3 Month Old Baby Sleep and Feeding Schedule

 
3 Month Old Baby Sleep Feeding Schedule
 
This article outlines 3 month old sleep and feeding tips, as well as sample schedules for your 3 month old baby.

Skip to the schedules

3 Month Old Baby Sleep

At 3 months, your baby is past the newborn stage – quite a milestone! Your baby has been doing a lot of growing and developing in the last 12 weeks, so he no doubt looks and behaves quite differently now than he did when you first brought him home from the hospital.

By 3 months old, your baby’s sleep may have started to regulate itself slightly – you may notice that your baby is starting to sleep longer stretches at night, and to have more wake time during the day – this is a great sign (although if that’s not happening, don’t worry – by no means is it standard for all babies to sleep well at 3 months old!).

3 Month Old Baby Feeding

Your baby will likely also start to consolidate feedings by 3 months old. Your baby’s stomach capacity is considerably larger now than it was in the early days and weeks after birth, so your 3 month old baby will likely be able to go for longer stretches between feedings. You may also find that your baby feeds more frequently during the day and is beginning to drop night feedings (although again, if this isn’t the case for you – don’t worry. That’s normal, too!). Do remember, though, that if you are breastfeeding, you’ll want to continue to breastfeed at least every few hours during the day, and your baby will continue to need night feedings at this age, most likely.

If your baby is still waking frequently at 3 months old, you may start to feel like you need to introduce solid food, in order to help your baby sleep. However, keep in mind that starting solids doesn’t usually improve sleep, and 3 months old is still considered too young to begin solid food. It’s best to stick exclusively with breastmilk or formula, unless your healthcare provider indicates you should do otherwise.


Sample 3 Month Old Sleep and Feeding Schedule

Breastfed 3 Month Old Baby
7:00 — Wake (*Fixed Point)
8:00 — Feed
8:30 — Nap (*Fixed Point)
9:00 — Wake and Feed
11:00 — Feed and Nap
1:00 — Wake and Feed
2:00 — Nap
2:30 — Wake and Feed
4:30 — Feed and Nap
6:30 — Feed
7:00 — Catnap
9:00 — Feed and Bedtime (*Fixed Point)
10:30 — Fill-Up Feed (Fill-Up Feeds should always take place at Mom’s
bedtime, so mom gets a long stretch of sleep; be sure to use breast
compressions at bedtime and night feedings)
+ 1-3 night feedings

* – we recommend you make these fixed points in your baby’s schedule. You can read more about this in our article on fixed points in a baby schedule.

 
Formula-Fed 3 Month Old Baby
7:00 — Wake and Feed (*Fixed Point)
8:30 — Nap (*Fixed Point)
10:00 — Wake and Feed
11:30 — Nap
1:00 — Wake and Feed
2:30 — Nap
3:30 — Wake
4:00 — Feed
4:30 — Catnap
5:00 — Wake
6:00 — Feed
6:30 — Nap
9:00 — Feed and Bedtime (*Fixed Point)
11:00 — Fill-Up Feed
+ 1 or possibly 2 night feedings

* – we recommend you make these fixed points in your baby’s schedule. You can read more about this in our article on fixed points in a baby schedule.
 

Note: This schedule follows the eat-play-sleep routine, however, it is sometimes hard to do at this age when the amount of time between naps is not long enough and your baby wakes too early from his nap because of a feeding.

Need Baby and Toddler Sleep Help? We Have the Resources You Need!

bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftIf you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.

 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 

bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOr, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!

Baby_On_Computer_RESIZEDIf you are looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation, and want plenty support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations. Your consultation package will provide you with the chance to interact one-on-one with a trained sleep consultant, who will create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ for your family and then work to help you implement it at home.
 

Can’t decide which product or service is right for you? Visit our Getting Started Page for help.

