This is such a common phrase to “never wake a sleeping baby” that actually doesn’t hold much truth and can cause confusion!
Here’s our top reasons for waking your baby, and why…⬇️
➡️ 🤱👩🍼 FEEDS- Most importantly if they are young and are due a feed. Newborns are sleepy, premature babies, or those with medical issues or when feeding is still being established means we may have to wake them if they otherwise wouldn’t wake themselves. This is really important while newborns regain their birth weight and continue to gain weight.
Generally speaking you can stop waking your baby to feed if they are full term with no medical issues, and have regained their birth weight within 2 weeks after birth and are continuing to gain weight appropriately- always speak to your GP, midwife or health visitor or IBCLC if you need any help with this.
➡️ 🌞🌜DAY & NIGHT CONFUSION- often newborns have their day times and night times confused, whilst their circadian rhythm is still developing. Some would happily sleep all day- meaning they can then sometimes be wide awake overnight! Although it’s perfectly normal, we can help anchor their daytimes by waking at a consistent time each morning, exposing to natural daylight during the day, and by capping long naps - we advise around 2.5-3hours for a newborn -again this is important so they are awake to feed also (see above!).
➡️ 🛌 😴 BEDTIME OR NEXT NAP-Particularly in older babies, not waking them from a nap can cause difficulty at their next sleep time- nap or bedtime- for example, waking from a nap too close to bedtime can make bedtime difficult or much later! Equally, a long morning nap can mean a shorter lunchtime nap, which then sees a long slog til bedtime!
As always, it’s important to note that if this is working for you and your baby, you don’t need to change anything!! 🌟