Babies Vary In Their Needs From Individual To Individual And From Day To Day
Different babies have different needs, and the same baby experiences fluctuations in energy requirements over time.
What if your baby has the urge to be more active, and needs more food to fuel her activities?
What if your infant needs more fluids because its hot, or because hes coming down with a virus?
What if your baby is in the middle of a growth spurt?
It isnt merely that you need to adopt a schedule that is individualized to your babys current needs. You also need a schedule that keeps changing in response his or her future needs.
Thats pretty hard to do unless you are paying attention to your baby, offering meals when you observe signs of hunger. And if you are doing that, you arent imposing a strictly-timed infant feeding schedule. By definition, you are feeding on cue.
Moreover, the babys need for food and fluids is only one side of the equation the demand side. There is also the supply side of the equation. If your baby is on formula, its easy to figure out what your baby is being supplied with. You can read the label, and know your baby is getting the same formulation from one feed to the next.
But breast milk doesnt work that way. Human breast milk is roughly similar in composition from one woman to the next, but there are significant differences. Not only does breast milk vary between individuals. It also varies between milk samples produced by the same woman at different points in time.
Feeding Schedule For Formula
Formula-fed newborns will need about two to three ounces of formula per feeding to start with. Newborns, fed from bottles are able to take in more during a feeding than a breastfed infants. This allows you to space out feedings by about three to four hours.
As your baby reaches her 1-month milestone, she will need at least four ounces per feeding to get the nourishment she requires. Your newbornâs feeding schedule will gradually become more predictable over time, and youâll need to adjust the amount of formula as she grows.
Month 4 Surviving The Regression
Oh deary deary me.
The 4 month can be a tough one.
Baby is awake more.
And you are seeing the fruits of the first few months of routine and sleep work. This is a common month for a baby sleep regression. And if you are here and discouraged, take heart, itll get better.
Along with the sleep regression, babies often go through a growth spurt around this age so both breastfed babies and formula fed babies will likely need to feed more within 24 hours.
Sample 4 Month Old Breastfeeding Schedule
- 5:00 am | An early morning feed just put right back down to bed
- 7:30 am | Wake up and feed, bathe baby
- 8:30 am | Go down for a nap
- 10:30 pm | Dream feed
Recommended Reading: How To Be A Good Dad To A Newborn
When Should I Alternate Breasts
Alternate breasts and try to give each one the same amount of nursing time throughout the day. This helps to keep up your milk supply in both breasts and prevents painful engorgement .
You may switch breasts in the middle of each feeding and then alternate which breast you offer first for each feeding. Can’t remember where your baby last nursed? It can help to attach a reminder like a safety pin or small ribbon to your bra strap so you’ll know which breast your baby last nursed on. Then, start with that breast at the next feeding. Or, keep a notebook handy or use a breastfeeding app to keep track of how your baby feeds.
Your baby may like switching breasts at each feeding or prefer to nurse just on one side. If so, then offer the other breast at the next feeding. Do whatever works best and is the most comfortable for you and your baby.
Formula Food For Babies
Breast milk has no equal when it comes to providing nutrition and immunity. However, some mothers cannot breastfeed their babies for various reasons, such as when they are sick, have insufficient lactation or have to get back to work after maternity leave.
In such a scenario, the only substitute that comes close to breastmilk is formula milk, also known as baby formula or infant formula.
Formula milk is manufactured using purified cow’s milk, whey, casein, a blend of vegetable oils, and lactose. These ingredients provide the required amount of protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrate to the babies. It comes in both ready-to-feed liquid form, and as dry powder which can be mixed with water. Lactose-free formula milk is available for babies who have lactose intolerance. The feeding quantity and frequency of formula feeds are the same as those of breast milk.
To recapitulate, breast milk is the perfect food for your bundle of joy. Formula feeds can be used if, for some reason, breastfeeding isn’t possible. Feeding on demand is the right way to go initially. As the baby grows from 0 to 5 months, a food timetable can be introduced and followed.
We hope our practical tips and schedules for feeding your baby would have cleared your doubts and make breastfeeding moments a time for bonding and joy.
Read Also: Is It Normal For Newborns To Have Dry Skin
Is It True That Babies Fed Human Milk Need More Vitamin D
Yes! If your baby is exclusively or even partially fed breast milk, your baby’s pediatrician may likely recommend that you incorporate vitamin D supplements into your child’s diet. Even though human milk is thought to be the best source of nutrients for babies, it’s usually not sufficient at supplying your baby with all the vitamin D they need.
The AAP recommends a minimum intake of 400 IU of vitamin D per day, beginning shortly after birth. This vitamin is important for helping your little one to absorb calcium and phosphorus, and deficiencies can cause rickets and poor bone health.
Infant formula is typically fortified with enough vitamin D so exclusively bottle-fed babies tend to not need additional supplements. Always make sure you consult your pediatrician before implementing supplements!
