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Cluster feeding nightmare

12 replies

DimlowChips · 16/01/2016 19:30

Last night was like something from a horror movie, I thought my baby was possessed! He fed from 1am to 6am almost non-stop. The gaps only happened when DH took the little guy out of the bedroom to try and give me a rest as I was in agony from the endless sucking. I ended up co-sleeping from about 5am and dozing while he got on with it.

DS is 10 days old now. Will nights like this happen frequently? Is there anything I can do to help reduce how frantic he gets? It was horrible listening to him screaming for so long. I ended up in tears myself at the end and considering a bottle of formula....

OP posts:
Loft653 · 16/01/2016 20:43

Day 10 is supposed to be a typical growth spurt - there's good info on the Kellymom website about when spurts can be expected,

It seems to me every baby is different, mine is 7weeks now and has cluster fed 7pm-2 or 3am every night until we broke a few days a go and gave her a bottle at 9pm(ish). Of the other 5 new mums that I did antenatal classes with, another is similar with cluster feeding and the other 4 don't so it seems pot luck to me!

If day 10 is the first time of that pattern then hopefully it's just a growth spurt which will be over soon.

Focusfocus · 16/01/2016 20:48

First of all - it's normal yes.

Second - "it's normal" is what i have heard get said to BF mums and my first instinct is That it's not very much help! When I post after being sucked on for 7 hours I'm not really asking if my baby is normal or to be assured that it's normal - I'm posting because I do not like it one bit :-)

Therefore - third point - it won't last. They will do this lots for the next few weeks bough nights like this however are bound to become fewer as their stomach grows in size it's only natural

I would on hindsight give up with the crib for the moment and research safe consleepih guidelines thoroughly and co sleep. Please research it well. And don't tell PIL anyone who doesn't need to know it hasn't BF and won't get it.

Get DH on board to give lots of back rubs. Have lots of water at hand, iPad and co sleep. Then the night won't be "broken" by "he woke five times" or "didn't sleep till 5 am"

All the best. It will pass she says heading into Month 4 of the acclaimed sleep regression lying ahead of her

SnuffleGruntSnorter · 16/01/2016 21:04

I came to write exactly as above, but probably less eloquently. This part is so, so difficult but it doesn't last forever.

I remember sobbing into my sons babygrow tongue extent that my husband thought his nappy had leaked. My nipples were bleeding, I was exhausted yet still he wasn't satisfied. In my own, personal opinion it was worth it a thousand times over; it settled down after a couple of weeks and breastfeeding became the easiest most natural thing.

Junosmum · 17/01/2016 01:03

I'm currently in to hour 2 of tonight's cluster feed. DS has done this 4 nights this week, for 3 to 4 hours at a time and then won't sleep unless being held. I'm exhausted, so much so that I am considering co-sleeping, though the guilt has so far prevented me from doing so. I can't last much longer doing this though.

SnuffleGruntSnorter · 17/01/2016 01:12

I was really against co-sleeping until I realised there was no way I was going to stay sane if I carried on the way i was. Something had to give - either I'd need to introduce bottles and share wake ups with DH or just bring my baby into bed.

I grew to really love feeding him whilst lying on my side facing him. I know it's not recommended but it was the best I could do.

NickyEds · 17/01/2016 14:26

I found my baby stopped with the marathon sessions after around two weeks old. She would still cluster feed in the evenings but not all night long.

When dd was born we decided to make our lives as easy as possible (with two small children!!). This meant (for me anyway), bf (more convenient in the long run), dummy, mix feeding quite early and co sleeping. My ds was 19 months when dd was born and I couldn't have coped without co sleeping. I didn't do it with ds (my first) because I was just too nervous but I really regret it now as we all got so much more sleep with dd!

WalkThePlank0 · 17/01/2016 15:26

I went through a similar thing. We are week 6 now. I got some good advice from the Breastfeeding helpline. They said: encourage feeding as much as poss during the day, so I stopped feeding on demand and started every 2 hours and 3 at night - set your alarm. Since wind can sometimes seem like hunger signs - watch for that. Infacol. Wind well. Keep upright as much as possible. I also worked out that the feeding was a comfort thing too.

So I fed every two hours, wear in a sling, co- sleep and after four weeks introduced a dummy or got DH to comfort. Got Netflix on my iPhone.

Worked well. DS2 gaining weight. Lots of wet nappies. I'm getting enough of rest too as we've now stretched to 4 hours at night.

Only thing is - poor DH keeps asking when he can come back in our bed since he is banished while co-sleeping. Not quite worked that out yet. But DS2 is settling in his crib on his own more now.

DimlowChips · 17/01/2016 16:44

Thank you for your replies, they are very reassuring! Last night we took DS into bed with us as he wasn't settling and he slept through 5 hours! I think co-sleeping is going to be the way ahead for the time being, and DH is in full support of this, even when he goes back to work.

Thanks again! Smile

OP posts:
Spudlet · 18/01/2016 08:40

Just wanted to say thank you for this thread, my son is 3 weeks old and yesterday was just awful - he fed from 1pm to around 10pm with hardly a pause. Luckily we have a good latch so it doesn't hurt me but it is utterly exhausting, I was sitting feeding him sobbing by about 9, with DH saying let's give him some formula, which I don't want to do yet. I can't cosleep and feed as I had SPD badly and still can't lie on my side, but at least I know I'm not the only one which helps.

Just sterilising the pump, as all the sucking has also sent my boobs into overdrive - hoping I can get a bottle out of them in case demon sucking boob monster baby reappears later!

Hope things settle down for you soon op.

DimlowChips · 18/01/2016 12:56

Oh dear Spudlet that's not good! I'm starting to wonder if DS isn't suffering with reflux, he was screaming again last night and it wasn't a normal 'whinging' cry iykwim? I ended up trying a dummy (which I wanted to avoid) and he settled down until his next normal feed time. The HV is coming today so I'm going to ask for some advice.

I hope you have a better day today Thanks

OP posts:
DimlowChips · 20/01/2016 10:03

Quick update for any watchers:

We are giving him an expressed bottle at bedtime with Carobel to thicken the milk. I have also given him a dummy for comfort sucking.

Last night was much better as a result and he went back to sleep without a fuss after a 1am and 5am feed.

Both of us feel human after all that sleeping Wink

OP posts:
Junosmum · 21/01/2016 18:33

I'm gad you've found a solution. I've ended up co-sleeping, I'm not happy about it but I need the sleep, and co-sleeping means I get 2 hours at a time, more than I've had since he was born almost 3 weeks ago. We also gave a dummy but he hates it.

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