Breastfeeding creates irrevocable bond between the particular baby and mother. Breastfeeding provides psychological security and comfort and ease to your infant and also provides all of the nutrition your own baby needs to get development and development.
So, don’t be surprised in case your baby requests more of your own time. Many mothers wonder if this habit of frequent nursing demands from your little one is typical or odd. This behaviour is also known as cluster feeding and you could notice the demands growing during the night along with fussy cries.
We have tackled the void of fussy babies during the night and cluster feeding for you to be be assured.
What Does Cluster Feeding Mean?
Cluster feeding is once the frequency of your baby’s nursing demands is very closely packed, especially during a certain amount of the day. Cluster feeding often occurs at night time or in late afternoons.
Cluster feeding is characterised from the following signs (in same order mostly)
- Baby requesting frequent feed (may be every 30 minutes from last feed)
- Feeding for short periods (5 – 10 minutes)
- Coming off your breast much like that and then nursing a little more
- Fussing around, making clucking sounds and nursing some more
- Once you put the newborn down, cries to get more milk
- Needs to feel the breast constantly at her mouth, irrespective of feeding or not
Cluster feeding is most typical in new-borns, between weeks to 4 months. However, older babies who experience growth spurt and have tummy ache can also show signs of cluster feeding.
Remember that feeding, playing and sleeping on the lap are babies’ way of feeling secured and getting in to the safe place. Don’t restrain it!
Don’t Be worried about Your Milk Supply
As a mother, you are as good as a cow. Jokes apart, a mother’s person is very much aware of the baby’s need. Don’t worry about producing enough milk for the baby or not. The best way to maintain a healthy supply of milk would be nursing, and pumping milk very often.
Although, cluster feeding may be a tedious and back breaking process, know that, it does not take only source of nutrition the baby gets until he starts taking solids. Once the baby starts with solids, he or she will nurse less and for a fraction of the time.
What Does Fussy Babies during the night Mean?
Most moms have experienced this – playful, content and restful toddler during the day, and just as dinner time hits, the newborn suddenly turns fidgety, fussy, crying and inconsolable. She would not need to nurse, neither sleep nor wish to lie down.
Fussiness and cluster feeding often take place together in most babies. Although, the reason for fussy babies during night continues to be not clear, some of the ideas that has been put forth are;
- Immature Nervous System – New born babies are not completely developed. Your baby is at a peaceful state inside the womb, with no hocus-pocus of the real-world. So all the stresses of stimuli throughout the day make the baby anxious and restless by night fall and therefore, the baby repels the emotion by crying.
The best you can do is snuggling the baby very near to you and nursing him/her whenever they cry. Carry them along and move away from all stress giving stimuli like bright light, loud noises, chaotic room and too many people hovering over the baby.
- Over Exhausted Baby –Truth be told, it’s not an easy feat to be a cute little baby who is constantly being cuddled, carried and lifted. In case your baby hasn’t napped well during the day or has been aroused many times due to stresses of stimuli, towards the end of the day, he/she could get exhausted and from tiredness, become fussy.
The best bet would be to comfort them just as much as you can. Unlike adults, they don’t know to calm down on their own. They completely depend on your snuggling, your touch and relaxation techniques so that they can drift in to a peaceful slumber.
How Can You Soothe Your Baby When Fussy During Cluster Feeding Period?
It is a series of events that can finally calm your little one down when cluster feeding coincide with fussy nights. Here are some soothing techniques you can follow;
- Rock your infant. Move around. Sway. Motion can calm your infant at times
- Hum or sing softly. White noise is also a good way to soothe anxiety
- Wrap your baby and hold her /him against your chest
- Reduce external simulation by taking your baby to a quiet and dark room
- Swaddle them