Now that my 14-month-old is beginning her slow and bittersweet journey of self-weaning from breastfeeding, I sometimes miss those long afternoons (or even the late nights!) spent cluster feeding while the world went on without us outside. But my sweet nostalgia certainly hasn’t erased the very real memory of feeling powerless and bored, stuck on the couch or in a rocking chair staring into space while a tiny human (literally) sucked the life out of me for senselessly long periods of time (we’re talking hours here!). So, moms of cluster feeding infants, I remember your pain all too well.
The good news is that it’s nothing to worry about. “Cluster feeding is typically used to describe a change in feeding habits by a newborn or young infant when they shift from feeding every two to three hours, to feeding every hour or feeding in spurts for a day or so or even longer,” explains Wendy Sue Swanson, M.D., a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s and The Everett Clinic and author of Mama Doc Medicine. Some moms notice that cluster feeding happens more often at night, a time when babies are sleepy and looking for ways to self-soothe, she adds, or it may happen over the course of an entire day.
But, like I said, there’s only so long you can stare at your sweet baby breastfeeding…before you start to feel a little bored. A second baby’s not currently in the works for me, but time and perspective (plus plenty of trial-and-error, back in the day!) have prepared me for how to maximize that time. Or at least spend it doing something other than scrolling my Facebook feed mindlessly while saying a silent prayer that the baby would fall asleep and pull off my breast!
More for Breastfeeding Moms:
- 21 Things Only Moms Who Breastfeed Know
- PHOTOS: Celebrity Moms Nursing Their Babies in Public
- The Best Breast Pumps, According to Lactation Consultants