My daughter is 2 months old and is exclusively breastfed. After drinking for only 5 mins she falls asleep again and wakes up crying again after 30 mins. We have tried different things like tickling her but have failed to keep her awake to drink for longer. Her weight is in normal range now but we are worried about of her not getting enough. Pls suggest some way of keeping her awake and feed longer.

11 Answers 11


As suggested above plus a bit more what we've been doing with our six week old when she's prematurely falling asleep mid-feed is:

  • Feed until she falls asleep
  • Remove items of clothing until she wakes again
  • Feed until she falls asleep
    • We've found rubbing the palms of her hands as she feeds, if she looks like she's dropping off, helps. our midwife mentioned it's an acupressure point for the gut, I'm not sure if this is true, but she does seem to pick up feeding again when we do it
  • Change her nappy (but keeping her undressed)
  • Feed until she falls asleep again.
  • Re-dress her (she'll hopefully, but not always, wake up at this junction again)
  • Feed until she falls asleep.

Seems to be working for now, I'm certainly suggest giving the hand rubbing a go, we didn't have much luck with tickling ourselves.


Try removing some of her clothes so she is a little colder - we found keeping their feet out helped quite a bit.

Remember though that all babies are different, if she is at the right weight don't worry too much - at this stage just work around her needs.


She's could just be building up your supply. Frequent short feedings can increase your production. Don't try and discourage them, and definitely don't try and put her "on a schedule". Those are just recipes for ending up with a formula fed baby.

Also, she could just be a super efficient eater. My kids never really ate for longer than 5 minutes, even during the day.

Also, she could just be cluster feeding, albeit this generally happens in the evenings, my 11mo is currently cluster feeding from about 3:30am to 6:30am (when I finally just get up and take him away from mom so she can sleep for an hour while he happily plays in the living room).

Her weight is normal, her behavior seems normal. You don't need to worry about that. What you do need to worry about is mom-burn-out. Breast feeding is really really really really hard. Bravo and congrats for getting it done for 2 months! It's going to take real dedication to keep it going for a year (or 2 or 3, whatever your goal is). Dad is going to have to be really supportive. At the very least, if mom has had a particularly rough night with frequent wakings (this is still happening with us and we have an 11mo) giving mom some disruption free sleep time in the morning; at least 40 minutes so she can get at least one good un-interrupted sleep cycle in. Also, find a le leche meeting near you and get support from them.


If she is normal weight, I wouldn't worry too much!

We tried really hard to make sure our son didn't associate feeding with sleeping immediately afterward. We followed a Feed->Wake->Sleep cycle. We would feed him immediately when he woke up. Given that it is so cozy while feeding it is less tempting to fall asleep if they have already been sleeping and are ready to be awake. This also helped to make sure that he could sleep without demanding to be fed every time (this comes in handy later).


One thing I've tried that I've found very useful, especially for the bed time feeding when you want them to eat as much as possible so that they'll sleep longer, was to break up the feeding with a bath. I would nurse as much as he would take, then give him a bath to wake him up and get him hungry again, and then nurse again till he fell asleep.


My sister-in-law had this problem with her firstborn. The lactation specialist suggested tickling his feet, but when he fell asleep, he was right out. Once she was convinced the foot tickling didn't work, the specialist recommended lightly flicking the end of the baby's nose. That didn't work either.

Finally, my sister-in-law figured out that she could squeeze her breast gently and give the baby a squirt, which woke him up enough to eat some more. (Obviously, he fell asleep at her breast and was still sort of latched on for this to work.)


I'm no expert, but breast milk induces sleep in babies, babies also have small stomachs. A breast feeding baby can fill there stomach in 5 mins, this with the naturally induced sleep means when they are small they well feed every 30mins to 1hr is completely normal.

Unfortunately this doesn't do much for your sanity. Every kid is different so don't go reading the web with these mothers that love to tell you how their baby sleeps all night, those are the lucky ones.

If your baby is health, then its doing the right thing to maintain that. My wife still breast feeds at 10months but he also mixes the day with solids. Please don't try to force your baby to do something because you read it somewhere. Your baby well let you know what it needs.

  • Welcome to the board! +1 for your last sentences. New parents especially get to surfing and feel like they're doing it wrong because of everyone elses highlighted euphorian anecdotes.
    – monsto
    Jan 29, 2013 at 14:40

Pls suggest some way of keeping her awake and feed longer.

No. Oh no wait... drink more coffee. Yeah that.

There. . . that's my answer to the question. But the solution to the problem is that you don't need to.

Abstractly, she's 2 mos. By 3 mos, everything will be different. By 6 mos, this post will have long been forgotten as she becomes coherent and sleeps less.

Realistically, her :05 at a time feedings are extremely inconvenient to working parents or a stay at home mom with household duties (note that, as much as I wanted to, I didn't make a Kitchen joke).

I wouldn't worry about it. Just try to deal with the lack of sleep.

And don't drink more coffee... that was a joke.

[edit] And I just realized i got suckered into responding to an 8 mo old question. If the poster is still following their notifications, I'd be curious to know what happened.


Our pedatrician said the first 5-10 mins of flow has a different consistency than the later flow, which has more nutrients. This latter flow makes baby feel full and also has a sedative in it. It is not present in the first flow. She told us if they only go 10 mins they will wake up hungry within the hour, was you would if you had lolly water instead of a meal. So at least use the same breast until baby has had 20 mins, even if you did have to change him or even bathe him during/between the feedings.

  • 3
    "has a sedative in it" - I would like to see a qualified source for that claim.
    – Stephie
    Oct 21, 2015 at 9:31

Every baby is different, so you really have to find a way on which technique will work with the baby or not. And also at this month, babies tends to have shorter feeding time and sleeping hours. I remember, that the first three months of my baby was really very exhausting because I had to adjust to his body clock and he also feeds from time to time.

When it comes to sleep, I don't wake him up, because he will really cry if I do so. Anyhow, I'm always on his side, ready to feed him. It is also important to note that as long as your baby's weight percentile is normal, there is nothing to worry about.


There are a few triggers that can be the reason why baby feeds for only five minutes as mentioned in your question. Always check for tongue tie and you will know it if baby is not suckling with a grip. Not enough milk supply. Ask your self if this happenes to both breasts. Also babies with gas indigestion or reflux (silent reflux) would have similar problems. Sometimes babies with their heads tilted will become tired after a few minutes. I always find looking in to the foods that the mother is eating and avoid the foods that cause indigestion can be a big help. I would also consider an Osteopath for the baby and probiotics for the mother.

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