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Thread: is this cluster feeding?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    123

    Default is this cluster feeding?

    For over one week my now 5 week old has wanted to feed non-stop from around 4 pm to 10 pm (it varies a bit). She'll fall asleep at the breast but wake if I move her. We can take 45 mins breaks between feedings -- baths are a great distraction -- but she wants to eat again. She can be either calm or incredibly fussy (fortunately not really colicky). There are times, though, when she beats on my chest and seems to fight the breast. I can take her off and she'll calm down before wanting to go back on. I always express a little bit after pulling her off just to make sure milk is there and it always is.

    The benefit is that she'll sleep through the night in three 3.5 hour consecutive blocks with very small feeding breaks in between.

    Are cluster feeds typically 6 hours (I fortunately don't have to work, have no other kids, and DH is a great help with dinners and snacks)?

    Is there an age or a point where she'll grow out of the cluster feeds? I love nursing her for hours... and sometimes I can't stand it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4,893

    Default Re: is this cluster feeding?

    That sounds pretty normal to me. Remember that just 5 short weeks ago your baby was living inside of you. It's not surprising when they do this all day long. Frustrating and can make you feel like you want your baby to stop clinging sometimes, but it's such a short part of their life. You are in the early days of the sit around and nurse stage. Which lasted about a year for my son... Enjoy it. Let your husband pamper you. Grab the remote or a book, a bottle of water and just sit around nursing.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: is this cluster feeding?

    agree. My DS had a similar schedule but it was 10p to 2a then slept for a few hours. He did this for most of the expected growth spurts. Waiting to see what happens around 6 months.
    Married to the best husband ever since Nov 2009
    DS born 1/7/12 at 36 wks after PROM and Gestational diabetes happy and healthy ~

    Taking it one day at a time.

    Currently and !!!

  4. #4

    Default Re: is this cluster feeding?

    That sounds like normal cluster feeding to me. And evenings are even a typical time for frequent feeding, extra fussiness, and for some moms, a slight dip in milk supply that can leave moms feeling 'drained.' (The overnight milk supply ramps back up.) It's most likely normal and nothing to worry about.

    As far as growing out of cluster feeding, yes. Generally as baby gets older they get more efficient at the breast and typically can nurse for shorter periods and less frequently. But when and how gradualy this will happen, and how much it goes back and forth, is individual to each baby and momma.

    My oldest wanted to nurse all evening too. When I felt worn out my husband would take baby and walk him down in the sling, humming. The sling fit my husband better than me, no big breastmilk filled breasts getting in the way.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Newbury Park, Ca
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: is this cluster feeding?

    My LO did the same thing from 5-6 weeks. She is almost 8 weeks now and still nurses frequently (sothough not as much) in that time period but is much less fussy about it. Hang in there!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: is this cluster feeding?

    Thanks all! I do love it and I love how much she's growing and gaining -- 8 ounces in one week and on one breast. Sometimes we still struggle with the latch, especially when she's fussy but I think it will get easier as she gets bigger.

    Am going to a baby-wearing store on Monday for a sling demo. We have the Maman Kangaroo which my husband wears with her but it's too awkward for me and I always end up with her chin on her chest -- not good!

    I really value this forum and the advice. I find myself reading all the threads when I have a free hand because it's so encouraging to see others learning too.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Shakedown St.
    Posts
    1,176

    Default Re: is this cluster feeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*vivsmaman View Post
    Thanks all! I do love it and I love how much she's growing and gaining -- 8 ounces in one week and on one breast. Sometimes we still struggle with the latch, especially when she's fussy but I think it will get easier as she gets bigger.

    Am going to a baby-wearing store on Monday for a sling demo. We have the Maman Kangaroo which my husband wears with her but it's too awkward for me and I always end up with her chin on her chest -- not good!

    I really value this forum and the advice. I find myself reading all the threads when I have a free hand because it's so encouraging to see others learning too.
    It sounds like your baby is doing great!

    And the sling demo sounds fantastic. Try on a bunch of different carriers if you can. They all have their own advantages and disadvantages. I'm constantly nursing on the go, and baby wearing has been an absolute life saver for me.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

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