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arghhhhhhhh!!!!! Cluster feeding at nights. HELP!!!

(20 Posts)
mads1 Wed 23-Jul-08 20:14:29

please can someone offer advice. Dd is 4 weeks old and from 5-6in the eve she won't settle. She's now over tired and dh is trying to settle her. Surely she can't need a feed again? It seems like every half hour! Does this happen with formula fed babies? Have not been enjoying bf this time and am thinking of giving up! I am mentally and physically exhausted and just want to breakdown and cry. She does this during night too sometimes.stays awake for up to 3 hours . She feeds well during day ie every 2-3 hours.

LackaDAISYcal Wed 23-Jul-08 20:26:27

sorry you are finding things hard work at the minute, but you sound like you are doing all the right things and feeding on demand smile.
It is hard, these first few weeks, but it passes once your supply has become established. The cluster feeding in the evenings and at night is because this is the best time for stimulating your supply. It seems like forever, but believe me it will pass and they are usually settled into a better feeding pattern by 8 weeks.

It tends not to happen with formula fed babies as they don't need to increase the supply (if they finish the bottle and are still hungry mum ups the amount for subsequent feeds) and the formula makes their tummies feel fuller for longer by dint of it being more difficult to digest.

you are doing a fab job, and it is so worth the crushing tiredness of these few weeks to keep going as once your supply is well established, it is the easiest and most convenient way to feed you baby; not to mention nutritionally the most superior.

repeat after me "this too shall pass" smile

LackaDAISYcal Wed 23-Jul-08 20:28:28

some information on cluster feeding from kellymomm. It's a fab website for breastfeeding support and information.

girliefriend Wed 23-Jul-08 20:36:31

I think my dd did this as well and it was really hard work but it does pass! She is still very small and I found with bf in general things get eaiser once you hit the 6 - 8 week mark! Keep going it is worth it in the long run, think of all the benefits and money you will save (when all else failed the thought of having to fork out for formula when I knew I could produce milk for free kept me going - I am that tight!!!) If you are getting really stressed out and need a break could you express some milk in the morning for your dh to give her in the evening? I used to do this sometimes when I was too knackered to sling a sentence together and needed a break! Good luck xXxX

ilovemydog Wed 23-Jul-08 20:59:02

My DS tends to cluster feed in the evenings. It's like he's a bear going into hibernation and won't get any food all winter! smile

Lib76 Wed 23-Jul-08 21:14:49

hi my DS is 6 weeks and he is always unsettled in the evenings, i have now just started to put him in his cot to cry and he goes to sleep. prior to this i found myself feeding him cause i didn't know what was wrong. my DS cluster feeds in the mornings, usually feeds about 6am then could be 8 or 9 then 11 or so again! you are not alone! just have a good cry it does help!

Dawnie6577 Wed 23-Jul-08 21:36:05

mads1, this is exactly what my DS did when he was first born and i can remember how hellish it felt at the time.
it felt like i had no milk, he was so ravenous in the evening and i was so sore! cluster feeding is really tough and i felt like i was never going to have an evening again or eat at the same time as my husband again! but i promise you, it does pass and things do settle down.
as everyone has said, this is just your little one's way of making sure there is enough milk for her (and also provides the most comfortable, secure place for her). i know how tempting it is to stop feeding, but if you can get through these weeks, it does get so much better, i promise.
a few things we did to get through it:
1) friends / family used to come around and wind him/try to settle him for an hour or two (they had bottle of express), whilst i had a bath/rest (of sorts!)
2) sleep whenever your little one sleeps in the day
3) eat your main meal at lunchtime!
4) do anything you can to settle him (i used to get paranoid that i shouldn't be rocking / nursing to sleep / out in car seat for a drive for fear of teaching bad habits) ... these can be dealt with later
5) our DS had colic and he preferred being upright, rather than laying down.
these may all sound really obvious, and i am sorry if they sound patronising, but at the time, i found it so hard to see the wood for the trees.
you are doing amazingly and you will have evenings again. just focus on you and your baby.
let us know how you get on,
dawnie x

Onlyaphase Wed 23-Jul-08 21:39:06

Agree with the others - my DD cluster fed in the evenings for about 8 to 10 weeks, nothing would settle her apart from feeding. So I spent every evening on the sofa, supplied with snacks, water, remote control and a feeding baby. Once I stopped trying to fight it and think that she couldn't possibly be hungry again, it was fine.

ilovemydog Wed 23-Jul-08 21:48:13

lol at the 'stopped trying to fight it!' Exactly right. smile

If men are from mars and women are from venus, babies must be from pluto, I've decided!

Umlellala Wed 23-Jul-08 21:52:05

PS I demand fed dd with formula (mixed fed til 3 weeks then just ff) and she did cluster feed for a while. So not worth switching just to avoid IMO. And it didn't magic her sleeping through either wink.

Dawnie6577 Wed 23-Jul-08 21:53:59

my dh used to walk around in the back garden with ds (this was last november, baby in full on snowsuit!) in my 20 minutes 'off'!

i took about a week after mine had started settling at 8pm until i truly believed it was happening and i could start relaxing myself.

slim22 Wed 23-Jul-08 22:01:05

only one word: surrender

yes, this to shall pass

As it is, am sat here sleepless with DD 10 week old and it's 4:59 am my side of the world.
She just decided to do the 3 to 6 am shift these days........Joy!

ilovemydog Wed 23-Jul-08 22:17:27

slim - DS did the same. He was AWAKE from 3 - 6, and rather annoyingly was smiling....

Fortunately, he stopped doing that around 12 weeks after being convinced of the merits of sleeping.....

Still smiles though - Just at more sociable hours!

slim22 Wed 23-Jul-08 22:21:24

Isn't it infuriating when they give you that cute smile in the middle of the night? And then she kicks her plump little legs with joy when I change her nappies?

really hard to resist engaging with her. I try and keep it all subdued and dark and not speak to her. Just feed and cuddle and bed.

Hope this will pass SOON.

mads1 Wed 23-Jul-08 22:49:06

sorry haven't replied earlier! Dd didn't settle til 9.30 and them I had dinner and a bit of wind down infront of telly. She's starting to stir again so might have to whip them out again soon!
Thank you all for the encouragment. I guess I needed to hear from others that this will pass.
It is weird reading your posts. It's as if I was writing them.
Slim22 hope you and your lo get through this soon too! Where are you from? Will be thinking of u!
Xxxx

slim22 Wed 23-Jul-08 23:08:22

hang in there. it is hard work.
Just think of it as a babymoon. You'll miss this closeness when she's older.

But do sleep during the day. Even small catnaps help.
Take care.

PS am in singapore

mads1 Thu 24-Jul-08 08:26:59

slim22 - bil and his family live in Singapore! Wonderful place to be!

Good luck with it all xxx

slim22 Thu 24-Jul-08 10:01:45

What a coincidence! Yes it's lovely being here with a young family.
thx for your good wishes, same to you.

Piccalilli2 Thu 24-Jul-08 15:05:30

hate to say it but my dd2 is still doing this at 13 weeks (6 til 9:30 every night). I am going slowly out of my mind with the sheer relentlessness of it. I am told she's quite unusual though, most babies grow out of it by 10-12 weeks.

slim22 Thu 24-Jul-08 16:31:23

11:25pm
she's been at it since 5 pm.
About every hour
I;ve just managed 25mn of sleep from 10:30 to 11,
God help me tonight.

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