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Feeding frequently and cluster feeding

It may feel like your baby wants to feed all day (and sometimes night!). This is normal. Breastfeeding comforts your baby as well as gives them the food they need. It can be tiring for you when they want to feed all the time. Here’s some help on what you can do to make this stage a little easier

Cluster feeding

It is common in the early months for your baby to “cluster feed”. This is when they have lots of feeds close together at certain times in the day and night. All healthy babies feed a lot after the first couple of days, usually up to 12 times in a 24-hour period. If your baby is feeding a lot and it feels like one feed ends and then another begins, this they may be “cluster feeding”.

Why is my baby cluster feeding?

  • They could be going through a growth spurt
  • Their tummy is tiny and they can digest your milk quite quickly
  • They may be catching up with feeding if they haven’t eaten much that day
  • They could be preparing for a big sleep
  • They could be overtired or grumpy due to teething or illness
  • They might just want the comfort of being close to you

What to do

It can behard when you’re feeding constantly. But remember, you’re building up your milk supply and helping your baby bond with you. It’s recommended that you give your baby a feed whenever they look like they want one.

Don't worry if they are feeding more than before, it may be a growth spurt and they are feeding more often to increase your milk supply, how clever is that! You can't overfeed a breastfed baby. This stage may feel difficult, but it doesn’t last and it will get easier with time.

Top tips if your baby is constantly feeding

Tip #1 Get comfy

Find the positions that work for you. You may have to feed for long periods of time and it’s important that you’re as comfortable as you can be. Gather up a drink, snack, your phone and the TV remote and snuggle in!

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Tip #2 Rest when you can

You might just be sitting there, but breastfeeding constantly can feel like hard work. Ask your partner or family member to take the wee one for a bit and give you a break and try to get some rest/sleep if you need to.

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Tip #3 Persevere

It’s difficult when you feel all you are doing is feeding your baby. You may feel exhausted from being in such close contact for long periods, that’s normal. Remember, these days won’t last forever. Your baby will begin to feed less and you will both find your rhythm. You will be glad you kept going!

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Tip#4 Stay hydrated

Make sure you drink enough fluids and don’t let yourself get too hungry, keep a healthy snack within reach. Breastfeeding takes lots of energy so may sure you're well fed too!

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Tip #5 Don’t suffer sore nipples

Your nipples should feel comfortable. If you have any pain, speak to your midwife or health visitor right away and ask for a feeding assessment to check attachment is as good as it can be.

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Tip #6 Express yourself

If you want to, after the first month or so you can express some breast milk and your partner can bottle feed your baby. This gives time to get your breastfeeding off to the best start, building a good supply and not confusing baby with different ways of feeding.

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Looking after yourself

Remember to look after yourself. It can be a lot of pressure being responsible for feeding a baby, and looking after a new baby is hard work however you are feeding. Also don’t worry if you need to take a break from time to time. You're only human.

What other mums say:

“My wee girl fed non-stop (day and night) when she was first born. I didn’t know if I was either overfeeding her or not able to give her enough milk for each feed. My midwife put my mind at rest though when she came around for her home visit and weighed my baby. Seeing her put on weight every time made me feel really pleased about being able to feed her. As she got older we got into an easier routine. This made life much easier”.

This article was created as part of 

Last updated: 4 May, 2020