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Anyone with a newborn or even an older baby has been there, hours of feeding, cluster feeding. Crying and nursing and the witching hour. They seem to all go together. With both of my babies we spent many of our evenings from newborn age till about three or four months nursing on the couch in the evening. It was a bit of a shock with my first baby, I wasn't prepared for this new reality. With my second I gave into it more and tried to make the best of it knowing it was temporary. Having a cluster feeding survival kit with some necessities to make this time period easier helps.
Nobody knows why for sure, but young babies tend to spend their evenings fussing, crying, and eating. It's called the witching hour and most new parents become initiated. While many babies have a long stretch of feeding in the evening until they finally sleep for a longer period, some may experience colic as well. We're not sure what causes colic, it could be gas, it may be foods the mother has consumed, perhaps it's a normal part of having a baby. These items in my cluster feeding survival kit can help make it easier. Being prepared takes the edge off of the crazy right?
I found all of the items below invaluable while going through the cluster feeding/witching hour/colic phase with both of my babies. My daughter in particular cried A LOT! While I would nurse her on and off all evening to keep her calm, sometimes I ended up using gas drops or gripe water with her. Most of these items or similar can be found at Target, including the new Little Remedies® Advanced Colic Relief Drops I mention below.
Cluster Feeding survival kit:
I use these while cluster feeding to cover my baby if cold, as a burp cloth, as a napkin for me and of course for swaddling. They have so many uses and I consider a good muslin swaddle blanket a must have. I have several and recommend having plenty on hand.
A smartphone and other forms of entertainment.
If I was not binge watching something on TV, reading a book on my phone, or listening to music, than I was surfing the internet on my phone. I was probably searching "why is my baby feeding so much" or "why won't my baby stop crying." I am pretty sure parenting would be impossible these days without a smartphone. It helps to have entertainment for those long hours of cluster feeding.
Hydration and snacks.
Keep water nearby. Keep snacks nearby. The less you need to move off the couch the better. Have your partner bring food to you if possible. I ate many meals over my baby using my swaddle blanket to catch food.
A nursing pillow or any kind of pillow.
Being comfortable when cluster feeding is a must. Use pillows to prop your baby against you or to help support your arms and get comfortable.
A baby carrier or sling.
If you do need to move around during the witching hour, wearing your baby can help. It calms your baby, the movement can help with gassiness and you can get other things done.
Little Remedies® new Advanced Colic Relief Drops and Gripe Water.
When I had tried everything and my daughter was still in discomfort, I could always count on Little Remedies® to help. I used the gripe water and gas drops when it would seem I had nursed for hours and the calm was not coming. It was typically my last resort and it works!
Little Remedies® is a brand I trust and love and an option for parents who are concerned about giving the best to their children. The wonderful thing about their products is that they contain no artificial colors, dyes or alcohol.
The Gripe Water was my old standby but they now have a new product called Advanced Colic Relief drops and they can both be found at Target.
If you are a Target Cartwheel user like I am, you can find 20% off of the Colic Relief Drops here which runs from 9/13 through 10/17. The Colic Relief Drops can be found in the baby aisle. From 9/27 through 10/17 you can also receive a $5 Target Gift Card when you buy two Little Remedies® products, Gripe Water and Gas Drops, which are located in the digestive aisle.
You can find out more information on Little Remedies® here, including video content, free samples, and a chance for a few lucky moms an in person rescue from the Little Remedies® Rescue Team.
Let me know, what do you have in your cluster feeding kit? Do you find certain items help make that period easier?