Never wake a sleeping baby – myth or truth?
I often hear parents, caregivers and especially grandparents saying “you should never wake a sleeping baby”. Is this true or just a gross error in judgement that previous generations have been passing down to their children? My answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the decision to wake or not wake a sleeping baby, but here are some guidelines.
I believe ALL babies should be awakened to feed every three hours during the daytime until around 4 months old. Nursing babies and babies under 6 pounds may even need to feed every two hours, but NOT longer than three.
If you just let a baby sleep as long as he wants, he’ll sleep all day and eat all night. If you consistently wake him to feed every 3 hours after a nice, restorative nap, he will soon start sleeping longer stretches at night. Essentially, he will figure out the difference between day and night!
Once a baby is nursing well, has regained his birthweight and is over 6 pounds, he can eat at night only when he wakes on his own. In other words, don’t wake a healthy, weight-gaining, sleeping baby at night.
Ideally, a 4 week old should be eating at 7 am, 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm, 7 pm, 11 pm, and 3 am. Nurslings may still need to eat every 3 hours around-the-clock or may cluster feed in the evening.
For a customized plan for you and your baby, along with tips for less crying and more sleeping, call me today! It’s the six year anniversary of the start of Gibson Newborn Services and to celebrate, we are offering 20% off consulting services. Call us today for sleep tonight!
Best wishes for happy, healthy, well-rested babies,