Breastfeeding babies sounds simple, but it’s not as easy to do as you think. Sometimes, it will take a little experience and skill to handle unexpected situations.
One issue that worries mothers the most is that the baby falls asleep while breastfeeding but still hungry.
Is there a solution for this difficult case? Will it have any effect on the newborn? Keep reading to find out the answer!
Baby Falls Asleep While Breastfeeding But Still Hungry – Is It Normal?
Sometimes, the baby keeps falling asleep while breastfeeding makes you worried. Why is your newborn so often sleepy, and is it a warning of danger? The answer is no.
A newborn falls asleep during feeding as a programmed action by the cholecystokinin hormone (CCK).
When babies breastfeed, this hormone increases in their intestines, making them feel full then drowsy.
The younger the child, the higher the concentration of this hormone. Babies cry because they are hungry but quickly fall asleep right after being breastfed.
What Should I Do If A Baby Falls Asleep While Breastfeeding But Still Hungry?
If your baby sleeps while breastfeeding but is still hungry, there is a good chance that he will wake up soon after that (30 minutes) to eat again.
It’s best to keep him awake (switch nursing), squeeze out the milk more, get skin-to-skin, and check the latch often to ensure he gets a good feed.
1. Keep Them Awake During Feedings
To help you be less confused about what I do when my baby falls asleep while breastfeeding, keeping them awake is the first method.
Start with switching nursing. This means that once you observe that your newborn starts to suck slowly and less often, swap them for the other breast.
This is a gentle way to wake up and signal to the baby that it is easier to feed on the other side.
2. Breast Compression
Your child will gradually become drowsy when no milk or milk supply slows down. In addition to switching sides as above, you can use your hands to press on your chest gently.
The best way is to bend your hand like a C and apply a little pressure to make the milk flow slightly stronger.
3. Check The Latch
A good feeding position helps them to suckle more and avoid drowsiness. Ensure he opens his mouth wide and covers part of the areola.
In case you do not know how to adjust accordingly, ask for the help of experts for further advice.
4. Get Skin-To-Skin
Skin-to-skin contact helps babies feel their mother’s presence; sometimes, a light touch can make them less sleepy.
You can pat or gently touch your newborn when they slow down and fall asleep.
5. Use Attachment
If your baby has difficulty suckling directly or your breasts are prone to clogged milk. An alternative is bottle-feeding.
You can squeeze breast milk directly and store it in specialized bottles or refrigerators so you can use it when needed.
However, consult your doctor to ensure you know the correct and sufficient steps.
Don’t forget to warm the milk before giving it to your newborn, even when the baby know how to hold his bottle.
6. Take Extra Care Of Your Breasts
Your breasts also need rest and care to get a regular milk supply and limit the stinging pain after breastfeeding.
It is best to let your little one empty the milk from one breast before switching sides.
Otherwise, the long-term accumulation of milk will lead to blocked milk ducts, which is very harmful to the mother’s health.
Why Are Some Newborns More Sleepy Than Others?
As mentioned above, a hormone makes babies feel fuller and more sleepy after feeding.
However, to the question of why does my baby fall asleep while breastfeeding, we have more than one answer.
- Recover from birth: For newborns, it’s completely normal to sleep to recover from birth, especially if you’ve had a difficult delivery or taken in a small amount of pain reliever during labor.
- Jaundice: This is a normal symptom. As long as you feed your infant enough, jaundice will quickly subside.
- Not having enough milk: if they aren’t fed enough, they will sleep to save energy. It would be better for mothers to learn more about how to use a spectra breast pump to reserve milk for their newborns.
It needs to be reaffirmed once again; somnolence during breastfeeding is normal in babies.
This will not last long, and throughout, it especially appears in the early stages, when children learn to get used to and adapt to the outside world.
A comfortable position or a full stomach will make your baby sleep better.
How Do You Know If Your Newborn Is Eating Enough?
If baby falls asleep while nursing, are they full?
To find out the answer to your concern, learn some ways and tips below to make guesses depending on each specific situation:
They Are Happy And Pleasant
If you see a 4-month-old falling asleep while nursing but still looking very relaxed and comfortable, this is a good sign that your newborn is full.
They Are Feeding On Time
Babies often feed in batches throughout the day. This helps them absorb nutrients properly, and the mother will have time for the milk to recover.
You need to breastfeed 10 to 12 times in 24 hours for babies under two months. Each feeding can last from 20 to 45 minutes. If your baby has fewer feeds or less time, consult your doctor.
They Can Gain Weight
The baby’s weight may fluctuate slightly in the first few days and gradually stabilize after the 10th day.
From this point, their weight will increase with proper care. A 6-month-old newborn will usually weigh twice as much as when just born.
The Newborn Is Swallowing During Feeding
When suckling on the breast, the baby will use force and suck quickly to let the milk flow.
All you need to do is observe the baby’s mouth movements. If they swallow it, it indicates they are taking some milk.
When your newborn shows signs of sucking or refusing to feed, gently wake them up; once full, the baby will fall asleep comfortably.
Your Breasts Are Softer After Feeding
The more milk your baby suckles, the softer your breasts will be after he finishes feeding.
Cleaning your breasts after each feed is a great way to keep your newborn full, and you’ll feel more comfortable, too.
You Need To Change Many Diaper A Day
In the first few days, the number of times your baby goes to the toilet will not be stable but depends on each newborn. This number will increase from day 1 to day 7.
After that, you will then need to change your baby’s dirty diaper 8 to 10 times a day.
Signs Your Baby Isn’t Getting Enough Breastmilk
Why does my baby still seem hungry after breastfeeding?
Before asking this question, confirm whether your child is really hungry. Effortlessly, pay attention to a few points:
- The infant looks lethargic, has trouble waking up, and sleeps longer than usual (normal feeding time is every 2 to 4 hours).
- Feed babies for too short a time when they haven’t had enough to eat. Or vice versa, when suckling for a long time, the breastfed baby has a habit of latching on to the mother’s nipple rather than breast feeding properly.
- The newborn does not gain weight, and the body is thinner.
- Your little one does not pass stools, and urine is dark in color
- The baby is fussy and upset when others touch them. Sometimes, they will be restless and fall asleep easily.
- Baby falls asleep while breastfeeding then wakes up crying can singal they’re too sleepy but still hungry simultaneously.
- Thumb sucking or the newborn’s mouth still open after being fed is also a sign of not being full and needing more milk.
Will baby fall asleep on breast if still hungry? If you’re concerned, the answer is yes. But now, you know how to identify whether they are hungry or just a normal expression.
And that’s all! You’ve all the necessary information about if the baby falls asleep while breastfeeding but still hungry.
Expectedly, this post is informative enough for you to take care of your babies and suitably feed them.
Remember that you should observe your newborn’s actions and status to solve the problem properly.
If the situation is negative – your newborn can’t gain weight and is too sleepy, don’t hesitate to consult the doctor.