Cluster Feeding in middle of night — The Bump
Breastfeeding

Cluster Feeding in middle of night

Hello all! Poster from N15 here. My DD is 13 days old and for what is the fifth night in a row DD is deciding to cluster feed for multiple hour increments In the middle of the night. I've tried feeding her every hour throughout the day, as well as staying up later or going to bed earlier. I'm going absolutely crazy- more so with the length of the nursing session( 2 hours +) off of sleep deprivation or the incessant screaming if I decide I need a break. At this point I feel like I'm fighting off depression. I've tried pacifiers to soothe her and DH also tried to give breaks or calm her- nothing calms her unless she's attached. How do you guys get through these rough night patches?

Re: Cluster Feeding in middle of night

  • You're in the 1st growth spurt now. There's nothing you can do, baby needs to eat when hungry. I started formula supplementing at 6 weeks because of the 3hr nursing marathon starting at 3am. The only thing that can make it easier is to nurse in the side lying position. I suggest trying it when you have someone who can watch you incase you fall a and start rolling. I was paranoid I would roll over on him and now I get a little extra shut eye at his morn feeding. I only do it if I don't feel super sleep deprived.
    MusicEBA22
  • I know exactly what you're growing through- yup definitely a growth spurt! Just try to stay calm and keep telling yourself it will pass. My baby started cluster feeding when she was two days old and I was still in hospital. That night she'd feed for what seemed like ages, then I'd put her down, I'd get into bed and she'd wake, all in two or three minutes. I had a four day labor which ended in induction, she was in an unusual position which gave me terrible tailbone pain, which got worse sitting with her breastfeeding for that long. I couldn't use the lying down position bcs I ended up with carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy and my arms and hands go numb if I nurse her like that. So all of this plus four days of sleeplessness (I was literally surviving on two hours sleep in 24hrs since labor started if I was lucky) and the sleep deficit increasing with looking after a cluster feeding baby, was enough to make me go insane...but just stuck with it. It lasted 2-3 days and they warned me it would happen again at two and three weeks, so I'm prepared. I'm sorry you're going through this and I know its incredibly hard. But it will get better. Theyll feed better and sleep longer and grow. Take it in your stride and try to enjoy his gift of nurturing another life !

    Lots of love and prayers for you!!
    NurseRieger
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  • NickiochNickioch
    100 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer First Anniversary
    member
    edited November 2015
    I would add that if you're feeling depression creeping in you should talk to your OB and also a lactatation consultant just for tips at the very least. Also Le Leche League is amazing, look up your local chapter leader and just give her a call. If they're anything like mine you'll be feeling a world of better after chatting with her!!! It's free, they're there because their passion is helping breastfeeding moms, definitely take advantage. Good luck !
    Lolo427
  • Lolo427Lolo427
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    edited November 2015
    Thank you guys so much for the encouragement and advice! The past couple nights have been better as I've just resided in the fact that the bed is not in my future. We've been cosleeping with me sitting up in a chair or laying across the couch with our giant ottoman against us; still nerve racking but not nearly as insanity inducing. I'm absolutely going to look up le leche here and see what support I can get.

    Edited : cosleeping not consleeping.
  • Another tip, it's still too early for you now because you need to let your supply stabilize for the 1st 4 weeks, but later on you can do an extra pump mid morning on top of usual feedings. Supply is better in the morning and less in the evening for most people. Keep that bottle in the fridge and warm it and supplement the night feeding with it. I have done that a few times and it helps speed things up at night when u want to get a little sleep.
    Lolo427
  • marijaa333marijaa333
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    edited November 2015
    I used to sleep on our couch with my son in the rock and play right next to me. I would pump milk every three hours and then have the bottle next to me. He'd wake up every 20-30 minutes and want a few sips. Instead of picking him up and nursing, I'd hold the bottle for him, until he fell back asleep (usually after 5 minutes). It was rinse and repeat after 20-30 minutes. One morning I told my husband without joking "This feels like Guantanamo." Seriously, whoever came up with sleep deprivation as a torture technique *must* have been a parent.

    The good thing is that it does all pass. Do whatever you can to cope, whether it's pumping, supplementing with formula, etc. as long as you feel safe.  I wish you many good 3+ hour stretches of sleep!

    PS Ah, just read your LO won't settle unless you hold her.  Your sleep is important. If it takes her crying for a few hours at a time while your husband tries to comfort her and you sleep, so be it. Babies crying is a normal, natural thing, no matter however upsetting to us!
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