*******************************************************************************************
bss_ebook_freeguide_leftWant FREE sleep help that you can put to use right away? Download a copy of our free guide, 5 Ways To Help Your Child Sleep Through The Night! The guide is available to download instantly, which means you can start using the techniques in it as early as tonight. So download now, and learn why your baby is waking at night – and what you can do about it.
 
 
Click here to learn more about how to get your free guide.

A better night’s sleep could be just a few clicks away. So don’t wait – download now, and start your journey to better sleep tonight!
*******************************************************************************************

What is your 3 month old baby’s routine?

How To Put Your Baby or Toddler On A Schedule

 
How To Put Your Baby or Toddler On A Schedule

Sure, we’ve got a ton of helpful sample sleep and feeding schedules by age on our site – but since your baby or toddler presumably can’t read yet, how are you supposed to get your child to, you know, actually follow one of these sample schedules?

Having a schedule is all well and good, but how do you get your child’s day to match said schedule?

Fear not, parents – we here at The Baby Sleep Site® are known for our awesome scheduling help. And in today’s article, we bring that scheduling help to you! Read on to learn how you can gently help your baby or toddler follow a predictably daily schedule.

How To Put Your Newborn Baby On A Schedule

Remember that when it comes to newborns, you have to use the word ‘schedule’ loosely. Your definitely don’t want to try for a clock-based schedule with your newborn – instead, you want to think in terms of shaping a loose schedule that’s based more on routine and ordering your baby’s activities than it is on the clock. You’ll also watch your baby’s sleep and hunger cues carefully – they are the single best indicator of what your baby needs.

In order to promote healthy sleep habits, we usually recommend an eat-play-sleep schedule: you feed your baby, engage him in an activity (like reading a book, playing with a soft toy, etc.) and then put him down for a nap. While it’s not based on fixed feeding and sleep times, this rhythm will support the timed schedules that come later. You can also work towards helping your baby learn to fall asleep alone by putting him down slightly awake for at least one nap of the day.

Once your baby is about 8 or 10 weeks old, you can start working in one or two fixed points into the daily schedule. This will be a step towards a schedule that’s clock-based.

See our sample newborn sleep and feeding schedules, or check out our e-book on newborn sleep, Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep.

How To Put Your 4 Month Old Baby On A Schedule

By 4 months, your baby still isn’t ready for a strict schedule, but you can work towards a semi-clock based schedule by 4 months. You’ll still want to focus mainly on establishing strong routines, as you did in the newborn stage, but you can work towards plugging in more fixed points into your baby’s schedule – at this age, the first morning and first afternoon naps make good fixed points, as well as morning wake-time and bedtime.

You can also work towards establishing strong sleep-time and bedtime routines at this age. Start by creating a predictable, consistent bedtime routine. Later on, you’ll do a mini-version of this routine at nap time.

Keep in mind that the 4 month sleep regression usually strikes at this time, and that will throw off your baby’s sleep in a big way

See our sample 4 month sleep and feeding schedules for more information, or perhaps consider becoming a Baby Sleep Site® member. Our Members Area provides you access to over 50 sample schedules by age.

How To Put Your 5, 6, or 7 Month Old Baby On A Schedule

You can start moving to a by-the-clock schedule at this point, if you want to (although if you’re more of a go-with-the-flow parent, you certainly don’t need a rigid schedule!). By 6 months, most babies are eating solid foods, so you can start to carve out more fixed “meal” times and sleep times. Naps will also start to consolidate, for most babies, around 6 months or so, so it may be easier to have a predictable, timed nap schedule at this age.

As for how to get your 5, 6, or 7 month old baby onto your desired schedule – you will simply extend your baby’s awake time between naps (do this VERY gradually), until your baby’s naps line up with the scheduled times.

Still, plan to be flexible – while your baby’s schedule may become more predictable overall, there will still no doubt be days when your little one throws you for a loop! And often, when you try to force a rigid schedule too soon, you end up focusing on the clock instead of on your baby’s cues, which leads to a cycle of overtiredness.

