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Thread: Newborn cluster feeding and the human pacifier!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Default Newborn cluster feeding and the human pacifier!

    Hi there! I'm new to these boards, but I am SO GLAD I found them! Allen is my little boy and he'll be three weeks old tomorrow.

    He had a rough start into the world - my plan for a natural birth at a birth center was derailed with back labor and failure to progress and ended with a c-section plus him spending 2 days in special care nursery. Breastfeeding while he was in SCN was almost impossible but we tried. He came home on day 3 and was hungry - but I had no milk. After a minor meltdown, we regrouped and on day 4 we were back to exclusive breastfeeding.

    So far, so good. He latches well and I have no soreness or pain. We have lots of wet and messy diapers so I'm sure he's getting enough. But what is up with cluster feeding in the middle of the night? He nurses CONSTANTLY from about 10pm to 1 or 2am. And I mean constantly - he only wants to be at the breast.

    What I'm trying to figure out now is, is he just using me for comfort? Should I be teaching him some other way to self-soothe? Is he too young for that? WILL THIS END?

    At first he nurses, then he falls asleep latched on. I can't tell if he's still nursing or just comfort sucking. Once he pops off, he's asleep. As soon as he's in his crib and I hit the pillow - he's up again! And he's rooting! So, back to the rocking chair again to nurse.

    I've tried just sitting with him or rocking/swaying with him but he doens't fall asleep unless he's at the breast. Should I be letting him fall asleep like that? Will he learn to only fall asleep sucking?

    I'm thinking there aren't any real answers to this. I think time will work it out - eventually. He's a big boy - born 9lb 14oz, came home 9lb 2oz, and last Wed he was 10 lb. Hopefully after his 3 week growth spurt he'll even out some. I just need reassurance that it will end!

    Thanks!
    Jennifer

  2. #2
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Newborn cluster feeding and the human pacifier!

    sounds like your baby is growing well! thats great!
    have you thought about co-sleeping? Lots of moms do and it does help you get some rest. even if you just co-sleep part of the night it might help you.
    Newborns have a need to nurse, every time he does he is buliding you milk supply. It will get better as the baby gets older! at 6 weeks you'll think I realy can do this.
    good luck!
    andrea
    I have a boy named Allen also. Hes 16!

  3. #3
    ericsmom is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Newborn cluster feeding and the human pacifier!

    It gets better! I had times when I too felt like a pacifier. So much so that we gave him one (I know it isn't recommended but I felt like I needed to do something!) but he never took to it. I was so tired, and so was my husband. We went throught the same thing- he's asleep, you put him down, he cries, he roots, I cry, my husband calms us...My son Eric went through spells of wanting to eat all the time and suck all the time (like during growth spurts) and it wasn't always like that. Eventually, though, Eric found his wonderful thumb and stopped using me as his only source of sucking comfort. It was great. So maybe I don't have much constructive advise, but that it will get better, and you will be able to get some sleep and all those hours in the rocking chair will be worth it!

  4. #4
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Newborn cluster feeding and the human pacifier!

    i would recommend co-sleeping, too.
    my ds is in pretty much the same place now and co-sleeping works great for us. usually i'll sit up and nurse her until she starts to get a little sleepy then i burp her and lay down and continue to nurse.
    she'll get drowsy, comfort nurse, remove herself from the breast and then she's awake again.
    you should try co-sleeping for a few days and see if this helps you get more rest.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: Newborn cluster feeding and the human pacifier!

    Thanks for the reassurance! I'm not sure I feel comfartable co-sleeping with him. It's me, DH (6'7", 350#), and the 90# dog in bed. I will keep it in mind though if it doesn't get better.

    Last night was a long night - he wouldn't let me sleep more than 45 minutes! I'm guessing we've hit a growth spurt. I just let him nurse whenever he wants - in the long run it's best for both of us.

    Jen&Allen

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Newborn cluster feeding and the human pacifier!

    I was going CRAZY not knowing what was going on with the constant nursing !!! My little girl, Elaina is 2 1/2 weeks and always wants to nurse and I had all the exact same questions! This forum is a great resource.

    I am left with one question, though. When they are sucking, whether comfort sucking or actual nursing, how do you know if they are getting enough? When Elaina nurses and nurses and nurses, I feel like I run out of milk. If she pops off and then starts up again an hour later, my breasts feel empty. And even if I press them, nothing will come out. Is it possible to run out?

    So far, everyone has recommended drinking lots and lots of water to replenish the supply, which I do... loads of it.

    Diana

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Default Re: Newborn cluster feeding and the human pacifier!

    Quote Originally Posted by Diana
    I am left with one question, though. When they are sucking, whether comfort sucking or actual nursing, how do you know if they are getting enough? When Elaina nurses and nurses and nurses, I feel like I run out of milk. If she pops off and then starts up again an hour later, my breasts feel empty. And even if I press them, nothing will come out. Is it possible to run out?
    You can tell if baby is getting enough by looking at your baby...mainly your baby's output (diapers). What goes in, must come out! www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/enough.html

    Your breasts can *feel* empty, but rest assured as long as it's coming out in your baby's diapers, your milk is going in. Breasts don't have ounce markers, and the old "lift and shake" test doesn't tell us much other than which breast was used last. So, we look at the diapers to tell if baby is getting enough milk.

    Here's our FAQ on frequency of feeding:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/frequency.html
    And some more information:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBearlyweeks.html
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBfrequency.html

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Default Re: Newborn cluster feeding and the human pacifier!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jen&Allen
    Thanks for the reassurance! I'm not sure I feel comfartable co-sleeping with him. It's me, DH (6'7", 350#), and the 90# dog in bed. I will keep it in mind though if it doesn't get better.
    Could you side car your crib so baby has his own safe sleeping area, and you can still lie down to nurse?

    Also wanted to chime in and say that these early frequency days don't last forever. This too shall pass!

    This is NOT a LLL resource, but the information might be helpful:
    http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/fussy-evening.html

  9. #9
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    Jan 2006
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    Charleston SC
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    Default Re: Newborn cluster feeding and the human pacifier!

    Oh I remember those days also! And yes they too shall pass. Please do not worry about bad habits with your babies now, it really is all about survival when they are this young! Have you tried swaddling you baby, also a smaller space than the crib like a mosses basket or a bassinet may make them sleep better? It's worth a try! Also enjoy these nursing times, my ds is 9 1/2 months and is sooo busy, I know that you are tired but I would just love and afternoon of constant nursing and being able to sit on the couch! Best of luck!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    1

    Default Re: Newborn cluster feeding and the human pacifier!

    HI,
    I had the same exact question. My baby girl is 3wks old today and I feel like a human pacifier sometimes, but it is bothering my husband, which makes him question my feedings. I know you all say it will pass, but it seems like no one else can comfort her, but me.

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