Finding the Right Feeding Schedule and Routine for Your Baby Whether You Bottle or Breastfeed ...
A new parent worries about getting the right baby feeding
schedule and often looks for a guide. Many new parents have
questions about how often they should be feeding their
babies, and they encounter conflicting advice and
information. Feed your baby whenever he or she is hungry.
Babies need frequent feedings: most guidelines say a newborn
needs food about every two to three hours at first, 24 hours
Keeping baby in your room when night feeding
It's wise to take a tip from experts who say it's better
to keep the baby in your room. The biggest problem with
breastfeeding or bottle feeding your baby may be the effect
that 'round the clock nursing has on your own sleeping
schedule. Night feeding can be less disruptive if you move
the baby in with you, either placing the crib beside your
bed or bringing the baby into your bed. Then when the baby
wakes up hungry, you can nurse without even having to be
fully awake yourself.
How often will my baby get hungry and should I follow the
pediatrician's feeding plan?
Your baby feeding schedule will probably be regulated by
your baby. Most healthy, full term babies wake up hungry
every couple of hours, so you probably won't have to keep a
chart. If your baby has health problems or if your milk
supply is a little low, you may have to schedule feedings to
keep your baby healthy and to ensure your body is stimulated
to create milk. If you feed your child on a regular schedule
at first, you may find your milk production becoming more
Some infants feed more frequently at certain times of the
day or night, and go for longer periods without feeding at
other times. In cluster feeding, the baby eats in small
amounts but more frequently than usual. Your baby's first
year is a series of developmental stages: a new born may
eat according to your pediatrician's feeding chart, but
within a couple of months, you may need to change your
feeding plan to meet your child's needs. The amount your
child eats should be up to him or her. Feed your baby as
much as he or she wants to eat at one time: shortening
feedings can leave your child hungry.
What's different about how a premature baby learns to eat?
Mothers of premature babies or newborns who aren't
instinctively eating 8-12 times per day may find that they
need to keep track of feeding to make sure the baby gains
weight. Signs of hunger include rooting, sucking on
fingers or hands, and crying. If your preemie prefers
sleeping to eating, you may need to wake your baby during
the night for feedings. Keeping the baby in your room is
one way to simplify feedings: an alarm clock with a gentle
chime is another way to wake for feedings without becoming
fully awake each time. One of the greatest stresses new
moms and dads suffer is the stress of not having a
complete night's sleep for months at a time: do whatever
you can to minimize that problem.
What changes can you expect from your baby's feeding schedule?
As your baby's stomach grows, your baby feeding schedule
will become normalize and time between feedings will
increase. It's possible to night wean your child around
nine months of age (some experts recommend one year, but
it depends on how badly you need to sleep). Night weaning
will be effective if your baby is developmentally ready
for it: otherwise, you can do everything right and you'll
still be waking up with a hungry child. But you can try
feeding more frequently in the hours leading up to bedtime
and through the day, putting in one last feeding just
before you go to bed yourself, and increasing the quality
of daytime feedings. Research has shown that babies will
eat up to 25% more at a feeding if they aren't distracted
by things going on around them. Nurse your baby in a quiet
room where there's nothing else happening.
Continue reading more baby tips about
Breast Feeding Diets
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