See 5 month, 6 month, and 7 month sample sleep and feeding schedules here. Or, consider purchasing a copy of Mastering Naps & Schedules, the e-book designed to solve your persistent nap challenges!

How To Put Your 8, 9, or 10 Month Old Baby On A Schedule

For this stage, you’ll do the same thing you did above – you’ll gradually increase your baby’s awake time until it lines up with the 2-nap schedule you’re working towards. In general, it becomes easier to achieve a clock-based schedule at this age, simply because by this time, your baby is most likely down to just 2 naps per day, and you’re out of that “hamster wheel” of constant nap transitions that you experienced in your baby’s first 6 months of life. From here on out, your baby will have 2 naps per day for quite awhile, until she transitions to 1 nap in early toddlerhood.

Do keep in mind, though, that your baby will go through the 8/9/10 month sleep regression during this time, and that will likely mean set-backs with any schedule progress you make.

See sample 8 month, 9 month, and 10 month sleep and feeding schedules here. Or, if you’re continuing to struggle with getting your baby on a predictable schedule, you may want to consider a personalized sleep consultation with one of our expert consultants.

How To Put Your 11 or 12 Month Old Baby On A Schedule

By now, even the most unpredictable babies tend to fall into SOME kind of regular daily schedule – even if it’s not the schedule you intended! ;) At this age, it’s actually best to start paying more attention to the clock – and it’s also best if you focus on extending your baby’s awake time. While young babies need short wake time in order to ward off over tiredness, at this stage, you’ll probably need to focus on extending your child’s wake time to ensure that your baby’s bedtime doesn’t get too late. It’s especially important to make sure that the afternoon nap isn’t too late in the day.

See sample 11 month and 12 month sleep and feeding schedules here.

How To Put Your Toddler On A Schedule

Of all age groups, a toddler’s schedule is often one of the easiest to achieve. As long as your toddler is napping independently and can nap long enough, your toddler will fall into a predictable schedule. You can set the schedule based on the clock and, generally, will get a good night’s sleep and a good nap out of him. Granted, over-tiredness can still lead to shorter naps or night-waking or your baby waking too early, but if you follow a standard 5 hours awake before and after the nap, most toddlers should do pretty well.

See our sample toddler sleep and feeding schedules for more information.

Baby and Toddler Scheduling Help That Works…Guaranteed!

If scheduling help is what you need, we can certainly help with that. We have a team of caring, compassionate expert consultants standing by, waiting to create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ for your family.
 
Browse our list of consultation package options here.
 

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.
 

bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftIf you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.

 
bss_ebook_5steptoddler_smalFor those persistent toddler sleep struggles, check out The 5 Step System to Help Your Toddler Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your toddler sleep through the night and enjoy a better daytime schedule.
 
 

bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOr, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!

 

Can’t decide which product or service is right for you? Visit our Getting Started Page for help.

Newborn Sleep and Feeding Schedule

 
Newborn Sleep Feeding Schedule

This article outlines newborn sleep patterns and habits, as well as sample newborn sleep and feeding schedules.

Skip to the schedules

Newborn Sleep

A baby is considered a newborn from birth until about 3 months of age. During the first 3 months of life, your newborn’s sleep patterns will look nothing like yours – your baby will sleep in short bursts (anywhere from 30 or 45 minutes – 3 or possibly 4 hours), and then eat between sleeps. In this way, newborn’s don’t follow a typical day/night sleep schedule. Their circadian rhythms need time to adjust – in fact, some newborns come out of the womb having their days and nights completely mixed up! This is called day/night confusion, and babies who struggle with it tend to sleep a lot during the day and then wake up frequently at night.

Many parents discover that their newborns are extra sleepy in the first week or two after birth – you may find that you have to wake your newborn to feed, or that your newborn often drifts off during a feeding, before eating her fill. But your newborn will definitely “wake up” within three weeks after birth – at that point, you will start to deal with more wakefulness (in fact, you may start to miss the early weeks of having a super-sleepy newborn!!).

