When it comes to parenting, there are a lot of things that can seem overwhelming. One of those things is cluster feeding. The good news is, understanding what cluster feeding is and why babies do it isn’t actually so hard.
It’s not something that many people know about until they’ve experienced it themselves and the concept can seem a bit confusing at first.
Let’s take a look!
What is cluster feeding?
Cluster feeding simply means when a baby feeds more frequently than usual in a shorter period of time.
This usually happens in the late afternoon/early evening and can last for hours at a time.
Hence, the ‘cluster’ part of cluster feeding! Some babies may also feed more frequently during other times throughout the day but it tends to be most common in the later afternoon/evening.
Why do babies cluster feed?
The most common reason why babies cluster feed is because they are going through growth spurts or developmental changes.
During these periods, babies need extra nourishment to help them grow and develop which is why they may want to feed more often than usual.
Other reasons could include teething, illness or if your baby has been sleeping longer than normal during the day and needs to catch up on their feeds at night.
How can parents help?
Although cluster feeding can feel hard work due to its long duration, there are some things parents can do to make it easier on them both such as skin-to-skin contact with your baby, taking turns between partners if you have one, expressing milk if possible or using other comforts such as swaddling or wearing your baby in a carrier .
Additionally, try not to worry too much about how much milk your baby has taken during this period as this will vary from baby-to-baby depending on their individual needs.
Understanding what cluster feeding is and why babies do it isn’t actually so hard – it’s just something that babies go through during growth spurts or development changes where they need extra nourishment for their growing bodies!
As parents we can help by providing skin-to-skin contact, taking turns between partners if applicable and using other comforts such as swaddling or wearing our baby in a carrier.
Remember not to worry too much about how much your baby takes during this time as all babies are different! If you have any concerns then don’t hesitate to reach out for professional advice from your healthcare provider.