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Newborns come right out of mom ready to eat. What a sweet moment that is. If you’re a first-time mother, this will all be brand new to you.
The sensations, getting baby to latch, having your newborn wiggle around on your chest in awkward ways while you encourage your baby to latch.
And if you’re an experienced mother, you understand that every new child brings an entirely new experience. Some babies latch right away, suckling within minutes of birth. On the other hand, some babies take a bit to get it down.
The good news is that you’ve made it to two weeks, and even if you’re not breastfeeding anymore, your baby is hungry. Matter of fact, the baby seems hungry most of the time.
You might even experience bouts where it feels like you’re doing it all wrong.
Let’s talk about how normal it is for your baby to always be hungry, with growth spurts, brain development, and everything else. After all, your baby needs a lot of food.
Table of Contents
Cluster Feeding and Why Newborns Have To Feed Like This
When a baby wants to eat every twenty minutes then they’re in a cycle of cluster feeding. This is nature’s way of telling your body your baby is going to need greater quantities of milk for the upcoming growth they’ll be doing.
Every time a baby latches on the breast, a mother’s body will have what’s called a “let down.”
If your body doesn’t have a let down at the new feeding baby is asking for, then usually within the next day, the milk supply will be prepared to feed your baby at that time.
Why Do Cluster Feeding Babies Get Upset More Often While Eating
Oftentimes, cluster feeding babies get upset while eating too. This is because they’re more hungry than they were the day before.
Hence, with all the growing your newborn is doing, they’ll keep on needing greater quantities of milk until they transition to solid foods.
If your baby is latching, crying, jumping off the nipple to express their frustration, and then latching back on in a repetitive cycle like this, they’re cluster feeding.
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They might do this many times throughout the day. If you think back to the last few days you might realize they were napping the day before, and therefore didn’t need milk at that time preciously.
Don’t get discouraged that there’s anything wrong with your milk or that it’s running out. It’s natural for your baby to drink the entire milk supply and demand more, even though it’s stressful to hear your baby upset.
This is perfectly normal during a bout of cluster feeding.
Baby To the Breast Is Best, It Will Increase Your Milk Supply
If you’re still breastfeeding your baby at 2 weeks, you should keep your baby to the breast as much as possible. To allow your baby demands to tell your body that they need more milk.
If you’re bottle-feeding, it’s simple to increase your baby’s milk supply as needed. Your baby will stop drinking once they’re all filled up.
While breastfeeding it’s easy to get discouraged and feel that your milk supply has dried up, don’t be too worried. Trust me, your body is perfectly healthy and will increase milk slowly over time.
As long as you’re eating an adequate amount of calories, nutrient-dense foods, and drinking enough water, you’re doing your job.
Boost Your Milk Supply By Eating Nutrient-dense Foods
Boosting your milk supply can feel like an emergency in the time of a cluster feeding 2-week old. When they seem to be hungrier than what you feel your body can keep up with, don’t worry though.
Breastfeeding mothers could take up to a month off of breastfeeding(though not encouraged) and still regain a milk supply back.
The best way to encourage your body to make more milk is to relax and keep a balanced diet. You can do this by introducing nutrient-dense foods and drinking 8-12 glasses of water a day.
If you do this on a consistent basis, your body will have an easier time keeping up with the demands of your baby.
The best superfoods for breastfeeding mothers:
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Sweet potatoes offer potassium and Vitamin A
Sweet potatoes made it to the top superfood list according to Sanford Health this is because one medium sweet potatoes offer the daily intake of vitamin A for a breastfeeding mother.
Breastfeeding babies don’t really end up being deficient in Vitamin A which helps with vision, boosting the immune system, and cell responsibilities.
Beans and legumes help boost protein intake
There are so many kinds of beans. you should be able to find a kind you like to eat.
Get a crockpot and keep beans or legumes cooked in it continuously when you have a newborn. They’re easy to eat and great for your body nutritionally.
The body needs protein to repair your muscles after childbirth and help your baby build their muscles. They get all of their protein from your breastmilk.
Iron is another essential vitamin that women become low on from losing so much blood during and after childbirth that beans offer.
When your body doesn’t have to work so hard to compensate for lack of vitamins, it can focus on the upfront tasks like creating an abundance of breastmilk to help grow the baby.
Seeds, nuts, and avocados will give your body an adequate supply of healthy fats
One thing that breastfeeding mothers need to have a decent supply of breastmilk is fats. Nuts and seeds are the top providers of healthy fats AKA monounsaturated-polyunsaturated fats.
Every time I eat an abundance of nuts or seeds my baby is very happy over the next few days and my milk seems to at peak supply.
When you recognize that your baby is cluster feeding, be sure to grab a bag of mixed nuts and snack on them throughout the day.
Along with healthy fats nuts, seeds, and avocados offer antioxidants, protein, fiber, minerals, vitamins, and calcium, which all breastfed babies and mothers need.
Infants Get Vitamins From Their Mother’s Food
Breastfed newborns have a super high blood circulation function that helps them move nutrients and vitamins throughout their system to stay nourished.
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But, the question is, how do babies get the vitamins, minerals, and everything else that they need.
