How To Feed A Sleepy Baby


It seems counter-intuitive to wake a sleeping baby. You were warned about how little sleep you'd be getting but now that you're settled in with your newborn you find yourself concerned by how much your baby sleeps. A sleepy baby can interfere with breastfeeding success or make it difficult for your infant to get enough formula to gain weight.

Your baby may be extra sleepy as a result of:

·       Not getting enough breastmilk or infant formula

·       A difficult birth

·       Medications you were given during labor or while you are breastfeeding

·       Overstimulation due to bright lights, noise, or interaction

·       Jaundice or other medical conditions

If your baby isn’t waking up to feed every 2-4 hours around the clock or has trouble staying awake to feed, you may want to try to keep your baby awake by using one of these tricks.

·       Unwrapping or undressing your baby

·       Talking to baby

·       Stroking or massaging baby’s body

·       Rubbing baby’s face (babies have a reflex that opens the mouth when the chin is touched), stroking the cheeks, circling the lips, kissing

·       Expressing breastmilk or dripping a bit of formula onto baby’s lips

·       Changing your baby’s diaper

·       Switching breasts or arm that you hold baby in to bottle feed

For babies that fall asleep too quickly at the breast, you can try compressing your breast to increase the milk flow which may stimulate your baby. Stroke your baby’s face, or nudge your baby underneath the chin. Keep your baby undressed and skin to skin. These techniques can be used throughout the feed to keep your baby eating.

Be sure to seek the support of your doctor or midwife if your baby is too sleepy to eat effectively. An infant that is not getting enough to eat can get sick very quickly.

Family Doulas of Ottawa is happy to offer suggestions and provide support for your feeding journey. Contact us today for information on infant feeding.


Postpartum Support: That Mythical Creature

There are millions of words written about mythical creatures. Sphinx, Minotaur, Cyclops…

But what if there were creatures that could come help once you were home from the hospital with your baby?

Mythical creatures devoted to helping families with the transition into parenting and life with a newborn. Mythical creatures like…

The elusive laundry fairy… Washfolder!

The fairy, who instead of trading teeth for coins, trades dirty piles of laundry for neat, orderly, clean ones. Not only has the laundry fairy been known to take care of the piles that are in the baskets and hampers, but she swoop up sweaty sheets, breast-milk-soaked nursing tanks, and baby onesies saturated with various liquid explosions.

Or the mythical house elf… DoItalla!

The helper devoted to food preparation. Magically food appears, and disappears when meals are needed, regardless of the time, and devoid of the lingering mess that goes with them.

Or a phoenix

The creature that when at the end of it’s life, would rejuvenate and be born with new energy from the ashes of its old self.

For many new families, the only mythical creatures that make an appearance are zombies and vampires. Tired new moms and dads slowly take on the pale complexion and dark tired eyes. And a new baby can sometimes feel like a sort of vampire – a being not really understood but that requires incredible amounts of energy from others to keep thriving.

Well, there is good news. Even though we don’t live in a world where these magical creatures are available to help, there is someone who can take on the wonderful abilities listed above.  She’s a postpartum doula!

The ins- and outs- of life at home with a new baby can be made easier with the extra hands of a professionally trained postpartum doula. A postpartum doula will come to your home, help you rest, help nourish you, help take care of tasks, AND help understand the new baby that has come home too.

A postpartum doula gives encouragement, energy, and attention to the matters of your recovery you most want help with, all the while acting as another sort of mythical being – a muse for parenting.

A muse: a person who helps you see clearer, come up with ideas that make the most sense for you, and a person who you feel better simply by being around.

Ottawa Family Doula does not need magic to help you feel your best. Ottawa Family Doula is happy to help in all the ways you can easily identify, and all the ways you can’t.

Ottawa Family Doula is a birth and postpartum doula supporting families in Ottawa. Exceptional and confident care for your pregnancy to have your birth and your baby, your way. Specializing in all types of birth at all hospitals and birth centres in Ottawa.