Cluster Feeding

Amy - posted on 01/14/2009 ( 12 moms have responded )

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Hello everyone...

My little guy, Sammy, is just over 4 weeks old. He was born December 12th! I am a first time mom, and I am currently a stay-at-home mom until September, when I will return to my teaching position.

I am breastfeeding, and my son has been cluster feeding a lot lately. For a couple of days he was doing it in the morning. Last night he fed what seemed like constantly from about 8:30pm-12:30am. I read about it, and it seems to be normal, but I am wondering if anyone else is experiencing the same thing or something similar?

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Emma - posted on 01/24/2009

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my boy is 5 weeks old, out of hopital he had 14 feeds a day. he cluster feeds every 2 to 2 nhalf to mid arvo then between 7-9pm hel go 5hrs then 2 lots of 3hrs. i use to mistake his wind pains for hunger and i had ended up with an oversupply of milk and he had bellyache and more wind. i now give him wind drops and dont feed him under 2nhalf hrs. he now feeds 7-9 feeds in 24hrs. i will try and add formula in a month, as i find breastfeeding to demanding with no routine or structure.

Katharine - posted on 01/19/2009

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so do any of you go to LLL meetings or know how to contact a consultant?  It is free of charge to do so the information can be found online.  It is what I would advise to you.  First off I know you CANNOT pump as much as your child can get off being at the breast.  Your body will make as much milk as they "need".  Your body will up its supply as they nurse more and it will make less when they don't nurse as much.  The pump works different than the suckling of your child.  So you might end up supplementing if you choose to pump only.  This is my second child and I have learned so much between the two.  I know how tempting it is to just "give up".  I can get you the information for LLL if you want or need it.  I get mine from friends that are LLL leaders but I have found how to get a hold of a local rep anytime I need it.

Lydia - posted on 01/18/2009

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Aaaaa! I'm so glad I'm not alone. Liandri was born 15 December, and she tends to do the same....Feed, burb, fall asleep, as soon as I put her down, wake up and won't settle till on the breast again..... for about 3 hours, sometimes 4. I have a 3 year old, and it is realy dificult and exhausting! I'm scared of overfeeding, nog having enough milk etc. etc. etc. I'm considering expressing every feed, at least I'll see how much she gets and I'll know to rather soothe with a dummy or rocking. Hope someone out there has some good advice.... good luck!

Sarah - posted on 01/17/2009

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it is normal, my newborn fed every hour when i breast fed, and now he's on the bottle its not much easier, i found expressing milk to help as you know then exactly wht they are having, and fills them up quicker, (plus your partner can help)

Jackie - posted on 01/16/2009

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She won't take a pacifier. I have a friend who successfully breastfed two children who claims she cannot *actually* be feeding for two hours or more at a stretch and must be using the nipple as a pacifier, but she really seems like she is seeking sustenance the whole time, not like the leisurely sucking I see kids doing on pacifiers. I plan to continue feeding her and pumping for her dad to use. The supplement would just be for those times when I feel like I am out of milk or raw. She bit me in the hospital and I have never really gotten to heal up since, even though I used the other breast more for awhile and pumped the injured side. This is the only way I see for me to get healed up and for her to get her fill.

Katharine - posted on 01/16/2009

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Quoting Jackie:

I have had the same situation with my daughter (born Dec 29) and am not sure what to make of it either. Everybody I talk to has a different opinion. The lactation consultants said feed on demand. The nurses mostly said feed every three hours, except one nurse who just said no cluster feedings. My friend who breastfed two healthy babies said feed her an hour and then refuse to feed her for a while to let myself "fill back up". The pediatrician said to feed her until I think my breasts are empty and then supplement her if she is still hungry. I think I am going to do what the pediatrician suggested because she seems to be struggling to gain weight.



Don't supplement unless you plan on no longer breast feeding.  Do feed until you think your breasts are empty.  I would suggest a pacifier inbetween she could still be suckling for soothing purposes.  I swear it has made a difference here.  He doesn't always need the pacifer but  when he is doing nothing wanting boobie but not really getting anything out of it.  Once you start to supplement it becomes so easy to just give up.  Don't worry about weight just yet.  I have a 3 year old that was breast fed/formula fed and she is still underweight.  She is 3 and only 30lbs.  She just never gained weight.  She was not 20 lbs until she was 18 months.  She just made 30 lbs this december and she was 3 years and 4 months old.  Sometimes they just don't gain weight.

Amy - posted on 01/16/2009

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My little guy seems to be gaining the weight just fine. At his two week appointment, he had already gained a pound. He is five weeks now, and he is already out-growing some of his newborn clothes. I think it is just more of an inconvenience for me. Before having a baby, I was all about schedules and organization, and I think I just need to get over it and enjoy being a mom! I called the doctor to talk about it this morning, and she said it is probably a growth spurt, and it will continue until my milk supply responds. Every day is different! I am just trying to learn to go with the flow for now as long as he is healthy. Sometimes I forget he is only 5 weeks...it feels like he is been in my life for much longer, and I mean that in a positive sense! Thanks for all of your advice!!

Jackie - posted on 01/15/2009

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I have had the same situation with my daughter (born Dec 29) and am not sure what to make of it either. Everybody I talk to has a different opinion. The lactation consultants said feed on demand. The nurses mostly said feed every three hours, except one nurse who just said no cluster feedings. My friend who breastfed two healthy babies said feed her an hour and then refuse to feed her for a while to let myself "fill back up". The pediatrician said to feed her until I think my breasts are empty and then supplement her if she is still hungry. I think I am going to do what the pediatrician suggested because she seems to be struggling to gain weight.

Michelle - posted on 01/15/2009

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My first baby was like this. I always tried to distract her with a pacifier, etc. to get her to go longer. Slowly this will get the baby on a better eating schedule. I always attributed it to the baby wanting to be pacifed. Is he just wanting to suck or is he really hungry? Also, some babies are born backwards when it comes to day and night. Maybe it will go away once he gets his times figured out too.

Lindsay - posted on 01/15/2009

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Yes! My son started being a constant cluster eater after we got home from the hospital, and he would cry whenever I stopped feeding....he would literally forsake himself of sleep just to stay attached as long as possible! After a couple of nearly sleepless nights/days I called a lactation specialist and recommended a Nuk, which helped for a little bit and made him stop using me as a human pacifier.



Now he just wants to eat all the time (waking up every 1.5-2 hours at night with half hour feedings and whining seemingly all day for food). I'm thinking (and hoping) that this trend will soon pass and that it is just a growth spurt.

Katharine - posted on 01/15/2009

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My son who was born the 22nd will be like this.  He was a cluster feeder in the hospital which meant no sleep for me which is not good cause I have a 3 year old as well.  He tends to cluster feed at night mostly.  Just hoping he out grows these feeding spurts myself.

Katharine - posted on 01/15/2009

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My son who was born the 22nd will be like this.  He was a cluster feeder in the hospital which meant no sleep for me which is not good cause I have a 3 year old as well.  He tends to cluster feed at night mostly.  Just hoping he out grows these feeding spurts myself.

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