In the initial few months after birth, babies tend to sleep a lot and sleep very deeply. It can be very difficult to wake them up in order to feed them or give them a sponge.
Rather than trying too hard to get them off from their sleep, it is important to be gentle, soft and careful about it. It is important not to wake them up through loud noise or a jerky shake since that can make them cranky. There are many gentle ways to wake sleepy babies and some of them have been given below.
- Try to wake the baby up when he is in the lighter phase of sleep. You can recognize this phase by checking for slightly fluttering eyelids and small movements in the baby. This phase is known as the REM sleep phase. A baby who is in deep sleep can be difficult to wake up than one who is in REM phase.
- Another way to wake up your sleepy baby is to rub his face with a washcloth that is on a low or cool temperature.
- Hold the baby in your arms and in an upright position. Talk to him softly and encourage him to open his eyes.
- Another good idea to wake up a baby in sleep is to straighten out his body and extend his arms. This is a position in which the brain of the baby gets perked up and this may wake him up.
- Another effective way to wake up a baby is to stroke or rub the soles of the feet of the baby or stroke his palms.
- If you want to wake up the baby for nursing, then one of the most effective ways is to undress yourself as well as baby from shoulder to waist and place the baby against your skin. Place him on your tummy and breasts and drape a blanket on him. The body heat may wake him up and encourage him to feed.
- If the baby tends to sleep or get drowsy in between breastfeeding, then it is a good idea to keep changing the breasts. While doing so, place him on your shoulder and rub his back so that he can burp. This will put him into some activity and may wake him up. This method is known as switch nursing and proves very effective for successful feeding.