Important notice to customers — product packaging changesLearn More

NEW FOOD PACKAGING IN STORE NOW

From August 2018, customers will notice our rebranded food packaging start to appear on shelf in all major stockists.

  • CURRENT Packaging
  • new Packaging

We are excited to announce our new packaging will start to appear on shelf from August 2018. This transition to new packaging will occur over a number of months. During this time there will be a mix of current and new packaging on shelf.

There are no major changes to these products, in some instances there is a small name change or slight recipe improvement, see below for the full details.

Products purchased via the website will be delivered to customers in our old packaging until the end of October. From November, products ordered from the website will be delivered in the new packaging.

Please note, our Infant Formula packaging will not be rebranded until later in 2019.

For any questions, connect with our team of accredited practising Dietitians on +61 3 6332 9200

Product name changes

  • Cereal Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Baby Rice
  • NEW Packaging Organic Rice with Prebiotic (GOS) Note: Our Baby Rice recipe has been upgraded to now include GOS Prebiotic
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Vanilla Rice Custard
  • NEW Packaging Organic Milk & Vanilla Baby Rice
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Porridge
  • NEW Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Baby Porridge
  • Ready To Serve Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Banana, Pear & Mango
  • New Packaging Organic Banana, Pear, Apple & Mango
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Mango, Blueberry & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Blueberry, Mango & Apple
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Peach & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Grape, Apple & Peach
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Pumpkin & Tomato Risotto
  • New Packaging Organic Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Tomato
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Broccoli, Beef & Brown Rice
  • New Packaging Organic Beef & Vegetables
  • Note: We have also upgraded some of our RTS recipes to remove added sugars and to remove some of the more complex ingredients that are not required for young children such as Tamari.
  • RUSKS NAME CHANGES
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Milk Rusks Toothiepegs
  • New Packaging Organic Milk Rusks
Home/Nutrition & Recipes/Articles/Infant & Toddler Nutrition/Bottle Feeding/How to Incorporate Cluster Feeding into Your Newborn’s Evening Routine

How to Incorporate Cluster Feeding into Your Newborn’s Evening Routine

There are no studies to prove it, but I’d hazard a guess that there are almost as many opinions about baby feeding routines circulating the globe as there are actual babies. Since time immemorial, a tiresome parade of self-appointed, cheerfully unqualified baby ‘experts’ have issued murky advice on everything from vaccinations to feeding schedules. One of the more common recommendations is that parents follow a strict three to four hourly feeding routine. If your baby cries for food in between scheduled feeds, well, toughen up, snowflake!  

But rigid routines of this nature ignore one essential fact: babies need food, and a lot of it. The vital business of all babies is to grow and gain weight, and that can be achieved one way only: food. Loads and loads of food. Babies should not be forced into a rigid routine that ignores their specific requirements for food.

Think for a second about how much you’d like it if some wellness expert told you exactly when you were allowed to eat, and how much, without any prior knowledge of your appetite and feeding habits. One size fits all dietary regimes work no better for babies than they do adults, but the stakes for babies are much higher: unlike you, they must gain weight constantly in order to grow and develop properly.  

My Bath, Bottle, and Bed routine does not force babies into a rigid timetable of feeds. Rather, I recommend a sustained period of cluster feeding during the early to mid-evening.

What is cluster feeding?

Cluster feeding simply refers to a time in which your baby is feeding frequently. When a baby wants to cluster feed, it can seem like ALL you’re doing is feeding, but it’s completely normal and is your baby’s way of packing in the calories before their longer stretch of night sleep. If babies don’t get the calories they need before bed, they will use those almighty newborn lungs to let you know they want more. All. Night. Long. So there is a considerable pay off for all that evening cluster feeding: a full and settled baby.

Cluster feeding in the evening

So, how do you incorporate cluster feeding into your night? All babies feed differently, but many like to cluster feed during the ‘witching hours’ between 5-9pm. Follow their cues and during this time, offer them the breast or bottle frequently, to help fill their tummies for the evening sleep. Feed your baby, play with your baby, rinse (literally), repeat. But save the rinse (also known as ‘the bath‘) for just before bed, around ten pm. Make sure the bath is deep and warm. After the bath, use my Cath’s Wrap technique to wrap the baby, then have your partner offer a bottle of expressed breast milk or formula before putting them down to sleep.

What is the difference between cluster feeding, scheduled feeding and on-demand feeding?

It’s a routine based on common sense. If you bathe, feed, and put your baby to bed at 7, chances are once they’re down for the evening, you’re probably going to stay up for a while and take the opportunity to binge watch Call The Midwife (or is that just me?). It makes more sense, then, to keep feeding your baby a little later into the evening, so that their long stretch of sleep occurs at the same time as your (hopefully) long stretch of sleep. A baby who goes to bed at 6 or 7 after just one feed is much more likely to ramp up their feeding demands right at the moment you’re drifting blissfully into the deepest and most restorative phase of your own sleep.

How to best settle your child between cluster feeds

Cluster feeding helps babies feel more calm and settled, as they are not forced to wait protracted periods between feeds. It’s important, though, to always remember that all babies are different. That goes for feeding, sleeping, the lot.

Your baby is not going to sleep like your best friends baby, or that baby at mothers group who sleeps from 7pm-9am every day and whose dewy-skinned mother is an abominably radiant advertisement for the benefits of sleep. That said, by incorporating cluster feeding into your evening routine, it’s more likely that you’ll have the soundly sleeping baby of your (uninterrupted) dreams. And maybe even an irritatingly dewy complexion.

Cluster feeding and fussy evenings can be hard to cope with. What’s your evening feeding schedule like? Let me know in the comments below.  

About the author

Midwife Cath – Cath Curtin – is a trusted expert in women’s health, pre-pregnancy, antenatal care and education, pregnancy, labour and birth, postnatal care, breastfeeding, and parenting. She has delivered over 10,000 babies throughout her 43-year career. Trained and fully-qualified as a nurse, midwife and maternal and child health nurse, Cath has an incomparable depth of experience. Her book, The First Six Weeks”, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2016 and is being translated for international markets. Her second book After, The First Six Weeks” was published in August  2018 and both available through Booktopia. She has a series of popular podcasts Birth Baby & Beyond available on PodcastOne and iTunes.

Important Notice to Parents and Guardians

  • The World Health Organisation recommends that breastfeeding is best for your baby.
  • Having a balanced diet when breastfeeding is also important. Infant Formulas should only be used after you’ve sought advice from a doctor or health practitioner.
  • A decision not to breastfeed can be difficult to reverse and introducing partial bottle feeding may reduce the supply of breast milk. It is also wise to consider the cost of infant formula.
  • If you use infant formula, all preparation and feeding instructions must be followed as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This is important for your baby’s health.