It may seem a little counter intuitive to wake your baby, but in the first few weeks your baby does not yet know to eat when they are hungry. Frequent feedings also help you establish your milk supply and avoid or reduce the discomfort of engorgement.
So here are some tips and tricks to gently wake your baby and get them feeding:
- Change their diaper
- Wipe their face or back with a cool washcloth
- Gently stroke their mouth, cheeks, or lips
- You or your partner hold your baby skin to skin
- Hold your baby upright, supporting their neck and head, talk and sing to them and offer a clean finger to help stimulate a sucking response
- Lay your baby on their back and give them a little massage
- Rub the palms of their hands or the sole of their feet
- Using a few fingers try a mini scalp massage, tracing circles on their head.
If it is the middle of the night and you want your baby to return to sleep as quickly as possible you can nurse while they are still sleepy. Instead of bringing your baby to a wide a wake state, keep the lights low and block out as much external noise as possible they may startle your baby.