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Old 11-10-2011, 12:04 PM   #1
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cluster feeding at midnight

yds will be 3 weeks old tomorrow and has started cluster feeding at midnight and it's really dragging me down (his behavior aligns exactly with the info here and here) it would be a lot easier for me if i could change his schedule so that we do this a couple hours earlier, but i have no idea how to do that. could i just try to keep him up and nurse him more often in the evening? anyone have experience with this?

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Old 11-10-2011, 12:43 PM   #2
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Re: cluster feeding at midnight

Mine had a similar schedule at that age--he would start cluster feeding late in the evening (usually around 8 pm, but sometimes closer to 11 pm), and it would last until around 2 am. I started nursing him lying down in bed with the lights dimmed or off around 9 or 10 pm, and I think it helped. Over the past few weeks, he's shifted to starting cluster feeds from 6 or 7 pm and nursing to sleep by 10 or 11. Then he sleeps for 8 hours! Way better for my schedule
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Old 11-10-2011, 03:12 PM   #3
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Re: cluster feeding at midnight

my son is almost 9 months old and still nurses every 1-2 hrs and has never slept more than 3 hours in his life. I hear you. Hugs and hang in there. I don't really believe in schedules he does what he needs to do, so i look at it as he wont nurse forever and when he's 15 and i can't hug him in public i'll be thankful for these days!
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Old 11-10-2011, 06:12 PM   #4
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Re: cluster feeding at midnight

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Originally Posted by mamma_z View Post
Mine had a similar schedule at that age--he would start cluster feeding late in the evening (usually around 8 pm, but sometimes closer to 11 pm), and it would last until around 2 am. I started nursing him lying down in bed with the lights dimmed or off around 9 or 10 pm, and I think it helped. Over the past few weeks, he's shifted to starting cluster feeds from 6 or 7 pm and nursing to sleep by 10 or 11. Then he sleeps for 8 hours! Way better for my schedule
I think I'm going to try that tonight, I don't expect it to work tonight but hopefully we can adjust it gradually over the next week or so!

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my son is almost 9 months old and still nurses every 1-2 hrs and has never slept more than 3 hours in his life. I hear you. Hugs and hang in there. I don't really believe in schedules he does what he needs to do, so i look at it as he wont nurse forever and when he's 15 and i can't hug him in public i'll be thankful for these days!
I don't have any problem with him not sleeping in longer chunks than three hours, but I SAHM and homeschool so I have to get some sleep at night so I can be a present parent for the other two kiddos during the day. I just can't handle being up for four hours straight in the middle of the night I'm definitely not going to force a schedule on him, I just need to adjust his schedule a little.
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Old 11-11-2011, 01:24 PM   #5
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Re: cluster feeding at midnight

My LO did this, as well, so Mama - I know it is rough some nights.

Here is a little FYI that might explain why your LO is cluster feeding when he is:

As part of my training to be a lactation consultant, I was taught (by an IBCLC) that the prolactin hormone is at its greatest concentrations in the late evening to the early hours of the morning (about 8p - 2a) which is also usually when babies cluster feed. They are taking advantage of the natural hormone peaks and troughs so they can efficiently increase your milk supply without out expending more energy than they need to.

This is from kellymom.com -

Prolactin levels "follow a circadian rhythm: levels during the night (sleep) are higher than during the day."


Here is the link so you can read more about prolactin and milk supply, if you want. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/prolactin-levels.html

When my LO was a newbie, I would try to go to bed around 6/7pm (crazy, I know) and sleep while DH held and cared for LO. Then, when he would start clustering from around 9/10pm to 1 or 2 am, I was rested and was able to do this. I know its a bit of a juggling act when you have other little ones but if your DH could take over nighttime care and let you sleep for even a couple hours, that really helped me.

If not, you might be able to tweak his schedule a bit (but it might not work... ) - you won't know till you try!

Either way, the cluster feedings should only last for a few days and then things should settle down. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colin-mylilguy
My LO did this, as well, so Mama - I know it is rough some nights.

Here is a little FYI that might explain why your LO is cluster feeding when he is:

As part of my training to be a lactation consultant, I was taught (by an IBCLC) that the prolactin hormone is at its greatest concentrations in the late evening to the early hours of the morning (about 8p - 2a) which is also usually when babies cluster feed. They are taking advantage of the natural hormone peaks and troughs so they can efficiently increase your milk supply without out expending more energy than they need to.

This is from kellymom.com -

Prolactin levels "follow a circadian rhythm: levels during the night (sleep) are higher than during the day."

Here is the link so you can read more about prolactin and milk supply, if you want. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/prolactin-levels.html

When my LO was a newbie, I would try to go to bed around 6/7pm (crazy, I know) and sleep while DH held and cared for LO. Then, when he would start clustering from around 9/10pm to 1 or 2 am, I was rested and was able to do this. I know its a bit of a juggling act when you have other little ones but if your DH could take over nighttime care and let you sleep for even a couple hours, that really helped me.

If not, you might be able to tweak his schedule a bit (but it might not work... ) - you won't know till you try!

Either way, the cluster feedings should only last for a few days and then things should settle down. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
wow that's really interesting, i can handle a few days...i was afraid maybe he was getting into a routine eating so late for some reason, but if that's probably not the case i'll give it some time and go from there. thanks
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:41 PM   #7
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Re: cluster feeding at midnight

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wow that's really interesting, i can handle a few days...i was afraid maybe he was getting into a routine eating so late for some reason, but if that's probably not the case i'll give it some time and go from there. thanks
Yeah, it never lasted for more than a few nights for us. Actually, right after growth spurts, LO would often sleep really well (only waking 1 or 2 times to nurse) for a week or so (getting my hopes up! ) which was a nice break. He never really formed any "bad habits" from nursing at night. Things just keep changing and I just keep rollin' with it. Even nights that are "bad" never end up being a new "habit" - I wouldn't worry.
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