When they say breast is best, they don't tell you that for some babies, getting them to stay awake long enough to take a full breast feed can sometimes be harder than conquering the skill of breast feeding itself. Newborns particularly seem to arrive complete with the knack of falling asleep the moment they start guzzling, making it near impossible to nurse for long periods and thus ensuring you will be feeding around the clock. Full feeds avoid all day (and night) snacking and encourage longer sleep periods.
Photo: Parenting Patch - Wikimedia Commons
With this in mind, here are some of the tips I've used to try to keep my babies awake when all they want to do is doze when feeding.
1. Frequent burping during a breast feed
2. Tickling their feet.
3. Keeping a wet face cloth or baby wipe on hand to lightly rouse them.
4. Switch breast during the feed.
5. Change the nappy during the feed to stimulate your baby.
6. Sing or chat to your baby during the feed (avoid sleepy time lullabies).
7. Stroke your baby or walk your fingers up its spine and legs .
8. Do not dim lights until near to the end of the feed.
9. Blow lightly on your baby's face or forehead.
10. Keep the baby lightly dressed so that they do not get too cosy and drowsy.
What other tips worked for you with your baby to try to keep them awake for longer periods during nursing?