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Thread: 11 week old cluster feeding + swaddling challenges

  1. #1

    Default 11 week old cluster feeding + swaddling challenges

    My 11 week old boy cluster feeds from 5 to 10 each evening. It involves me feeding him, him falling asleep on the breast, I burp him, swaddle him and he is awake again. Is there a different routine I should follow, to help him fall asleep.

    He needs to be swaddled for the night, but I don't want to swaddle him before I feed him.

    I go back to work in 6 weeks, and will likely have to log some hours when I get home too. I am trying to figure out a routine that will work for him. Please help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Northern Virginia

    Default Re: 11 week old cluster feeding + swaddling challenges

    This isn't really help with your routine, but a couple moms on here (including me) switched to one of these instead of swaddling around the same time as your LO:


    It's less confining. I switched around 10 weeks, because my LO had stopped accepting swaddling but was waking up constantly due to an active startle reflex. I was able to put it on her before nursing. It was a little bulky -- sometimes I only put it on half-way and then zipped it up when she fell asleep.

    I have no financial stake in this company -- it was just a life-saver for us. But if swaddling still works for your LO, maybe partially swaddling before feeding would help? We also started a routine around that age where we'd read a book every night, put sound machine on -- some similar things to cue that it was sleep time. Putting the suit on was a cue for her for a while, as well.
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 11 week old cluster feeding + swaddling challenges

    Often it helps to just not put the baby down. Babies instinctively know that being put down means being removed from maximum security, warmth, comfort, food... So they wake up and need to be soothed all over again. If you have a sling you can just have baby on you throughout the evening. I know that's not something which fosters maximum evening productivity, but it's better than having to jump up a zillion times to get baby resettled. A swing is also useful, because sometimes a baby will accept being "held" by the swing as a substitute for being held by mom. The motion fools baby into thinking that he's still on mom- maybe she's walking around while holding him, or rocking him.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 11 week old cluster feeding + swaddling challenges

    Cluster feeding and nursing overnight are normal and usually needed at this age. So I want to get a better sense of what your baby's nursing/sleep rhythm is now (if any is discernable-it may not be) and what your expectations are.

    So, do you mean your baby nurses frequently in the evening, eventually nursing to sleep around 10, and then you swaddle him and then he stays asleep for a while? Or is that what you are trying to do but he wakes up? Or are you trying to swaddle him/get baby to sleep earlier than that?

    Why does your baby need to be swaddled "for the night?" What does "for the night" mean, exactly? Is baby taking a longer sleep stretch at night yet or not? and if he is, how long?

    What happens if you do not burp your baby?

    Where does baby sleep?

    I would also point out that your now less than 3 month old baby will be almost 4 and a half months old in 6 weeks. That does not necessarily mean he will settle better or sleep longer, but it does mean that he will be in a different stage developmentally so what works or does not work now may well be irrelevant by then.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Nashville, TN

    Default Re: 11 week old cluster feeding + swaddling challenges

    When I went back to work, at night if I needed to work I would just nurse my baby down and let her sleep on my lap while I was on the laptop on the couch. Sling suggestion is good too, I just was ok without because an infant isn't going to crawl or walk away.

    Truth be told I had quite a talent for nursing a sleeping baby while doing other things: peeing being one of them.
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

  6. #6

    Default Re: 11 week old cluster feeding + swaddling challenges

    thank you for all the suggestions on the sling, swing and suit.

    In response to LLLMeg's questions: With regards to his schedule, he feeds roughly every 3 - 4 hours. I nurse him frequently in the evening, as an example tonight I fed him frequently from 5 - 10.30. The routine involves me feeding him, him dosing on the breast, burping him and then attempting to swaddle him and he gets up and starts the routine again. I have a 3 year old too, and this does not allow me any time with my older child. I do need to swaddle him, as he still has the ability to startle himself. I worry that when he is feeding on and off for such a long period he might be very tired as he is not sleeping and his eyes look puffy. I do have to burp him as he had acid reflux and has to be held up too after a feed. He sleeps in the crib.

    I don't think I can sustain this routine once I go back to work, so am very hopeful he would have settle in 6 weeks. But, if you have any tips I'd greatly appreciate it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 11 week old cluster feeding + swaddling challenges

    Thanks for answering LLLMeg's questions! Looking at the answers, here's what jumps out at me:
    - Your baby is nursing pretty infrequently if he's generally eating every 3-4 hours. It might help to offer the breast at around 2-2.5 hours after the start of the last feeding. More milk during the daytime may add up to less need for cluster feeding in the evenings. It's worth a try, anyway!
    - Don't worry about your baby's evening habits. Babies have short sleep cycles, and frequent waking doesn't hurt them or make them overtired. The real difference between babies and adults is that babies need help to get back to sleep when they wake in the night. Adults don't- we get up, we go pee, we get back into bed, and we know how to get right back to dreamland (except for insomniacs!).
    - You might want to experiment with having your baby sleep near you, either in your bed (bed-sharing) or in a side-car crib (co-sleeping but not bed-sharing). If baby is sleeping very near to you, his night-waking will probably be less disturbing to you, because you won't have to get all the way up and out of bed in order to feed him.
    - Don't worry too much about your 3 year old. When a mom has a new baby, her attention has to be focused on the new baby because the baby's needs are so vast. Yes, she may feel sad that she isn't able to give her older child (or children) as much attention as before, but this is a temporary problem, and it's also where other caregivers- especially daddy- can step in and step up.

  8. #8

    Default Re: 11 week old cluster feeding + swaddling challenges

    Thank you for all your suggestions. I have started having the baby sleep next to me and things are MUCH better

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: 11 week old cluster feeding + swaddling challenges

    For me co sleeping helped tremendously. Also, I would pushe the feeding more during the day. And baby wearing!!! Total life saver when you have other little ones that need you. In my experience, when my babies were young they changed patterns about every two weeks.
    Mommy to
    Ava 9.24.08 self weaned at 2.5
    August 8.19.11 still nursing, trying to wean gently
    Abram 9.12.13

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