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Do I need to wake up an infant for feeding?

Do I need to wake up babe for feeding?

Newborn baby in the first month of his life more than 20 hours a day spends on a dream, and the rest of the time – to get food. Often a child falls asleep during feeding or sleeps too hard and long, shifting the schedule of meals. How correctly to organize a dream and feeding for the newborn baby?

Many pediatricians (especially the older generation) recommend feeding the baby every 2-3 hours. If it is a question of night feeding, doctors often insist that a young mother wakes her child when he sleeps for a long time. Although in fact, not everything is so straightforward.

It is generally believed that a long sleep of a newborn is right and good. Sleeping baby gives mom the opportunity to do household chores, take time to herself, just relax.

But the newborn, in the opinion of WHO pediatricians, can not sleep more than five hours: a child’s dream lasting more than five hours in a row is capable of doing harm as well as his absence. Especially it concerns premature babies or children who gain weight poorly. To gain sufficient body weight, the child should eat well. Strict sleep and feeding regimen is not suitable for all babies, but an individual (mixed) feeding schedule will be comfortable for both mother and baby. Such a regime with breaks between feedings of no more than 3.5-4 hours will help to adjust lactation in the mother and ensure satiety of the baby. Frequent application of the baby to the breast will provide a tide of sufficient milk, and will also prevent mastitis.

Literally a few years ago, pediatricians advised mothers to feed children strictly at regular intervals. The length of time was 2-3 hours. After the conducted researches, scientists established that newborns should be fed on demand. But many parents have learned from their own experience that it is better to use a mixed regime for feeding. It is to feed the baby on demand, but the interval between feedings should not exceed 4 hours.

Long interruptions between feedings during breastfeeding can adversely affect both the baby and his mother:

  • In newborns, a long interval between meals can cause dehydration, as well as a drop in sugar levels;
  • A break in the mother can cause stagnation of milk and a decrease in lactation.

When deciding whether to awaken a child for GW for feeding, you should consider several factors.

If a newborn sleeps more than 3 hours – this is an occasion to reflect and turn to the pediatrician. In the meantime, it is better to wake him up so that the baby can eat, because in the first month of life a long break between meals will almost certainly negatively affect the condition of the baby.


To wake a newborn baby, parents should use soft, but effective ways. If manipulation is wrong, there is a risk of frightening the crumbs. The baby should go from sleep phase to wakeful phase comfortably, so that his nervous system does not suffer from unsuccessful actions of adults.

  1. Dim light is considered the most suitable for awakening. A bright light can frighten a kid and cause him to cry.
  2. Pediatricians are advised to wake the baby when he is in the active phase of sleep. It can be determined by the characteristic motor activity - the baby tugs the arms and legs slightly, smiles in a dream, his eyelids and lips tremble. This period of sleep is superficial, so it's much easier to get out of it to a child than from a deep sleep phase. If the baby sleeps tightly, and when you lift his pen up, he does not react, so his sleep passes in the deep phase. It is not recommended to wake a babe at such a moment. In order not to frighten the crumb, it is better to wait a little. The deep phase lasts no longer than 20-30 minutes.
  3. Call the baby by the name in a quiet, calm voice, without changing the intonation. Mother's calmness is transmitted to the baby.
  4. Tactile contact also contributes to a mild awakening: the child can be stroked by the handles, head and body, gently tickled the heel, slightly move the handles and legs. You can speed up the process by taking the baby in your arms: contact with your mother will not let the baby get scared, but the change of position and the closeness of the native person will drive the dream away.
  5. The sleeper wrapped or swaddled should be freed from blankets, diapers and the upper layer of clothing: lowering the temperature will also help the baby to easily go into the waking phase.
  6. After awakening it is important not to let the baby close his eyes again, distracting him from drowsiness by talking, soft stroking, familiar actions (for example, changing a diaper).

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