There are two schools of thought when it comes to feeding a baby. Feed on demand or feeding baby on a schedule. The question now whether the child abides to the schedule or the other way around. This article will give you tips for feeding baby on a schedule and give you general guidelines, by age, how many feedings your baby needs.
At birth, the hospital will tell you that your baby needs to eat at least every 3 hours and you may even have to wake your baby to make sure he is getting enough. Feeding a baby on a schedule at 3 to 6 months can still be challenging because they are starting to roll and move around more, but are not eating many solids, if any. Most pediatrician recommends delaying solids until between 4 and 6 months.
Breastfed babies may still be eating every 2 to 3 hours and formula-feeding babies can eat every 3 to 4 hours. Once you start solids, it can get a lot easier feeding baby on a schedule. Most breastfed babies can now go longer between feedings and formula fed babies are still eating every 3 to 4 hours only now they are also eating solids with their milk or formula.
Keep track of feedings and your baby's schedule, so you can monitor progress and find the best schedule for your baby, as all babies are unique. You might want to keep a breastfeeding or formula log and consider using baby schedule tracking software for easy tracking and reporting. It makes it easy to see the forest through the trees.
Here are some tips of how to construct a feeding schedule for your baby.
1. If your baby is struggling with going long enough between feedings, try stretching your baby slowly by waiting just 15 minutes longer between feedings and not jumping too quickly to the exact schedule you want long-term.
2. If you have started solids and your baby does not have the patience to try new foods, try offering 1/2 of a bottle or nursing session and then offering the solids and then the rest of the bottle / nursing session. This will help curb your baby's appetite allowing her to have more patience to try something new.
3. If your baby does not have the patience to wait for the second half of the bottle / nursing session as mentioned above, try giving the whole feeding and then offering solids half-way between the two milk / formula feedings.
4. If feeding baby on a schedule is very difficult, try taking a break and try again a few weeks later. Babies change a lot during the first year and it will go fast. Try not to stress too much about it. Some babies thrive on a routine and schedule while others tend to make their own. It will all come together in the end.
At first look, feeding baby on schedule appears seamless at first glance, however, every baby is unique, and the digestive capacity differs from each. Yes, it would seem right to follow a schedule and as the child grow; the schedule will adjust to meet a certain nutritional needs for the baby. Feeding scheduling might be a good idea used in feeding therapy as well. This is to give the child an early start up of encouragement to eat at the right time to meet the daily nutritional requirements for normal growth per age.
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