Help, My Baby is Cluster Feeding
Cluster feeding is when a baby feeds frequently, in a cluster at certain points in the day. It is an incredibly common occurrence and usually happens in the early evening, as the baby may need more nourishment to get through the night.
When Does Cluster Feeding Occur?
Cluster feeding usually begins around 2 weeks of age and can continue for several months. Generally, the baby will feed for 1-4 hours at a time and will follow a regular pattern for this.
Why Does Cluster Feeding Occur?
Cluster feeding is thought to be the baby’s way of stimulating more milk production in the mother, so they can get the most out of their feedings. It is also believed to help with bonding, as the baby and the mother can spend more time in close contact.
Ages at Which Cluster Feeding Occurs?
Cluster feeding can occur at any age and is most common between the ages of 2 and 4 weeks. It will usually peak around 6-8 weeks – the same time that growth spurts tend to happen – and then gradually decrease.
Pros of Cluster Feeding?
Cluster feeding can be beneficial for both the baby and the mother. It can help the baby to get more nutrition from their feedings and can help the mother’s milk supply to increase. It can also help the baby to effectively ’empty’ their stomach, which can help with digestion and reduce reflux.
Cons of Cluster Feeding?
The main downside to cluster feeding is that it can be exhausting for the mother. It can be difficult to manage with other children to care for and it can be difficult to get anything else done.
Cluster feeding is a perfectly normal part of being a new parent and it is often a stage that passes quickly. It is important to remember that the mother needs to look after her own needs too, so it is important to take the time to rest, eat, and re-energise. Doing this can help to make the experience of cluster feeding a positive one.