Newborn Feeding

Newborns feed very, very frequently, but this isn’t a problem to be solved – it’s perfectly natural! Your newborn’s tummy is quite small, so it’s understandable that he needs to eat often.

Formula-fed newborns may need to eat slightly less often than breast-fed newborns, because it takes a newborn’s tummy longer to digest and break down formal, resulting in baby feeling fuller for longer periods of time. Breast milk, on the other hand, is digested fairly quickly.

As for how much breastmilk or formula your baby needs – when it comes to formula, you can use a fairly simple formula to help you determine approximately how much formula your baby needs. Take your baby’s weight and multiply it by 2.5. So, following this approach, an 8 pound baby would need about 20 ounces of formula in a 24-hour period. As for breastmilk – as a general rule, most newborns need between 20 and 30 ounces of breastmilk (and between 25-35 ounces once they’re past the newborn stage). In general, if you are exclusively nursing, it’s best to nurse on demand in the first few weeks after birth – this will ensure that your milk supply becomes well-established. In the first 12 weeks, your newborn may have one 4-5 hour stretch of sleep during the day or night, but your baby really shouldn’t have more than one (or possibly two, in some cases) – in order to maintain your supply, you’ll need to nurse every 2-3 hours, on average. Once your baby is past 3 months of age, and is in the infant stage, that will slowly stretch into 5-6 hours, and then 7-8, and eventually right up to 10 or 11 hours once your baby is 9 or 10 months old.

Newborn Growth Spurts

Believe it or not, A LOT is going on with your newborn baby. So much growth and development is happening in that little body! Your newborn will very likely go through growth spurts at the following times:

  • 7-10 days of age
  • 2-3 weeks of age
  • 4-6 weeks of age
  • 3 months of age

During these growth spurts, it will feel like your newborn is feeding almost constantly (and like when she’s not feeding, she’s sleeping). This is 100% normal – feed your newborn as often as she needs it, as the extra nourishment is important during the growth spurt.

Newborn Feeding and Sleep Schedule

Your unique newborn’s wake times and total sleep needs may vary from what is recommended below. These schedules are based on averages, but your baby may need more or less sleep (or shorter/longer wake times) than what is shown below. Remember, watch your baby’s sleepy cues closely (rubbing eyes, yawning, staring off into space, etc.), and let those guide the sleep schedule. Remember, too, that if your baby is already fussing, he’s already overtired – strive to get him down for his nap earlier next time, before the fussing starts.

 

2-8 Week Old Newborn, Breast Feeding

(This schedule is best for babies who consume average amounts of breast milk, and for moms who have average breast milk production and storage amounts. Babies who eat smaller amounts, babies with reflux, and moms who produce and store smaller amounts of breastmilk would need a different schedule, as would babies who eat larger amounts per feeding, and moms who produce/store greater amounts of breast milk. Schedules for those scenarios, as well as schedules for older breast-fed newborns, are available in our newborn book, Essential Keys To Your Newborn’s Sleep).

9:00 AM – Wake and Feed*
10:00 AM – Nap (30-60 minutes)
11:00 AM – Wake and Feed
12:30 PM – Nap (30-60 minutes)
1:30 PM – Wake and Feed
3:30 PM – Nap (30 – 60 minutes)
4:30 PM – Wake and Feed
6:00 PM – Nap (30 – 60 minutes)
6:30 PM – Wake and Feed
7:30 PM – Catnap (20 – 30 minutes)
8:00 PM – Wake and Feed
9:30 PM – Catnap (20 – 30 minutes)
10:00 PM – Wake and Feed
11:30 PM – Feed and Bedtime*
3:30 AM – Feed and Right back to sleep
6:30 AM – Feed and Right back to sleep

* – we recommend you make these fixed points in your baby’s schedule. You can read more about this in our article on fixed points in a baby schedule.

