October 25, 2020

Baby Falls Asleep While Feeding: Your Action

Newborns under 6 months sleep about 12-18 hours a day. They often sweetly snooze during feeding. It seems to moms that their tots haven’t eaten fill and have fallen asleep hungry. In this situation, moms can’t bring themselves to waking up their babies for continuing the “dinner.” What should one do if a baby falls asleep while bottle-feeding or breast-feeding? You will find the answer to this question in our post.

A Habit or a Disease?

When a baby falls asleep during feeding, again and again, he/she associates the process of feeding with sleeping. A tot will show that he/she needs a feeding bottle whenever he/she is tired and ready to sleep. However, it does not necessarily mean that the tiny little child is hungry. It just means that he/she has got used to falling asleep this way. Building up an interlink between food and sleeping increases the risk of developing sleep disturbances.

Baby Falls Asleep While Bottle-feeding

To distinguish this associative habit from a neurological disease, you should pay attention to the tot’s behavior during other life moments. Analyze his/her behavior during sleep, stay awake at daytime, or spend time in the open air.

You should consult a doctor if snoozing in the process of bottle-feeding is combined with the following symptoms:

•        The baby sleeps badly, tumbles, cries.

•        Your tot sleeps too much; it is difficult to wake her/him up for the next feeding.

•        The infant often refuses breastfeeding (or formula), gains weight badly, or even loses weight, doesn’t develop physically and psychically according to the norms.

•        The little one constantly acts up, unwillingly interacts with his/her mom and dad. The newborn is not very active, moves the head and limbs with an effort.

•        After hysterics, the baby falls asleep very fast, having a long and deep sleep. After waking up, the baby goes into hysterics again.

If you, fortunately, haven’t noticed anything like this in your child’s behavior, then keep reading. Our pieces of advice will help you to unlearn your baby from falling asleep while feeding.

How to Make the Process of Feeding Correct?

The infant eats for 5 minutes, falls asleep for a while, and then asks “the dinner” again. In this case, mom is better to change the process of feeding. Find a way how to wake up the little thing for him/her to eat fill at once. After it, the baby won’t feel hunger and will have a sound sleep.

Use such tried-and-true tricks as:

  • Drive the snooze away tenderly. Talk to your child; draw his or her attention with a toy, touches, or kisses. If the little thing closes the eyes, shake his/her leg or arm, slightly tap your hand on the tot’s cheek.
  • Drive the snooze away tenderly. Talk to your child; draw his or her attention with a toy, touches, or kisses. If the little thing closes the eyes, shake his/her leg or arm, slightly tap your hand on the tot’s cheek.
  • Drive the snooze away tenderly. Talk to your child; draw his or her attention with a toy, touches, or kisses. If the little thing closes the eyes, shake his/her leg or arm, slightly tap your hand on the tot’s cheek.
  • If it is hot in the premises, stop feeding, undress the baby. It will drive the drowse away and sleepiness. You can also turn on the lights.
  • Keep the time between breast-feedings strictly. Feed the newborn every 2 or 3 hours when the baby wants it but not too often. Try to make the baby get hungry.

Do not stick to the definite feeding duration. Pediatricians assure that the newborn should be at mom’s breast, not less than 15 minutes. But babies have different levels of activity and diverse strength of sucking. Some tots suck for 7-10 minutes to eat their fill. And weaker babies suck for a long time, taking their time. The feeding, in this case, may last for 15-20 minutes.

Don’t let your baby develop a habit of falling asleep during feeding. It would help if you got your child to bed for a day or night sleeping with the help of other methods. You can sing a lullaby, read books, rock your child in a cradle, or lull in your arms. Otherwise, the newborn will develop a habit to associate sucking with falling asleep. Try to feed your tot for 30 or 40 minutes before this stage of the newborn routine.

Wake up your little sleepyhead who is holding the nipple of breast or bottle in the mouth at the first stage of sleeping, namely – while dozing. Don’t wait until he/she falls deeply asleep. It’s easy to define it. When the child is dozing, his or her eyelids startle, the pupils’ move, a smile appears on the face.

Important note: you mustn’t wake up your baby with loud sounds or strong shaking. It will negatively influence the tot’s nervous system; he/she may get a scare. After coming through a couple of such stressful situations, the baby will have problems with falling asleep. And the feeding bottle won’t help anyway.

Should You Awaken Your Baby?

The situations when you should awaken your child

  1. The newborn falls asleep after 1-2 sucks. He or she hasn’t eaten to the full and will be sleeping only for a couple of minutes. Hunger is sure to wake him/her up. In this situation, you’d better awaken the tot and feed him/her to the full.
  2. Your baby systematically falls asleep during feeding. It happens whenever he/she starts sucking. The tot has developed the habit of dozing with the bottle in the mouth. It badly influences the quality of mom’s and baby’s rest.
  3. The tiny tot gains weight too slowly; his/her physical development hangs behind if compared with babies of the same age. Apparently, your baby is preterm or has been weakened by disease. He or she especially needs good and systematic feeding to recover strength.

And when you needn’t wake up your baby

  1. The baby has been actively sucking the breast or has been eating formula for more than 10 minutes.
  2. The little tot has eaten not long before the scheduled feeding. In mom’s opinion, her baby is not hungry.
  3. Your baby gains weight quite well; he/she is active when you take him/her outside. The little one plays and develops according to age peculiarities.
  4. The child is ill; he has a temperature.
  5. The baby has been crying too much before breastfeeding; he/she has gone through stress and has experienced a great deal of negative or positive emotions.
  6. Your child has just been born. He hasn’t reached the age of 1 month yet. At this age, babies are weaker, especially if the births were too hard for the baby. Failures to keep the daily routine and strange behavior are still the norm.

Do You Need to Place Your Baby in Upright Position After He or She Has Fallen Asleep?

Burping up after feeding is a common thing for a babe in arms. This physiological process is dangerous for little tots who are staying in the horizontal position. Babies are to be kept upright and straight after eating. It helps to get rid of gases, lessens the stomach’s pressure, and puts away extra air from the GIT. The vertical position also helps the milk to move smoothly down to the stomach for digesting. If a baby decided to sleep while eating, and his/her mom hadn’t had enough time to walk around the room for preventing burping, one should do the following:

  • Do not wake the baby up if he/she has fallen asleep, and nothing disturbs him/her. Transfer the sleepyhead carefully to the crib.
  • Place the little tot on the side, not on the back.
  • Put under the shoulder, a small roller (support) rolled from a baby’s blanket. The baby’s head should be above his/her body. Stay near your child for 10-15 minutes. It would be best if you didn’t leave him alone now. Burping can happen at any time. If the baby has woken up, he/she is beginning to act up, and you have to lull the tot, try to hold him/her vertically. Put the little head on your shoulder slightly tap on the baby’s back. It would help if you walked around the room, holding your tot upright for 5-10 minutes. When the tot has made a burp and has fallen asleep in your arms, you can put him/her in the crib on a smooth surface without using a roller.

If a newborn burps a small amount of food after feeding, it is considered to be ok. This physiological process doesn’t need curing. It will disappear in 7 or 9 months.

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