Do I need to wake my baby up to feed it?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,887
    Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Ann Kellams explains why you should wake your baby to nurse.

    Host: Do I need to wake my baby up to feed it?

    Dr. Ann Kellams: So, the babies are often quite sleepy in the first one to two days of feedings. In the first four hours of life they could be very awake and very alert. That's the best time to initiate breastfeeding and get them on the breast. After that they tend to be more sleepy. What we also know though is that the more times they are offered the breast, the more times they attempt to breastfeed and actually, nurse, the better they do. So there is a fine line between letting them sleep in their natural cycle and catching the moments that they are stirring or awake and sometimes we do recommend waking them up if it has been more than two or three hours and they haven't nursed, go ahead and wake them up and get them to the breast. If the baby is bottle-feeding then it's at least every three to four hours.