Faut-il réveiller son bébé pour téter ? - Élhée

Should you wake your baby to breastfeed?

In his very first months of life, a baby breastfeeds several times a day and at night too. Breastfeeding and bottle feeding then make no difference, an infant needs around 8 feedings of 50 to 60 ml of milk per 24 hours, and you, together, need to find your rhythm. But then, what should you do if, during the night or during a long nap, he doesn't ask for his milk? Should you wake your baby to breastfeed or, on the contrary, let him sleep and trust him without worrying?


First of all, a few things about toddler sleep

From birth and for many months, baby will alternate between wakefulness periods for feeding and rest phases. First, sleep periods are short and more or less calm or agitated, in cycles of approximately one hour . Your child does not yet know the difference between day and night.

Around 4 months, some infants begin to sleep through the night, but it is from 6 months onwards that baby's sleep really changes and tends to approach that of adults, around a year old. Paradoxical or restless sleep , very present in newborns, gradually diminishes to give way to a rhythm more and more aligned with that of day and night .

By observing the sleep cycle of babies, the recurrence of phases of nocturnal awakening to feed becomes easier to understand.

Letting baby sleep is important

should you wake baby for the bottle

For establishing a natural rhythm and creating good sleep habits , it is especially important to let a baby sleep.

Beyond a matter of hours, the quality of sleep is essential for the good physical and intellectual development of infants, their growth and brain maturation.

Also, for your baby to benefit in the best way, set up a safe, secure and calm space for him. Pastel colors and soft, soft textures will make your bedroom a cocoon. To go even further, remove bright light sources and opt for one or more adjustable bulbs , move noisy objects and toys and avoid sharp angles.

Sleeping well also helps regulate moods and emotions . By getting enough rest, your child is less likely to wake up grumpy! In the same way, when baby sleeps you sleep, and the whole family with you .

Waking your baby up to give him the breast or bottle could have the opposite effect to that expected. Namely, a baby in a bad mood, who gets scared, who cries and who refuses to take his milk.

Night feedings and breastfeeding

If you are breastfeeding exclusively, don't worry. A good sleeper baby is unlikely to cause your milk supply to drop by missing a feeding every now and then. What he doesn't drink this time, he gets back when he wakes up tomorrow or later that night.

During the first month of breastfeeding, the “calibration phase”, however, you may need to express your milk in the evening to prevent the risk of engorgement and maintain your production. Indeed, it is precisely at night that prolactin (the milk hormone) is at its highest level.

How long between two feedings or two bottles?

There is no real rule regarding the rhythm of bottles or feedings. It all depends on the age of the baby and his appetite . For breastfed babies, breast milk flow and sucking strength too. Also, as artificial milk powder takes longer to digest, it is still recommended to wait two to four hours between milk meals.

    • From 0 to 2 months:
        • Newborns usually need to be fed every 2 to 3 hours, day or night.
          • It is recommended not to let more than 3 hours pass between two feedings during this period.
          • From 2 to 4 months:
              • It is possible to space out meals at the rate of one feeding every 3 to 4 hours.
                • It is common for babies to cry more often.
                • From 4 to 6 months:
                    • The interval lengthens until it reaches 4 hours between each bottle or feeding.
                      • Some babies can last longer and start to sleep through the night.
                      • 6 months and over:
                          • Once dietary diversification has been established, feedings and bottles are taken every 5 to 6 hours.
                            • At this age, most babies still need to be fed 5 to 6 times a day (feeds or bottles + solid meals).

                            Remember that in your womb, baby fed continuously, without any restriction. The best solution while waiting for him to regulate himself is to respect his needs as much as possible by listening to their expression.

                            The baby's breastfeeding bottle

                            Because breastfeeding times should always be gentle, soothing and prolonged, Élhée has imagined the first sensory and emotional breastfeeding bottle . Made of medical grade silicone and round in shape, it reproduces the sensation of the maternal breast by touch and sight .

                            For all babies bottle-fed or breastfed from birth , the BibROND, as it goes by its nickname, can also be equipped with XS size teats with ultra-slow flow , and adapt to the Avent breast pump thanks to the exclusive ring , provided in the breastfeeding box.

                            Why wake your baby to breastfeed?

                            While preserving babies' sleep is essential, there are nevertheless situations that justify gently stimulating your newborn for a nighttime meal or when the nap lasts too long. In general, as advised by the Leache League , consult your pediatrician, doctor, or breastfeeding professional if:

                            • lack of tone during waking hours,
                            • requires little to eat,
                            • rarely wets and soils diapers,
                            • gains little or no weight , if he loses some,
                            • was born premature ,
                            • presents health concerns .
                            If in doubt, to reassure yourself, when it's time to sleep , place your baby close to you and pay attention to his wakefulness signals . Movements of the arms and legs, small facial expressions, eyes moving under the eyelids, sucking movements, mouth opening, stretching... are all signs that baby is close to waking up . Prepare to give him the breast or the next bottle.

                            “Educational feeding” and breastfeeding on demand

                            A heavy sleeper infant can be fed “while awake”. At the first signs of awakening, gently bring your breast or the bottle nipple closer to his mouth until you brush against it. If hungry, your child will nurse without even really waking up.

                            Unlike wake feeding, demand feeding requires your baby to be alert enough to let you know he's hungry by fussing or crying. Be careful, however, breastfeeding exclusively on demand assumes a certain “autonomy” for the baby. The sucking must be effective and he must drink enough milk.

                            What if baby “skips a feeding”?

                            So comfortable in his little bed, baby forgot to wake up and therefore skipped a meal. If he was born full term, healthy and gaining weight regularly, you have no reason to worry .

                            To accurately monitor your diet, you can use the height-weight curve found in your health record. The pediatrician completes it at each appointment, which allows you to keep an eye on possible differences (too high or too low) in the percentiles, and to react accordingly after taking advice from your doctor.

                            You can also keep your baby's food diary to be 100% focused on his nutritional needs.

                            Waking a baby okay, but always gently

                            a sleeping baby that his mother wakes up

                            If you have to wake your baby to feed him, do it as gently and gently as possible. In fact, it is essential not to surprise him so as not to frighten him and undermine any attempt to breastfeed and go back to sleep afterwards. To do it well and depending on your little sleeper, here are 5 techniques to try.

                              • Caresses : gently touch his cheek, arm or head to help him wake up gently.

                              • Let light into his room : if, during naptime, the room is dark, let daylight in until your baby opens his eyes. If you have to wake your baby at night, use a night light or table lamp, which you bring close to his bed to encourage him to wake up.

                              • Talking or humming : most babies react easily to their mother's voice. If the time has come to wake him up, choose his favorite nursery rhyme or tell him how, while eating, you are going to give him the sweetest hug in the world.

                              • Move baby : skillfully, if baby sleeps on his back, move him to his side. This gentle rotation should be enough to make him open his eyes.

                              • Simply live : open the door to his room and let the noises and smells of everyday life come to him. This may be enough to stimulate him enough to nurse.


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