Should a Newborn Baby Fall Asleep After Feeding?

By Kathryn Hatter
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A newborn’s sleep pattern will vary during the early days and weeks after birth, states Trestlewood Pediatrics. You may notice your little one remaining awake for a significant amount of time between feedings or he may doze off contentedly once he has a full tummy. Newborns usually feel comforted when eating, and sleep goes hand-in-hand with comfort for a tiny baby.

Newborn Sleep Behaviors

Newborns may be tiny, but they have very strong compositions. During the early weeks of life, if your newborn wants to sleep, you will have difficulty waking him, warns parenting educator Elizabeth Pantley, writing for the Pediatrics for Parents website. Similarly, if your newborn wants to stay awake, you will have a hard time getting him to go to sleep.

Feeding During the First Month

With a very young baby, the sleeping and eating schedule tends to run together, due to the baby’s tiny stomach size and frequent sleepiness, states the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. During the first month, you will probably notice that your baby falls asleep regularly at the end of a feeding session, which is quite normal. Your baby will probably wake up and be ready to eat again within about three to four hours of the last feeding.

Excessively Sleepy Newborns

If your baby is excessively sleepy, he may not finish an entire feeding before he falls asleep. To encourage a full feeding, try undressing your baby and holding him skin-to-skin, advises the Group Health Cooperative website. You might succeed in waking him if you interrupt the feeding to change positions, walk around a little or change his diaper.

Feeding After the First Month

Begin to differentiate from feeding and sleeping after the first month, advises WebMD. The reason for separating the eating process and sleep involves the beginning of sleep training. If you continue to combine these two activities, you might create a sleep association for your child. Your little one might think she can only fall asleep if she’s breastfeeding or having a bottle. Try to keep your baby awake to finish a feeding. If the baby needs to sleep after she finishes the meal, place her into her bed in a drowsy state so she can fall asleep independently.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.