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Infant Care (up to 18 months old) Message Board

Infant Care (up to 18 months old) Board Index

Cluster feeding and/or comfort nursing is normal!! I was miserable for the first two weeks, and like Rouge said, the exhaustion from sleep deprivation was cumulative. It was horrible. It does get better!!

I would recommend you feed your daughter more during the day. Encourage the bulk of her feedings during the day, every two hours (instead of 3). Cluster feeding can result from their need to bulk up on calories, which makes switching their day time/night time even harder if all they want to do is eat at night.

Also, some babies (usually most!) are comfort nursers. They aren't necessarily hungry, they just want to suck. My DD is a BIG TIME comfort nurser, and it is for this reason that we mastered the side laying position. It has been my saving grace because this way I can doze while she sucks to her hearts content. This has also been a big part of our even "routine". Anyone who tells you that you can get a 1 week old baby on a schedule has been sniffing glue, but trying to maintain a routine does help for when they get a bit older. Now at a month old my DD is starting to catch on to the routine. Every night I take a bath while my husband cuddles with her, then I give her a bath, then we head to the bed room where I turn the lights off, put the TV on, and let her nurse herself to sleep. She sucks on and off for an hour, sometimes a bit more, then when she's good and sleepy I put her in her bassinet (usually around 10) and she sleeps until about 1:30. As we have become better and better at nursing I have really grown to love this time spent with her.

And as tempting as it is, stay away from the pacifiers! I thought I would be doing my DD a favor by giving her something to suck on. Boy was that a mistake. Because baby's suck differently on plastic then they do on our nipples, it made nursing for her more difficult, which resulted in sore cracked nipples. Just now, at 4 weeks old, are we getting back into the swing of things. Nursing is not an instinct, it is a learned thing, and one that takes lots of practice. Comfort nursing is a great way to master this technique, plus, it helps establish a good milk supply. And by allowing her to suck until she pulls off on her own (while comfort nursing), you'll find her hunger nursing will get shorter and shorter because when she's hungry she'll nurse to eat and fill her tummy, as opposed to nursing because she wants to suck.

So... having said all that, I suggest you nurse more during the day, even if you have to strip him down to a diaper and use a wash cloth to keep him awake. And if you can, master the side lying position. Finding a way to rig your bed up so that it's safe to fall asleep with baby at your breast may be tricky, but let me tell you, it is saving my butt right now!! I wouldn't be able to function during the day if I wasn't able to sleep while she eats at night. I don't co-sleep, per se, I'm too rough of a sleeper so she goes back into her bassinet once she's done. But snoozing while she eats is a BIG help!!

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