2-8 Week Old Newborn, Formula Feeding

(You will see that this schedule outlines longer naps and fewer feedings than the breastfeeding schedule above; this is simply because formula is more difficult for baby to digest, so baby tends to feel fuller longer, and therefore needs slightly fewer feedings. For formula-feeding schedules for older newborns, see our newborn book, Essential Keys To Your Newborn’s Sleep)

9:00 AM – Wake and Feed*
10:00 AM – Nap (60 – 90 minutes)
11:30 AM – Wake
12:30 PM – Feed and Nap (30 – 60 minutes)
1:30 PM – Wake
3:00 PM – Feed and Nap (60 – 90 minutes)
4:30 PM – Wake and Feed
6:00 PM – Nap (30 – 60 minutes)
6:00 PM – Wake
7:30 PM – Feed and Nap (30 – 60 minutes)
8:30 PM – Wake
9:30 PM – Nap (30 – 60 minutes)
10:00 PM – Wake and Feed
11:30 PM – Feed and Bedtime*
4:30 AM – Feed and Right back to sleep
7:30 AM – Feed and Right back to sleep

* – we recommend you make these fixed points in your baby’s schedule. You can read more about this in our article on fixed points in a baby schedule.

Essential Keys to Newborn SleepThe schedules above come from our newborn sleep e-Book, Essential Keys To Your Newborn’s Sleep. At over 90 pages long (and containing a variety of sample schedules for breastfed and formula-fed babies from birth – 16 weeks), this e-Book truly is a one-stop resource designed to help your newborn establish healthy sleep habits, right from birth. Whether you’re a brand new parent or an experienced parents who needs to brush up newborn sleep basics, Essential Keys To Your Newborn’s Sleep is a comprehensive and budget-friendly resource that will provide the information you need to work towards excellent sleep for your whole family, from day one.

Additional Newborn Sleep Articles

Want more newborn sleep tips? Check out our other newborn sleep articles:

Newborn Sleep Resources, and Personalized Newborn Sleep Help

bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftIf you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.

 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 

bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOr, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!

 
Baby_On_Computer_RESIZEDIf you are looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation, and want plenty support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations. Your consultation package will provide you with the chance to interact one-on-one with a trained sleep consultant, who will create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ for your family and then work to help you implement it at home.
 

Can’t decide which product or service is right for you? Visit our Getting Started Page for help.

 
*******************************************************************************************
bss_ebook_freeguide_leftWant FREE sleep help that you can put to use right away? Download a copy of our free guide, 5 Ways To Help Your Child Sleep Through The Night! The guide is available to download instantly, which means you can start using the techniques in it as early as tonight. So download now, and learn why your baby is waking at night – and what you can do about it.
 
 
Click here to learn more about how to get your free guide.

A better night’s sleep could be just a few clicks away. So don’t wait – download now, and start your journey to better sleep tonight!
*******************************************************************************************
 

Tell us about your newborn’s schedule and sleep routines!

Baby Feeding Schedule: Rigid, Flexible, or On-Demand?

 
Baby FeedingSchedule

Figuring out your baby’s sleep schedule can be tough – very tough! – but you know what can be just as challenging? Figuring out your baby’s feeding schedule! While it’s true that a small percentage of families will struggle with sleep while not having any issues with feeding, we’ve found that sleep and feeding are so closely connected that families usually have trouble with both. (That’s just one of the reasons we created our sister site, Your Baby’s Start To Solid Food.)

Sleep and feeding problems usually become cyclical. Here’s an example: an over-tired 3 month old may start to routinely take short, incomplete feedings, simply because he can’t stay awake long enough to get a full feed. Then, he may wake too early from a nap, or wake too often at night, because he’s hungry (he didn’t get that full feeding in earlier, after all), so he needs to eat again – only he can’t take a full feeding, because he’s so tired, so he falls asleep after just fa few minutes of eating, but then he wakes too early from his next nap, too, because he’s hungry…..

