Cluster Feeding

During this first few weeks Kate and I are learning about Max as he learns about everything around him.  On Wednesday we celebrated his 2 week birthday which coincided with Kate’s 32nd birthday.  It was strange to think he had already been in our lives for 2 weeks…and strange that it had only been 2 weeks.  This week he suddenly started looking much less like a newborn and more like a baby.  His hair has softened to a golden brown.  He is growing.

Max Sleeps On Dad

Our schedule is pretty much ruled by his hunger and expulsion of bodily fluids and gasses.  The hunger part threw us for a loop.  Everyone asks us if we are sleeping well, the answer is actually yes.  Much better than we thought.  Max has had multiple nights where he has slept for 4-5 hours in a row before waking up to dine on the ta ta’s.  How is this possible…crazy evening cluster feedings.  In the morning Max tends to eat every 2-3 hours if left to his own devices.  Car rides and Dad time tend to prolong time between meals.  Then at around 6pm he gets fussy…well…we thought he was fussy.  He would eat his normal amount, be fine for a few minutes, and then scream his head off like something was terribly wrong.  “He can’t be hungry again!”  Kate and I would say.  “He just ate.”  Back to the boob he would go and viola!  He’d eat!  We were astonished.  Kate suddenly got all funny in the face and exclaimed “I think he’s cluster feeding!”  I had never heard of this before, but Kate was right.

Cluster feeding is exactly what it sounds like and is extremely common.  For Max he is breast obsessed from around 6pm – Midnight every night.  Feeding often then falling half asleep on the boob but not wanting to let go of it, and then wanting to feed immediately upon waking up.  Tiresome.  Tedious.  Frustrating.  This is why I was having such a hard time with Max (see previous post) and had feelings of uselessness.  Max was screaming every time I held him and I was taking it as if he hated me.  He didn’t hate me…he’s hungry and I was always trying to hold him in the evenings.  Now Kate and I are armed with the knowledge that this is all a good thing and are able to make Max happy.  Cries in the evening usually mean hungry…even if he fed 10-15 minutes ago.  They are shorter meals clustered together AND some believe it is so they can stock up and achieve deep sleep through the night.  Come on 5 hours straight!

It’s just past Midnight and Max has just moved from boob to crib.  Time to see if the cluster feeding is over and how much sleep we will get tonight.  Goodnight Max.  Goodnight Kate.  Good night everyone.

3 thoughts on “Cluster Feeding

  1. Happy to hear that the stretching out he did last weekend when Max met his aunts and uncles is continuing. Each of you three, bottle fed, began sleeping six-seven hours at night once you reached a weight of ten pounds. I would do the late night feeding 10-12 midnight while Frank went on to bed, and he would do the 4:00-6:00 a.m. feeding, have private time with the baby and then head on to work. We shared the feeding, cherished that private time with each of you, and we each got about 6 hours sleep relatively uninterrupted most nights. I wish you this smoothing out soon! Hugs to cutie-pie Max.

  2. Saw this shared on facebook, and thought I’d offer encouragement.

    “This too, shall pass.”

    You guys are doing a FANTASTIC job letting little Max do his thing. It really is such a short time, and when you look back on it in a year, you’ll wonder how on earth it passed so quickly. Here’s the secret: the days are long, but the months/years FLY by. Don’t blink.

    GREAT job being supportive to Momma – she needs that more than anything else from you at the moment. And so does Max – supporting his mom is the best thing you can do for him right now.

    GO DAD!

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