They get it from their mamma. Yep, that’s right – what a breastfeeding mother eats their breastfeeding baby receives. Human milk is biologically exact to have all the crucial nutrients that a 2-week-old will need.
That means if a breastfeeding mother struggles to eat well, then her body will compensate by taking nutrient stores from her own body. The only one that suffers from not consuming healthy foods, is the mother.
That’s why it might seem that milk supply slows if a breastfeeding mother eats junk foods.
Aim for A Balanced Diet by Eating a Variety of Foods
The goal is to restore your body after childbirth and nourish your baby through breastmilk.
That’s a huge job for one person’s body to do. you can only do that by eating properly and drinking enough fluids to sustain optimal breastmilk production.
Aim to eat 3 servings of vegetables, they can be dark leafy greens, yellow in color, or any other veggie you like to eat.
Protein-rich foods such as nuts, seeds, meats, eggs, or beans no less than 2 times a day and as many as 5 times a day. Then lastly aim to get a few servings of fruit each day too. Add in whole grains, cereals, and pasta throughout the day too.
Stay Hydrated with Fresh Juice and Water
If you have a baby that’s hungry all the time, then you already know they’re drinking a ton of milk too. If you feed your 2-week old by breastfeeding, you need to be consuming around 8-12 glasses of liquids throughout the day.
Besides water, kombucha, fresh juices, and carrot juice are great for breastfeeding mothers. They help keep blood sugar stable.
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Breastmilk takes a ton of sugar to make, and the brain of both mother and baby need proper sugar to stay alert and active. Be sure to pay attention when you’re feeling brain fog since this is a sign of low sugar.
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Why are Infants Hungry and Grumpy After They Eat Sometimes
Babies go through various growth spurts, from the time they’re born up into adulthood. The younger the child, the more frequently and demanding the growth spurts will take place.
For instance, when a 2-week-old baby has a growth spurt, they will require frequent feeding times because their stomach doesn’t hold as much food and the body utilizes all they drink right away.
Your 2-week old might have longer stretches of longer sleeping periods, but wake up dramatically hungry.
Babies Go Through About 4-5 Major Growth Spurts Before The Age One
Babies go through about 4-5 timeframes where they’re growing more rapidly than other weeks. Therefore, they would be far more hungry. Not all babies will go through that many, but most children will.
For parents, this might feel like the most draining time, that their baby requires more comfort and food.
At each age, a baby will voice his frustrations of hunger in a different way, so it’s important to recognize the expressions of your little one when they present.
When the main growth spurts happen for babies
- One to three weeks of age
- Four to six weeks of age
- Three months old
- Six months old
- Nine months old
These ages are not going to be the same for every baby, many babies have more or fewer periods of growth spurts.
Many babies will have them between different ages too. There’s nothing wrong if your baby does not have a growth spurt at one of these ages.
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Baby’s Will Express Different Hunger Cues Yet There Are Common Symptoms Among All Babies
Your baby will let you know they’re going through a spurt of growing by expressing some or all of the following expressions.
During a growth spurt, they will want to eat a lot more often
We all know that a growing teenager will need more food and sleep. But, what about a growing infant? The same thing happens during infancy that happens during the teenage years – food and more food.
Babies might want to eat more often throughout the day and night throughout the growth spurt. Upon entering a growth spurt, your baby might be very upset for the first few days to a week.
Your baby’s trying to cue your body to make more milk or is demanding more milk for the first little bit. Their extra hungry belly causes them to be more upset than they usually would be.
During this week, sleep as your baby does. Having a 2-week old who is waking up more than usual, and hungrier can be exhausting for both the parents and baby.
Be sure to explain what’s happening to your partner so they can help you out as much as possible.
Waking up often at night or waking up extra hungry after a long sleep
You might just be feeling rested with your baby who has been sleeping through the night when suddenly, you find yourself groggy-eyed, wondering why your baby is waking up all the time to eat.
Babies who are growing wake up and might want to eat for an hour straight.
Throughout the night this can be exhausting, especially because they might wake for a snack half an hour after this. Babies are just hungry and an empty tummy doesn’t help with sleep.
Be sure to make your baby extra bottles or have them at the breast more often if this is the case. It won’t last forever, and your baby needs the extra food.
How to Comfort Your Baby During More Demanding Times
Across the board, babies who are growing more than usual feel it. Their bodies might literally be sore and exhausted from growing. That comes out in baby language as more intense crying periods, screaming, and inability to sleep as deeply.
Babies might awaken with a frightening cry and need milk right then. During these times you can try a variety of ways to comfort your baby.
Don’t get upset about your baby. They’re only expressing themselves in the ways they know how to.
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Talk to your baby often because your voice is soothing
Your baby is familiar with your voice and finds it ultra-soothing. After all, they were just in your belly for 9 months, and dad or other close relatives will also be recognizable to the baby.
If you make a “woosh-woosh-shhh” sound to your infant, they’ll likely relax by feeling calmer.
The shooshing noise resembles what it sounded like. You can even set the playlist to white noise by your infant. Noises like this are wonderful for upset babies.
