LIFE & Why I love babies that cluster-feed.

My two little ones…

Both of my babies have been intense cluster feeders at night.  Little W nursed almost constantly from 5-8pm when she was a newborn/young infant and it seems that Little A is following in her sister’s footsteps (except for the fact that she likes to nurse almost constantly from 9-11 pm).  It is kind of bizarre to think that people have to be told to feed their babies when they are hungry, but it seems that hyper-scheduling infant’s eating is the norm here in America.  (Honestly, if someone kept food from a person when they were asking for it -obviously hungry- and made them “stick it out” until they were ready to feed them, wouldn’t that be considered abuse?  And if that same person forced fed another even when they may not be hungry because it went with their “schedule” and withheld food when they were hungry, isn’t that abuse?  Why is it okay when the person can not speak for themselves then, and are fully reliant on another for total care?)  Babies who are allowed to cluster feed (nurse many times when hungry, usually happening around dinner time or right before “bed”) sleep longer at night naturally because they are full of good yummy milk.  They don’t need to be scheduled because they are learning proper hunger cues from their bodies.  So why do I love it?  Little A has been sleeping 6-8 hours straight at night now, after a good few nursings to make her belly nice and full.  She sleeps soundly with us and wakes up in the morning pleasant and ready for a BIG breakfast.  And she is 6 weeks old.  And she does it on her own, without any withholding or force-feeding from me.  Nature just knows what it’s doing, I tell ya. If she did wake up in the middle of the night ready to eat, I would certainly feed her right away. Speaking of waking up…

Little W 22 Months

Little W slept through the night until she was around 6 months old.  We went on vacation and she started teething in the same week.  That week she also started waking up again in the middle of the night.  I continued to nurse her, and after she ate she went right back to sleep.  She continued to nurse 2 times a night until she was one year old.  I could have had her cry-it-out, and I am sure it would have worked. (Don’t we stop asking for things if we are consistently ignored?) But do I regret six months of less sleep, knowing that my baby was not going hungry and sleeping soundly once full?  Not at all.  I do not know how her growth was affected, but for some reason she needed those feedings. She was hungry.  Shortly after she turned one she started sleeping through the night on her own, and that was that.

Little A 6 Weeks

Family life is currently filled with meals, naps, diaper changes, and tidying up.  I seem to be in that newborn cycle that has it’s challenges but goes so quickly.  I look at my little one and am amazed at how big she is already.  Soon she will be chasing her big sister around.  The season is so short!  Maybe that is why we aren’t allowed to get much sleep, hah.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “LIFE & Why I love babies that cluster-feed.

  1. Sarah Van Kleeck

    I appreciate your side in this post. O was a every two hour eater and clustered even more at night. He still was up every hour during the night. During the day I gave him more delicious milk and added more time in between feedings. The first night he slept 12 hours. I think every child is different so different methods will need to be evaluated. I brought my child into the world. Not the world into my child.

  2. Amy van kleeck

    If blogs had a “like” button I would click it. 🙂 and of course the pictures…I LOVE.

  3. Such beautiful babes and words!

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