Marie, the nurse who came to my home, told me to wake up my baby after 5 hours of sleep because he is only four days old. My parents said to me that a hungry baby will wake up on their own. I don’t know who to believe! Can you tell me why I have to wake him up? Thank you for everything, Lilianne. 


Lilianne, it’s always a good thing to ask questions when you have doubts. In fact, a baby will always lose weight after birth. This is associated with loss of warmth, fluids and the fact that the umbilical cord is not longer providing them with nourishment like in your uterus. Also, it’s acceptable for a baby to lose about 10% of their birth weight. After childbirth, consuming milk should return their weight back to normal after a couple of days, then surpass their birth weight. It can take 1-2 weeks for the baby to regain their birth weight. 

That is why we suggest waking them up at night to make sure that they consume enough milk and to avoid dehydration. Additionally, jaundice, which affects many babies, makes them sleepier, and it is harder for them to wake up on their own. Thus the need to wake them to make sure they get enough nourishment for their growth. 

When your baby has regained their birth weight, their health is generally fine, and they wake up on their own to breastfeed, you can stop waking them up at night. Whatever they didn’t consume at night, they will consume during the rest of the day. 

I hope this helps Lilianne. Congratulations on becoming a parent!

Marie

The Baby Expert 

This post is also available in: Français

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