View Full Version : Best sites/boards/books for feeding schedules by month?
03-25-2005, 12:16 AM
I have a 5-week old who currently eats app. 7 times a day (BF 5 times and bottle 2-3 times daily). A friend has a 3 month old who sleeps 7pm - 7am. I'd like to (eventually) get there as well, and drop the 11pm and 3am feedings. Can anyone recommend a good source for learning how to create a routine/schedule with that goal in mind? Also, when is a reasonable age to expect DS to sleep for 12 hrs at night?
Thanks in advance.
ps - I have "contented little baby" book and "babywise" but I don't like them because I find them to be ridiculously rigid and impossible to follow... it's like baby boot camp!
03-25-2005, 12:41 AM
I highly suggest that you not even TRY to put a five week old on a schedule. Such a tiny baby needs to eat whenever s/he is hungry - not according to a clock. The earliest I would consider attempting a schedule is about 16w. Even then, it's usually the babe that creates a "schedule" and you go along for the ride.
There is a HUGE difference between a five week old and a three month old. Believe me. It's like night and day. I'm really surprised to hear about a three month old going 12 hours. Are you sure you have that straight and your friend isn't pulling your leg? I'd be shocked to think that anyone would expect an infant to go that long. Their stomachs simply don't have the physical ability to go that duration without a feeding.
If you're talking about sleeping through the night (which is considered about six hours) some do it straight away, others never get there. Fortunately, the sleep Gods have been good to me with both my Daughters. Even still, the 14w old sleeps six hours at most. My 2yo usually goes about 11 hours at night. So you can see how there's a VAST difference between a 2yo and a newborn - it just isn't reasonable to expect that so soon.
Sorry to disappoint you.
03-25-2005, 07:16 AM
I understand your wanting to "get there". But I'll warn you that my 7 1/2 month old does not sleep 12 hours without feeding. I'm still happy with 3 or 4(wow) hours of sleep at a time. But we cosleep so when he wakes, he nurses and goes back to sleep. No more waling the halls like we did in the early days.
Also if you are bfing you should not go 12 hours without nursing so early in your nursing relationship. In order to maintain supply I would think you would need to pump or nurse every 3 to 4 hours at a minimum.
But you asked for suggestions so here is the little bit I know, some families really like the book "the happiest baby on the block" you might want to check it out at the library. Also some families will use sleep training books like the Ferber Method. (I personally would not.) But most methods cannot be used until 4 months and you should discuss it with your pedi first.
03-25-2005, 07:24 AM
My DD is 2 months old, and she still needs to eat very frequently. I would say that she nurses on average about every two hours. At night she will usually go for about one 4-hour stretch and then the rest of the time goes in two-hour intervals. I think this is very normal since she is so little. Also, as babies go through growth spurts, they will go through periods when they need to feed much more often to get enough nutrition and also to help your body build its milk supply for your growing baby. If you don't nurse your baby as often as she needs to, the supply-demand feedback between your body and hers gets off.
Also, I'm not sure why you're giving the 5 week-old a bottle 2-3 times a day, but I would also worry that bottle-feeding, even of breastmilk, will possibly interfere with your body which is still going through the adjustment of nursing your baby and figuring out how much milk she needs.
I guess I don't EVER expect DD to sleep 12 hours at night! I think I would be incredibly worried if she did.
One thing that really helps me to not feel tired, though, is being able to nurse lying down in bed. I only actually get out of bed perhaps once a night (I do feel that DD eats more when I get up because we're both more awake). Other times if she wakes up and cries I just roll over and nurse her and we both fall back to sleep fast. So I'm not really too bothered by her frequent feeding.
Good luck to you!
03-25-2005, 07:43 AM
Like others have said, a 5 week old basically has no schedule. By 3 months or 4 months, many kids naturally develop a more predictable pattern and rhythm to their day. But not all babies are like that. Some need to eat at least once or twice at night for a long time. Your friend is probably more lucky than anything else.
I will say we were also lucky and that by 12 weeks my DD was sleeping 10-12 hours at night. But we did NOTHING to get her to do that and I followed no routine, I just followed her lead. She is just naturally a good sleeper. Not all kids are that way though.
In retrospect though, I think that her being such a good night sleeper (in combination with other issues) had a lot to do with my supply really dwindling after she was about 4 months old.
Here are some good links about milk production, how it works and why delaying feeding a young baby is not a good idea from a supply perspective:
03-25-2005, 09:17 AM
Hi, OP here. Thanks to everyone for their reply. I think my original question might have been misunderstood... I do understand that I'm following DS's lead right now, and don't expect him to be on a schedule (or to sleep 12 hrs!) right now. My question had more to do with what books/sites/communities do people recommend to learn more about feeding, when & how much to increase his intake (when we give him a bottle), whether we should feed him more in the middle of the night, etc, and how to EVENTUALLY get him on a routine (hopefully by 4 mos). I don't plan to deprive him (believe me, I can't stand to hear him cry for even a minute!), but would like some guidance on his growth and how to move him along in the right direction.
TKS for the advice about "The Happiest Baby on the Block". If anyone has any others, I'm all ears!
There really aren't any that can give valid advice about scheduling. Babies vary so much that even if you find one, the advice is just as likely not to fit your baby as it would be to fit. That's why the AAP now discourages any scheduling.
As far as routines, the best and easiest way (both for you and your baby) is to just follow your baby's cues and the routine will create itself. It's hard to believe at this stage, but they really will just emerge.
