Publication date November 21, 2023
Nourishing Your Little One: A Comprehensive Guide to Feeding Schedule for Babies
As a new mom, one of the most challenging tasks can be figuring out your baby’s feeding schedule. Knowing how often to feed your baby, when to start solids, and how to establish a schedule can be overwhelming.
But with a little guidance, you can create a schedule that works for you and your baby. In this post, we will provide a comprehensive guide to your baby’s feeding schedule. We will cover everything from how often to feed to how to establish a feeding schedule for babies.
Feeding Schedule for Babies by Age
Your baby’s feeding schedule will vary based on their age. If you have a newborn then they usually feed every 2-3 hours, while older babies may go longer between feedings.
No matter you are looking for a feeding schedule for a 7-month-old baby or a feeding schedule for a 10-month-old, below is a breakdown of a typical feeding schedule by age
- Feeding Schedule for 0-3 months (Newborns): Newborns will usually eat every 2-3 hours around the clock. This means that you'll be feeding your little baby anywhere from 8-12 times a day.
- Feeding Schedule for 3-6 months: As your baby grows, they will start to eat more as well as may start to sleep for longer hours at night. Your baby may feed every 3-4 hours during the day and sleep for longer stretches at night, generally 6-8 hours.
- Feeding Schedule for 6-9 months: The schedule for feeding a 6-month-old does not change much than the schedule for 3-6 months. But, at this stage, your baby will likely be eating solid foods in addition to breast milk or formula. Your baby may still feed every 3-4 hours during the day and sleep for longer hours at night, typically 8-10 hours.
- Feeding Schedule for 9-12 months: As your baby reaches their first birthday, they may start to drop some of their daytime feedings and may be eating more solid foods. Your baby may feed every 4-5 hours during the day and sleep for longer hours at night, generally 10-12 hours.
How Often to Feed Babies
Figuring out how often to feed your baby can be a challenging task, especially if you are a new mom, Generally, newborns should be fed every 2-3 hours around the clock. As your baby grows, they will start to eat more at each feeding and go longer between feedings.
Here are some general guidelines you can follow for how often to feed your baby:
- Newborns: Every 2-3 hours around the clock
- 3-6 months: Every 3-4 hours during the day
- 6-9 months: Every 4-5 hours during the day
- 9-12 months: Every 4-5 hours during the day
It's important to keep in mind that these are just general guidelines, and your baby's feeding schedule may vary. You should pay attention to your baby's hunger cues and feed them when they are hungry.
Sample of a Feeding schedule for a 7-month-old
Let’s assume your baby is 7-9 months old and taking two naps (though some 7-month-olds may still need three).
- 7:00 a.m.: Wake and nurse or bottle (6 to 8 ounces breast milk or formula)
- 7:45 a.m.: Breakfast (Try a mix of plain Greek yogurt, strawberries, and whole-grain toast)
- 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.: Nap
- 11:30 a.m.: Nurse or bottle (6 to 8 formula or ounces of breast milk)
- 12:15 p.m.: Lunchtime, indulge in a delicious meal of hard-boiled egg or mashed avocado.
- 1:45 p.m. (Nurse or bottle) 6 to 8 ounces of breast milk or formula
- 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.: Nap
- 4:00 p.m.: Nurse or bottle (6 to 8 ounces of breast milk or formula)
- 5:30 p.m.: Dinner (2 to 3 tablespoons mini meatballs made with turkey or beef, 2 to 3 tablespoons cooked whole grain pasta, 1 to 2 tablespoons steamed broccoli florets)
- 7:00 p.m.: Nurse or bottle (6 to 8 ounces of breast milk or formula)
- 7:30 p.m.: Bed
What if the Baby is Still Hungry?
In case you notice that your baby is still hungry even after feeding, there are a few things you can further try:
- Offer more milk: If your baby is bottle-fed, try to offer another ounce or two of milk or formula.
- Wait a few minutes: Sometimes babies just need a few minutes to settle after a feeding, so wait if they still seem hungry and need to feed more.
- Offer a pacifier: If your little one is still fussy, offering a pacifier may help soothe the baby.
When Can My Baby Start Eating Solid Foods?
At the age of around 6 months, your baby may be ready to start eating solid food.
Here are a few tips for introducing solid foods to your baby:
- Begin with single-ingredient foods: Introduce single-ingredient food at a time, like pureed sweet potatoes or applesauce, to help identify any potential allergies.
- Offer a small amount of food: Begin with 1-2 teaspoons of food and gradually increase the amount over time.
- Watch for signs of readiness: Look for signs if your baby is ready for solids, it could be anything such as sitting up without support, showing interest in your solid food, and being able to swallow.
- Introduce new foods gradually: Introduce one new food at a time and wait a few days before introducing another new food to watch for any allergic reactions.