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Thread: Cluster Feeding Extravaganza

  1. #1
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    Question Cluster Feeding Extravaganza

    I have a 2 week old DD who cluster feeds from 10pm til 4am. During the day she will sleep soundly for 2-4 hours at a time. I've tried every trick in the book to wake her up to feed more often, but nothing works. She sleeps great during the day. But, in the evening, she starts fussing and wanting to eat every hour. I've read that I should allow her to feed as often as she wants and that this will also help my supply. But, in the middle of the night when she's feeding every hour, my nipples start getting sore. She latches on then releases over and over again. crying in between. So, out of desperation, I prepared 2 oz of formula and she drank 1 1/2 oz! We did this twice in one night.

    I'm concerned because there is NO WAY that I could provide her with an ounce and a half at one time. Especially after cluster feeding for hours before. When I pump, I can only get 1/2 once out of each side and that's after 4 hours of not feeding her. I'm worried that I don't have enough milk.

    How can I get her to eat more during the day and sleep more at night?

    Is there any way to get a better handle on these night time feedings?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Cluster Feeding Extravaganza

    Sounds like your LO may be reverse cycling: http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/reverse-cycling/
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Cluster Feeding Extravaganza

    Right now I'm home all day with her and allow her to eat whenever she wants for as long as she wants. I cant seem to wake her up and feed more frequently. At night we have been sleeping together. It seems rather pointless to put her in her crib or bassinet only to get back up in an hour to feed. When she is sleeping with me she is very restless and never completely falls asleep. Its very frustrating and I can't sleep listening to her and feeling her move around all the time.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Cluster Feeding Extravaganza

    It's still so early, it's to be expected that you aren't yet able to sleep well with her. Especially if she's saving up all her nursing for night time.

    The first thing I want to say is that it's normal, don't feel like there is something wrong, because there isn't. Of course knowing it's normal doesn't necessarily make it easier to handle (other than just knowing it doesn't indicate a problem).

    On the subject of the formula bottle...babies are going to drain a bottle whether they are hungry or not. I'd caution you against doing bottles so early. The main reason is that your supply will suffer. If you aren't giving your body the signal to make milk when baby is eating milk, you're creating a situation where your body doesn't think baby needs milk. That is going to hurt your supply. It could also have a detrimental effect on your latch, since it's a completely different method of sucking to drink from a bottle rather than a breast. It's much easier and some babies develop a nipple preference where they get frustrated and refuse the breast in favor of the easier bottle.

    On the subject of low supply... How many wet diapers does baby have per 24 hours? You should be getting at least 5-6. If you're getting 5-6 wets, baby is getting plenty of milk. If you aren't, it may indicate low supply. That doesn't necessarily mean you should go straight to formula, though. Going long stretches during the day without nursing could be effecting your supply. If I were you I'd continue to try to wake baby to nurse during the day after a couple of hours of sleep. Keep trying. If you simply cannot get baby to nurse, go ahead and pump. Don't expect to get much this early. Your baby's tummy is the size of a grape and can't hold much (that 1.5 oz of formula probably made her feel like she ate a huge thanksgiving dinner).

    Let us know about the wet diaper count and I can give you more suggestions.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Cluster Feeding Extravaganza

    I believe she is having the appropriate amount of wet diapers per day (6 wet, 2 dirty).

    So I as far as her feeding at night goes, just keep allowing her to feed every hour? I really wish we could master the BF laying down position.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Cluster Feeding Extravaganza

    Good, sounds like you've got plenty of milk then.

    And yes, I would keep feeding on demand right now. I promise it really does get easier. They get so much better at nursing and gain more muscle and neck control, and you get better at reading them and more confident in what you're doing. Stick it out, you are doing great so far.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Cluster Feeding Extravaganza

    Don't give her formula. You are making enough for her. It's normal for her to wake every hour. When babies are born they are most often on a schedule opposite of hours. Because our movement all day while pregnant with them lulls them to sleep. And then when we lay down to sleep and are still, they wake. Formula is going to throw off your ques and diminish your supply. Feed her on demand and REST with the baby when she sleeps during the day so you are prepared to be up all night. It's going to be like this for as a while. And you WILL master side lye nursing! But it's hard when the baby is so small. We didn't get it down until around 4months.

    Way too lazy for formula

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Cluster Feeding Extravaganza

    i totally agree with the PPs. normal, hard, you have enough milk, but giving formula will hurt your supply.

    make it your top priority to master side-lying, because it will change your life. i found this useful: http://mother-2-mother.com/tut-layingdown.htm
    get creative about back support - you need something so your body can fully relax. at first i had DH wedge in a rolled up bathmat (good because the rubber side was out and was more "sticky" on me & bed so it didn't move). it'll get way easier, too, as you develop muscles to hold you in place while resting, and as baby gets bigger and stronger with the latch.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

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