There are loads of parents out there who have infants who can be termed as sleepy eaters. They tend to wake up feeling really hungry but while eating go off to sleep. Then they are woken up again and they start eating rather ferociously as if they have been starving for days. However, in another couple of minutes, they would be back to the dreamland. It seems that your breast milk is infused with some sleep inducing substances or your baby is comforted by sucking.
It can take plenty of hard work and effort on the part of a mother to complete the full feeding sessions. A full feed ensures that eat, activity and sleep routine of the infant remains well established and he gets the adequate amount of sleep, diet and activity that is essential for his growth and development. It also helps moms to figure out the time for which their babies remain awake and encourage their nighttime sleep. Fortunately for all the mothers out there, an infant is able to stay awake during feeding sessions by 6 weeks of age.
Tips to keep baby awake during feeding
- Get the baby to burp and transition between breasts frequently
- Get the diaper changed during the feeding
- Massage or tickle the baby’s feet or hands
- Rub his face
- Sing lullabies to the baby or talk to him
- Stroke baby’s spine or rub your finger’s up and down baby’s back
- Apply washcloth on the baby’s face or neck
- Blow gently into the baby’s face
- Remove the infant’s apparel
- Make the infant sit upright since it is a difficult position for the baby to sleep in
- Place the infant next to you without blanket. After a few fleeting moments, the baby will begin to fuss and start moving his little limbs. This means that he is ready to be fed again. It is a handy approach and does not consume a lot of energy of an already tired mom
- Bicycle infant’s legs and arms
- Get the baby fed in an illuminated and noisy ambience
- Dance your fingers on the crown of the infant’s head. This assists the baby in sucking and swallowing for a longer duration of time
- Give massage to your infant’s palms in circles with your thumb. This can assist the baby in opening his mouth and get nursed
How to tell if a baby is eating or sleeping
Numerous babies love to eat with their eyes closed or suck during sleep, it can become complicated to determine if a baby is eating or sleeping. There are babies who begin to do some quivery thing while sucking. Some infants slow down their sucking to a great extent which can also indicate that they want to make a transition to the other breast. If you observe your infant’s eyelids flicker back and forth they he may be indulged in REM sleep. It will take some getting used to and some time as well before you begin to realize when your baby is awake and when he is eating.
Some more information
- If you cannot force your baby into getting fed, give him another half an hour to get some sleep and then make another attempt
- Typically, a feeding session lasts 45 minutes. There can be exceptions to this since it is definitely not a rule of thumb. If your baby tends to take longer than this amount of time, then there is a probability that he is sleeping during the feeding session
- A baby that feels too sleepy while eating may require more wakeup time. If your baby is fussy about sleeping for nap or bedtime, then this could be the reason.
- Here is some useful information if you are breastfeeding and you are anxious about your milk supply.