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Cluster feeding morning and night! Is this normal.

(14 Posts)
babybunting2010 Wed 17-Nov-10 20:31:09

Hi all, I hope you can help! My dd is 4 weeks tomorrow and I'm worried I'm doing something wrong. She feeds constantly from around 7/8 till 10/11 at night with little cat naps in between then sleeps till 3:30/5 which is fine but she then cluster feeds or cries till 11am with only cat naps it's leaving me exhausted and crying for a number of hours a day. She doesn't need the breast to fall asleep once she's finally finished after approx 3 hours she goes into her cot awake and falls asleep on her own. And i never seem to have time to express much so dh can't do much to help. I'm pleased that she sleeps for a few hours in a row but can't deal with getting up at 4or5 every morning and not getting any more rest till the following night she doesn't really sleep that much during the day unless we're out of the house. I'm so tempted to use some formula at night just for my sanity! Any advice or support desperately needed please! x

alfiesmummy23 Wed 17-Nov-10 20:40:34

trust me formula is a pain in the arse! you dont want to be going downstairs in the middle of the night/early morning preparing feeds when they are crying cos theyr hungry. i bloody hate ff but he will not breastfeed, considering relactation as i hate ff that much, id stick to the boob its way easier, i know that hubby can help with night feeds if ff, i was told that as a plus side of ff but mine never gets out of bed to do night feeds so no use to me! rant over ( btw rant not aimed at you, just had a bad day and cant seem to help my typing looking angry lol! )

Ineedsomesleep Wed 17-Nov-10 20:52:58

Babybunting, my DS was like for a while so you have my sympathy.

Where does your LO sleep? Perhaps if you could put her in bed with you and feed lying down you could get some more rest?

Also, if she will sleep in the day if you are out, is there someone who could take her out for you, even if its just half an hour in the pram?

All I can say really is speak to one of the bfing helplines and it will get better.

clarechick Wed 17-Nov-10 20:55:21

I have a four week old as well and have the same problem in the early evening too but DD manages to sleep in several three hour blocks until 7 or 8 on a good night - but it does vary!! I know not everybody would agree but for your own sanity don't beat yourself up about using a little formula to allow you to get some additional sleep - surely a happy mummy is more important!! I have topped up a feed with formula in the evening now and again - I'm not sure if this helps her sleep longer but it gives me a break from breatfeeding for a little while as it can be just soo relentless sometimes

babybunting2010 Wed 17-Nov-10 20:56:01

no offence taken. I know i don't want to use formula as i love being able to bf but at same time hate being glued to sofa feeding for so many hours a day on only a few hours sleep! and don't know if i'm not doing something right meaning that she's cluster feeding early morning as well as late night. It's killing me. Oh and have a cough and sore throat as well so all i want to do is get some sleep.

Ineedsomesleep Wed 17-Nov-10 20:56:50

The other thing you might like to try is feeding her every 2 hours in the day for a couple of days. It might help her settle better at other times.

thesecondcoming Wed 17-Nov-10 21:58:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

babybunting2010 Thu 18-Nov-10 05:02:17

I'm actually really worried about sleeping and feeding or even having her in bed with me! Guess i'm just going to have to get used to it! Just wish she hadn't started doing a 3 hour feed when she first wakes up. She woke at 3.15 this morning. She's still feeding now. Oh well another hour and i guess i can go back to sleep for a while. X

Hannah7 Thu 18-Nov-10 05:17:00

Welcome to the confusing world of breastfed babies!!

Im doing a feed too!

Sounds like nothing is wrong to me, she is still very little so give it a few more weeks and things will settle. I tried bottle of formula when DD was smaller (shes 21weeks now) but made no difference to sleep. In last few weeks she has started to most nights sleep 7.15pm to 5am ish but still feeds every 2hrs in the day which is tough with my 3.5yr old DS to look after too!

After her cluster feeds how long does she go til next feed?

Ineedsomesleep Thu 18-Nov-10 07:17:34

babybunting, as long as you follow the guidelines there is nothing wrong with having your baby with you in bed. For me it was the only way I could get some sleep.

mousesma Thu 18-Nov-10 08:39:57

These early weeks are very hard but it is completely normal for a baby that young to cluster feed in the morning and evening (and sometimes in the afternoon and the middle of the night too!). There is nothing you are doing to cause this.

I found that DD started to space her feeds out a bit from 8 weeks but even at 12 weeks she still cluster fed in the evening and some mornings.

Agree with some of the other posters that if you do have someone who could take DD out for a walk or drive then you should take advantage of that to catch up on some sleep or just to spend a bit of time to yourself even if its just to read a magazine or have a cup of tea uninterupted.

You could try spacing DDs feeds out but I found this actually caused more problems than it fixed because DD knew when she was hungry and trying to force her to wait only made her and me miserable.

Although it's hard now I think you need to let go of the idea that babies behave in a certain way at a certain point. My DD is now 19 weeks and still only manages to sleep from 7pm to 1am on a good night then we are up every hour until 5 and this is even after giving her a bottle of formula at night.

Sleepless nights are unfortunately part of having a young baby, regardless of how they fed, and I found that once I accepted that I just wasn't going to get all the sleep I needed it got much easier.

tiktok Thu 18-Nov-10 09:01:23

I so agree with mousema when she says, "Although it's hard now I think you need to let go of the idea that babies behave in a certain way at a certain point."

Your baby is feeding normally. Not all babies are exactly like this, but some are, and some feed more often and with more periods of clustering.

You are not doing anything 'wrong' at all. It is far easier to change expectations and how you respond to her behaviour, than to change the normal needs of a little baby....and lots of mothers find co-sleeping is a great help. Obv you do it safely. Safe co-sleeping is no more risky than separate sleeping, and women have become unnecessarily terrified of this, at the expense of their own needs for sleep and rest

Honestly, it is mad to get up at 4 or 5 am to feed a baby! She and you will be fine snuggled up together in bed, and actually somewhat safer than feeding her in a chair or on a sofa with you desperate for sleep

It is not normal for you to be so tearful a lot of the day - you need to look after yourself by making sure feeding is as easy and relaxed and sleep-inducing for both of you

Ineedsomesleep Thu 18-Nov-10 10:12:04

Babybunting, think I might not have expressed myself correctly, when I suggested 2 hour feeds in the day, I didn't mean make your baby wait for feeds, I meant to feed your DD ever 2 hours and any other time she asked for it.

Cluster feeding is normal though and it will get better.

babybunting2010 Fri 19-Nov-10 19:11:11

Thank you so much to you all. It's just helped to be hear that it's all normal! Makes me feel like i just need to persevere. Thanks everyone nice to know i'm not on my own. X

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