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To want help to move newborn DDs cluster feeds into the evening?! (Breastfeeding query)

(93 Posts)
Absofrigginlootly Tue 11-Nov-14 09:19:28

Pfb/DD born 2 weeks ago....first week was utter hell until her tongue tie was snipped (she basically fed 24/7 to get enough milk as her latch was so poor)....she now goes 2-3 hours between feeds in the day, but cluster feeds none stop between 11pm-5am!!

Her latch still isn't perfect (lined up some NCT help and she is seeing an osteopath as her jaw is still a bit tight) but hopefully it will improve. I think though that she is perhaps feeding for longer than normal (30 mins) because her latch still isn't perfect....which is why her cluster feeding sessions go on so long.

At the moment I am going with it and sleeping 2-3 hour stretches between feeds 5am-12pm. But this means I'm never up and about before midday! And I try to grab an hour or 2 early evening to see me through the long night!! So I'm never going to leave the house if this continues!! shock It would be so much better if she cluster fed in the evening 7pm-12am for there anyway to subtly 'tweek' her feeding/sleeping etc to bring her cluster feeding session forward???

Also, how long does this newborn cluster feeding period last in general? 4 weeks? 6? 12?! Would be very motivational to think the end might be in sight!!! smile


ElphabaTheGreen Tue 11-Nov-14 09:29:17

Firstly, it can take a little while for a latch to improve after a tongue-tie snip - up to a month, especially if it was posterior. Also 2-3 hour blocks of sleep at night are really good with such a small baby.

What you're describing, however, all sounds completely normal for a two week old and, yes, it will settle down. I think it's different for everyone, but both of mine stopped furiously cluster feeding in the evenings around 8-10 weeks.

With DS2, I did quite deliberately start offering boob at every opportunity from about 5pm to try and get it over and done with. I think his cluster feeding settled down more quickly than DS1's (can't remember, although it may have just felt like an age as he was my first) but it also settled almost exactly a month after TT snip.

In the scheme of things, it will last such a very, very short time. Enjoy the one-to-one time while you have it. smile

Absofrigginlootly Tue 11-Nov-14 09:33:39

Also 2-3 hour blocks of sleep at night are really good with such a small baby.

No, that's not what I'm saying, she is awake all night 11pm-5am on longer than 30mins-1hour breaks in that time.

She only goes 2-3 hourly during the day......

sleepingdragon Tue 11-Nov-14 09:45:46

I'm not am expert, but what I did with my newborn DS was make sure we got out into the sunshine everyday (hard to do this time of year I know) to help his body clock start to recognise day and night. I tried to go out in the middle I of the day each day but don't know if that bit was necessary. I also had lots of skin to skin late afternoom/early evening, to encourage him to feed so he was less hungry later and seemed to cluster feed less. It does pass quickly, my DS is now 4 months and seems so big.

fromparistoberlin73 Tue 11-Nov-14 09:50:06

it wont last forever, but forget about trying to implement any plans- they will fail and you will get depressed. By the time she is 6 months feeding will be regular and you start solids etc- just grin and bear it

she is 2 weeks! she will learn- in the meantime maybe have her with you at nights- with DS2 I co slept and my god it make life easier- me and him in double bed- was only for a few months then his feeding stablised and he went in cot

hang on in there one day you will be taking them to school and this will be a distant memory

ElphabaTheGreen Tue 11-Nov-14 10:24:28

Ah, sorry. Misread.

She hasn't worked out day and night yet as a PP suggested so I second their recommendation of trying to get outside during daylight hours (even if it's in the back garden in your PJs!) Vitamin D helps to regulate circadian rhythms into day-night cycles.

Also, I had a bedtime routine in place with both my boys from day one - bath, boob, bed starting at 7pm, then stayed upstairs with them cluster feeding as necessary in a dark bedroom only. I co-slept for the first few weeks as necessary to encourage sleep at night then gradually worked them into a cot. It may well have been blind luck rather than good management on my part, but they both sorted out night from day very quickly doing this. Not saying they're good sleepers, mind they're fucking awful but they did/do get the bulk of their sleep at night, and the bulk of feeds during the day.

