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Thread: Please tell me this is normal....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    85

    Default Please tell me this is normal....

    Hi,

    I'm a first time mom. My LO is just over 5 weeks now. We had bumps along the way as we were both learning breastfeeding (supplementing due to Jaundice, sleepy baby falling asleep while nursing, thrush - which turned out not to be - a bit annoyed at my pedi for prescribing nystatin which made baby not always want to open his mouth thinking it was the medi, issues with low supply, or so I thought it was, etc).
    Now things are getting much better, we have somewhat of a routine going. He was feeding every two hours for the first 3 weeks or so. Then at around the 4th week, it turned into 1.5 hours or sort of "on demand" feeding. For the last 3 days, he's been feeding less during the day, maybe every 2 or 2.5 hours, but once around 7pm or so comes, he wants to eat constantly… all the way until about 11:30 or midnight. Then during the night, he either wakes up once himself with signs of hunger/crying or I wake him up (don't let him sleep longer than 3.5 hours without a feeding) or he cries b/c he needs a diaper change and then I think he remembers that he can eat and then wants to.

    Questions:
    1) Is this normal? The "cluster feeding" I think its called.

    2)Will cluster feeding last for a long period of time? Or is it just occasional? I can't imagine feeding for 5 hours straight each night, every night.

    3) Should I wake him if he sleeps past a certain # of hours at 5+ weeks?

    4) Am I anywhere near the magical "6-week" mark where things will get much, much easier?

    He feeds for about 20mins on each breast, so, during the day, if he is nursing every 1.5 hours and nurses for 40mins then with a diaper change and other small things, I'm only getting less than 30 spare mins - and that is only if I can get him to take a nap for a bit until his next feeding.

    Your thoughts/experience/advice/tips?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,982

    Default Re: Please tell me this is normal....

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bbbsmama View Post
    1) Is this normal? The "cluster feeding" I think its called.
    Yes. This is textbook normal at this age.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bbbsmama View Post
    2)Will cluster feeding last for a long period of time? Or is it just occasional? I can't imagine feeding for 5 hours straight each night, every night.
    No, it won't go on like this forever! It usually only lasts through the newborn phase, and goes away after a few months? And in Joe's case, it wasn't every night even for that time - it varied. But I think the best thing to do is just clear your schedule and plan to spend that time parked in front of the TV, nursing. Evening cluster feeding is really only intense for a couple of weeks, you can do this!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bbbsmama View Post
    3) Should I wake him if he sleeps past a certain # of hours at 5+ weeks?
    I probably wouldn't worry about it at 5 weeks, if weight gain and diaper output is normal. Personally, I would only wake my baby if I was feeling engorged and uncomfy.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bbbsmama View Post
    4) Am I anywhere near the magical "6-week" mark where things will get much, much easier?
    Yes! Just one more week! Just remember, it's not always a "magical" change. I would have described six weeks as a "turning point" for me, though. Babies do tend to space out feedings a bit more, plus they get so much more fun and engaging/engaged between two and four months.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bbbsmama View Post
    He feeds for about 20mins on each breast, so, during the day, if he is nursing every 1.5 hours and nurses for 40mins then with a diaper change and other small things, I'm only getting less than 30 spare mins - and that is only if I can get him to take a nap for a bit until his next feeding.
    I hear you! This is normal, and it's only a short phase, really. Park yourself on the couch for part of it, also take that baby out of the house and get comfy with NIP, WEAR your baby during naps and putter around - do what you gotta do, but remember, this is really just a few short weeks in your baby's life. Things really do change so quickly - EVERY DAY - at this point.

    You're doing great! Keep it up!


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,163

    Default Re: Please tell me this is normal....

    with the PP. I just want to emphasize that the 6 week mark is not magical in any way. At a certain point, almost all moms notice distinct improvements over the newborn craziness. But that point isn't always at 6 weeks. With my first, things didn't really improve until around 4-5 months. With my second, things got better at around 3 weeks. There's just such a big range that I think it's disingenuous to tell moms "Oh, it all gets better at 6 weeks." Sometimes it does, sometimes it takes longer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Please tell me this is normal....

    Thanks for your responses.

    @llli*joe.s.mom

    I ordered a carrier and plan on taking baby out for short walks during the afternoon. The weather is really nice ... (live in the bay area). Thanks for your tips.... Baby is starting to get so much more fun and interesting....

    The 4 months is gonna fly, I know.....

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,982

    Default Re: Please tell me this is normal....

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bbbsmama View Post
    I ordered a carrier and plan on taking baby out for short walks during the afternoon. The weather is really nice ... (live in the bay area). Thanks for your tips.... Baby is starting to get so much more fun and interesting....
    Hey, me too! I live in Oakland, and work in SF. There are a handful of us here, and we have occasionally done get-togethers.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Please tell me this is normal....

    Keep going mama, you can do it!!! Your situation is soooo similar to what I went through!!! Especially the beginning. At around the same weeks my son would not want to get off my boob from about 6pm-11pm almost every night until he finally he'd be sound asleep. It was very hard at first but it really doesss go by fast. You will look back and say wow that was nothing. Try nursing while laying down, watch TV (but dont let him watch according to AAP children should not have any 'screen time' til 2 yrs old), read a book, listen to music, etc. Usually at 6 weeks they go through a growth spurt so I wouldnt say it gets much "easier" lol. He will probably want to nurse constantly for about 48-72 hours.
    Youre doing great and if you've made it after going through what you went through in the beginning you will def. make it for much longer. It doesss get easier. My son is only 4 months but I have noticed a big difference from then to now.
    ~~~~~positive vibes your way~~~~~

    Mommy to Christopher James born 9/16/2010



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Please tell me this is normal....

    @llli*joe.s.mom

    oh a Bay Area gathering would be cool... leaving the house right now is like packing for a vacation without the vacation,,,, but i am sure it will get easier...

    We've only left the house for doc appts, 2 dinner outtings, a trip to target... oh and lunch and pinkberry =) Its hard, but each time gets better....


    @llli*cjsmommy
    Thanks for your post. Very encouraging. Thanks for the positive vibes.

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