Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Newborns are WAY different than preemies!

Ok, so birth story to come later! Promise! But right now we need some help/advice with Shepherd.  Having a newborn is a million times better than driving to the NICU multiple times a day...buuuuuttt it is also a million  times different having a newborn at home than a preemie. Justin and I just need a little bit of help. So please leave a comment with ANY advice you might have.

Ok here's the deal. The past few days at home have been pretty good. Shep has been sleeping for the most of his naps in his crib with only a little bit of help (some rocking, using pacifier, or re-swaddling) during nap time.  He has a little bit of awake time before his nap. During his awake time sometimes he lays on the mat, sometimes he is held, or lays in the boppy. He has been eating about every 2.5 to 3 hours and nurses for anywhere from 25-40 minutes. And then...the night comes! Oh night time, how different he becomes.  Last night he ate at 8pm, 10pm, 1230a, and then again at 2am. Each time he would nurse not just suck for comfort and he would do it for about 30-40 minutes.  By the 2am feeding I was sooo sleepy.  He had essentially be held for 4 hours and wouldn't stay asleep in his crib. I asked Justin if he could just hold him while he sleeps so I could sleep for a few hours. Justin tried, but he continued to cry. He didn't have a dirty diaper and didn't want the pacifier....he wanted me.  In order for me to get ANY sleep I had to put him in the bed with me.  I really am not pro co-sleeping in our family, but it was either that or I freak out because of no sleep.

So here is my question. Is cluster feeding a real thing? How long did it last for your little one(s)? How did you manage it/change it/make it through?  Any tips on him not being dependent on ONLY me for comfort?
His PCP at his check up today suggested feeding him every 2 hours during the day and then giving him a bottle of formula before bed. Does that seem reasonable? HELP! :) Really I'll take any advice. Like I said, we are brand new parents and this whole newborn thing is totally foreign to us.


  1. Andy cluster fed for DAYS! I thought I was going to lose it! But he was just really hungry because I don't like comfort feeding and don't encourage it. I napped during the day with him on my stomach. I padded blankets around me and had the tv on so I wouldn't sleep too deeply and forget he was there. At night, I was just out of luck. Andy wad going two hours between feedings from start of one to start of next one. I prayed and watched tv at night so I didn't lose my mind but lost track of time which helped my sanity. whenever I could, I had Mark burp him. Andy's been stuck to me since day one and I've decided it's the blessing/curse of.nursing ans being a SAHM. Remember, crying helps develop their lungs :) Let Justin hold him as much as possible and stay away from formula as long as possible. It's hard now, and I had to think about doubling up with a bottle at birth but the thought of Andy not nursing because the bottle is easier freaked me out. Exhaustion is temporary but bonding with your child is forever.

  2. Some of that is completely NORMAL!! :)

    Can you do the cluster feeding more during the day? Sometimes when Asher had a growth spurt, I would give him an extra feed (granted, we used formula...) around 5:30 in the evening even though he would feed again at 7 before bed. Sometimes that "tanking up" can do the trick as I hear breast milk can tend to not be as rich as the day goes on. I would agree with Michelle above and stay away from formula as long as possible however, if he is THAT hungry, a top up of a few of ounces just might help.

    You try to follow Babywise, right? there is a Babywise group on Google groups that has been SO helpful for me, especially during the newborn days.

  3. you're doing great lauren. remember that sleep deprivation won't last forever! it will get easier! I had said that i wanted to avoid paci's if we could but about 2 days in that was out the window. we swaddled emmie and gave her a paci to help her sleep and she slept in a cradle in our room for the first two weeks so if i had to be up, i didn't have to go far. for the first week or so I think I fed her whenever I thought she wanted it but we got into a every 1.5-3 hour pattern pretty quickly and I would feed her when she got up from naps so then if she fussed later it was likely that she was just tired. she only nursed for about 10 minutes or less on each side so it didn't seem to take up as much of our day as it sounds like with shep. we didn't start bottles until after the first month but i know lots of people do & have no issues. i napped with emmie laying next to me if it meant that both of us would sleep. i was just so anxious about smooshing em that i didn't get the best rest but it was better than nothing. i think a lot of times i would get her to sleep in my arms and then lay her in her cradle or swing. one of the BEST things that happened with em as a newborn was to just let someone else take care of her during non-feeding times. my mom or ben would take her, even if she was crying and i'd go to sleep with our fan on (white noise), they wouldn't come get me (or me and ben, if it was my mom) until it was time to eat again. i remember that being such a gift. you're doing great! hang in there and enjoy all those tiny baby snuggles!

  4. Thanks guys! I cluster fed during the day and passed on the formula before bedtime. We had a much better night! Thanks for all the advice. Its helpful just to know that this is normal and will pass at some point!


I would love to hear what you think!

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