Why Does Your Baby Fall Asleep While Breastfeeding?
While breastfeeding should come “naturally,” the reality is that as you and your baby settle down to a rhythm, there is some learning and unlearning. And just when you think you’ve figured it all out, your little one might decide to give it all up and just go to sleep! Why is your baby sleeping when they are supposed to feed lustfully? A few factors could explain why babies drift off during nursing from the obvious to practical and physiological reasons.
1. They’re Full
This is the simplest and most obvious reason. Newborns typically doze off at the breast when they’re satisfied after a feeding. When their tummy is full and they are warm and comfortable, why wouldn’t they get a nice nap in! In fact, it’s almost impossible to keep breastfeeding babies awake when their tummy is full for the first few months. Experts even suggest that as your baby grows older, it’s best put them to bed (or crib!) when they’re slightly awake so they get used to sleeping without nursing. Also, establish a relaxing routine at bedtime as soon as possible. This should help your baby get to sleep without a fuss and disassociate nursing from sleep.
2. They Have Not Latched On Properly
Babies who are not properly latching on can also fall asleep on the breast. Another sign of an inappropriate latch is that during feeding you may feel discomfort or pain. If your baby sleeps too soon–say, about 5 minutes after latching on or sucking for just 2 to 3 minutes–they may not get enough milk for proper growth and weight gain. If enough milk is not removed from your breasts, the amount of milk produced for the baby will also be reduced.
3. Their Birth Weight Was Low
If your baby had a low birth weight, i.e. below 51⁄2 pounds at birth, during breastfeeding you may face some challenges. You may find that during feedings your baby is sleepier than normal. They may also require additional skin-to-skin contact to keep feedings warm and more common. But remember that breast milk can help babies who are small or premature to stay healthy and grow. So it’s just a matter of steadily and persistently staying at it.
- Your baby is not nursing sufficiently: Newborns typically need to nurse 8 to 14 times a day.
- They don’t pass enough stools or urine: Usually a week old baby produces 6 wet diapers and has about 3 movements of stools per day.
They don’t gain enough weight: the first few days after birth, some babies will lose a little weight. But after the first week, your baby should gain weight steadily. They typically gain 2/3rd to an ounce every day until they’re about 3 months old.
If your baby doesn’t seem to follow these standards, it’s best to have a word with your doctor. If you’re worried that your baby doesn’t get enough milk, don’t hesitate to reach your doctor.