Ways to Keep Your Baby Awake While Breastfeeding

Ways to Keep Your Baby Awake While BreastfeedingThe thought of falling asleep while eating is pretty funny for an adult, but babies are excellent at this skill. Breastfeeding is delightfully pleasing and relaxing. Your baby is suckling, snuggled close and wrapped in the warmth of her favorite person, and her belly is being filled with the most delicious and nutritious breast milk. That’s enough to make anyone fall asleep, especially a tired baby. But sometimes you need to keep your baby awake while breastfeeding to ensure she finishes her meal.

Today we’re sharing ways to keep your baby awake while breastfeeding:

Naked Baby: Stripping your baby down to her diaper may encourage your baby to stay awake. Once she’s out of the warmth of her clothes and swaddle, the cooler air can be stimulating enough. You can still keep her warm with skin-to-skin cuddles.

Talk and Sing: Your baby loves to hear your voice and she may not want to miss a moment of what you have to say. Chatter and sing away to keep her interested in both breastfeeding and your words.

Burp and Switch: Burping your baby every few minutes can interrupt the breastfeeding trance before she falls asleep. You can also switch breasts several times during a feeding to keep her on the move.

Diaper Change: When you need major stimulation to keep your baby awake while breastfeeding, do a diaper change, whether she really needs one or not. Most babies don’t sleep through diaper changes and chances are she’ll stay up for awhile afterwards.

Alone Time: If you know your baby is hungry but continues to doze during a feeding, lie her on a flat surface for a minute or two. She will probably start to fuss and look around for the milk. Just a moment of being upset may be all she needs to stay up for that yummy breast milk.

Tickle: Tickle your baby on different areas of her body. Try her feet and toes, armpits, belly or around her neck and face. This refreshing touch may intrigue your baby enough to stay awake.

Wet Washcloth: When you need extra reinforcements, try the washcloth trick. Pat a damp washcloth on your baby’s feet or neck. The coolness will keep her eyes wide open.

Change the Scene: If a dark, familiar room makes your baby drowsy, try moving the feeding to a brighter, livelier environment. It’s hard to sleep when there s a lot of light and commotion in the background.

Massage the Palm: Using your thumbs, massage your baby’s palms. This is called the Palmer Reflex and may help get your baby ready to eat.

Exercise: Invigorate your baby with a little exercise. Cycle her feet, flap her arms or pull her into a seated position as if she’s doing sit-ups. She probably won’t be able to resist wakefulness during a baby workout.

Sources: KellyMom and My Baby Sleep Guide