When Should I wake my sleeping baby? 

How many times have you heard “never wake a sleeping baby”?

We know baby sleep is the holy grail and the thought of waking a baby from their blissful slumber seems criminal but there are times that you may need do the unthinkable and wake them!

So, When Should I Wake my Sleeping Baby?

The times you need to wake your sleeping baby for feeds is when there is a medical reason, for example: if your baby is: having sleeps for longer than 3-4 hours and;

  • they had a low birth weight
  • they are not gaining or have slow weight gains
  • your baby is jaundiced
  • they are having fewer than 5 – 6 saturated nappies a day
  • when they have an illness that may dehydrate them for example; diarrhoea or vomiting, fever or low volume intake.

Healthy babies with no concerns about weight gains or medical issues have occasional long sleeps and nobody is concerned. Sleeping sometimes for even 5 hours at a time is fine as long as there is adequate milk intake occurring over the 24 hour period.

Never be tempted to increase the numbers of scoops of formula in the bottle to promote weight gain or sleep times. Formula milk is very specifically calculated to ensure the correct nutrient balance is offered to your baby. Incorrect preparation of formula can increase the load on tiny kidneys and cause long term renal problems. Follow the directions on the can carefully.

If you have questions or are worried, talk with your maternal child & family health nurse or doctor because there are indeed times a sleeping baby should be woken, albeit not very often.

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