Cluster Feeding Breastfeeding
What is cluster feeding or bunch feeding?
Cluster feedings are apparent (noticeable; evident; visible) when a baby has periods where he constantly breastfeeds for about three hours or so. Sometimes baby might fall asleep on the breast, refusing to let go and wanting to nurse more when waking. These babies are usually cranky and fussy and extremely demanding.
Having a Cluster Feeding evening again?
Cluster nursing usually happens in the evenings, but can occur any time during the day or in the middle of the night. Cluster breastfeeding is actually very common in newborn babies. Cluster feeding at night can become very tedious (tiresome; boring); mom and baby will usually end up sleeping in the same bed.
During the day baby might breastfeed a few times and sleep in-between. In the evenings they catch up with a period of continuous feeding.
NB: Cluster feedings do not mean that you have a low milk supply! Supplementing baby with formula will cause your body to produce less milk. Continuing with the cluster feeding will make sure your body is making just the right amount of milk for baby.
Possible Causes for Cluster Feedings
* Breast milk supply is generally lower in the evenings and evening feed breast milk is not as rich as morning breast milk.
* Baby might have extra sucking needs in the evening.
* Colic can also cause baby to want to breastfeed more.
* Milk flow is sometimes slower in the evenings.
* Cluster feeding babies are usually seeking closeness (maybe because mom is working during the day) Read more on comfort sucking here.
How long does Cluster Feeding last?
It depends on the baby, but usually it only lasts the first month and then returns during growth spurts : month 3, 6 etc.
Tips for Moms who have a Baby Cluster Feeding Problem
* Take baby to the pediatrician to make sure that the problem is not caused by GERD.
* Prepare for a cluster feed if you know baby usually cluster feeds at a certain time of the day…prepare food before the time.
* Get baby to breastfeed while in a sling; this will be helpful in doing whatever you want to do while baby is breastfeeding. This also helps if baby is fussy.
* Do something while baby is breastfeeding like reading your favorite magazine, watching a movie or chatting on the phone.
* Other tips on how to relax while breastfeeding.
* Swaddling baby can calm him for breastfeeding too.
* Breastfeed on demand; do not use a baby feeding schedule as this could make baby even more fussy and miserable.
Newborn cluster feeding is a temporary thing and learning to work around it and accept it will help you enjoy your breastfeeding experience more.
Infant cluster feeding can actually work to the advantage for Moms who are returning to work, as babies who cluster feed usually sleep longer at night. Moms can also use this time as a time to relax and bond with baby.
Other pages on “breastfeeding problems” in connection with cluster feeding newborns
- Reverse cycling ~ Baby breastfeeds more at night than during the day
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My Baby Not rated yet
Glad to know this cluster feeding thing is normal and that one day it will end. :)
MamaYoga Not rated yet
This is the first place I've ever read/heard the term "clusterfeeding". My first daughter did this quite a bit, and every attempt I made to stop it failed …
cluster baby Not rated yet
actually pretty helpful. My daughter is a week old. Sometimes she will nurse for about an hour and be done and pass right out.. other times she will nurse …