Wake to Feed or Snooze Away?
The #1 question my clients ask: "Should I wake the baby to feed?"
There's actually two answers to this question.
DAY: Yes. Baby needs to stay on a feed schedule.
NIGHT: No. Baby needs to grow.
Now let's dive into my reasons behind each one!
Wake During the Day
During the day your baby needs to consume their calories to stay healthy and continue to thrive. So yes, if your baby is snoozing past the feed time by all means get them up to feed. But I don't want you to go in with bells on waking them up from a deep sleep. Instead I want you to quietly open the door to let in some light. Then go in and turn the white noise off. Nine out of ten times this will wake the baby. If it doesn't, open the blinds a bit to let in more natural light. We want the baby to wake up as "naturally" as possible. Once the baby is awake, change them, and feed.
A quick rule of thumb to follow for waking to keep a feed schedule: If your baby (4 months+) is sleeping 30 minutes past their "scheduled" nap time then wake them up. It's time to stick to a routine and feed schedule for the day.
For Newborns, let’s focus on never going over 3 hours between feeds, no extra 30-minute rule! They need to eat!
Sleep During the Night
Night is the opposite story! Sleep is the only time your baby’s growth hormones are secreted. So let them grow! *If your baby is underweight or premature please follow your pediatrician's guidelines.* Let your baby finish their REM cycle and wake naturally when it's time to eat. Then go in, change their diaper, and feed them. No wake time after feeding! Back to the bed they go for more sweet dreams and healthy sleep.
Wondering if your baby is waking too much? Reach out and ask questions about your child's sleep and I'll go over some real-life expectations for your baby and your family.
Your Pediatric Sleep Consultant