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Thread: What is this? Cluster feeding or no milk?

  1. #1

    Default What is this? Cluster feeding or no milk?

    Lately my son has been BF before bed as usual, then waking to nurse again about an hour later, and often a third time about an hour after that. Then he is usually good until his next feed, usually 3am-ish. I'm trying to figure out why he's waking in the first few hours for these extra feeds... He'll be 1 on the 15th.

    When he nurses before bed & at the wakeups, his sucks aren't super strong like he's starving. In fact, his sucking is light, almost like comfort sucking. I'm not even sure he's getting any milk because I'm not feeling a letdown, and I can usually feel it. But he shows no signs of frustration or impatience that might indicate a slow letdown or no supply. He is content. After a while, he falls asleep & I put him down. I can't help but wonder if he's getting enough milk though.

    Last night, he nursed about 1 hour before bed. Then just before bed, he wasn't interested in nursing, his sucks were light & there was definitely no letdown, but he was content. Still I tried giving him a small bottle of BM, and he sucked it back like crazy (2oz). I offered more by breast, but he didn't want it. I offered another bottle but by then he was ready to just sleep. And he didn't wake up for 9 hours! So now I'm really thinking the wakeups were due to hunger, but I have good supply and I feel like the milk is there, but he isn't sucking to get it out, so what is going on?!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: What is this? Cluster feeding or no milk?

    My second baby was sort of like that. I would put her to bed, and 5-60 minutes later she would be up again, wanting to nurse. And then 5-60 minutes after that, for the first 2-3 hours of the night. It wasn't lack of milk- I had a whopping oversupply- it was simply that her first stretch of sleep was very, very light and she would wake frequently and need assistance in getting back to sleep. And nothing gets a baby back to sleep better than nursing!

    Now, if I had given my LO a bottle I have no doubt she would have taken in, and probably drunk a large amount. Babies almost always drink a lot from the bottle because the bottle delivers a rapid milk flow regardless of whether the baby is sucking lightly for comfort or eagerly for nutrition.

    If your LO is satisfied at the breast at all other times of day, don't worry about your supply. This is probably just a need for mama to help him with sleep.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What is this? Cluster feeding or no milk?

    I wonder why he's like this all of a sudden. It's just been in the past week or so.

    And now that I'm thinking about it, his mid-morning & mid-afternoon feeds are like that too. He'll just stay on the boob but only suck lightly or not at all at times. It's weird. Is that a weaning sign?

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