Newborn Feeding Schedule: How Often To Feed Your Baby
With the arrival of your newborn baby, you may have questions and concerns about their feeding schedule. This is completely normal. From sleep schedule to feeding schedule, its all new to you.
You can rest easy because Mustelas baby experts are here to address your questions and concerns about newborn feeding schedules and how often to feed your baby.
To 7 Months Old Feeding Schedule
Expressed breast/human milk or formula: 24 to 32 fluid ounces per day3
Solids: 1 to 2 meals
Baby is likely bottle-feeding six to eight times per day, with most still taking one or more bottles during the night. If your baby is taking more or less than this number of bottles and is growing well, peeing and pooping as expected, and overall thriving, then you are likely feeding just the right amount for your baby. Your baby should not decrease the number of bottles they are taking yet, even with the new addition of a solid food meal. When first starting solids, breast/human milk or formula should still be babys primary source of nutrition.
We recommend one mealtime per day at this age, though if you and baby have the time in your day and both enjoy being at the table, you are welcome to offer solids twice a day. You might need to offer a top-off bottle after solids if baby still exhibits hunger, as many babies will not eat much during meals at this age. Eating solid food at this stage will mainly be for practice, so try not to worry about consumption. Remember, we use the word meal to describe times baby is at the table exploring food. Even if baby does not swallow anything, this is still considered a meal.
Note: Some infants may drink more than the ounces listed above, especially during growth spurts. Some infants may drink less. As long as baby is growing appropriately, there is no need to worry about volume.
Week Old Sleep Schedule / 2 Month Old Sleep Schedule Development And Sleep Patterns
Your newborns sleep patterns: By 8 weeks old/2 months old, many babies are sleeping longer at night and we start to see earlier and earlier bedtimes as your baby lengthens nighttime sleep to 11-12 hours and they nap 3-4 hours during the day, on average. They still need ~14-16 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. However, if your baby still has a later bedtime, that isnt too uncommon. Until your baby is sleeping 11-12 hours at night, you really dont want an 8 PM or earlier bedtime else you will have to start your day WAY too early! In addition, your baby may have been eating just 1-2 times a night but once they lengthen their nighttime sleep, this might mean a night feeding creeps back in, temporarily.
Some parents stop swaddling around this age because baby is rolling which can become problematic for sleep. This can lead to more night-waking and shorter naps. In addition, there is commonly an 8-week growth spurt to keep in mind.
Here is what your 8-week-olds schedule may look similar to:
|8 Week Old/2 Month Old Sleep Schedule|
|3:30 AM||Milk and Diaper Change|
Please note: Not all babies, especially breastfed babies, can transition to just two night feedings by this age, especially if they are in bed for 12 hours. Some babies are still getting three night feedings and that would be within averages.
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How Often Should I Feed My Baby
Since your newborns tummy is so tiny, youll need to feed your baby formula every two to three hours during their first month. As their tummy grows, so will the length of time between feedings.
Because formula takes longer to digest than breast milk, formula-fed babies wont get hungry as often. Typically after the first month, they will eat every three to four hours.
But the newborn feedings are not always mess-free. Spit-up can sometimes accompany them. Keep our Cleansing Wipes handy to clean up your babys spit-up, especially during late-night feedings. Youll be too tired to give your baby a bath at this point if theyre old enough for a bath. Mustelas gentle wipes can be used for everything from wiping your babys face or diaper area to cleaning their hands. But the uses and benefits arent just for babies. Parents, you can enjoy our cleansing wipes, too!Moms, use them to remove your makeup and keep your skin smooth, clean, and healthy without the irritation often caused by other makeup removers. And, dads, use them for a quick clean up for your hands and face. Our wipes are especially effective at gently removing dirt, grime, oil, and makeup!
Summing Up: What Do We Really Know
As with most science, we still have a lot left to learn.
We dont yet understand all the determinants of breast milk quality, or why the composition of breast milk changes over time.
We dont yet understand all the causes of increased obesity risk in formula-fed and bottle-fed infants.
