I have come across many new mothers , thriving babies who are a month or two old who are still setting their alarms and trying to force their babies to nurse and take both sides at a feeding. Are you one of the mommies who are confused- Should a sleeping baby be woken up every 2 hrs to feed. Let me help you understand the reason and concept behind this rule.

slepDepending on the baby’s age, weight and overall health, you can analyze whether you should wake a sleeping newborn for feedings or not.

Most of the time the newborns (2 weeks old or younger) lose weight in the first few days after their birth. As newborns are notorious for sleeping through feedings, and usually we assume that a sleepy baby is a full, satisfied baby , mothers are often told to wake their newborn for feedings every 2 hrs. You can’t assume that a newborn will let you know when he needs to eat, and that’s why it is important to wake him for feedings. Some  “good babies” who sleep long stretches at a time have ended up becoming dehydrated.

Demand feeding begins after the baby is a couple of weeks old, has regained his birth-weight, and your milk supply is well established. A healthy baby who is older than two weeks is not going to sleep through feedings and will most definitely let you know when he is hungry!

Hence the two hour rule only applies during the early weeks. It really doesn’t matter whether he nurses every two hours or every four, or whether he takes one breast or two, or whether he nurses for thirty minutes or five minutes, as long as he is having good urine and stool output and gaining weight.

Frequent feedings early on are important for a few of reasons:

  • Crying is a late sign of hunger. If you don’t want a frantic baby , you should offer feed to the newborn soon. Look for early signs of hunger, such as sucking motions, restlessness and lip movements.
  • Frequent feedings help in increasing the supply. If you breast-feed, frequent feedings will help you establish your milk supply. Babies also are more likely to nurse repeatedly in a short period of time (cluster feed) if they have gone longer stretches between feedings.

Also , Please keep in mind that premature babies often have special nutritional needs. They also might not reliably show signs of hunger until they are older. If your baby was born prematurely or you’re concerned about your baby’s feeding patterns or weight gain, consult his or her doctor for specific recommendations.


It is important to note that the time spent at the breast is not necessarily an indication of a good feeding. If he goes on the breast and sucks vigorously for a minute or two, then ‘doses off’ and sucks in his sleep for another thirty minutes, he may not have received enough of the high fat hind milk to ensure an adequate milk intake, even though the feeding took forty-five minutes. The quantity and quality of the strong, nutritive sucking is just as important as the length of time spent at the breast. Babies need to suck actively at the breast for 10-15 minutes on the first breast, and then the second should be offered, although he may or may not take it.

If you want to know the best way to wake up a sleeping baby, Read this link: How to wake up a sleepy baby- The best way is here

Please do share with me your views on the post and also if it helps you in any way!!!



I strongly believe in breaking all the stereotype ways of parenting.
For me parenting is all about love and fun. My girls and I believe in jamming out in the car, in dancing in the rains, and in miracles. We believe in smiling till our cheek hurt and laughing till our neighbours’ ears burst. Parenting definitely comes with loads of challenges,but trust me facing these challenges becomes much more easier by having a fun and a happy attitude towards it.