Baby Falls Asleep While Breastfeeding
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What To Do If Baby Falls Asleep While Breastfeeding

As my baby and I were first getting the hang of breastfeeding, he would often fall asleep in the middle of nursing. When I noticed this was becoming a habit, I started to worry if he was getting enough milk! If your baby falls asleep while breastfeeding, you are in the right spot!

In addition to worrying if my son was getting enough milk, I also wondered if he was falling asleep because he was uninterested. This is not the case!

It is very common for your baby to fall asleep while breastfeeding. Just think about it, if you were all warm and cozied up, drinking your favorite beverage with one of your favorite people, you would probably fall asleep too!

Why do you need to keep your baby awake?

Keeping your baby awake long enough to finish a feeding isn’t only crucial for your baby, but you as well! Here are the top 3 reasons why:

1. Baby Falling Asleep Before Getting Enough Milk

Now, don’t get me wrong, your baby falling asleep while nursing isn’t always a bad thing! Breastfeeding is very comforting to your baby, so as long as they are getting enough milk before they fall asleep, it’s okay.

2. Milk Supply Can Decrease

If your baby falls asleep while breastfeeding long before they have finished, it can cause your milk supply to drop. You want to ensure that your breasts are being emptied at each feeding, so your body knows how much milk to produce.

3. Risk of Clogged Ducts or Mastitis

If your breasts aren’t being emptied at each feeding, it can lead to engorgement. Engorgement can often lead to clogged milk ducts, or even mastitis, which are both very painful.

Now that you know the importance of keeping your baby awake during nursing sessions, how are you supposed to know when your baby is done?

You can tell that your baby has finished nursing in a few different ways. Typically, your baby will look relaxed, with their palms open instead of in a fist.

If you remove your baby from your breast, they won’t try to suck on something else, like their hand, for instance.

And lastly, your breast should feel softer. If it still feels firm, that’s a good sign your baby didn’t get enough at that feeding. Also, if they don’t have enough wet diapers, that’s another good sign to watch for.

Related Articles:

Tips For Keeping Baby Awake During Breastfeeding

Don’t Watch the Clock

Babies nurse at different speeds. Some babies can nurse for ten minutes and finish up, while others will want to nurse for half an hour!

The difference in nursing times from baby to baby is the biggest reason why you shouldn’t watch the clock. Also, if you realized your baby has been nursing for a long time, you might start to feel impatient and want to end the session.

I do recommend you time your baby’s feeding. An easy way to do this is with the baby tracker below or even the stopwatch on your phone. Just write down the time or start the timer, and don’t look at it again until your baby has finished.

Baby Tracker Freebie

The reason it’s a good idea to time your baby’s feedings is so that you can find patterns in their nursing habits. Tracking feedings can also help you identify when your baby has started to cluster feed.

Switch to the Other Breast

If your baby is starting to fall asleep before they have finished nursing, switch them to the other breast. This will interrupt their drowsiness and encourage them to continue with their nursing session.

Tickle Under Babys Chin

Once you notice your baby starting to drift off, begin to tickle them under their chin or even on the bottoms of their feet. Once they become more alert, go ahead and stop tickling.

This method is what I used most often, and it usually worked like a charm!

Blow Lightly on Their Face

As with the tickling method above, lightly blowing on your baby’s face can make them more alert.

Breast Compressions

Doing breast compressions while nursing can help stimulate more milk flow. If your baby starts to get a little more milk out with the help of your compressions, it will help to keep them more interested and less sleepy.


Especially in the newborn phase, skin-to-skin has so many benefits. One of the main benefits of skin-to-skin is that it helps to increase your levels of oxytocin, which will help keep up your milk production.

Skin-to-skin can also make it a little easier for your little one to nurse, as there isn’t a nursing bra or shirt bunched up in the way.

Keep the Room Bright With Some Noise

If your baby falls asleep while breastfeeding pretty frequently, take a look at your surroundings.

Is the room bright, or dim? Is it quiet, or noisy? Open up the curtains and have some sort of background noise on to encourage your baby to stay awake.

Make Sure Baby Isn’t Too Warm

As I had said earlier, breastfeeding is so comforting for your baby. Add in all those warm snuggles, and that’s the perfect recipe for a nap!

If your little one is getting too sleepy, try having them wear only a diaper during the feeding or remove any blankets you had on your baby.

Try a Different Nursing Position

If your baby still falls asleep while breastfeeding after trying some of the tips above, try using a different nursing position! This article from Medela is an excellent resource for every nursing position.

To help your baby stay awake, it’s best to avoid positions like side-lying or a laid back, reclined position.

And there you have it! I hope you have found some valuable tips to implement with your baby.

Baby Falls Asleep While Breastfeeding

Before you go, check out these related articles:

What have been some of your biggest breastfeeding struggles? I would love to know in the comments below!

Rachel sig
Baby Tracker Freebie

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  1. This was always so hard for me. The only thing that worked was feeding on one side, then changing her diaper, then switching to the other side. She needed that break in between, or she just stayed asleep the whole time ??.

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