"Never wake a sleeping baby" vs. Breast Feeding

“Never wake a sleeping baby”

Isn’t that what they say? I know I used to until I gave birth to a late preterm baby.

That’s my son up there. He was born almost 4 weeks early after my water broke unexpectedly on St. Patrick’s Day. I was excited, of course, but part of me was very concerned.

My first born was induced post-term. He was a big, healthy baby. He latched with no problem and ate like a champ from the get-go. That has been my only experience with nursing a newborn. My new guy is SO TINY. He was only 5 and 1/2 pounds and did not have a natural rooting instinct when he was born. I needed to be very diligent in the hospital to get him to latch and when he did he’d almost always immediately fall asleep.

Sleepy and hard to latch is not a good combination for a baby who needs to gain and a mom who is hell bent on breast feeding.

Of course all babies need to gain but I’m feeling the pressure as a nursing mom even more with a preterm baby.

When asked by medical professionals about his eating habits I can sense their disappointment that I’m not bottle feeding. I can’t tell them he is having “so many ounces” every “so many hours”. All I could do is share his nursing schedule and how many wet diapers he has. You’d think that would be enough but instead of getting a supportive pat on the back, I almost feel scolded by them.

“You better be waking him up every 2 hours to nurse.” They say with stern concern. As if I don’t have his best interest in mind.

So I’m ALWAYS waking a sleeping baby and let me tell you, it sucks. I routinely have to shock him out of a peaceful sleep with my cold hands and soft massage. Then stimulate his natural sucking instinct just to get him to open his mouth for an attempted latch.

After 2 weeks it’s getting easier and easier and since he has gained, surpassing his birth weight, I can start to trust not only his instincts but mine as well.

Soon I’ll be able to let him sleep.

Article Posted 5 years Ago
share this article
facebook twitter tumblr pinterest
See Comments
what do you think?
share this article
facebook twitter tumblr pinterest
See Comments
what do you think?
what do you think?
close comments
Subscribe to the
Welcome to
Sign Out
Follow us on