Rock your baby and sing them a lullaby
Babies love to be rocked like how they were in the womb. It’s often familiar at ages over 1-years-old too.
It’ll at least buy you a bit of time while you figure out what else your baby needs. Some babies become overstimulated easily when they get hungry. At this point, everything feels overwhelming to them.
If you have to prepare a bottle or a space to breastfeed and your baby is overwhelmed, you can lay them towards a blank wall to reduce them feeling overwhelmed.
Choose a calm quiet room, where you can face them towards a blank wall if they seem overwhelmed.
Bounce their feet or do bicycle kicks while they lay on their back
Small babies who are eating as quickly as they can tend to get extra gassy. This is because, with the fast let down that comes with your milk supply increasing, your baby will likely gulp in a lot of air.
Even burping your baby can withhold air that turns into painful gas for the baby. Bicycle kicks are a great way to help relieve the gas, or just calm your baby while you catch a break from all the extra bouncing and nursing.
We Know Little Ones Drink A Lot of Milk in a Growth Spurt…But How Much More
The truth is that every baby is unique and will have different needs. There isn’t a one size fits all rule for this question. Every mother will need to listen to her baby carefully.
If a baby is crying or cooing for more milk, offer it. Babies will stop eating when they’re satisfied, and if more milk is requested right after a big meal, keep on giving to your hungry infant.
If your baby is bottle-fed, then you can make an additional bottle and pay attention to the amount your baby has increased the feeding amount by.
This information will come in handy for night time meals so that the changing routine can go as smoothly as possible.
If you’re strictly breastfeeding, you can offer your baby both the left and right breast during feedings your baby would normally be satisfied with just one side for.
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This will help your body increase milk supply, and there is often another feeding on the other side already available since your breasts let down simultaneously.
If your baby is unusually upset at a boob that feels empty or drained to you, then switch over to the other side. It can be hard to tell which side your baby ate last time, and oftentimes your baby intuitively knows.
You won’t be able to accurately measure how much your milk supply has increased when it comes to breastfeeding, but it’s demanding for you and your baby alike.
Rest more when your baby is feeding more, call it an early night if you have to. The most intense part of a growth spurt should only last 4-5 days at the most until everything catches up.
Is It Possible To Fall Behind On Milk Production or For Milk Supply to Halt
The name of the game is to go with the flow. When it comes to breastfeeding, you need to relax and allow it all to fall into place. Your body, baby’s cycles, and your breastfeeding routine will all change frequently before the first year of life.
You can rest assured that your body knows just what to do to make enough milk during the time frames when your body needs to increase milk supply based on the demands of the baby.
Your body will do what it has to in order to bump up the amount of milk you produce. That means taking from your nutritional stores or making mom extra tired to keep up.
The best way to help your body along is to rest, nourish, and stress less. Your body will feel better, and be able to keep up with milk supply more easily when it becomes your main focus.
Many women stress that they’re running out of milk, and will even discontinue breastfeeding unnecessarily. If you stick with it, your body will react the way it’s meant to.
Always Offer Your Breastfeeding Baby More Time On the Breast Before Resorting to Formula
Breastfed babies will want more milk as they grow but this doesn’t mean that you have to resort to offering formula after feeding.
Even when your baby is so upset they’re crying and frustrated, you should put them to your breast in order to stimulate greater milk production.
If your baby is not to your breast then your body will not know that your baby wants more milk. The skin to skin contact is what makes your body increase milk supply in the end.
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There are times when my newborn will go through growth spurts and cry the entire time at the breast. it’s intense to sit through, but the more you can do this the faster your body will begin making more milk.
Once again this should only last at the most 5 days at the start of a growth spurt while your body starts making more milk.
If you’re thinking about offering your baby formula on top of feeding during a growth spurt, ask your midwife, OB, or pediatrician how to do this correctly then use your instincts and digression to make the best decision for you and your baby.
Don’t offer a baby solid food until 6-months-old
Babies do not need to start solid foods until about 6 months of age, but never before 17 weeks.
All those small babies need is formula or breastmilk. The digestive system of a 2-week-old is just starting to develop. Even though your baby seems unsatisfied, keep in mind that it won’t last forever.
Babies go through many growth spurts before the age of one, this can seem endless and exhausting at times. Your 2-week-old will be satisfied again, eventually.
But there are times when you should seek help from a professional. There might be issues you aren’t seeing with breastfeeding or in the health of your infant that can only be detected by a professional.
If your baby is constantly unsatisfied regardless of how often you offer your breast or a bottle that lasts more than a few days, seek additional help.
Parents of babies with a tongue-tie, colic, or other feeding issues will vouch that these issues can be hard to spot.
Pediatricians’ offices usually have a lactation consultant on-site that can help new mothers of infants who have eating troubles. Don’t feel bad for seeking extra help, your peace of mind is worth it.
Being the parent of a 2-week old is constantly hungry is exhausting, to say the least, and sometimes we need a helping hand in times of uncertainty.
Is My Baby Having A Growth Spurt? – Made for Mums
Human Milk Compositons: Nutrients and Bioactive Factors – US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
Top 10 Superfoods for Breastfeeding Moms: Sanford Health
Cluster Feeding – What To Expect