September 10, 2006,
R. asks from Morrisville, PA on August 16, 2006
My 2 Month Old Is a Lazy Eater and Always Falls Asleep When Nursing....
My baby always falls asleep when nursing. This is only a problem when he wants to eat an hour later and so on. I have tickled his feet, tapped his cheek, and nothing will keep him awake when he wants to sleep. I also think that his night time sleeping patterns might be better if he went to bed on a full stomach. I know that I am partly his 'pacifier' and he often just wants comforting and to be close to me. This is also a problem when my husband gives him a bottle and he just won't drift off to sleep like he does with me. He is so used to nursing and being comforted by me and then sleeping that my husband and eventually daycare will be so frustrated by his crying from not getting what he is used to. What can I do to get him used to eating more when he nurses w/o falling asleep during his meal and then allowing others to feed him and comfort him enough to let him drift off to sleep? Yes, this is 2 questions but I'd appreciate feedback for either or both if you can offer some help!
D. answers from New York on August 17, 2006
My son was the same way. He always fell asleep while nursing. One of the things my nursing consultant suggested was to take off all their cloths (of course being that it's August, that isn't going to help much). Tickle his feet or use a cool face cloth . I did this because I wanted my son to learn how to fall asleep on his own, and not by using me. Talk to him in a loud voice or take him off the breast and don't start again until he's awake again. He will eventually learn that "dinner time" is dinner time not nap time. If it's the sucking that helps him fall asleep, like most babies, give him a pacifier. I know this can be difficult, but if you start giving him good sleep habits now it will be easier in the long run.
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M.B. answers from Philadelphia on August 16, 2006
When I was nursed our kids I was told to undress them a little bit. It suppose to wake them up so they would feed well. I have tried that with all three and it seemed to work.
B.T. answers from York on August 16, 2006
I was also told about the undressing thing. My lactation consultant said strip him all the way down to his diaper. I did this several times and it seemed to work.
Your other problem with your husband feeding him with a bottle...are you in the room when he is trying? If so, you really need to remove yourself from the situation, he can smell you. I know it might sound funny but he can. Which makes him frustrated because he isn't getting "the good stuff".
Good luck and believe me it gets a lot easier. My son is 8 months today and you will miss the times when they are sleeping all the time so you can nap too!
K.R. answers from Philadelphia on August 16, 2006
Hi R., I nursed my 2nd daughter and she would also fall asleep and I would be a "pacifier". Try to keep awake even when bottle feeding. I am stay at home and I would give her comfort and nurse to sleep-Big mistake on my part. She got to, if I didnt nurse to sleep, she wasnt falling asleep. She didnt know how to put herself to sleep. When the baby goes to daycare, if you already have one picked out, call them and ask their advice. I'm sure you are not the only one with that question. They will help you get the baby on schedule. Also, when trying to wake him up, use a slightle cool damp rag and mabey touch his neck and cheek. My daughter loved warm rags but would wake right up for a chilly one!. Take care and hope this helps ypu.
E.D. answers from York on August 17, 2006
I love the moms on this site! They are so well informed and honest and caring!
I'd like to add my 2 cents. As long as your baby continues to suck while he is at the breast he is still getting milk. If you try and keep him on until he falls off on his own he will get the milk his tiny hard working body needs. Then perhaps he will go a little longer between nursings.
Nursing is comforting as well as nourishing. Comfort is very imortant to all humans. Babies like and NEED to be with their mothers. MOTHERS NEED FATHERS. If your baby lets your husband or anyone else give him a bottle get on your knees and thank your baby. If not then just know that he is like every other baby out there. He wants his mama because mama's have what is best.
The word pacifier is very interesting - "What is a pacifier but a plastic substitute for the breast?" Stephanie Ondrack Mothering Magazine July/August 2006. Skin to skin is what they crave. It's what they expect and their expectation are not based on something they overheard or saw on TV. Their expectations are in their very DNA. Babies and Adults alike everyone craves human contact. You could try to give your baby the breast every time he atcs like he needs it. If your nipples are tired try your pinky first (or another finger) and the plastic substitute last.
D. answers from New York on August 17, 2006
sleeping and eating are NOT related. your baby won't sleep better on a full stomach. your baby will sleep better if he is allowed to sleep as much as he wants. first - try to nurse him when he starts actually screaming for it. this way he'll really work to fill himself up and won't doze off. why is it a problem for your baby to doze off with you and a problem when he doesn't doze off your husband - i'm slightly confused. does your baby not sleep at all until you breastfeed him??
S.J. answers from Hartford on August 17, 2006
My daughter (7 weeks old) also does this. What I've done is not feed her until she is completely awake. This may sound a little cruel, but I let her cry for about 5 minutes, so that I know she is really awake. I don't breast feed, but its about the same. She is now drinking a good 3.5 oz before burping, and then finishing off her bottle while drifting to sleep. Another trick I do is tap the bottom of the bottle with my fingernail. For some reason, this stimulates her sucking.
Hope it helps.
A.C. answers from Boston on August 16, 2006
I had this problem with my son. He was quite small when he was born and it took all of the energy in his little body to feed. He would fall asleep instantly while breastfeeding. I would pat his feet and cheek, but like you, this didn't always work. You can try changing his diaper if he falls asleep. That may be just enough to wake him a bit to eat. Worked most of the time with me. You could also try to divert his attention to something interesting ie: a toy that makes noise or anything else he has shown interest in. Also, to address the "being used as a pacifier" issue, (i had it too-he wouldn't take a pacifier until about 1 1/2 months) will he take a pacifier? If so, when you manage to keep him awake enough to eat and you know he is full, try to give a pacifier instead of breastfeeding. Good luck!