Time management is a skill all parents must have, but it can be challenging at times. To make things easier, you can craft a sleeping and feeding schedule for your baby. Here are some tips to help get you started!
What can you read in this article?
- Baby sleep schedule by age
- When do babies start sleeping longer than 3 hours?
- How often to feed newborn at night
Baby sleep schedule by age
Photo by Ivone De Melo
First, determine your newborn’s needs. From birth until 3 months of age, your newborn’s sleep pattern will range from 30 to 45 minutes or 3 to 4 hours in duration. They usually feed in between sleeping.
It’s important to allow them time to adjust, knowing that they don’t follow the normal day and night waking and sleeping schedule.
You’ll notice that your baby will be sleepy for the first two weeks of life. They don’t usually wake up when hungry and often fall asleep while feeding.
It’s important to understand that your newborn’s tummy is tiny, so frequent feedings are to be expected.
When do babies start sleeping longer than 3 hours? Here’s a baby sleep schedule by age as mentioned in Healthline.
Newborn sleeping hours
Your infant will sleep for up to 15–16 hours each day throughout the first few months of his or her life. It’s usual for newborn breastfed neonates to wake up every 3 to 4 hours during the night to eat, even if you don’t disturb them.
3 to 5 months old
After the first 6 to 8 weeks, you’ll notice that your child is more attentive and wants to spend more time connecting with you during the day. Around this time, you may also notice that your baby is missing one of their naps and sleeping an hour less every day.
When the period between sleep cycles lengthens, sleep patterns will begin to emerge. During the night, at least one lengthy sleep phase of 6 hours or more may emerge.
6 to 8 months old
By 6 months, the majority of babies are ready to sleep through the night (8 hours or so) without being fed – great! You may find that your child is ready to lose another of their naps, taking only 2 or 3 instead. They’ll probably sleep for 3 to 4 hours total during the day because daytime sleep may occur in longer chunks.
9 to 12 months old
By 9 months, you and your baby should have developed a solid daytime and evening sleep schedule. Around the age of 9 months, there’s a good likelihood that your baby is sleeping for 9 to 12 hours at night. They’re also probably napping for 3 to 4 hours in the morning and afternoon.
As your kid reaches crucial developmental milestones between 8 and 10 months, it’s very usual to undergo another sleep regression, or perhaps numerous sleep regressions.
Newborn sleeping hours: sample schedule
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Here’s a sample schedule to help you plan your day better. However, it’s important to note that this may vary, depending on your babies needs. Note signs of sleepiness: yawning, rubbing eyes, blank stares, to help you better craft the best sleep schedule.
- 9:00 AM – Wake up and feed/nurse
- 10:00 AM – Set baby down for a nap (30-60 minutes)
- 11:00 AM – Wake up and feed/nurse
- 12:30 PM – Set baby down for a nap (30-60 minutes)
- 1:30 PM – Wake up and feed/nurse
- 3:30 PM –Set baby down for a nap (30-60 minutes)
- 4:30 PM – Wake up and feed/nurse
- 6:00 PM – Set baby down for a nap (30-60 minutes)
- 6:30 PM – Wake up and feed/nurse
- 7:30 PM – Set baby down for a nap (30-60 minutes)
- 8:00 PM –Wake up and feed/nurse
- 9:30 PM – Set baby down for a nap (30-60 minutes)
- 10:00 PM –Wake up and feed/nurse
- 11:30 PM – Feed/nurse and time for bed!*
- 3:30 AM – Feed/nurse and help baby fall back to sleep
- 6:30 AM – Feed/nurse and help baby fall back to sleep
Baby feeding schedule by age
If you’re breastfeeding, note that you will need to feed your baby more often than formula feeding moms, because formula isn’t digested as quickly as breast milk, leaving baby feeling full longer.
On average, breastfeeding newborns require 20 and 30 ounces of milk per day. Beyond 3 months of age, babies need about 25 to 35 ounces.
Your feeding schedule should adapt to your newborn’s needs. Feed your baby when he’s hungry during the first few weeks. This establishes routine and helps you gain momentum in terms of milk production.
Try breastfeeding every 2 to 3 hours during the newborn stage to maintain good supply.
According to La Leche League International, you should begin breastfeeding your baby within an hour of delivery and feed him or her 8 to 12 times per day for the first few weeks (we’re exhausted just thinking about it).
At initially, it’s critical not to let your baby go more than 4 hours without eating. You’ll most likely have to wake them up if required, at least until breastfeeding is well established and they’re gaining weight adequately.
- Your baby will eat 7 to 9 times per 24 hours from the age of one to three months.
- At this age, feedings are given 6 to 8 times per 24 hours.
- 6 months: Your baby will eat about 6 times per day.
- Nursing may be lowered to four times per day at 12 months. Solid foods, offered around the age of six months, assist in meeting your baby’s increased nutritional needs.
Like breastfed newborns, bottle-fed neonates should be fed whenever they wish. On average, this occurs every 2 to 3 hours. An example of a typical feeding schedule is as follows:
- A infant should be fed every 2 to 3 hours.
- At 2 months, every 3 to 4 hours
- Every 4 to 5 hours is advised for children aged 4 to 6 months.
- Every 4 to 5 hours is recommended for children aged 6 months and up.
How often to feed newborn at night
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Baby Sleep Site says that these are the number of night feedings that are within the “normal” range at various ages.
Breastfeed, Combination of Breastfed and Formula Fed Babies and/or Babies with Reflux
- Newborns to 3 months old: Feedings every 2-3 hours, on-demand
- 3 month old feeding schedule: 2-3 feedings per night or every 3-6 hours, on-demand
- 5-6 Months: 1-2 feedings
- 7-9 Months: 1, maybe 2, feedings
- 10-12 Months: Sometimes 1 feeding
- 12+ Months: Generally no feedings
- Newborns to 3 months old: Feedings every 2-3 hours, on-demand
- 3-4 Months: 1-2 feedings per night or every 3-6 hours, on-demand
- 5-6 Months: 0-1 feedings
- 7+ Months: Generally no feedings
What’s your newborn’s schedule like? Let us know in the comments below!