Should I Wake My Baby To Feed Or Feed When Baby Wakes?


July 21 st, 2021

Produced by Marilyn Smith – The # 1 midwife

Hello Mamas-to-be! I hope you are feeling so well today. We have a hot, hot topic today. Have you ever experienced this situation? I remember when I had my last baby Joylyn. Just home from the hospital. She is sleeping, I lay her down and she is still fast asleep after a busy hospital experience. Additionally, I am tired, sleepy and would rather got to sleep being hungry. I just want to sleep.

Do you know what I did? Yes you guessed right- I went to sleep and was disturbed by my histerically crying baby. She was four hours since her last feed. I felt so bad that I had slept that long without feeding her.

How many of you can feel me?

Our topics topics will include:

  1. Day time sleep
  2. Night time sleep
  3. How long should my baby sleep?
  4. How should my baby sleep?
  5. What is the best time for my baby to sleep?
  6. Guidelines for maintaining a safe environment for your little star
  7. Effective remedies for my baby to sleep.

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I am a midwife and this is one of the # 1 questions I get asked:

Nurse, Should I Wake My Baby To Feed?

Did you know there are 2 answers to this question? Here we go………

Answer # 1 -Yes you should wake your baby to feed during the day on a schedule.

Answer # 2- No you should not wake your baby during the nighttime because your little star needs to grow during the night. So let me explain:

Day time sleep:

Daytime, your baby must ingest nutrients in order to stay healthy and grow. So, if your baby is sleeping past their feed time, yes  wake them up and feed them. However, I don’t want you to go in with bells ringing to wake them up from their profound slumber. Instead, I’d like you to open the door quietly to let some light in.

Then go into the room and turn off the white noise. This will wake the infant nine times out of ten. If it doesn’t, try opening the blinds a little to let more natural light in. We want the infant to awaken in the most “natural” manner possible. Change and feed the baby once he or she is awake.

Night time sleep:

Let baby sleep during the night. Yay, yay!

The opposite is true at night! Your baby’s growth hormones are exclusively released during sleep. So let them flourish! *Follow your pediatrician’s advice if your baby is underweight or preterm.

When it’s time to eat, let your infant finish their REM cycle and wake up normally. Then go in and feed them while changing their diaper. There’s no need to get up after a meal! They return to their beds for more beautiful dreams and restful slumber.

How long should my baby sleep?

A newborn’s experience of day and night is still developing. They sleep all day and night, and because their little tummies can’t store enough breast milk or formula to keep them content for lengthy periods of time, they wake up frequently to eat – regardless of the time of day or night.

What Is the Average Sleep Time of a Newborn?

It is important that your baby is sleeping well with good furniture, i.e.crib, bassinette, mattress, and sheets

  • According to the National Sleep Foundation, newborns should get 14–17 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. Some babies sleep as much as 18–19 hours each day.
  • Newborns need to eat every couple of hours, so they wake up every couple of hours. Breastfed babies eat every 2–3 hours on average. Bottle-fed babies are more likely to feed every 3–4 hours.
  • Newborns who have been sleeping for prolonged periods of time should be awakened to feed. Until your baby exhibits good weight gain, which normally happens during the first few of weeks, wake him or her every 3–4 hours to eat. It’s fine to let your infant sleep for lengthier periods of time at night after that.
  • The first few months of a baby’s existence are often the most difficult for parents. Mamas you got this! Trust God to help you conquer these challenging times . Trust me they only come to pass!

What is the best time for my baby to sleep?

During the first weeks of a baby’s life, some parents choose to room-share. Room-sharing is when you place your baby’s crib, portable crib, play yard, or bassinet in your own bedroom instead of in a separate nursery. This keeps baby nearby and helps with feeding, comforting, and monitoring at night. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends room-sharing without bed-sharing.

While room-sharing is safe, putting your infant to sleep in bed with you is not. Bed-sharing increases the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and other sleep-related deaths.

Follow these guidelines to maintain a safe environment for your little star

  • Always put your infant to sleep on his or her back, not on his or her stomach or side. Since the AAP made this suggestion in 1992, the rate of SIDS has dropped dramatically.
  • Make sure you’re sleeping on a solid surface. A snug-fitting sheet should be used to cover the mattress. Check to see if your crib, bassinet, or play yard complies with current safety regulations.
  • Nothing else should be placed in the crib or bassinet. Plush toys, cushions, blankets, unfitted sheets, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, and bumper pads should all be kept away from your baby’s sleeping space.
  • Overheating should be avoided at all costs. Dress your baby for the temperature in the room and avoid over bundling.
Finding the most relevant safety items is important for a safe environment.

Effective remedies for my baby to sleep


Newborns have their own routine. You and your baby will begin to settle into a pattern over the next few weeks to months.

Your baby’s brain may take a few weeks to recognize the difference between night and day.

Sadly, there are no shortcuts to speeding this up, although it does help to keep things quiet and peaceful during feedings and diaper changes in the middle of the night.

During my practice I was able to give some effective strategies that they said really helped their child to settle quite smoothly. This is what they did:

  • Early in the evening at about 8 pm -8:30pm, they gave their baby a warm bath
  • Then they did a baby massage
  • Swaddle baby after massage
  • Keep the lights down and resist the impulse to interact with or play with your infant. The message will be sent that evening is for sleeping.
  • You could play some white noise or low keyed relaxing music
  • Allow your baby to fall asleep in the crib at night if feasible so that he or she learns that it is a safe place to sleep.
  • Do not attempt to keep your infant awake.
  • Leave the room and check every 15-30 minutes without disturbing baby.
  • You can shush baby if baby is not settling well. This is mimicking the mother’s womb. Experts claim that this experience gives them comfort because it is similar to the womb.

Bottom line

Daytime is a time when your baby will definitely have to be wakened to have his / her feeds. This is so important for you to know. Now night time is different. You do not have to wake baby during the night but if baby does wake up you can still feed him. All babies sleep for long periods during the day.

Your baby will find the right routine sooner than later. I encourage you to make your baby’s environment as safe as possible. I really hope those powerful remedies I gave you work for you. Remember God cares for you . Trust Him to work everything for you. Thank you for stopping by and do visit again. Please like, comment and ask a question. I would like to hear from you.

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