As a new parent, you probably think that it’s better to let your baby sleep as long as they can. However, there are times where it’s alright to wake your baby from his or her nap.
While many think waking a baby from a nap is a big no-no, experts say there may be times when you will have to wake your baby up for feeding. And according to pediatric sleep specialist and University of Toronto associate professor Robyn Stremler, waking a newborn from long stretches in the daytime to feed also signals them to be more active in the day. This ultimately helps shift those long stretches of sleep to nighttime.
It’s also important to note that newborns have no concept of day or night. Therefore, they can often sleep for long periods at all times of the day. As The Military Wife and Mom explains it, babies need help organizing sleep and feeding. Besides that, the blogger also noted that babies should be fed immediately after waking up from their nap.
“Without help from parents guiding a baby to healthy sleep habits, a baby would sleep erratically throughout the day and night. This often leads babies to sleep as if they are college students sleeping off a weekend bender. Up all night, sleep all day,” she wrote in her blog.
Here are a few ways to wake an infant if you need to (as suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics):
- Talking and singing
- Gentle stimulation (i.e. move his arms and legs around, tickle the bottom of his feet, or rub his cheek)
- Dressing down
- Going through the motions of diapering
Do keep in mind that waking up a newborn can be a challenging task sometimes. However, babies who are not arousable or responsive despite their parents’ best efforts need medical attention. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents should seek medical help immediately if their newborn seems increasingly sleepy, unresponsive, or hard to arouse.