(Closed) 3 hour marathon feeding…. normal?

posted 8 years ago in Babies
Post # 3
Member
536 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2007

Yeah, I feel like the eat-for-45-minutes-every-2-hours was pretty standard for the first couple of weeks, and occasionally DS would cluster feed and just eat all the time for a couple hours. We gave DS a bottle of pumped milk 1-2 times a day so that I could get a break, and that helped. Other than that, I kind of just spent my entire day on the couch in front of 4 seasons straight of Friday Night Lights, with a baby attached to my boob.

Post # 4
Member
801 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

Yeah, at that age it is pretty normal.  They do get better at draining the breast, just give it time.

Post # 5
Member
2820 posts
Sugar bee

Yes my daughter did this too.  We eased off it slowly.  I started getting her to cluster feed in the evenings, offering nursing more often than she was asking.  And I also started having her sleep in a swing instead of bassinet, so when she’d wake up and had eaten and eaten and eaten, I’d start the swing and it’d help her drift back to sleep.   It didn’t take too long, just a couple days before she started cluster feeding in the evening and 4 am wake up became more like 30-45 min with the diaper change.

Post # 6
Member
3367 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I’m hesitant to comment b/c I can only speak from my experience and don’t want to give misleading info… but when the hours-long marathons happened with DS (not cluster feeding, which is normal and different than staying at the breast for three hours in one sitting), my lactation consultant told me he was soothing himself at that point and was not actually eating.  Would you be able to talk with a lactation specialist? 

Post # 7
Member
2029 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

It is called cluster feeding, it’s completely normal, and there is a good reason for it. Baby is suckling so much in order to bombard your body with signals to ramp up milk production. Your milk supply isn’t fully established until 3 months, so that first 3 months baby is working hard to get that supply established. Try not to discourage it, it’s good for you!

Post # 8
Member
536 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2007

Just want to add that just because it’s normal doesn’t mean it doesn’t kind of suck (pun intended) and get really exhausting and frustrating at times. It gets better, I promise!

Post # 9
Member
940 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

I’ve read a few books and spoken with a variety of lactation consultants, and after admitting that I once nursed my daughter for an hour, I was told time and again that that’s very unusual for a baby to actually feed that entire time.  Your baby may be nursing out of comfort but not actually taking milk the entire time.

My baby is 3.5 weeks old and I nurse her on demand, and likely will continue to do so for as long as it’s comfortable.

What happens during the marathon feeding when you break the latch and try to comfort her in other ways?

Post # 10
Member
1645 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

DS would sometimes eat for up to 40 minutes at a time, but anything longer than that and he wasn’t eating anything, just sucking for comfort or sleeping. If you are comfortable, you can try a pacifier. It helps when they want to suck for comfort and you want to sleep!! It didn’t work with DS until about 4 months, but now it’s a life saver. If not, try to break the latch and soothe other ways.

It is definitely normal to clusterfeed, both to establish a good supply and if he’s working on a growth spurt (which seems like every other week!) You can always ask a lactation consultant or your pediatrician.

It does get better. By 2 months DS could do a full feeding in well under 20 minutes and by 4 months he was done in under 10 minutes. 

Post # 12
Member
2820 posts
Sugar bee

It is exhausting but it does get better.    I produce like 3x more milk in the morning than I do in the evening.  I wonder if you pumped in the morning and had your husband give her a bottle of expressed milk in the evening in addition to trying to get her to cluster nurse before bed if that might help with the long 4 am wake up.  

I got mastitis around 2 weeks and was soo exhausted so that’s why we started this routine with my husband giving a bottle of pumped mlk in the evening  but it worked really well so we kept that routine for awhile. 

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