And it isnt yet clear how much impact an infant feeding schedule might have over the long-term. In particular, we need more research on the possible effects an infant feeding schedule might have on stress regulation and cognitive development.
Meanwhile, what we do know is that human beings exhibit the characteristics of continual feeders, and its a sure bet that relatively frequent, on demand feedings have been the historic and evolutionary norm for our species.
Its also clear that breast milk can vary substantially in fat composition and caloric density, so that babies will benefit from being able to schedule the timing of their own feeds.
And all babies whether they consume breast milk or formula experience fluctuations in their needs for fluids and energy. When we are responsive to their cues of hunger and thirst, were more likely to meet these needs.
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Newborn Sleeping Feeding And Play: Letting Your Baby Lead The Routine
With newborn sleeping and feeding, the key is being flexible and following your babys lead. Your baby will let you know whether they want to sleep, feed or interact with you its OK to go with whatever feels right at the time.
Its also OK to try to do things in a similar order if that feels right for you and your baby. For example, you could trya simple routine of feed, play, sleep. Heres what this might look like:
If you try this kind of routine, its still important to watch your babys cues and respond.
For example, your baby might show tired signs soon after a feed. This means that its time for your baby to sleep, even if you and baby havent had much time to play.
Or your baby might show signs of being hungry after a play. In this situation, just give your baby another feed before settling baby for sleep. Your baby will sleep better with a full tummy.
Or your baby might have an extra-long sleep every now and then. Thats OK too. Unless your doctor or child and family health nurse has told you otherwise, theres no need to wake your baby for feeds.
And at night, a good option might be settling your baby straight back to sleep after feeds, rather than trying to play.
Establish A Bedtime Routine And Stick To It
Establishing a bedtime routine for your baby is one of the most important things you can do to help them sleep through the night. A good routine will help your baby know whats coming, and it will help them relax and fall asleep more easily.
Some ideas for a bedtime routine include reading a book, singing a song, or giving your baby a bath. Try to keep the routine consistent each night, and make sure you stick to it!
Read Also: How To Flip A Newborn’s Sleep Schedule
Should Newborns Be On A Sleeping And Feeding Schedule
Every parent has heard the phrase sleep when baby sleeps or eat when baby eats, so whats the big deal about creating a newborn schedule?
Some adults thrive on a routine, while others do not. But when it comes to a newborn schedule or routine, experts agree that an infant feeding and sleeping schedule helps not just babies, but all family members.
Routines are important, and they help the entire household, Dr. Kevin Rouse, a pediatrician at The Childrens Clinic in Jonesboro, Arkansas, told TODAY Parents. Babies, in particular, have an inherent need for routine, especially in those early developmental stages.
Dr. Brannan Treece, a pediatrician at NEA Baptist Clinic in Trumann, Arkansas, agrees that a routine benefits both parents and babies.
You can know when to schedule doctor appointments or grocery trips, because you will know what time the baby would typically nap or feed and it will prevent you from interrupting those scheduled events.
Treece also suggests that functioning on a schedule gives parents better insight into their childs needs.
Parents are able to understand the needs of their children better if they maintain a routine, he said. For example, if a child typically eats every two hours and it has only been one hour, you can be fairly certain that if the baby is upset, it is not likely due to hunger. It allows you to assess and determine the root cause of the issue quicker so you are able to meet the needs of the baby sooner.
The Ultimate Newborn Sleep Schedule: Week By Week
Youve come to the right place for your newborn sleep schedule and sleep patterns. I will help teach you how to get your baby on a schedule, how much time in bed is actually needed, and day and nighttime solutions.
When I was pregnant with my firstborn I hadnt babysat a child more than once or twice.
Much less a baby.
Much less a newborn that was as small as my forearm and was always hungry.
I read what I could, studied what I found, and now as a mom of 5 can safely say getting your newborn to sleep well is totally possible.
Ill show you how.
Also Check: How Much Vitamin D Does A Newborn Need
Does My Baby Need A Breastfeeding Schedule
Your baby is too young for a routine, so forget following a breastfeeding schedule let her guide you instead.