You get the idea. :)

So, along with sleep schedule help, our consultants often offer feeding schedule help, too, in cases where feeding schedules may be problematic. You just can’t separate out feeding and sleep – they’re so connected!

That’s why we’re talking about feeding schedules today on the blog. Specifically, we’re looking at different kinds of feeding schedules, to help you determine which is best for you. When it comes to baby feeding schedules, is it best to go with a more rigid schedule? A more flexible schedule? Or should you throw out the schedule altogether and feed on demand?

Let’s take a look!

Baby Feeding Schedule: A Rigid Schedule

Rigid schedules are generally clock-based – parents set times for feedings and then stick to those times, even if baby wakes early from a nap or at night. Some parents will even wake their child from a nap in order to stick to the schedule!

I’ll say right now that if you try to implement a rigid schedule with a newborn, or a young baby, you’re likely wasting your time – most newborns and young babies just aren’t ready for a rigid baby feeding schedule. True, some very consistent babies may have no trouble sticking to a clock-based schedule, it’s rare that a very young baby can do that. In fact, in our experience, most babies aren’t ready for a rigid schedule until they’re at least 6 months old. And a rigid schedule can be downright dangerous for young babies, since it may not allow for enough feeding to accommodate their growing bodies and brains.

Even past 6 months, whether or not a rigid schedule will work depends a lot on your baby’s temperament. Consistent, predictable babies will likely do better with a rigid schedule than will inconsistent, unpredictable babies. Of course, what kind of schedule works best will depend at least in part on YOUR temperament, too! Type-A parents will likely do great with a rigid schedule, but if you’re parent who prefers to go with the flow, and loves it when each day is different, a rigid schedule may not work well (even if it works for your baby). It’s all about finding balance, and working out an arrangement that suits both of you. ;-)

A final word about rigid schedules – remember that if you’re using a rigid schedule to try and promote more sleep at night (for example, by only “allowing” a set number of night wakings), it may not work out as you plan. Some babies (especially newborns) actually need to eat more frequently during the day in order to get that long stretch of sleep in at night, but if you have carefully timed the day feedings, they may not get enough calories during daylight hours to get the long stretch at night.

Baby Feeding Schedule: A Flexible Schedule

79079804 A flexible schedule allow you to be just that – flexible. With a flexible schedule, you have general times in mind for feedings, but they may not be clock-based. Instead, you may focus more on the timing between feedings. With a flexible schedule, you may strive to feed at roughly the same time each day, but then you would also allow for interruptions – if baby sleeps through a feeding time, then you adjust the schedule. Or, if baby wakes too early for a nighttime feed, then you offer it but adjust the timing of the next day.

Flexible schedules work well at just about any age (although you may want to “tighten the reins” on flexible schedules once you reach the toddler stage; by the time your baby is a year old, she’s ready to organize her feedings into meals and snacks). Flexible schedules are great during the newborn and young baby stages – they help build in a measure of predictability and routine, but they also for baby to get in all the feedings she needs. They also allow for the unexpected things in life – last-minute errands, visitors who just pop-in unannounced, etc.

Flexible schedules can help promote sleeping through the night, in that they can help to gently space out feedings that are too close together. And if your schedule allows for plenty of daytime feedings, then your baby may have a better chance of getting that long, nighttime stretch of sleep. However, flexibility is a balance – schedules that are VERY flexible may cease to look like schedules at all, and you may be more in the territory of feeding on demand.

And speaking of feeding on demand…

Baby Feeding Schedule: Feeding On Demand

When you feed your baby on demand, you basically forget about trying to establish a predictable schedule and instead use your baby as your guide. You feed whenever your baby seems hungry, and the feeding is over when the baby seems done. While on demand feeding is a hallmark of attachment parenting, you certainly don’t have to be an attachment parenting to try feeding on demand.

Feeding on demand is probably the best approach to feeding during the very early newborn stage – in the first few weeks after birth. It ensures that your baby gets enough nourishment, and can provide a period of transition time before you move towards a more predictable schedule. On demand feeding is also great in those early days because it allows for the extra nourishment needed during growth spurts.

