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You may be wondering if you should let your newborn cluster feed or not and whether it’s helpful or not? This post will explain more and tell you if you should cluster feed or not, depending on your situation.
Two of my first cousins had babies within a few weeks.
To say the text threads were hopping would be an understatement. All the feeding, diapering, sleeping questions.
What a joy!
One that seemed to come up a few times was about cluster feeding and particularly, should I let my newborn cluster feed? I think it’s a great question. And, as a certified sleep consultant, boy do I have answers!
Should I Let My Newborn Cluster Feed?
Absolutely, in fact, you should encourage it. But cluster feeding isn’t non stop feeding for hours. Cluster feeding is, within sleep consultant circles, purposeful full feeds at shorter than normal intervals to help top baby up for the evening sleep.
For example, feeding at 4 pm, 6pm, and 8pm instead of normal 3 hourly feeds.
Feeding this close together will help make sure baby is getting plenty of milk to help them sleep deeply in those important hours before midnight when babies sleep is the deepest and most restorative.
So those late afternoon early evening hours are a great time to implement some cluster feeding into your routine so you can avoid witching hours, get a proper bedtime, and enjoy watching baby breathe as she snoozes away for hours afterwards.
Keeping a baby at the breast for 3 hours at a time is not cluster feeding, that is some combination of snacking, cluster feeding, and comfort feeding.
Is it okay to let baby feed for hours?
I believe this is the question you’re likely asking. Is there any harm to letting baby stay at the breast for hours at a time. And my answer is: it’s only a problem if it’s a problem for you.
Now, it can easily morph into a sleep problem for baby. If they learn to take naps at the breast they’ll simply not sleep without being attached.
Tried-and-true *hands on* newborn settling strategies that even the most fussy (or wide-awake-sleep-refusing) newborns cannot resist!Learn More
This feels cute for a few days, but if you have toddlers, preschoolers, or a job to do then you’ll need baby to be able to nap in their own safe sleep place.
The truth is babies don’t feed for hours on end. Their tummies can’t handle that amount of milk. So if they’re cozy near mommy and sucking for hours, it’s non nutritive or comfort related. You can then offer comfort in any other way you choose and offer a pacifier if it becomes disruptive.
Use my simple 4 step routine to help your little ones start sleeping better LIKE TODAY.
It doesn’t take weeks, mama.