You can read books about how to get a baby on to a schedule, but babies dont read and dont understand them, says Cathy. Each baby is an individual. Some may conform but many dont. Most will find their own schedule over time.
Some mums say a set routine was best for their baby but these babies were probably among the small percentage who would naturally feed every four hours anyway! Adults generally dont eat and drink the same things, at the same times, every day, so why should your baby follow such a strict routine?
Instead, offer your baby your breast whenever she shows signs of being hungry. Crying is a late sign, so look out for earlier cues, such as her licking her lips, opening her mouth, sucking her hands, or turning her head open-mouthed known as rooting.4
Week 6 Of Newborn Sleep Schedule
Morning wake times.
This is one of the most important habits you can start with your 6 week old baby. Why decide a morning wake time?
Well its simple.
If you feed them at a consistent time each morning, thats the time they learn to sleep until.
So, if you feed your baby at 5:30 am and then start the day their metabolisms and body clocks will get used to waking up for good at 5:30 am.
You probably want to avoid this.
Recommended Reading: How Long To Let Newborn Cry
To 15 Months Old Feeding Schedule
Expressed breast/human milk or cows milk: Anywhere from none to 14 to 20 fluid ounces 6
Infant formula: No more than 16 fluid ounces 15 months+ ideally none
Solids: 3 meals + 2 optional snacks
Solid foods are starting to become the primary source of nutrition at this age, and the solid food meal should ideally be offered before any milk feeds. The toddler should eat three meals of solid foods each day, and many take two snacks situated halfway between meals. Keep in mind that this does not have to be a hard stop on bottles or on formula or breast/human milk right at 12 months old. Some babies will continue to need a few bottles per day to get adequate nutrition and energy while they continue to build their chewing and eating skills. The goal is to wean all bottles and all formula by 15 months. If you would like to continue offering expressed breast/human milk at that point, you would aim to offer it in a cup at table meals.
Note: Some toddlers will drop the morning nap in this age range. Most toddlers do best with a 2-nap schedule until closer to 16-18 months, but certainly, some children are ready to drop one of their naps a bit earlier. Trust baby and your gut, and adapt the schedule as necessary. When your child does move to a 1-nap schedule, occurring midday , offer lunch before naptime to ensure hunger is not an issue causing a difficult or short nap.
For more on milk and milk alternatives, see our Milk FAQs.
How Do I Incorporate Breastfeeding Or Bottle
Even though your baby is now slurping purées from a spoon , the bulk of her nutrition will still come from breast milk or formula. Consider the solids you serve at first as healthy supplements and a chance for your sweetie to explore new tastes and textures.
When should you bring out a bottle or your breast, and when should you dish out solids? There’s really no set rule. Some parents find that an appetizer of breast milk or formula is a good way to start off a meal, so their little ones aren’t too hungry to settle down to eat.
Other parents offer solids as a first course and breast milk or formula for dessert. Then there are moms who like to completely separate solids from nursing or bottle-feeding sessions.
Since there’s no hard and fast rule, experiment until you find a feeding schedule that works for you.
Recommended Reading: What To Wear For Newborn Family Photos
Sample Baby Feeding Schedule For 4
This schedule assumes that your 4- to 6-month-old is taking three naps and you’re introducing solid foods by spoon-feeding purées.
If your family is following a baby-led weaning approach, solids would not be offered until after the 6-month mark, when your child is likely more capable of self-feeding.
- 7:00 a.m.: Wake and nurse or bottle
- 7:45 a.m.: Breakfast
- 8:45 a.m. 10:45 a.m.: Nap
- 10:45 a.m.: Wake and nurse or bottle
- 12:00 p.m.: Nurse or bottle
- 12:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m.: Nap
- 2:30 p.m.: Nurse or bottle
- 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.: Nap
- 5:00 p.m.: Nurse or bottle
- 5:45 PM: Dinner
- 6:45 PM: Nurse or bottle
- 7:00 PM: Bed