While most babies will usually wake themselves for feeds, there are a few who need a little nudge.
Waking your infant for feeds depends on their age and general health. Typically, a newborn can lose up to 10% of their body weight after birth. Until they regain this lost weight it is important that they are fed at regular times. However, once they are of a good weight it is ok to wait until they wake up to feed them.
Remember, newborns need about eight to 12 feeds in a 24 hour period. This works out at about one meal every two to three hours. At this stage it is very important that they get enough milk in order for them to develop and grow.
While waking them may sound cruel there are a number of benefits to it. Frequent feeding not only helps baby but it is also very important to mums who are breastfeeding. By feeding at regular intervals, nursing mothers will be able to establish a good milk supply and flow.
Your little one will also benefit because the sooner you start their feed, the less likely they will become distressed. Stirring, restlessness and lip movements are all signs that your bundle of joy is hungry although a lot of mums wait until they are crying before giving them milk. In fact, crying is actually a late sign of hunger. This is why babies are usually frantic at this stage.
If you find that your youngster does not want to be woken, try changing their nappy, stroking their hands and feet or giving them a little back massage. Talking to them, making eye contact and giving them as much skin-on-skin contact will also help to rouse them. However, even if your little one doesn’t fully wake up they can still breastfeed.
As they get older you will start to notice that they will set their own little sleeping and eating pattern.