Cluster feeding, otherwise known as don’t-plan-anything-because-you-won’t-get-off-the-couch time. Cluster feeding is when babies space feedings closer and is most often associated with breastfeeding. This is normal and can be experienced day or night. If you have twins, it is often referred to as bed camping and you will soon learn why. Read on for our cluster feeding survival tips!
Don’t get me wrong, it is beautiful time and you get ALL the cuddles from your sweet baby BUT you will not get anything done. Laundry? More like “how many times can you wear the same outfit before someone realizes?” Cooking? Take-out is your new best friend. Cleaning? Just no. Everything takes a backseat. You will be amazed by how much your baby can eat during this time. How does so much milk fit inside such a small human? I am still trying to figure it out.
Now that you know the game-changer you are about to experience, let me share some life-saving tips. I do mean life-saving because starvation is a real threat.
NEVER waste time during Cluster Feeding.
When your babe wakes up from one of his/her milk drunk naps, don’t dilly dally because they are going to want to eat again in about 2 minutes. This is a good time to GRAB ALL THE SNACKS.
These are my go-to’s: Snack Factory pretzels, Erin Baker’s Breakfast Cookie, blue Gatorade (Don’t ask me why but it just tastes better than all the others.), peanut butter and something to dip in the peanut butter (including but not limited to a spoon, your choice.), some other fruit to make me feel healthy, water, tea, and a smoothie. Now, you may be wondering how do I even put it all together. This is where “Never waste time” comes in handy. As soon as my babe wakes up during a cluster feeding phase, I rush to the kitchen. Sometimes she lets me put her in the playpen to play or on the swing and that gives me enough time to rustle up my snacks. If she doesn’t want to be put down, I throw her in a sling and grab as much as my two hands can hold. NEVER waste time. Now you may be saying to yourself “she already said that!” It is THAT important.
With Breastfeeding, What Goes In, Must Come Out.
During your babe’s wake-up time, it is super important to change their diaper lest you are willing to risk a meltdown. With the technology of your Lil Helper diapers, babe won’t feel wet but that doesn’t mean they don’t need a diaper change. It is a good rule of thumb to change their diaper or inserts about every two hours. This is also a good time for YOU to use the bathroom. May you never experience the pain of having to pee and being trapped under a tiny human.
Get Comfy being Uncomfortable.
Comfy clothes, roomy couch, and lots of TV or books are now your best friends. I usually find a good spot on my couch (near the end table for best accessibility to snacks and drinks) and make sure its super cozy and has a phone charger near it. Need comfy clothes? Why change out of your pyjamas? Bonus: Lil Helper Breast Pads are ultra comfortable (especially if you experience sore or damaged nipples) and the overnight option is great for your changing milk supply when baby is cluster feeding. Sleep naked? Don’t forget your Lifesaver Mat to catch any leaks too!
Make sure your boobs are super accessible for cluster feeding.
You want your snacks nearby, don’t you? Exactly. I know this seems like it doesn’t need to be said but it does. I’ve made the mistake of wearing a shirt that wasn’t easy to pull down and had to pull my belly out and basically had a topless day. Unless you’re into that kind of thing. In which case, go you!
Take a break.
It can be exhausting being a 24 hour milk machine. If you’re up for it, try pumping or offering a bottle of formula so someone else can take a turn feeding and you can get some sleep. You deserve it, and it is ok to take a break and accept help during these tough days of cluster feeding!
What are some of your cluster feeding survival tips when your tiny human won’t separate from your body?