Cluster Feeding Cluster feeding is when your baby feeds close together at certain times of the day. It usually happens in the evening, but all babies are different. Cluster feeding is very common in newborns. Because all of these feedings may work your body overtime, here are some tips to remember: • You are doing nothing wrong – this is normal. • Make sure you are eating and drinking. • Make yourself a nest for the day and make sleep a priority. • Talk to other parents. Get the support you need. • Ask for help when you need it. • Let your baby breastfeed whenever they want. • Do not supplement your baby with formula. It may decrease your milk supply. Babies who are fed formula still have fussy periods. • Let your baby instinctively breastfeed and know that the fussy period is just a normal stage in your child’s life.
Sleepy Baby Your baby may have a sleepy week or two and you may be challenged to keep your baby interested in feeding. In the early, sleepy days, youmay need to: • Be very attentive to feeding cues the first few weeks after birth. • Undress your baby down to their diaper. • Put your baby skin-to-skin to encourage frequent breastfeeding. • Rub the bottoms of their feet or back to keep them awake. • Talk to your baby while you are nursing. This also may help to keep them interested in finishing the feeding. • Massage and compress your breast during the feeding to increase milk flow. This will gently “remind” your baby to continue sucking. • Wake your baby in order for them to receive enough feedings.
Babies need 8 or more feedings in a 24-hour period.
Growth Spurts You may find there are days that your baby wants to breastfeed more than usual, or cluster feed. Many new parents may worry that something is wrong, but this is a common occurrence with most breastfed babies. This need to breastfeed more often generally lasts a few days to a week. Please know that your baby will return to a less frequent feeding pattern. The common reason for your baby’s need to breastfeed more is “ growth spurts ” and is your baby’s way of increasing your milk supply so that they can grow. Although these days may be more demanding for you, trust what your baby is telling you about their need to breastfeed more frequently and follow your baby’s feeding cues. As long as you do not hold back your baby’s need to breastfeed, your milk supply should be sufficient.
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