Do any of you have a suggestion on how to get baby to keep nursing?He falls asleep after a few min.

Sharon - posted on 04/15/2010 ( 27 moms have responded )

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My grandson will fall asleep after a couple of minutes at the breast and lets the nipple fall out. He's waken many times, but, doesn't take the job seriously. He did have a bottle for a couple of days because milk didn't come in for 4 days. Mommy & Daddy are so tired. He cries. The babies uncle would fall asleep, but never let go, when I patted his feet he'd get back to busines. That doesn't work w/ the grandson.

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Erin - posted on 04/16/2010

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First I would suggest no more bottles! Thats definitely going to hurt Mom's supply and cause nipple confusion with the baby. If she needs to supplement (check with a lactation consultant don't depend on the doc or pediatrician to be sufficiently trained in infant nutrition and bf'ing) there are lactation aids where the baby will still nurse from Mama thereby stimulating production but getting the extra calories from the formula (I had to do this as my milk didn't come in for well over a week). Next my daughter was a lazy nurser and a grazer as well, I would have to strip her down to a diaper and have a cool cloth handy to apply to her feet when she would start to fall asleep (tickling never worked for us), I was also told to make sure I fed her every 2 hours until she got used to demanding to be fed by herself (I think this took about 3 or 4 weeks). Good luck and its great he has such a supportive Grandma!

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[deleted account]

I agree with Erin, I used the EASY meathod. I learned this from "The baby whisperer" book. EASY stands for, Eat - Activity - Sleep - You. You don't need a time schedule, but this routine really worked for me. The baby Eats, Then gets an activity, Then sleeps, Then it's time for You. It was such a great tool to use, they never went to bed with a bottle. Get the book, it had some great ideas in it.

[deleted account]

Hi Sharon! The best thing to do is actually put your grandson down to sleep awake, without being fed then feed upon waking - he will definitely be ready for a good solid feed then. At first he may cry - maybe even 20 mins the first time, but in a day or two he'll get into the routine. THe benefit of this as well is that he'll learn to get himself to sleep. Some babies suck their thumb, some tug at their ear, some twirl their hair, the point is to let them practise so that they find their own comforting way - it really doesn't take long and works like a charm.

All the best!

Erin Kurt
www.erinparenting.com
Author of "Juggling Family Life: A Step-By-Step Guide to Stress-Free Parenting"

Jennifer - posted on 04/20/2010

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Lactation nurses are great, I still use them and my son it two, they are helping me with weaning issues. They are the ones who told me to try and nudge them a bit and such when they fall asleep at the breast. Trying different positions also helps. This phase does not last long as with most phases with children.

[deleted account]

If she is still having the same situation, I would drag her to a lactation nurse!! They are so awesome it is unbelievable. They have so many answers and always made me feel at ease. It just takes a little car ride and an appointment. She'll feel so much better.

Jennifer - posted on 04/19/2010

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We also had this experience, we had to keep waking him up and eventually he got out of this phase... we would just move position or nudge him over and over.

Carla - posted on 04/17/2010

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WARNING, WATCH FOR FAILURE TO THRIVE, My middle child did the same. The dr. told me he was a sleepy baby, and would not let him self starve. He continued to loose weight and we ended up with a failure to thrive baby. The pediatrician had me nurse him, using wet cloths to wake him, try to rub his feet, etc., but when he just wouldn't respond, he had me nurse him, then pump or express what was left, put it in a bottle, then stick it in his mouth and bottle feed him the rest. We did this for a couple of mos., always nursing both sides as much as possible first, then he finally started nursing the entire time. The dr. said nursing is way more work than bottle feeding on the baby, and burns more calories in the process. He said I had to pump everything out he didn't take or my milk supply would decrease. If she does not get atleast two ounces from pumping it out, my dr. told me to formula feed two ounces after I nurse, or attempt nursing. Just watch his weight and make sure he isn't loosing too much. My dr., who wrote a book on nursing, said my baby taught him a lesson. Some babies DO allow themselves to starve to death, just refusing to be bothered and preferring to sleep. They are failure to thrive. We have to ensure they are getting adequate milk and stay on top of it. It was a very overwhelming time. He is now almost thirteen and is doing great. So, hang in there!