When To Start Solids
Your baby needs to reach certain stages of development before you add solid food to their diet. If you breastfeed, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that you feed your baby breast milk alone until theyâre about 6 months old. Many babies are ready for solids when theyâre about this age.
Hereâs how to tell if your baby may be ready for solid food:
- They can hold up their head and keep it steady while seated in a high chair or other infant seat.
- They open their mouth for food or reach out for it.
- They put their hands or toys in their mouth.
- They can take food from a spoon and swallow it instead of dribbling it all out.
- They have doubled their birth weight and weigh at least 13 pounds.
Recommended Reading: What To Help Newborn With Constipation
Colostrum: Your First Milk
The fluid your breasts produce in the first few days after birth is called colostrum. It’s thick and usually a golden yellow colour. It’s a very concentrated food, so your baby will only need a small amount, about a teaspoonful, at each feed.
Your baby may want to feed quite often, perhaps every hour to begin with. They’ll begin to have fewer, but longer feeds once your breasts start to produce more “mature” milk after a few days.
The more you breastfeed, the more your baby’s sucking will stimulate your supply and the more milk you’ll make.
How Do I Count The Time Between Feedings
Count the length of time between feedings from the time your baby begins to nurse to when your little one starts nursing again. In other words, when your doctor asks how often your baby is feeding, you can say “about every 2 hours” if your first feeding started at 6 a.m., the next feeding was around 8 a.m., then 10 a.m., and so on.
Especially at first, you might feel like you’re nursing around the clock, which is normal. Soon enough, your baby will go longer between feedings.
You May Like: When Do You Start Bathing A Newborn
Month 1 Focusing On Full Feeds
The best thing you can do from the very beginning Im talking while still in the hospital is to give baby full feeds.
If you dont, youll probably end up with a baby who wants to snack every hour. Youll be like a mombie who hasnt bathed in 3 weeks and only wears yoga pants because she cant fit into her normal clothes yet, duh.
Because if you are sitting down feeding baby every hour then within a few weeks you are going to become a depressed mom.
Watch this short video to help you conquer full feeds
Do NOT let baby feed for a few minutes then nap, then repeat.
Instead, focus on giving baby full feeds of breast milk knowing baby needs to eat in a continuous feeding pattern to keep up your milk supply.
?Sample 1 Month Old Breastfeeding Schedule?
- 7:30-8:00 am wake up and feed
- 8:30 am down for a nap
- 10:30-11:00 pm dream feed swaddled, put back to bed
Understanding Newborn Feeding Patterns
Newborns often develop their own schedule of breastfeeding, expressing hunger every 2 to 3 hours. But, there is a lot of variability. Infants may feed as often as hourly for a cluster of several hours, or take breaks of longer than three hours during which they sleep. Despite this, they manage to get their 8-12 feeds per day. This variable pattern is very typical, very normal. Your job as parent is to recognize when the baby is hungry and when the baby is satisfied. As long as you do that, your baby will grow well and be content.
Don’t Miss: How Is A Newborn Hearing Test Done
Feeding Schedule For Breastfed Newborns
From the moment your baby is born, she begins to grow at a surprisingly quick pace. To fuel her development and keep her well fed, be prepared to nurse about every two to three hours.
By the time sheâs a week old, your little one may begin to nap for longer periods, giving you more time between feedings. If sheâs sleeping, you can maintain your babyâs feeding schedule by waking her up gently when itâs time to feed.
Tips to keep in in mind if youâre breastfeeding:
The length of time between feedings is measured from when your baby begins nursing, not when she stops.
Ensure your little one latches on properly. This can be difficult when youâre starting out, especially for first-time moms, but over time your baby may begin to latch comfortably. Speaking to a lactation consultant could be helpful.
As your baby grows she may nurse at a faster rate.
Alternate between breasts during each feeding.
Look for signs that your baby is full. She may turn away from the breast, nurse at a slower rate, or lose interest. Once she seems full, end the feeding
Your babyâs healthcare provider may recommend adding vitamin D oral supplements to your babyâs diet. Follow the provider’s instructions to ensure your baby gets the proper dosage.
The Newborn Feeding Schedule: The Evidence For Feeding On Cue And Avoiding Regimented Strictly
The following article focuses on the newborn feeding schedule. For information related to this topic, see this article about opens in a new windowbreastfeeding on demand, as well this overview of opens in a new windowthe science in favor of infant-initiated meals.
Throughout much of the 20th century, Western medical professionals recommended that newborns be fed on a highly-regulated timetable .
Today we know better. The scientific evidence strongly suggests that newbornsdefined as babies less than one month oldbenefit when they are fed frequently and on demand. According to the latest recommendations, that means
initiating feedings when babies show signs of hunger, and
ending feedings when babies show signs of being satiated .
It also means feeding infants approximately 8-12 times every 24 hours. If that seems like a lot, keep in mind: Our ancestors fed their babies this frequently even after the newborn stage.
