My Newborn Baby Sucks a Little Then Falls Asleep, What Should I Do? - Sunday Hug

My Newborn Baby Sucks a Little Then Falls Asleep, What Should I Do?

baby sleeping

Question of the day:

I have a 20-day old baby. I've heard that your milk production increases when you breastfeed your baby often. The problem is that my baby sucks a little and then goes to sleep. I rub their hands and feet to try and keep them awake but they keep sleeping... Should I wake my baby up? Or should I breastfeed them again later, when they wake up, with a breast pump?

CASE 1:

0~2 weeks Old Newborn

Does your newborn baby continue to breastfeed and then fall asleep? Newborn babies between 0 and 2 weeks of age are often unable to breastfeed because they are sleeping. During this time, please select a course of action that prioritises increasing the amount of breast milk.

If your baby doesn't wake up, try using the breast pump. At 2-4 weeks of age, your child will naturally have puffy eyes. In preparation for the 2nd-4th weeks after birth (the time when your baby starts to drink more milk), it is a priority to increase the amount of milk at this point.

CASE 2:

Newborns at 2-4 Weeks of Age

For babies 2-4 weeks old, we recommend waking them up and feeding them more.

At this age, babies need to suckle and grow rapidly. If your baby continues to sleep at the 2nd-4th week of life, the amount of time they spend sleeping at night will decrease. Their stomach capacity also does not increase, making it difficult to lengthen the breastfeeding term. Try to wake up your baby 1-3 times before letting them sleep while breastfeeding.

Tip:

There are golden timings for waking up your baby too. Try to capture the moment when their mouth is still sucking the mother's milk, but their eyes are slowly closing. The baby's mouth is moving, but their eyes are closed. They are sucking milk with her mouth with their eyes closed. Even after 5 to 10 seconds in this situation, the child's lips stop moving and they fall asleep. Wait 5 seconds. Will the baby suck again? If so, that's fine. You can continue to breastfeed.

 

breastfeeding baby

 

But what if your baby doesn't move their mouth after 5 seconds? Then do it like the video above. Gently push the baby's back toward your chest. Just push them so that your nipple is buried deep in the baby's mouth. Our babies have an instinct to not let go of anything that comes into their mouth. If you try to remove your nipple because they seem asleep, your baby will suckle harder. You can use this instinct to better put your breast into your baby's mouth.

 

baby sleeping with a blanket

 

My baby fell asleep even after using the above method, what should I do?

Your baby must be fully awakened.

First, loosen the tightly wrapped inner wrap. If the temperature in the house is warm, it's okay to take your baby’s clothes off altogether. Lay the sleeping baby on a flat surface (e.g., crib or living room). This will cause your baby to twist and wake up.

This is a strategy that reverses the use of the 'back sensor'. If your baby wakes up crying, don't comfort them right away, but let them cry for 30 seconds. White noise can be used when the baby wakes up completely crying. If the mother makes a louder sound than the baby's cry, the baby will stop crying while listening to the sound.

Breastfeed when your baby has stopped crying. Praise your baby when they suck well. Even the youngest newborn understands the voice of praise.

#Parenting advice from Director Hyang-Hwa Kwon

To the mothers who ask, “Do I have to do this?”

You may be wondering, “Should I use this method to breastfeed?” However, this phenomenon only occurs briefly in newborns. After a month, your baby will start to find milk on its own. However, during the newborn period, frequent breastfeeding increases the amount of milk, and the child can learn how to breastfeed.

So, waking the baby often helps you and your baby later. The important thing here is that breastfeeding as a woman and a mother is not our only goal. Our goal is not to be really good at breastfeeding alone but to raise your baby to be physically and mentally healthy. If you want to be a full-time breastfeeding mother, you can wake your baby up and breastfeed frequently. If you want to choose mixed breastfeeding or formula feeding instead of full breast milk, that's fine too. A stress-free parenting method for parents is always a priority.

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Author: Kwon Hyang-hwa

- Newborn Childcare Coach
- IBCLC International Breastfeeding Specialist
- Worked as the director of a postpartum care center for 10 years.