[deleted account]

Best tip I was ever given when feeding was to ALWAYS feed the little one next to a fan!!! It works!!! The breeze from the fan is enough to prevent them from dozing off. I also always had a cool cloth next to me for random wipe downs!! Give it a shot..you will be amazed....guaranteed!! Good luck! :)

Mindy - posted on 04/16/2010

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Tell her not to give up. It is very exhausting and difficult at first but it will come naturally. A lactation consultant is available at your local hospital and is well worth a trip to visit. My daughter would fall asleep while nursing and yes there are hormons in breast milk that will make the baby fall asleep even more. Put the baby on a feeding schedule, do not let the baby eat for 3 hours. Make the baby wait. As a new mother you don't realize how much time has "not" gone by in between feedings so you really need to clock it. That was my problem. I would keep trying and trying to feed the baby because she would fall asleep during nursing. Let the baby eat even if it is for five minutes.. Wait atleast 3 hours and then start again. Really study the clock so she can see if there is an improvement in the amount of time the baby is nursing in a feeding increment. But the three hour wait time is important.

Kat - posted on 04/16/2010

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Consider calling a lactation consultant. See if there is a Le Leche League in your area. Maybe you can find someone to make a house call to guide and advise Mom.

Joanna - posted on 04/16/2010

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Do the arm pump! When my daughter would start falling asleep, I'd pump her arm a little up and down and she'd start sucking again... the nurses at the hospital told me to do it and it worked great!

Claire - posted on 04/16/2010

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Take off his blanket to avoid him getting sleepy-comfortable while he nurses. Also having the lights on should help.

Amy - posted on 04/16/2010

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A lot of my suggestions have already been recommended one thing that I do is squeeze my breast with the free hand when my little one stops sucking to get some milk in her mouth to remind her what's she's supposed to be doing. He's only two weeks old so it's understandable that he's still sleepy, my husband was in charge of waking my little one and if all else failed the washcloth would help. I would introduce the pacifier so mom can catch some sleep if your lucky enough for him to take it. Finally cut back on the bottles till he really gets the hang of breastfeeding, during the first few weeks my husband and I did 1 bottle in the middle of the night so I could get a 4 hour stretch of sleep and we didn't have any nipple confusion, as long as it's done sparingly they should be ok! Tell her not to give up it does get better!

Sharon - posted on 04/16/2010

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Jodie, He was 8# 3 oz, but, he never seemed to want to suck. The peditrician said not to use the pacifier, but, I snuck it in a time or two and he didn't seem to get the hang of it. I'd slowly pull it out and push it in and he'd start some sucking. When I go over on Saturdays and let his parents sleep for as long as possible, I use it and he stays awake the whole time sucking a little harder.

Mattie/Kassie,
I hadn't thought of the oxytocin as a possibility making him sleep more. She had a c-section and has been on meds until this last week. My other daughter-in-law had a lot of problem w/ her son with percocet after c-section. I'll mention it tomorrow when I go over.

Thanks so much all of you! This has been so frustrating for all of us, specially Mommy & Daddy. I hope you all keep suggestions coming until we can find something to help.

Kassie - posted on 04/16/2010

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We tried tickling the feet, dripping water on the forehead, wiggling their arms. The truth is, babies need sleep, and getting a dose of oxytocin in the breast milk makes them want to sleep even more. If he's asleep and she still has another side to go, change his diaper, that woke my son up enough to continue on the other side. Hope this helps!

Jodi - posted on 04/16/2010

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Sharon, how big is he? I used to have this issue with my daughter, but she was born 5lb 2oz, and the issue was that her sucking reflex was not fully developed, and she had very little strength, so it was extremely hard work for her to breastfeed and she exhausted very easily. The special care nurses and pediatrician recommended a pacifier to help develop her sucking reflex and the muscles needed to feed. I also expressed as much as I could and fed her alternately bottle/breast (so every second feed was an expressed bottle feed). This really helped.



