Baby Falling Asleep at the Breast? These 5 Tips Can Help

Baby Falling Asleep at the Breast? These 5 Tips Can Help

What to Do When Your Baby is Falling Asleep at the Breast? If you catch your baby falling asleep at the breast while nursing and wonder how to solve it, make sure to check our 5 important tips.

When their bellies are full, this hormone gets released, and they feel relaxed and ready for a snooze. It is also a wonderful moment for mothers who enjoy this amazing connection with their babies. However, all babies are different, and some of them sleep much more than others. The problem is not with the baby snoozing off - it’s when the baby falls asleep while breastfeeding but still hungry.

Reasons for Babies Falling Asleep While Nursing

Multiple factors can cause the need for sleep to be higher for some infants. However, what is really important is to know that your baby is not hungry. If they fall asleep too early in the nursing process, they may not get enough milk to feed themselves. You can tell that your baby is full if you notice the following signs:

  • When you started nursing, your baby was fully awake and alert.
  • During the feeding, you can hear its swallowing.
  • After you’ve fed it, you can feel that your breast is lighter and less full.

As for the other way around, you can tell that your baby is not getting enough milk by its body language. If its hand is making a fist and you can see the tension in its facial expression, your baby is likely frustrated because it didn’t get fed. Infants can get tired from sucking and fall asleep before they are full. This means that it will be up in about a half-hour and cry because it is still hungry. 

How to Prevent It?

To avoid health problems caused by sleepless nights for you and your baby, there are also some signs you can keep a lookout for that tell if your baby is hungry.

  • When hungry, most babies usually cry with a low-pitched voice.
  • If you see it sucking its fist, you can safely assume your baby is hungry.
  • Babies feel restless and sleep for a short amount of time when hungry.
  • To show that they are still hungry, babies will often open their mouths after sucking the breast.

It is hard to keep babies awake when breastfeeding. However, if you notice that your baby is not getting enough milk, you have to start acting before they start losing weight. There are multiple ways you can do this harmlessly, and creating a schedule is the first step. 

You need to make sure that the baby is not tired when you are about to nurse it. Try to feed it as soon as it awakes in the morning. Plan your next nursing and try to do it right after it wakes up from its nap. If you are already doing this and your baby is still falling asleep at your breast, you can try some of these tips to help you keep it awake.

Keep your baby in the skin-to-skin position

This will naturally awaken the baby’s instinct to feed and encourage it to stay awake. In this position, babies can easily find the breast and suck spontaneously. Another advantage of keeping the baby skin-to-skin is that you can notice some subtle clues about feeding it. 

They may give you a slight wiggle that indicated that they are ready to eat, and you are more likely to feel them this way; even if the baby falls asleep while breastfeeding, this is a convenient way of feeding it once it wakes up.

Familiarise yourself with your baby’s early feeding cues

Even the youngest infants have personalities and different behaviours that their mothers recognise and understand. Try to learn the early feeding cues your baby shows. You may find some literature about them and try to match them with your baby. Feeding the baby as soon as it gets hungry increases the chances it stays awake throughout the nursing process.

Try compressing your breasts to help the baby out

When you start feeding your baby, your breasts are filled with milk, and the baby will give less effort to sucking. It will easily get access to a nice flow of milk that starts to slow down over time. This discourages the baby, and it starts giving up instead of sucking harder. You’ve got to help it out by compressing your breast, which will allow the milk to run smoothly and feed the baby. 

Consider using silver nipple cups

Silver nipple cups have been all the rage in the past years, as they’re helpful both for you and your child. A baby might stop feeding because the nipple can get sore or cracked. Using silver cups for breastfeeding is a natural & safe way to soothe the discomfort, improving the chances your baby has plenty of snooze time.

Keep switching sides when nursing

The movement alone can help your baby stay awake. Additionally, when the baby is sucking from one, the other breast is experiencing the same letdown. Switching sides can create the impression that there is a fresh supply of milk for the baby. And you can do this multiple times since there are more letdowns per nursing. This, combined with the breast compression technique, can really help your baby get fully fed.

Using gentle stimulation won’t hurt it

Keeping your baby awake with a simple but gentle stimulation is a good idea. You can do anything from gently stroking their hands and feet to sitting them up and giving them a back rub. This will make them less drowsy and help them finish eating. Changing their diaper should be enough to awaken them fully and allow them to continue nursing. 


Parenting can be quite difficult as a task, but we should always try to improve the way we do things with our kids. This is especially the case with infants, where you can have problems like the baby falls asleep while breastfeeding but still being hungry. 

Still, before we start panicking and coming to a conclusion, we have to know we aren’t facing an issue at all. All babies are unique, and what is normal for one doesn’t necessarily mean it is normal for the other. As a general guideline, if your baby has at least 6 very wet diapers per day, it should be taken as a sign that your baby is fed. 

If you find that your baby has at least 3 runnier bowel motions per day, you can rest assured that it is getting enough milk. Alternatively, feel free to use the tips we provided you with and keep your baby well fed. Most importantly, start using silver cups for breastfeeding to ensure the most comfortable experience for you and your kid.