Cluster feeding and growth spurts

So breastfeeding is going ok, its been a few weeks and you are feeling pretty confident. Then BOOM baby is feeding all the time, the little routine that you kinda had going on has gone out of the window – so what does this mean? I mean it obviously means that you don’t have enough milk right? That something is wrong!

Well it could be that milk supply is an issue but the reality is that there would be other indicators to that such as insufficient weight gain and not the right amount of wet/dry nappies for start.  Chances are if we have exhausted all other reasons then it could most likely be a growth spurt or developmental leap.

Signs that baby is having a growth spurt include:-

  • Altered feeding pattern
  • More or less dirty nappies
  • Change in sleep pattern
  • Increased fussiness

When do they happen?

  • 2 weeks
  • 4 weeks
  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 9 months
  • 12 months

But they can happen at any time and if you are nursing on demand then you may not notice them!

What can you do?

Firstly don’t panic! This is just a little brain jump or physical growing that your baby is doing so it means that everything is ok actually.

Remember that your breast is a river not a lake and can’t run out of milk.  This behavior is actually really stimulating for your supply.

If baby doesn’t want to be put down then don’t! Skin to skin is really important for milk production.  You may want to consider baby wearing if you have things to do or other children as baby will still be close but you will have both arms free.

Grab a nap when baby sleeps – yes I know thats easy advice when there is life to be lived but honestly – you’re tired so go and sleep.

Here is a little crib sheet so you can have a reminder ready!  Growth spurts crib sheet

Sources

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding – Diane Wiessinger, Diana West and Teresa Pitman ed.pub 2017 pub. Pinter and Martin.

Breastfeeding your baby – Sheila Kitzinger ed.pub 1989 pub. Dorling Kindersley