I am new to this site, but am hoping some of you will be able to provide some advice/insight into a problem I am having with my LO.
DD is 3 weeks and a few days and is EBF, and it seems like ever since her birth, she has been cluster feeding almost all day and evening. I can count on one hand the number of days where she nursed a normal every 2-3 hours, but for the most part, during the day and evening she is literally on my boob 24/7 nursing every 30 mins or so and then fussing as soon as I put her down. She was sleeping pretty good at night up until a few days ago, going 4-5 hours between feeding. However, as soon as she hit 3 weeks she has been waking every hour at night and just so fussy at the breast, screaming and pulling away like she doesn't want any, but then she will start rooting the moment I take her away. I didn't mind the cluster feeding as much bc she was at least giving me longer stretches at night, but now it is almost non stop
I am at my wits ends and I just don't know if she is fussy because of an underlying issue or if this is just a normal thing for growth spurts. I know typical spurts happen at 2-3 days, 7-10 days, and 2-3 weeks and she has hit them all lol.
Some of her symptoms include frequent hiccups, gurgling/grunting noises in her sleep, fussy when not being held, nursing every hour or less, and fussing at my breasts when feeding. However, her weight gain is awesome. She weighted 7lbs 5oz at birth and at 3 weeks she weighted 9 lbs 6oz.
Any advice is appreciated!! Is this typical behavior or does it sound like she has a problem such as silent reflux or something? When does this cluster feeding end???
wonderful clementine / 24134 posts
I am no expert but this is what I would try.
Say your day starts at 6am.
6-6:30 nurse (or however long it takes to feed both sides until done).
For the next 30 minutes keep baby upright. Great time for a walk outside, play time, etc.
After that do whatever you can to try to stretch baby to 8am (2 hours) for a feeding. After that 8 am feeding, put baby back down for a nap. Usually they like to sleep right away in the morning.
Throughout the day try to stretch for 2 hours between feedings. It may be that you just don't have enough time to replenish. Keep nursing and your supply will catch up!
grapefruit / 4066 posts
Thanks for the tips! I have been trying to feed on demand but its been so hard to keep up it's hard when she starts crying and rooting around, but maybe some distraction activities you mentioned may help distract her a little
grapefruit / 4291 posts
She might be continually snacking rather than filling and emptying her tummy which could be affecting her sleep.
I agree with PP who suggested trying to stretch her out between feedings and have you tried a paci in case she's just comfort sucking?
The other suggestion would be around burping / winding, because the fussing could possibly be gas working its way through her system.
kiwi / 549 posts
As for the frequency of feedings-- some babies just need to nurse frequently. (I know when people told me that early on, I just wanted to cry-- but it does end eventually. LO will eventually space her feedings out.) We nursed on demand, and that meant 90 minutes or less between feedings until 8 or 9 weeks. (Thats 90 minutes start of one feeding to start of next... SO EXHAUSTING when the feedings are 30-40 minutes long!) He eventually spaced it out to every 2 hours, and I think it went to every 3 hours around 6 months.
Just a thought-- how is your let down? Is it too fast or slow for her? Another thought-- is she sleeping well during the day? I mean, is she falling asleep on the breast and dependent on nursing for sleep and that's why she fusses? Or could it be that she wants to be held and get that skin-to-skin contact? Just things to try.... but really, with newborns, it could be anything and it takes a lot of trial and error to figure it out. In the end, trust your gut. If you think something's up, call your doctor and maybe also a lactation consultant.
GOLD / papaya / 10166 posts
The PPs have given great advice. I can only lend my experience, which sounds very similar to yours. Around 3 weeks, DD started to get super fussy like that and would want to suck all day. I had to give her a pacifier and start wearing her in the Moby wrap to give my arms and boobs a break. It lasted for about 3 weeks before she got back into her "normal" routine.
grapefruit / 4066 posts
thanks for the tips/advice!!
@Kemma: Ive tried a paci but she hates it and spits it out if she is actually hungry, it only works maybe 5% of the time....ugh...we try to burp her and hold her upright a little bit after a feeding as well...i should try to stretch out her feedings a little bit though
@red_seattle: lol, not the answer i wanted to hear, but maybe she does just want to nurse more frequently than normal! it is definately exhausting!! glad to hear that it did eventually space out a little for you, i just cant imagine 5 or 6 more weeks of this!! i think my letdown is pretty fast as she starts choking and milk sprays out within a few minutes...she gets fussy after the fast letdown when things slow down and the milk doesnt come out fast enough for her anymore. she sleeps horribly during the day as well...she only naps for longer periods when she is on me, i think she likes being held and close by. anytime i try to put her down, she will wake up within 10 minutes or so.
@BabyBoecksMom: hmmm maybe i should try to force the pacifier more...i did put her in the baby ktan the other day and she loved it, so i should do that more as well...im hoping she will be back into a more normal routine within 3 weeks as well!