When Does Cluster Feeding Start? Is Fourth Month That Hard?

Are you worried about cluster feeding? Now, we’re not assuming anything, but as a new mom, you’ve probably had long-winded chats with other women out there about how to properly care for your little bundle of joy. And, amidst all those sharing you’ve had with one another, you may have probably talked about when does cluster feeding start; when to put the baby to sleep or when to feed them; and a whole bunch of other concerns about your developing kid.

Well, allow us here at Babybalu to help you with some issues that newborn mothers out there tend to experience. You can also read this detailed article about cluster feeding to know more.

What’s The Matter With The Baby?

feeding the baby
By Joshua Ganderson [ CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)], via Flickr
By the time that your child reaches about four months of age, you’ll probably experience these particular changes in your baby that might be a bit unsettling for you:

  • Your baby starts to wake up at night more frequently than before
  • The little bundle of joy won’t nap, and when they do, they wake up right away.
  • Baby tends to refuse to eat, turning their heads or gently pushing you away when you give them a bottle or hold them near your breasts.
  • They start eating a lot more during the night, which is something that you only usually experienced during baby’s first few weeks.

Now, if there’s one thing you can count on with overeager moms out there, it’s making up new terms for what’s happening to their baby.

For this particular stage, they dubbed it “the 4-month wakeful”. It might sound serious, but believe us when we say this is all just par for the course; there’s nothing to worry about, really!

Also Read: How to Enjoy With Breast Pumping?

So, What’s A Mom To Do?

Although this sudden change in routine may catch you off-guard and get you confused, it is something to be expected of a baby that’s a third of a year old.

In a nutshell, this is just a phase that will eventually pass. You see, it is at this point where your baby, with its developing body, becomes more attuned to what’s going on in the outside world. That means their brains have reached a point where it’s started to process things at a more complex level than before.

To aid this, your child needs to be more physically and mentally stimulated, so don’t hesitate to play or talk with them frequently during this stage.

Materials such as toys and rockers become a great tool here as well. Hey, in a few months’ time, those little buggers are going to start crawling and sitting on their own, so it is indeed best you prepare both you and them for when that time comes.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt to know a few tips to better help your baby’s development.

This Is Also Where Cluster Feeding Starts Too

father feeding the baby
By Steve Garry [ CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)], via Flickr
Here are some things to keep in mind during this time.

  1. At this stage, there’s no point enforcing an exact time for your baby to sleep; babies follow their own routine and body clock. You see, a lot of kids at the 4-month mark are still getting accustomed to a proper sleep pattern, so the only thing you’ll expect here is that they are indeed going to try to find that sweet spot in the day to nap or doze off. Practice your cluster feeding here.
  2. Like we said earlier, what’s happening to your baby is just a phase. Now, we know how difficult it could be to keep up with baby’s irregular sleep patterns (well, irregular by adult standards) and have you wake up in the night numerous times whenever the little tyke does, but believe us when we say that this is all temporary.
  3. To make it easier for you, though, you could always try sharing your bed with the baby or having them sleep in the same room as you do, at least. This way, you won’t have to tire yourself out too much whenever they wake up in the middle of the night and you have to put them back to sleep.
  4. As with their sleeping pattern, feeding time also changes during this stage. As such, the routine that you have just gotten accustomed to in a previous couple of months or so would go straight out the window. It’s nothing to be worried about since it’s just their way of adjusting their needs to their developing bodies.
  5. What we want to tell you, though, is that your breasts are always more ideal than having baby feed off a bottle, even if contains breast milk you pumped and stored. It’s all about physical contact for your child, so having you close to them provides more physical and mental stimulation for them.
  6. Don’t force your baby to feed according to your own schedule. This interferes with their natural cycle, which could have a negative effect on their development.
  7. As we mentioned before, too, when the fourth month of your baby’s life starts, he or she becomes more and more curious about things happening around them. As such, you might be surprised to find out how easily distracted they could get, which means putting them to sleep or feeding them could get a bit complicated.
  8. As such, it’s ideal that during these times, you lessen outside stimulation as much as possible to keep them focused.
  9. Additionally, when it comes to feeding, it’s a nifty trick to nurse or give them the bottle just right after they’ve woken up. Since their senses aren’t too alert during this short period of time, they’re less likely to be distracted.

So, Is The 4-Month Mark Really That Hard To Deal With?

We know that the word cluster feeding sounds intimidating, but the answer to that question is “not at all.” Sure, the whole change in you and your baby’s daily routine could jar you a bit, but it’s such a small sacrifice knowing that your child is growing up healthy and developing into a lively toddler. You may also want to read about tips for baby’s mealtime.

Just keep at it and everything will be fine!