Cluster feeding is apparent when a baby constantly breastfeeds, usually for about three to four hours at once. Some babies may even fall asleep at the breast and may refuse to stop breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding provides comfort and relaxation to a baby, especially when the baby is ill or in pain. Breastfeeding can also be used to calm and reassure a baby. Non-nutritive sucking is more important than what most would like to believe, it only becomes a problem, when the mother starts to feel overwhelmed by it.
Do you Think you Need a Breastfeeding Routine?
Are you confused about how often you need to feed your baby, whether or not you should wake your baby for feedings, or if you should put him/her on a feeding schedule? A strict schedule is not needed.
Can you Overfeed your Baby, by allowing Cluster Feeding?
No, you cannot overfeed your breastfed baby, your baby will nurse when he needs comfort and nurse when he is hungry…both of these needs should be met.
Fussiness in Baby
A baby that cluster feeds may often show signs of fussiness while breastfeeding, there are a number of things that can cause this fussiness.
Featured Comment on Cluster Feeding
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 miserably so I finally just gave in and made the best of it.
Everyone, including my midwife and lactation consultant said I should try to break the habit she was forming. But I let her go on cluster feeding and co-sleeping and clinging to me continually.
When she was just over 2.5 years old, she quit breastfeeding, and co-sleeping and potty trained all in the same week. Shortly after that, I took her to daycare for the first time, and she ran off happily, not caring whether I stayed or not.
Some kids are just born a little insecure, and I firmly believe that if you just let them know that you'll be there as long or as much as they need you, they will relax and grow out of the behavior much sooner. It's nice to finally read something that says following my instincts was the best thing to do.