And consider these points:
- Frequent feedings reduce the time it takes for a mothers milk to come in. In one study, moms who breastfed newborns every two hours began lactating eat least 24 hours earlier than did moms who breastfed every four hours .
- Frequent breastfeeds increase a mothers prolactin levels, and high prolactin levels are needed to establish an adequate milk supply. In a U.S. study, breastfeeding frequency of about 10 times a day was associated with sufficient milk .
The short answer is no.
You May Like: How To Raise A Newborn Baby
Newborn Feeding Schedule: A Time For Bonding
Now that you have answers to your questions about newborn feeding schedules and how often to feed your little bundle of joy, you can soak up this precious time with your newborn. It passes quickly, so embrace each feeding session while you bond with your brand new baby.
You can rest assured that youre giving your newborn the best start when you combine Mustela’s products with your newfound feeding knowledge!
To Regain Birth Weight
Within the first few days, babies tend to lose about 7 10% of their birth weight. This is normal and caused by the loss of extra fluid as they acclimate to the world outside of the womb. However, you want to help your baby regain this birth weight, which is why consistent feedings are essential. You should expect to wake your newborns for feedings every three hours at least until they have regained all of their birth weight.
When you go longer than three hours between feedings, your baby wont be getting the calories they need to grow and develop into a healthy infant. If youre having trouble with these feedings, talk to your doctor about what you can do to help your baby gain a healthy amount of weight.
Also Check: When To Do Newborn Photos
Sample Baby Feeding Schedule For 7
This schedule assumes that your 7- to 9-month-old is taking two naps .
- 7:00 a.m.: Wake and nurse or bottle
- 7:45 a.m.: Breakfast
- 9:30 a.m. 11:30 a.m.: Nap
- 11:30 a.m.: Nurse or bottle
- 12:15 p.m.: Lunch
- 1:45 p.m. 6 to 8 ounces breast milk or formula
- 2:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m.: Nap
- 4:00 p.m.: Nurse or bottle
- 5:30 p.m.: Dinner
- 7:00 p.m.: Nurse or bottle
- 7:30 p.m.: Bed
How Do I Know If My Baby Is Hungry
Even though newborns cant speak in words we can understand they will still be able to tell you that they are hungry by crying or fussing. As time goes on you might even notice that you can tell the difference between the sound of crying your baby makes when they are hungry or crying for another reason.
Recommended Reading: How To Do Sponge Bath For Newborn
Baby Feeding Chart: Recommendations For The First Year Of Life
So you’ve experienced one of life’s greatest joys, welcoming your little one to the wonderful world we call Earth. Your baby’s first year of life is an exciting and special time filled with innumerable and unforgettable firsts. While this is undoubtedly a very gleeful period, it’s also not without its challenges.
As a new parent, you’ve got a lot on your plate! The common expression “eat, sleep, poop, repeat” severely understates all the behind-the-scenes thought that mums and dads have to put into their child’s eating and sleeping routines. If you find yourself stewing with questions about how much, when, how, and what to feed your baby then this guide is for you!
In this article, we’ll cover everything related to how you can make appropriate food choices for your little one starting from their first few hours out of the womb up until they hit 12 months of age. If you’re keen to help your baby to develop healthy eating patterns be sure to read on!
Breastfeeding Schedule For Newborn Babies
Research shows that breastfeeding is often a rich and rewarding experience for the mother, and a great way to provide your infant with excellent nutrition and essential protection from infections and other conditions. Breastfeeding, though, can sometimes be a challenge for even the most well-prepared of mothers. Many parents have questions about the process of breastfeeding their newborn.
How often does the baby need to be fed? Is it better to breastfeed on a set schedule or per the newborns demand? Should you wake up a sleeping baby to keep a breastfeeding schedule? These are all perfectly natural questions. To understand how best to answer them, we will need to take a closer look at some of the important details about nursing a newborn.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Newborn To Take Bottle
How Often Should I Pump With A Newborn
For a newborn that is under 2 months of age, you should pump 8 to 12 times per day if you are exclusively pumping. This means that you are replacing all feeding sessions with pumping sessions.
If you are doing a combination of nursing and pumping, then you do not need to pump as frequently.
You should still aim for at least 8 to 12 feeding sessions to ensure your infant has enough milk. You can pump anywhere from 0 to 3 times per day.
Remember, if you are pumping in addition to breastfeeding, anything you can pump is extra milk.
Dont feel discouraged if you get half an ounce, or one ounce after a feeding session. This is milk over and above what your baby needs. Every ounce is precious.
If you pump one ounce after 4 feeding sessions, during the day youve pumped an entire extra bottle of milk!
Some moms will not want to pump because it can lead to an oversupply of milk. As long as you remove the milk regularly with feeding or pumping, then pumping shouldnt be harmful.
If you notice that you are becoming uncomfortable with an oversupply, then you may want to reduce the number of pumping sessions.