TarkaTheOtter Tue 11-Nov-14 10:31:32

It all sounds pretty normal to me I'm afraid (at 2 weeks I don't think 30min feeds is that long either). You don't need to do anything, in the next few weeks or so your baby will start to adjust to night and day. Just rest when you can.
I had a really strict bedtime routine with dd ending at 7pm and she is still a shit sleeper as a toddler. Ds I sat downstairs with watching tv until he was ready to go to bed. After a few months his bedtime was 7pm and he is a much better sleeper so I don't think it makes any difference.

Artandco Tue 11-Nov-14 10:39:06

I started feeding ds's every night between 6pm-9pm as much as possible. Then bedtime routine at 9pm and pop into Moses basket next to sofa. Feed 11pm when we went to bed and transferred them to cot next to our bed.

In the day I would wake them every 2 and feed if they hadn't woken.

AnythingNotEverything Tue 11-Nov-14 10:46:51

It takes 3-4 weeks at best for baby to become less nocturnal.

I would offer more milk in the day - ever 2 hours, discourage long sleeps, then keep it calm and quiet at night. Trips ours in daylight help too but I know that's hard this time of year.

I used to watch iplayer on my phone, in the dark, with headphones in.

She'll get there. Very early days yet.

Absofrigginlootly Tue 11-Nov-14 12:43:27

I think I'm just struggling with the sleep deprivation because I had a really stressful/emotional pregnancy (after years of fertility stuff) and then a very traumatic delivery and then I had to be whisked to theatre without her for hour and half and extensive tearing etc.... Then the first week being so stressful with the tongue tie.

I'm finding it hard to know what's 'normal' newborn feeding behaviour and what's due to her poor latch.....when she feeds constantly I start panicking that she's not getting enough from me again (she wasn't before the snip, we had to top her up)....snipped at day 7 and she's back to her birth weight by day 10 so I'm sure her latch is 'good enough' but it's still quite uncomfortable and my nipples are pretty sore.

She normally goes down for 4-5 hours on and off between 5am-12pm which is when I catch up on my sleep...but today she's only managed 3 hours so I'm worrying already about making it though tonight.

At my low points I consider introducing some formula....but I really don't want to after the 2 weeks we've had to get BF established....I'm just so tired and feel so overwhelmed at times.

That's why I wanted to know what people thought was typical newborn feeding behaviour and also, how long I can expect it to go on for. If I was confident that what she wa doing was normal I might be able to go with it more knowing that it will end! It will end! But at the moment it just feels relentless sad

Absofrigginlootly Tue 11-Nov-14 12:46:32

Last night she fed almost constantly from 9pm until 5am for that normal?! With only one chunk of 1 & 1/2 hour sleep where I crashed out..
It feels like she is just sucking on empty boobs after a while!!! I worry she's not getting enough.

Stuff online talks about evening cluster feeding from 7pm-12am but hardly anything about feeding all night long.....

perrinelli Tue 11-Nov-14 12:53:24

You poor thing. It might sound normal to other people (and might be 'normal') but to me it sounds completely hideous and I couldn't have coped. You sound like you're doing brilliantly.
Sorry if that's not terribly helpful but didn't what to minimise what you're experiencing, I feel for you.
Fwiw I think like others have suggested I'd try to offer bf as much as poss in the evening.
They're all different but with both of mine I think by about 6 wks it was possible to try to guide them towards some kind of pattern even if it didn't always quite work out x

perrinelli Tue 11-Nov-14 12:54:47

Oh, and other thing I would probably try is a dummy just to see if she's after comfort sucking

Elllimam Tue 11-Nov-14 13:01:26

It's been normal for both of mine, cluster feeding from early evening through to the next morning (on one memorable occasion 6pm-9am). It stopped by about 3-4 weeks. I remember frantically googling it and worrying about my milk supply too but it got better quickly, it seemed to just be them establishing milk supply, they have both put on weight really well and are big boys smile after the 3-4 week mark they slept longer and longer between feeds. Good luck, remember it soon passes. Next time I am co-sleeping smile feel free to pm if you want to know any more about my hideous sleeplessness smile

ElphabaTheGreen Tue 11-Nov-14 13:30:18

Ah - if you topped up with formula, she's probably just working extra hard to build your supply to make up for it. In which case, I'd go against what a PP had said WRT offering a dummy as the more she's suckling on you, the quicker your supply will build and the quicker this will pass.