Not sure if yours is the same problem, but I figured sharing how I dealt with it may help :)

Sharon - posted on 04/16/2010

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I have appreciated all the comments so much.
I just spoke to my son and they are so tired. When they talked to the doctor she said that Logan was a "grazer". My daughter-in-law sits for 2 hours trying to get him to nurse. It's like the breast is an appetizer and dessert and a bottle is the main course. Her milk didn't start to come in for 4 days and the nurses in the hospital told her to give a bottle those days. They make sure he's hungry, but, that doesn't seem to stir him to get down to business. I think he is to used to the bottle and I'm afraid her milk isn't being stimulated enough. There has got to be some answer. My son has suggested she pump and put it into the bottle, but she is so tired after two hours of trying to nurse that it's hard. I want so much to help, but, even her doctor didn't give her any suggestions.

[deleted account]

Don't feed him until he is hungry, either have him naked (diaper), or lift his leg/arm, tickle foot, rub cheek. Just keep him up and don't let him sleep. But not feeding until he is actually hungry. He may just want to sleep and has started using the boob as a way to do it.

Sonya - posted on 04/15/2010

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Hmmm ... Since I don't know the baby's age ... I'll use mine as an example. He is 3 months old now and breastfeeding (successfully.) This is what we do with him ... We have a routine because he isn't wanting anything to do with a schedule (because of a growth spurt.) Look for signs that he is possibly hungry ... Rooting, sucking hands/fingers, etc., make sure he is coming fully awake, undress him to diaper, change diaper, use a warm, wet cloth over his head, arms, legs and back, talk to him the whole time (you want him as awake and aware as possible.) Tell Mama to go shirtless as much as possible when around/handling baby (as long as company is not over :) ) Keep talking to him in a happy, regular tone of voice ... Now is not the time to be whispering! Put him up to the breast so he can eat, making sure he has a good latch. If you notice that his eyes are getting droopy after a short time, a slight jiggle or a wiggle of your fingers on his back or legs will get him going again. If that doesn't work, take him off and use the cloth again, talking to him all the while. Put him up to your shoulder, try burping or turning an extra light on always helps with mine. If all else fails, and he's not younger than two weeks ... try a bath! If he still insists on sleeping instead of eating then that's what he needs. He's just wanting Mama for comfort! Watch that he doesn't use Mama as a pacifier later on down the road though. He'll eat when he's hungry enough. As a p.s. ... make sure that Mama isn't taking any medications that are going thru her milk to baby to make him sleepy. I wish you luck and congrats on your growing family!

Sharon - posted on 04/15/2010

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Thanks so much ladies! Several of these tactics have been tried and it lets us now that we're on the right track.
Sierra, your idea hasn't been tried yet. I'll mention it to my daughter-in-law. Thank you.

Becca - posted on 04/15/2010

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My son had jaundice and was really hard to keep awake to feed. We were told to strip him down to his diaper and if that failed use a cool damp face cloth to wake him up.

Ashley - posted on 04/15/2010

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I was told to take all her clothes off (except her diaper) your body will keep her warm and if you can rub her back it keeps them awake.

Katie - posted on 04/15/2010

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The nurse always told me to start taking their clothes off or to rub their cheek. Maybe keep the room a little cooler so he isn't all warm and comfy and in sleep mode. Hope this helps!!

Katarina - posted on 04/15/2010

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Hmmmm the nurses at the hospital always told me to tickle my son's feet. Maybe ask mom to try and nurse standing up instead, maybe that'll work. Obviously it wouldn't if she's still learning herself. My son was a preemie and would constantly fall asleep at the breast!

Sierra - posted on 04/15/2010

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i always just watch. when the eyes start to shut, take the bottle/nipple away. that'll keep him on his feet and it'll make him more aware that, "hey i need to keep an eye on that thing!" hope that helps a little.

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