I have written extensively about cluster feeding on my blog since I have experienced it with all three of my newborn babies.
Cluster feeding can be exhausting, frustrating, confusing, and it can drag out over an entire day or evening sometimes.
What is cluster feeding? It's when your baby breastfeeds on and off or constantly for long periods of time.
If you are like me you might find it hard to stay still for such long periods. When my first baby was a newborn and started breastfeeding constantly for hours in the evening, I spent a lot of time trying to learn about it and figure it out. I hate to admit it, but at first I could not stand to be tied to the couch for hours. And, yes sometimes it was hours.
After awhile I came to embrace my time cluster feeding my baby. I tried to focus on the fact that it's a temporary time in my life, and a gift to my baby.
With my second and third babies I was much more relaxed about it all, but that doesn't mean it was easy. I still had many periods of self doubt and wondering if the long periods of feeding were normal.
Because even when you have been through the marathon feeding sessions before, it's easy to question if everything is okay, if it's normal, and how long will it last.
As I came to embrace this stage of my baby's life, I also found many ways to pass the time while tied to a nursing baby and couch. I have a compiled this list here to hopefully give any other mother going through this some ideas.
Ways to pass the time while cluster feeding:
- Read a book. There are lots of free options available through online book trials, there is Audible if you prefer to listen to books, Amazon Prime, or a good old paperback. I read a ton while breastfeeding and it was nice to slow down and take in some books.
- Watch a movie. You are sitting anyway so use it as a good time to catch up on some movies you want to see. The benefit in this is the entire family can participate.
- Binge watch a series. There are so many good shows and older ones which are enjoyable to binge watch. I recommend getting on Netflix or Hulu and finding something to watch. HBO works too for some great series.
- Listen to Podcasts. I have become obsessed with true crime podcasts. I didn't even know about these, or maybe they didn't even exist when my first baby was born seven years ago.
- Write. If you love to write or have a blog like me it's great time to write. You can prop your baby on a nursing pillow and type away on your phone or even a laptop.
- Eat dinner. Yep, I used to eat dinner while cluster feeding. My husband would bring it to me on the couch and I would put a napkin down to hopefully avoid dropping food on my baby.
- Talk on the phone and catch up with friends. Or text if you don't feel like talking.
- Spend some time on social media, I loved my due date mom groups when my babies were little. I am still in most of them, and many of those grips really helped with my sanity when I was a new mom with tons of questions.
- Use a baby carrier and move around if you must. I spent most of my time cluster feeding on the couch but you can always wear your baby and try to move around. Most of them are not too hard to breastfeed in with a little practice. I love a soft wrap for when baby is a newborn.
- Read to your older children. If you have older kids it's a great opportunity to sit with them on the couch and read to them while your baby nurses.
I hope these tips give you some ideas on passing the time while cluster feeding. It can be tiring but it is a temporary time in your baby's life. I found it hard myself, so I tried to remember it is temporary and slow down and enjoy some of these activities I mentioned above.
If you would like to read more about feeding newborn babies and cluster feeding, check out my other articles here: