Cluster Feeding Breastfeeding Advice
What is cluster feeding or bunch feeding?
Cluster feedings are apparent (noticeable; evident) when a baby has periods where he/she constantly breastfeeds for about three hours or thereabouts.
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
Enduring a Cluster Feeding Evening again?
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; Mom and Baby will usually end up sleeping in the
During the day, Baby might only breastfeed a few times and
sleep between feedings. In the evenings, Baby might try to catch up on lost feedings with a period of continuous feeding.
NB: Cluster feedings do not indicate a low milk supply!
Supplementing your baby with formula will
cause your body to produce less milk. By allowing the cluster
feeding you will ensure that your body is producing just the right amount of milk
for your little one.
Possible Causes of Cluster Feedings
* Growth spurts.
* Acid reflux.
* 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 and bonding 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 i.e. month 3, 6 etc.
Baby Cluster Feeding Problem Tips
* Take Baby to the paediatrician to make sure that the problem is not caused by GERD.
* Prepare your activities around a cluster feed if you know that your baby usually cluster feeds at a certain time of the day; for example, you can prepare food for the rest of the family before the time.
* Get your little one to breastfeed while in a sling; this gives you more freedom to move around and also helps calm a fussy, gassy baby.
* Keep yourself busy while baby is breastfeeding; read your favorite magazine, watch a movie or chat on the phone.
* Read these super tips on how to relax while breastfeeding.
* Swaddling your baby can calm him/her for breastfeeding, too.
* Breastfeed on demand and do not use a baby feeding schedule as this can make your 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 of Moms who are returning to work, as babies who cluster feed usually sleep longer at night. Moms can also use this time to relax and bond with their babies.
Can you overfeed a breastfed baby?
Other pages on “breastfeeding problems” in connection with cluster feeding newborns:
- Reverse cycling ~ Baby breastfeeds more at night than during the day
- How does breastfeeding work?
- Pacifier use in the breastfeeding baby
- Growth spurts in the breastfed baby
- Acid reflux in the breastfed baby
- Calming baby
- Comfort nursing
- Swaddle your baby
Top of Cluster Feedings page
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Site by BFeeding Mamma, Tracy Behr. Currently studying through Child birth International (CBC, CBD). Also an accomplished author and Mommy of two.