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Daytime cluster feeding

(7 Posts)
ohthegoats Mon 03-Nov-14 08:55:55

Typing quickly with both hands while I have the rare opportunity!

My 3 week old baby is GREAT at night. Feed for 15 - 30 minutes every 3 hours (sometimes more), going back down to sleep easily after feeding/burping. This means I get some sleep, which I'm very grateful for (while it lasts!) She's also happy to lie awake in her crib after the first morning feed for around an hour or so - which means I get a shower and to run around putting washing on etc before she starts being demanding.

If given the opportunity, she'd cluster feed all day every day from 10am - 9pm. Sometimes I might get a break in the late morning while she naps, but it's rarely for more than 10 minutes. Other than that she roots, chews her hands and often screams, unless she's on the boob. Yesterday for example she didn't sleep from 8am until 7pm - not at all, and only did in the end because I put her in a sling, which is like some sort of magic trick.

Is there anything I can do about this? Do I just need to ignore some of the screaming if I know that she's fed and comfy? I've used bottles 3 times with expressed milk, and know that even sometimes after 125ml she'll carry on with the rooting and hand chewing. I've been going about my day a bit despite it, but it's hard to go some places with a screaming baby, and I can't always have a boob out. I want to be able to feed her on demand, but it's too demanding! I can't spend 11 hours on the sofa every day.

Imeg Mon 03-Nov-14 10:46:25

Sounds tiring! How is her weight? Mine used to sleep ok at night and feed for hours at a time during the day but he wasn't putting weight on well and with hindsight he was only sleeping well at night because he was so exhausted from feeding inefficiently all day... If yours is putting on weight well it won't be relevant but I just thought I'd mention it as I thought it was cluster feeding but it was actually that we hadn't properly got the hang of latch etc.

Imeg Mon 03-Nov-14 10:52:30

PS assuming weight etc is ok the other tip is that I realised after several weeks that mine would appear hungry when he was actually tired, and so after about two hours of awake time and after feeding for some time I would walk him in the pram or sling until he fell asleep (there was crying...). I found he then fed better when he woke up rather than grazing grumpily. As I say we did have some genuine feeding issues but I think overtiredness didn't help.

NickyEds Mon 03-Nov-14 11:10:27

You're right you can't spend 11 hours a day on the sofa! Is your baby gaining weight? Plenty of wet nappies? 11 hours is an extraordinary length of time for a baby that age to be awake- you must be shattered. A bit controversial in a 3 weeks old but have you tried a dummy? Some babies are just suckier than other and need to suckle, even with the "they are always hungry" mantra she can't possibly be feeding for that whole time!

porcito Mon 03-Nov-14 11:30:14

Hi goats , I posted last week about the exact same thing. A few people replied reassuring that it was normal and would pass. Someone said the baby was stock up her supply to give a good night's sleep.

This week, at 5 weeks, she has been SO much better. As in, she slept for hours in the day and didn't want feeding constantly. Was so relieved as was struggling to fit everything in to 20 min blocks and there's only so much Netflix a person can watch!

I also used a dummy at times just to give a ten minute break so I could eat etc.

hollie84 Mon 03-Nov-14 11:34:00

Maybe she just likes to suckle - have you tried offering a dummy?

ohthegoats Mon 03-Nov-14 12:19:23

Good suggestions - we're considering the dummy option, especially because I wonder if the hand sucking is about comfort rather than hunger.

Today I'm trying something - basically feed her on both boobs for an hour/hour and a half, then put her in a sling (which is like some sort of sleepy drug to her) and get on with my day/rock like a loon until she sleeps. At least then I know that a) she's full and b) has had some sleep. Only survived yesterday because the baby whisperer who is her father took her away before I put her in a sling and got her to sleep.

She had put on weight at her 2 week HV appointment and was over her birth weight by a 100g - plenty of wet nappies, averaging one dirty nappy a day, but usually 2 or 3 every other day. She looks bigger too. Unless something has gone wrong in the last couple of days then I think her feeding is efficient. Maybe I'll go to a drop in and just check that she's still packing it on.

When I started typing thing she'd just been put in a sling and was screaming/chewing her hand... now she's asleep. Phew.

If she didn't sleep at night I'd have exchanged her for a different model by now.

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