How to switch cluster feeding from night to day, so wife can sleep. Advice please!(10 Posts)
Our 5 week old son has a habit of coming alive at night and cluster feeding, is really every hour or 45mins.
I am powerless to help my wife other than have him from time I get home until 11:30/midnight while she tries to get some sleep in and I desparately would like her to get some regular sleep.
What would make things so much better is if the pattern was just reversed and he fed maybe 3 times per night, rather than what was 7 times last night.
Is this a familiar sounding story? Are there any things/suggestions we can try to change the pattern? Or is it a matter of working through it?
Unfortunately, at that age, it is very normal behaviour for a baby. If your wife is breastfeeding, there will be much more milk production during the night (pesky hormones) and tiny new babies are biologically programmed to wake frequently during the night, as a survival instinct. Five weeks is also a growth spurt age when the baby will be like a little leech. It is knackering for both you and your wife and seems like torture.
I used to cluster feed for several hours from about 6pm to midnight. It was a killer but it meant if I was lucky, only 2-3 feeds were needed during the night. I had twins so my husband would attempt to give bottles of EBM or formula at one of the night feeds to help me out - it sometimes worked but not always and I had to listen to the crying and rejection of the bottle for a while, before giving in and doing the feeds myself. He would then burp and change the babies for me and settle them.
I also began bed-sharing with my babies in the early mornings, just to be able to doze while feeding. Not everyone likes bed-sharing with their babies but it certainly helped me.
Finally, you could just try tanking your baby up as much as possible during the day and evening to see if it does help you get longer stretches of sleep at night - but there is no guarantee. Some babies just wake a lot at night; my two boys were great sleepers but my girls were awful for years - sorry!
Congrats on your new baby, btw.
Mine did this from 5 weeks to 7 weeks and then changed to a different pattern. He was up loads in the night, usually every 2 hours (was2.5 hrs when first born). At 8 weeks we had a week of more traditional cluster feeding where he would tank up between 5pm and 10pm and then sleep for a longer stretch. Monday night he slept 3.5 hours and it was amazing! by the end of the week he slept 5.5 hours for the first stint. Then it went back to waking up more frequently for a week...it changes all the time. I hope you get a lovely week of sleeping for 3.5hrs like I did
The hormones which encourage milk production are more active at night, so babies are programmed to feed more then!
It should start to get easier very soon, but it will start up again when he has a growth spurt and last for a couple of days.
You - well she really! - will just have to roll with it. In my experience it is better to just accept that he wants to feed in this way and at this time rather than trying to space feeds or whatever. He is increasing her supply to meet his needs - which is a good thing.
Thanks all. Good to know he's normal! I'm sure we'll sort it thanks for getting back to us!
Time will improve this. Patience!
Have a look at wonderweeks. A brilliant resource for developmental changes week by week, including feeding patterns.
Congratulations on your new baby!
Congratulations on your new baby
My baby's cluster feeding always lasted between 11pm - 3am and me and DH would put our favourite box set on the TV and sit watching it for four hours whilst DS fed constantly
It lasted until he was about 7-8 weeks old and then his overnight feeding pattern started to even out so he was waking every 2-3 hours, feeding for 25 minutes and then back to sleep again.
Your wife is doing brilliantly
Firstly congratulations on your new baby.
As others have said it all sounds very normal! My DD had day and night back to front at that age but a few weeks later it all settled down (she's 1 now but still not s great sleeper TBH)
I found expressing too difficult and it messed up my milk supply a bit but it's worth trying even if you can give one bottle of expressed milk at night.
You sound like a lovely DH and Dad, don't worry things will start settle down soon (fingers crossed!)
Just checking your wife is sleeping when the baby sleeps during the day? Even if it is at 9am. It makes a massive difference.
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