Of course, on demand feeding can become exhausting for YOU as your baby grows, and if your a parent who likes predictability, the lack of schedule may begin to wear on you if you feed on demand for more than a few months. And while on demand feeding may actually help promote longer stretches of sleep for young babies (since they will be able to cluster-feed in the evening), it may create sleep issues, too. If a baby gets into the habit of “snacking”, for example, and taking in many, many short feedings, it can actually sustain a night-waking problem, or a short-nap problem.

Baby Feeding Schedule: Our Recommendations

First, let me be clear – the decision about which feeding schedule to use is best left up to you. :-) Second, I want to point out that while we have taken each one of these types of schedules separately, you don’t have to view them that way. You can use these schedules in combination. You can also use different schedules at different points in your baby’s development.

For example, if you have a 4 month old, you may choose to feed on demand during the day, so as to encourage plenty of daytime calorie intake, but then use a flexible schedule at night, and pay attention to the gaps between your baby’s feeds, trying to encourage gaps of at least 2.5 hours. Or, you may use demand feeding with your baby when he is sick, or going through a growth spurt, but then return to a more fixed schedule after that. Perhaps you try to implement a flexible schedule if your baby is waking too much at night, or waking too early from naps — the schedule may help you lengthen those sleep times. Or maybe you use a flexible schedule until your baby is 9 or 10 months old, at which point you make an attempt at night weaning and then move to a more rigid schedule. The point here is that you don’t have to pick one and use it forever – you can change it up as you see fit, and to fit your baby’s needs at various stages.

Baby Feeding Schedule (and Baby Sleep Schedule) Help That Works – We’ve Got It!

Easy to talk about what kind of feeding schedule to use with your baby – harder to make the schedule happen! If you need baby feeding schedule help – or baby sleep schedule help – we are here for you! Our consultants are standing by, ready to offer their expertise, and to create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ just for you, that will contain important feeding and schedule information. Simply browse our list of consultation packages and choose the one that you like best.
 
Browse our list of consultation package options here.
 

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.
 
 
bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftYou may also be interested in purchasing a copy of our e-Book, Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.

Which type of feeding schedule do you prefer? Share your scheduling tips with us – we love hearing from you!

3 Steps To A Better 6 Month Old Baby Schedule

3 Steps To A Better 6 Month Old Baby Schedule

6 months – the magical age! This tends to be the point at which parents decide that they are more than ready to sleep again, thankyouverymuch, and that it is high time they helped their babies get on a decent sleep schedule (and maybe even start sleeping through the night!)

As always, The Baby Sleep Site® is here to help! This article tackles common 6 month old sleeping challenges, as well as 3 easy steps you can use to help your 6 month old baby establish a predictable, healthy sleep and feeding schedule.

6 Month Old Baby Sleep Challenges

If your baby is still struggling with sleep at 6 months old, that’s okay (and understandable). However, take comfort in the fact that by this age, babies truly can start to follow a more predictable, by-the-clock schedule.

That said, if you are still struggling with your 6 month old baby’s sleep, the following factors may be making things even more challenging:

  • Your 6 month old baby has probably started eating solid food. By 6 months old, most babies have started solid food (in addition to taking in plenty of breastmilk or formula – that’s still the main source of nutrition for the first year!) While some babies transition to solids with no issues whatsoever, other babies react to starting. They show signs of food allergies, they develop tummy issues, etc. – and all of those can interfere in a big way with sleep!
  • Your 6 month old baby’s sleep associations are getting even stronger. By now, your baby has had 6 full months to develop strong habits associated with sleep. That means that if he has become used to being rocked to sleep, or fed to sleep, or held until he falls asleep, that is now a fixed habit. Same with using a pacifier to fall asleep, or being swaddled in sleep. That’s not to say that these sleep associations can’t be overcome – they certainly can! But a 6 month old baby will no doubt show a little more resistance to learning a new way to sleep than a 5 month old baby will.

