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Wake Up, Baby!

Q. Should I awaken my newborn for a feeding?

A. Yes, if she's not waking on her own to eat, says Jennifer Shu, M.D., coauthor of a new book from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality. "In the first two weeks, a baby should be feeding every two to three hours during the day, and three to five at night." Until she regains her birth weight (usually by ten days), you might need to wake her to be sure she's eating enough and staying hydrated. Tips from the book on how to do it:

Take it easy. She'll probably awaken to the sound of your voice, or being lifted, tickled, or rubbed.

Take it off  -- if you undress her, the cool air and movement will likely rouse her.

Lightly sprinkle a little water on her face  -- as a last resort. It will certainly wake her up (but chances are she really won't like it!).

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