So, you’re a new mother! Congratulations! Your baby is undoubtedly the apple of your eye. As you look to take care of your little one, there are a number of things that you need to be watchful for. One of the most important is your baby’s food and sleep schedule. During the first few months, a baby is extremely sensitive to sleep. They also require to be fed at regular intervals. Failing to do this could result in growth problems and stunted development. That’s why it is essential to develop a feeding schedule for your baby. This will ensure your baby is taken care of. It will also give you, the mother, adequate rest.
It’s important to remember that each baby is different. Some babies require a little extra sleep while others require more food. It’s crucial to plan as per your baby’s needs to reap the most benefits from it. The plan can also function as a schedule for parents. It will allow both parents to schedule some personal time to pursue a hobby or meet some friends. This will ensure they don’t burn out, which is essential for them to take care of their babies effectively.
A baby under three months old is considered a newborn. Newborns are sensitive to even the slightest change in timings. Follow your timetable strictly. Newborn babies typically nap anywhere between 40 minutes to three hours. They are also not sensitive to day or night, meaning for the first few months you will be up at odd hours in the night to feed and take care of them. They also require food quite frequently; this will gradually decrease as they enter the next stage of development. You will also use more diverse foods like barley and brown price porridges, as you switch from a liquid diet to solid food. You will also come across people that warn against waking a sleeping baby. However, when your baby is in their first few weeks, it is okay to wake them as they need to be fed at regular intervals.
A sample feeding schedule for your newborn child can look something like this:
9:00 AM – Wake your baby and feed
10:00 AM – Allow them to nap for up to an hour
11:00 AM – Wake your baby and feed again
12:30 PM – Another hour long nap
1:30 PM–Wake and feed baby
3:30 PM – Longer nap up to two hours
4:30 PM–Wake and feed your baby
6:00 PM – Nap for up to 90 minutes
7:30 PM – Quick 30‐minute nap
8:00 PM – Feed
9:30 PM – Another short 30‐minute nap
11:30 PM – Feed and sleep
3:30 AM – Wake after long nap and feed
6:30 AM – Feed followed by a long nap
As mentioned earlier, this is a sample schedule and should be modified to suit your baby’s requirements. You will also need to monitor your breastmilk quantities as some babies require more than others. If you're feeding your baby on formula, you can give them longer gaps between feeds as formula takes longer to digest. It also keeps them full for longer. If you're using formula, have them plenty in stock as once your child gets set in a routine, they will find it hard to adjust to any gaps in the schedule.
As your child grows up, you will see that this program will allow you as parents more freedom. The routine will allow the baby to get all the nutrition and rest that they need to grow strong and healthy. It will also enable the mother to get used to breastfeeding and avoid any problems. What does your perfect feeding and sleep schedule look like?
Written by: Aradhana Pandey
Aradhana is from India. She is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like Huffington Post, Natural news, Elephant journal, Thehealthsite, Naturally Savvy, Curejoy and MomJunction.com, Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.