It is normal - perhaps not commonplace, but within the realms of normal. You may get an HCP raise eyebrows, but they will be more used to FF babies who don't do this.

As long as she's doing plenty of wet and dirty nappies, she's getting enough.

Have you got a DH/DP who can take her and hold her in another room for a few hours while you get some extra hours? Getting her away from the smell of your milk may help calm her down to give you a break, and as long as she's held she should stay asleep for you to get some rest. Or get your DH/DP to take her out in the pram and buy you some chocolate for sustenance! grin

flowersflowersflowers You're doing brilliantly.

Absofrigginlootly Tue 11-Nov-14 14:00:18

It was only one night a week ago and only about 60mls Formula via a cup...I then hired a pump to express and we only gave her top ups of expressed breast milk for the next 2 days and even then were only talking 30mls a time....
Haven't pumped for 5 days sash esteemed so much more settled and didn't seem to need it. Apart from since Sunday she has a sniffly nose so seems to finding it hard to feed and breath...

Absofrigginlootly Tue 11-Nov-14 14:06:44

She seemed... Not sash esteemed! Bloody autocorrect!

fromparistoberlin73 Tue 11-Nov-14 14:29:03

Last night she fed almost constantly from 9pm until 5am for that normal?! With only one chunk of 1 & 1/2 hour sleep where I crashed out..

I am so sorry but yes this is normal when she is just 2 weeks- she has no idea its the night unfortunately- she is too little

Can you co-sleep- there are alot of descriotions of how to do it then when she had fed you can shuffle her away and have a snooze- anything to get you rest

sympathies- the first 6 weeks are HELLLLLLL

Themirrorcracked Tue 11-Nov-14 15:03:15

My ds was like this too and it's hell. I survived by getting people to sit up with me for any of the time they could. And eating A LOT of food...cake, cheese and biscuits...anything, while I was feeding. Also watching dvd's with the lap top on the lowest light setting.

However he did stop by 4 weeks ish and became much easier in his feeding habits. He had a really good latch and strong suck and still cluster fed, so I don't think it's necessarily a latch problem for you.

Chin up, it WONT last forever.

Absofrigginlootly Tue 11-Nov-14 21:11:19

Urgh! Could have had 2 1/2 hours sleep thus avo as she slept on my mum but the bloody MW and then HV turned up!!! Only managed about 4 hours since being awake last night until dreading tonight sad

ElphabaTheGreen Tue 11-Nov-14 21:18:12

You're doing fab, OP. Honestly, you'll look back and it won't seem like long at all, and you've done so well already to get through tongue tie hell.

Try and set yourself up for safe co-sleeping (double bed with just you, no DP, blankets only, DD on top of blankets in her own sleeping bag or thick sleepsuits, well away from pillow/s). If you can get a decent latch lying down, then feed that way and, as a PPH said, she may drop off there and stay that way for a few hours.

We're cheering for you, OP thanks

ElphabaTheGreen Tue 11-Nov-14 21:19:46

My autocorrect changed 'PP' to 'PPH'?! How entirely inappropriate shock blush

Solasum Tue 11-Nov-14 21:22:55

Much sympathy. I don't have any experience of tongue tie, but it really shouldn't hurt at all once the latch is right. Go to your local bf support group, call the helplines, keep asking anyone and everyone to help you get a good latch until it is not painful. At that age my midwife was encouraging me to sort of swoop DS into the breast, meaning he got a deeper latch which felt much better. Good luck!

NotSayingImBatman Tue 11-Nov-14 21:34:04

DS2 worked out the difference between night and day at about six weeks, he then started cluster feeding in the early evening.

By nine weeks he began sleeping an 8/9 hour block between 10pm and 6/7am which has been utter bliss. It was all gradual change, none of it happened overnight. You're in the worst of it now but once you reach 4/5 weeks, things will start to improve.

NotSayingImBatman Tue 11-Nov-14 21:36:20

Yes, as PPs have said, learn to feed lying down, then you don't really have to wake up although you may wake up in a milk lake...

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