Will cluster feeding ever end?(8 Posts)
Hi I have exclusively breast fed my DD and she is coming 12 weeks. She has gained weight lovely and feeds well in the day and night.
We bath her about 7 and she starts to settle but she seems to still cluster feed for a good 2 hours. Does this keep carrying on? Should I feed her both sides then try and settle her and not let her keep feeding? She seems to be going to sleep about 9ish which seems late... any tips please.
It depends on what you want.
With my DD (5 years ago), this was not OK for me and at around 5 months I started sleep training and stopped feeding to sleep and allowing the whole cluster feeding. Tbh, the problem I had with this is that I am way too soft to follow it through and nobody told me about the sleep regressions! So I decided that (for me at least), that it isn't worth it.
Now with my DS, I let him feed to sleep still, and he is 9 months old. It gets earlier though. He used to fall asleep at 3 month between 9 and 10pm, then by 5 months it had snuck forward to between 8 and 9pm and now at 9 months is is generally around 7:30pm when my DD goes to bed (How could he possibly sleep when his amazing sister is around!?) Occasionally (like tonight), he has a late nap when I am late home from work and will fall asleep at 9pm instead. However, a work colleague has a baby the same age, who goes to bed at 6:30pm every night and sleeps through till 6am.
There is no right answer for this - it is up to you. Good luck
Yes - cluster feeding stops! It's a phase and baby is perhaps preparing you for increased appetite, growth spurt or maybe fighting illness. I'm a strong believer in baby knowing what's best for baby, so if my DD asked for lots of boob she got it. (If Im hungry I eat, thirsty I drink, need comfort I seek it, so I don't know why I would prevent a baby from doing so). Same with feeding to sleep. All of a sudden, at around 8.5/9 months old she was happy for a 5 minute feed and to put herself to sleep in her cot.
That might not work for you though so you need to figure out what's best for both of you.
Your DD sounds similar to DS2 who is 21 weeks and taking his time bringing his bedtime forward to the hallowed 7pm! At 10 weeks it was about 10.30, by 14 it was more like 8.30. It's now usually 7.30/8.00 pm. There's cluster feeding for maybe 1 1/2 hours before.
But they're all different. At 12 weeks DS1 used to cluster feed 4-7 and then conk out for 12 hours. It wasn't anything I did- just a different baby.
I found that mine reduced the cluster feed from 3-4 hours (typically 6-10 pm) to "only" 60-90 minutes at around 12 weeks.
But they were all always big bedtime feeders. DC3 never got under half an hour, for example.
Thank you - really helpful x assume expressing wouldn't help or even be possible in the evening until cluster feeding phase has passed?
The term 'cluster - feeding' is at fault, not you or the baby. Breastfeeding is like breathing to babies, its what they do, what they are meant to do. There isn't a 'downtime' until the baby wants one, and even then it will be brief. The baby is going to want to suckle - so let her.
If you want to boost your evening supply, have your main meal at lunchtime and a nutritious smoothie about 3pm. I come from the dark ages so we used to have raw egg whisked in milk, with added honey and brewers yeast. It was lovely. If there's a modern-day equivalent, have that.
Sounds totally normal for 12 weeks. DS2 didn't go to bed until we went up about 10 until he was about 4/5 months. He spent his evenings dozing and suckling on my lap. It does pass, I don't think expressing will help. Just try to enjoy the cuddles and closeness with your DD. DS2 is 13 months now and I already miss those first weeks snuggled up with him.
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