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Frequent feeding 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. But 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

What is 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, 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 can I do?

It can be hard 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! The good thing is, 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

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. Ask your partner or a friend or family member to look after your baby for a while so you can sleep, have a relaxing bath, go for a walk or simply sit for a bit without the wee one attached! Our page on looking after yourself with a newborn has more advice.

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”.

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Last updated: 27 Jul, 2021