Daily Health Tips: How Long Should I Let My Baby Sleep Without Waking For A Feed?

Q: Good evening, doctor. Please, I want to ask you how long I should allow my baby to sleep? He’s only 7 weeks old and he sleeps much especially during the day. Today, for instance, he has been sleeping from past 9 a.m till now and it’s almost 5p.m. I’m afraid he might be hungry though he wakes when he is hungry. But please doctor, is this ok for him? If not, for how many hours should I allow him to sleep before I wake him? God bless u doctor!
A: In the first few days and weeks of your baby’s birth, he’s likely to spend a lot of time sleeping. Indeed, he may be sleeping up to 16 hours per day…but really not at a stretch, usually. Ordinarily, he should be breast fed on demand and that means everything he asks for a feed. The problem is that your baby may just forget this all important function, ‘feeding’ 😀 and sleep for a looooong time! At this stage, you should never let your baby sleep for more than 4 hours at a stretch without waking him up for a feed. When counting the hours between feeds, remember that you are counting from when your baby started feeding and not when he stopped feeding. For instance, if your baby started feeding by 9am and finished at 9.30am; if he sleeps off, he’s due for another feed by 1pm and not 1.30pm. He should regularly be having about 7 to 9 feeds per day now. And just to be sure that he’s getting enough to eat, he should be having at least 8 diaper changes per day.
As your baby grows and becomes more aware of his environment, his sleeping and feeding needs will change to accommodate his new stage. Where in doubt, always have a chat with his paediatrician. The times you go for your baby’s vaccinations should be good times to check in with the doctor.
For more information on breast feeding and related issues, please click on the links below:
Have a great week, ahead y’all 😀

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