6 Month Old Baby Sleep Developments

What’s happening with your 6 month old baby’s sleep? Several new developments, actually:

  • Your 6 month old baby’s naps should begin to consolidate. Note the ‘should’ – not all 6 month old babies will show signs of naturally establishing a nap schedule, and some will continue to take many short naps during the day. But most will. You will probably notice that the unpredictable naps you’ve been working with over the past 6 months slowly begin to merge into three semi-predictable naps.
  • Your 6 month old baby will likely be able to drop down to 1 night feeding. It’s still normal for a 6 month old baby to need 1-2 night feedings, but most 6 month old babies are able to get by with just 1 feeding at night. (Most – not all! Don’t feel bad if your 6 month old still needs to feed twice during the night). If your baby is nursing more than once or twice per night, however, work to gradually decrease those night feeds.

6 Month Old Baby Schedule: 3 Steps To A Better One

If you haven’t yet adjusted your baby to a somewhat clock-based schedule, it can be a daunting process to start. We understand that! That’s why we are outlining 3 steps to help you establish a healthy 6 month old baby schedule:

  1. 6 month old baby bedtime – To begin, establish a consistent bedtime for your 6 month old baby. Develop a bedtime routine, too – that’s key for signaling to your baby that it’s time for sleep! This doesn’t have to be exactly the same time each night – aim for having your baby down for bed within the same half-hour window each night.
  2. 6 month old baby wake-up time – Next, try to establish a consistent wake-up time for your 6 month old baby. This will be a bit tougher than the bedtime, because your baby may wake too early or too late, and what do you do in those circumstances? Well, if your baby wakes too early, treat it as a night waking – interact with your baby (whether you are feeding or simply offering comfort) and then put your baby back to bed until it’s wake-up time. If your baby sleeps past wake-up time, try to wake your baby within about a half hour of the established wake-up time.
  3. 6 month old baby first nap time – Once you have a pretty firm bedtime and wake-up time established, work to make sure that the first nap of the day happens at about the same time each morning. Again, this doesn’t have to be exact, but aim for putting your baby down for the morning nap within the same half-hour window each morning.

6 Month Old Baby Schedule: Suggested Feeding Amounts and Nap Times

Need help in knowing when (and how much) to feed your 6 month old baby? Want to see several sample 6 month old baby schedules that will help you create the best possible schedule for your 6 month old baby?
 
Check our our sample 6 month old baby schedules here!
 

6 Month Old Baby Sleep Help

If you are struggling with your 6 month old baby’s sleep, remember that you don’t have to struggle alone! We are here to help you – it’s what we do! Sleep training can be tough, and hundreds of parents turn to us for sleep coaching help every month. We can help you, too. Take a look at our consultation packages, and see which one looks like a good fit for you.
 
Click here to see all our personalized consultation packages.
 
Once you purchase, you will immediately receive access to the Helpdesk, and you can set up your account, fill out your Family Sleep History form, submit it to a consultant, and get started on the journey to better sleep!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.

What is your 6 month old baby’s schedule? Share your scheduling tips with the rest of us!

  • Feel like you can handle sleep coaching on your own? Why not take a look at our The 3-Step System To Help Your Baby Sleep? Available in three affordable packages, this book is designed to give you practical, hands-on tools you can use to help your baby learn to fall asleep on his own, and stay asleep (and stop fighting bedtime!). For toddlers, try The 5-Step System To Better Toddler Sleep. Best of all, both books is available to download instantly – you can put it to use as early as tonight!
  • Want an abundance of resources to help you in your sleep coaching? Consider becoming a Baby Sleep Site Member. Our Members Area is packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and teleseminars. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! And as a member, you have access to a once-a-week chat with one of our expert sleep consultants – ideal for those times when you need some expert advice! And the icing on the cake? Members enjoy 20% off all sleep consultation services. That savings alone can pay for the cost of membership!