to do 10 mins per side especially at night, during the day I don't mind if he just takes the one side. I'll tickle or wiggle him a bit, switch sides or rub his head to keep him going.
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  • The lactation consultant wanted me to let her fall asleep and fall off the one side and then wake her and put her on the other side until she was done there...the problem is that is goes into a milk coma and she is impossible to wake. The only thing that remotely works is changing her, but then she is awake and still won't feed because she is full. What I have been doing is timing her. I know she slows after about 8 minutes, so I remove her from the one side and put her on the other side. That has been working pretty well. Also, during the day I will remove her clothing. The cold helps to keep her awake long enough to finish both sides.
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  • Well... if weight gain seems fine I'd likely just let baby sleep. If they aren't gaining well, then I'd worry about naked feedings, tickling their feet, etc. I know I have a fast let down and DS nurses quickly, and often only on one side. But he's gaining like gangbusters so evidently it works for him/us. Just wanted to say that not all babies take both sides every feeding and that's totally fine/normal.
  • shevaCC said:

    Well... if weight gain seems fine I'd likely just let baby sleep. If they aren't gaining well, then I'd worry about naked feedings, tickling their feet, etc. I know I have a fast let down and DS nurses quickly, and often only on one side. But he's gaining like gangbusters so evidently it works for him/us. Just wanted to say that not all babies take both sides every feeding and that's totally fine/normal.

    My pediatrician actually said that I shouldn't be switching sides before 20 minutes, because that's the only way LO will fully benefit from the hind milk. So we typically only nurse on one side.
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  • My first was premie and a very slow nurser who regularly fell asleep before getting enough milk. I found that going skin to skin helped him stay wake enough at night to get enough milk in order to keep gaining weight.
    I agree with the comment made earlier that newborns should nurse on one side per feeding until they are a couple months old so they get to the hind milk.
    Good luck!
  • I only feed off one side, and DD typically only nurses for 10-15 minutes. If she looks like she's falling asleep before the 10 minute mark, I will start jiggling her arm and legs around or stroking her face. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. I'm not going to undress her or be too forceful in waking her, especially at night. It doesn't seem to matter too much; she is gaining well and typically goes at least two hours between feeds.


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  • For those who feed one side for 15 min or so, does your LO suck constantly? I do this same thing but my LO is like - suck, suck, long pause, suck, suck, long pause - the whole time so I feel like he only gets 5 min worth and I wonder if that's enough.
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  • cachoque said:

    For those who feed one side for 15 min or so, does your LO suck constantly? I do this same thing but my LO is like - suck, suck, long pause, suck, suck, long pause - the whole time so I feel like he only gets 5 min worth and I wonder if that's enough.



    I heard those long pauses are swallows, especially if their mouth is open while pausing. Not sure this helps answer anything, but, yeah. :)
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  • The suck suck pause is totally normal and just how babies BF. I count all of it beginning to end, not just how long she sucks.


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    jenniferurs
  • Cat&S said:

    The suck suck pause is totally normal and just how babies BF. I count all of it beginning to end, not just how long she sucks.

    This.
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