Cluster feeding is pretty much what it sounds like. It is a series of quick milky meals given every 1-2 hours. Because your goal is to help your baby sleep at night, the best time to cluster feed your hungry hippo is between 4 p.m. and bedtime. These feeds—one after another—are meant to load your baby’s system with calories to keep her well stocked with nutrition through the night.

Some doctors warn parents not to overfeed babies for fear that the milk might back up and cause colicky pain. But this is nonsense. The women in the !Kung tribe in Southern Africa nurse their babies 3-4 times an hour, and their babies rarely—if ever—have colic.

So if your baby starts crying 60 minutes after a feeding, calm her with the 5 S’s and then see how she acts. If she’s opening her mouth and searching for a nipple, give a little more milk to make her tummy happy! And likely you’ll be happier too if cluster feeding is your solution to waking less often in the middle of the night!

You may also be interested in:
Feeding from Both Breasts or One: What's Best for Sleep?
What Is Dream Feeding? And How Do I Do It?

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