If your baby experienced more than 10% weight loss in the first few days, DON’T FREAK OUT!
No matter what you’ve been told – this is actually very common! Best part:
By following the three simple steps below; it’s very easy to fix!
If you want to learn more about why this initial weight loss happens, read my post Baby’s First Weight Loss – What You Need To Know first. If you just want the step-by-step solution – keep on reading!
Step #1 Check If Baby Is Oversleeping
I know it’s a bit surprising, because generally speaking you don’t want to wake up a sleeping baby. However, there are times where you should not let your baby oversleep.
If your baby is sleeping too long, they are not breastfeeding enough. And by not feeding enough, they actually start having less and less energy.
This forms a negative loop, because when a baby has lost more than 10% of their weight they become too tired to feed. They just keep sleeping.
So how do you tell if your baby is sleeping “the right” number of hours, or sleeping too long?
Ask yourself two questions:
- Is your baby sleeping for more than 6 hours straight in a 24 hour period?
- Is your baby having six or less breastfeeds in a 24 hour period?
If you’ve answered “yes” to one (or both) of these questions, it’s time to wake your baby. Don’t worry – it’s for their own good; they need more feeds!
This will not just get your baby back on track with weight gain, it will also help fix their sleeping routine. This is because they won’t be so tired all the time.
I recommend you follow these four simple rules until your baby is back to their birth weight!:
- During the day, wake your baby up every 3 hours
- Allow 4-6 hours sleep at night.
- Remember only one big sleep (6 hours maximum) each 24 hours.
- Fit 7-8 breastfeeds in a 24 hour period (or more if your baby demands)
Again, only follow these rules until your weight issues have turned around! (Usually it only takes a week or two!)
IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE: If you can’t wake your baby up to feed – then it is time to get some help from your Doctor. DO NOT DEALY. Get your bub checked out today (even it’s the middle of the night!)
Now you have dealt with your baby that may be oversleeping. Let’s head to step #2.
Step #2 Tweak The Latch
We have taken care of the primary suspect (baby oversleeping and not having enough breastfeeds in a day.) The next thing I look at is latching.
If you want to maximise the amount of food your baby gets when they feed, latching is the one thing you can control.
There’s a lot of confusing tips about how to know if your baby is latching well. But it’s actually really simple.
You see, if breastfeeding is painful beyond a minute then latching could be improved. And yes, what I’m telling you is that even in the first 2 days breastfeeding should not be too painful. (If you have painful nipples check out my blog on why and how to fix!)
Check these signs and symptoms:
- You will feel pain for more than the first minute.
- Your baby’s sucking will look and feel like little nibbles and he will fall asleep a lot.
- Your baby won’t get into a rhythm. It will look like your baby is stopping and starting throughout the feed.
- When baby comes off your nipple will look either squished into a crease or be completely flat on one side (like the end of a lipstick).
If you have any of these problems check out my 7 Steps to Latching Success blog.
Now that you have made sure your baby is not oversleeping and you have optimised your baby’s latch.
The next tip will help you make sure your baby get’s more milk every time they feed without you needing to change anything!
Step # 3 – Help Your Baby Take a Little Extra Milk!
By following steps 1 and 2 you have maximised your baby’s time at the breast, and made it as effective as can be. Your baby’s ability to take milk has already increased!
In this step, we will help your baby receive even more milk every time he breastfeeds.
We want to make it as easy as possible for your baby to remove milk from your breast. Because the easier it is, the more milk baby will take before getting tired! (Why your bay get’s tired is explained in my blog A Calm Settled Baby in 72 Hours.)
And here’s something fascinating. The more milk you have in your breasts, the easier for your baby to remove it and put on weight!
So the solution is simple… We need to tell your body to make more milk! The more milk you have, the more milk the baby will take (even without changing any other factor!)
And how do we do that? By expressing more milk – over and above breastfeeding.
Here are my guidelines:
- Express by hand. This is more efficient than pumping in the first few days. You will find all the how-to’s in this blog post
- Express during the day, after your baby breastfeeds. Leave the night time for resting and for breastfeeding your baby!
- Expressing for 5 minutes each side is enough. Every mother will get a different amount. Have a go and see what you get.
- Don’t be disappointed if you get nothing. This does not mean there is nothing there! Your hand is not as good as your baby sucking. Any extra amount is great for your baby!
Once you begin expressing, your body will immediately start making more milk (even when you get very little!) Now to give this extra milk to your baby.
What’s the best way to give extra milk? Follow these steps and avoid stress and confusion:
- Collect the expressed colostrum into a clean small cup or spoon (or syringe if you are still in hospital)
- The extra colostrum is best given using a cup or syringe. (It is best to get some help with these ways, call or text me 0414 403 208 and I’ll walk you through it.)
- Top up with this extra colostrum after the breastfeed.
- Don’t worry about offering the colostrum at night Offering it at the end of feeding sessions during the day usually does the trick!
After following the three steps for 24 hours re-weigh your baby.
If your seeing 15-20 grams per day increase that’s great! It will get your baby back to birth weight in 2 weeks. If your not give me a call, 0414 403 208
So that’s it for now! I hope this has helped and you feel much better. Remember, most mothers experience weight loss in their baby. It just takes a little time to manage and then Voila! Your back on top!