When you are breastfeeding, breastfeed until he is full and content. When he starts to gnaw on his hands or root around, feed him again. When you use a bottle to feed him, do exactly like you do with breastfeeding -- wait until he opens his mouth and when he turns away, then stop and toss the rest. If he still seems hungry after taking what you gave him, offer him more. (The only caveat is that sometimes babies want to suck but not eat, which they can do while breastfeeding, but not with bottles, so if he seems to want to suck but gets PO'ed at getting milk/artificial formula, consider trying a pacifier.) When he wakes in the night, offer to nurse him -- he'll take it if he wants and won't if he doesn't. It's nearly impossible to overfeed a baby while breastfeeding.
For preservation of your supply, I would not go more than 3-4 hours during the day and up to 5 hours at night without breastfeeding or pumping. He probably shouldn't go more than that without eating as well. But the most important thing is just to follow his cues -- he may need to eat every hour for a while and any attempt to "schedule" him will cause you to miss that or at least push the boundaries, which hurts him and hurts your supply. I know it's frustrating not to know what to expect (I am the consummate Type A planner) but just take it as a valuable lesson that your DS is teaching you -- how to go with the flow!
I haven't read it in a while, but "Child of Mine" was a good book about childhood feeding, though some of the breastfeeding advice is incorrect regarding weaning, etc. I bought it closer to the time we were introducing solids, so I can't recall enough about the earlier chapters.
PREGNANT! EDD 6/9/03
mama to Jack 6/6/03
Breastfeeding 21 months & countin
03-25-2005, 10:17 AM
I understood, sorry if my reply was confusing. :) I think what I and others were trying to say is that the best thing you can do regarding a schedule, even for an older baby, is to follow their lead. Many babies will naturally develop their own routine, BUT some babies do not do this. It will save you some aggravation if you realize that up front and just decide to go with the flow. I wish someone had told me that the first time.
Like Shannon, I am very much a type A planner and the most miserable few days of my life were when I tried to follow the plan for 3 month olds in The Baby Whisperer. Once I gave that up and just let her guide me, we were all much happier.
03-25-2005, 10:58 AM
I emailed you! Let me know if you get it.
03-25-2005, 11:58 AM
For feeding in general - "Child of Mine, Feeding with Love and Good Sense" by Ellyn Satter
For solids - "Super Baby Food" by Ruth Yaron. It's a little on the crunchy side, but offers a list of recommended foods and portion sizes for each month. This is best for 6 months or older when people typically start solids.
As far as breastfeeding/bottlefeeding, your DS will let you know when he needs more or less. When he goes through a growth spurt he'll want to eat more and possibly more frequently.
DD fell into a sleeping/eating routine around 5 months on her own. Of course it changed every month or so depending on her need for sleep/naps and ability to go longer without eating.
03-25-2005, 01:04 PM
i think the best way to establish a routine for your baby is to let your baby do it for him/herself. at any age, you can write down what happens/when for your baby all day/night for 3 days. you may notice a distinct pattern. you can then know for yourself what baby may expect at what time of day. at this point, it is unlikely to make any sense! but in a few weeks, you might see that he does take a nap every day around specific times of day or that he tends to eat at specific times of day. but be forewarned- as soon as you figure it all out, he will hit a growth spurt or get sick or you will have to travel and EVERYthing will change!
my 8 week old tends to wake up around 6:45am, but doesn't take a full feeding until around 7:15am. he tends to fall back to sleep around 8am and sleep for a few hours. he tends to eat 4 hours after his initial morning feeding, but then two hours after that 2nd feeding of the day. he settles back into 3 hours for the afternoon/evening, but then goes back to 2 hours before bed. he tends to take an afternoon nap for a few hours around 1:00. he tends to be in bed for the night around 9pm, but doesn't make much sense at all between 4pm and 9pm-mostly because there is major toddler mayhem so i can't read his cues very well. i may try to work on that while my parents are here to play with schuyler this weekend. he eats once at night, which i think is going to stick, because until this week he varied between once and twice/night. it was 1am and 4am, now it is 3 or 4am. (but last night it was 2:30ish... so you never know!)
03-25-2005, 03:32 PM
A friend recommended this book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child." She said it was incredibly helpful with her ds.
Best of luck!
03-26-2005, 09:16 PM
Thanks to everyone for their great advice!
04-18-2005, 05:59 PM
If you still need suggestions, I'd highly recommend The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems (Jan 2005, website www.TheBabyWhisperer.com). I found this book shortly before my DS turned 3 months and had him sleeping from about 7:30/8pm to 7 am (I woke him to feed him at 10:30 pm then right back to bed) at about 3 months. The schedule in there is extremely easy to follow -- much better than Babywise and without the crying it out part. If only the book had a better daily schedule for feeding solids and how solids affects naps!
04-18-2005, 08:53 PM
thanks for your advice! the latest update is that DS has been sleeping for 7-8 hrs straight for the past 10+ days, and we are thrilled! We just got into a routine that really seems to work. Bath, final feeding, and down to bed between 9 and 10pm. Then up between 4-5am, feeding, and back to bed until 7-8am. Yippee! He'll be 9 weeks old tommorow.
Now our goal is to get to where you were at at 3 months old, Cindy. So how can we push him to get to 7am (10 hrs) without waking? Can you give me the cribnotes version of The Baby Whisperer???
04-19-2005, 10:35 PM
I love this book. It's a great explanation of sleep and a great guideline for how much your child should be sleeping. Again, it's a guide. as you probably know, following your babies cues is more important than what's in any book. As for sleep, DD started sleeping 5 hours straight at around 2 months and slowly worked up to 12 hours by 6.5 months. As for the feeding, DD ate every 2 hours until 2 months, the night feedings stretched but the day feeding have remained at 2 hour intervals. So I still feel like I'm feeding her from morning until she goes down.
vBulletin® v3.8.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.