Baby Feeding and Sleeping Schedule: Breastfeeding 2 to 4-Month-Old

Feeding and sleeping schedule for your breastfeeding baby.So your new baby is about 1 month old – congratulations! You’ve survived what was likely one of the most challenging periods of your life, and I’m here to tell you that everything gets easier from here on out, including breastfeeding.

Whether you were feeding on demand for the first few weeks or following a routine, generally by this point your baby has really gotten into the groove of breastfeeding, and you may be wondering how to you get them on a nice schedule. I’m a big believer in having a schedule, and it’s worked very well with all five of my babies.

By the time your baby is 4-6 weeks old, she’ll be eating 6-7 times a day (every 3 hours or so). Let’s say your first feed of the morning is at 7 a.m. Nurse your baby thoroughly, on both sides, and make sure she gets a complete feeding. 1.5-2 hours after the feeding began (so 8:30 or 9 a.m.), put her down for a nap, whether or not she catnapped before that point. Wake her up no later than 3-4 hours after that first feed began for the next feeding (10 a.m.).  Here’s the schedule based on feeding every three hours, double check with your doctor as to how frequently you should feed:

Feeding and Sleeping Schedule:

7 a.m.               1st Feeding

8:30 a.m.        Nap (1.5 hours)

10 a.m.            2nd Feeding

11:30 a.m.      Nap (1.5 hours)

1 p.m.              3rd Feeding

2:30 p.m.       Nap (1.5 hours)

4 p.m.              4th Feeding

5:30 p.m.       Nap (1.5 hours)

7 p.m.              5th Feeding

8:30 p.m.      Bedtime

10 p.m.          6th Feeding (directly back to sleep)

1 a.m.             7th Feeding (directly back to sleep)

Two things are hopefully happening here as a result of this schedule and your baby’s own natural development: your baby is awake for a significant part of the day, and she’s getting a lot of the food she needs during the day. Therefore, she might well be starting to do longer stretches at night.  So, from between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m., you might get a nice stretch of sleep. Trust me, five hours of straight sleep will be life-altering and you’ll feel like a new woman! You can also introduce a bottle around 1 month or so, once breastfeeding is well established. If you pump and have your partner give a bottle for the 10 p.m. feeding, you can get another stint of sleep.

Over time, that 1 a.m. feeding will start to drop off, and the last feeding of the eventually will ALSO go away! At that point, you can do your final feed at 7 p.m. and not feed again until the morning, which could happen as early as 4-6 months. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Watch my video and get the schedule for a breastfeeding 4 to 6-month-old.

  • Lindy Wifler

    For the 10pm feed, are you advocating to wake up the baby for it, like a “dream feed”? Or let them sleep until they wake up to eat?

  • http://bradandstephjohnson.blogspot.com/ Stephanie Johnson

    My six week old is doing pretty well with your 2-month old schedule, except for the 8:30 bedtime. He cries when we try to put him down, but he also cries in our arms. It seems like he’s tired but just fighting sleep. He doesn’t fight the other naps or his bedtime after the 10pm feeding. Any suggestions about how to get that 8:30pm nap to happen?

  • TJoRN

    I love this. I’ve been trying but my baby won’t always last 3-4 hours between feeds. She will want a suckle here and there. I can’t get anything accomplished. She is 4weeks and 2 days old. I’ve been trying this for the last week. I have already started pumping should I just give her bottles so I know she’s getting full feeds? She does great at night sleeps about 4-5 hrs a night. When she does wake though she’s up for 2 hrs! Then back to sleep for 2.5 and our day begins. Ahh! Help. I go back to work in 2 mos and id like to have her on a normal sched for her babysitter and for me.

    • Kristin

      I have noticed when my baby was around the time frame that’s how he was as well. When he was around a month I started giving him a pacifier to hold him off until it was time to eat. I could never go longer than 3 hours with him.

  • Kristin

    So…My baby was born 2/3/15. He is currently around 2 months. I have a schedule of 7am, 10am, and then I go to 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, and 7:30pm and 9:30pm and he wakes up once at night but really I wouldn’t even call it a full feeding. Sometimes it is and sometimes it’s not. He might eat on one side for 15 minutes and not the other AT ALL. I feel obligated to get up and pump because he doesn’t feed on it. This is the 1st time I have breastfed my babies. I have a 7 year old who I tried and then gave up because I thought she wasn’t getting enough. This time I was determined to make sure I stuck with it….
    But with everything that is on the internet and people keep telling me I’ am over feeding him. He doesn’t always eat for 15 minutes each side. Sometimes he only eats 10/15 or 17/8 I just go with what he wants and if he only eats for 5 minutes on that one side I usually pump. Sometime he doesn’t seem hungry at the 2pm feeding.
    I guess with this post I didn’t know what other mom’s do?? Every baby is different, and I get that but I’m so scared by the what if’s? What if I let him “tell me” when he’s hungry and I loss my milk supply? What if I will never be able to have a normal life because I’m stressing about feeding times? (lol) What if he only gets in 5 feedings a day? PLEASE help.

    • http://www.cloudmom.com/about Melissa Lawrence

      Hi Kristin — I am going to try to answer this more in depth in a video, but in short, it sounds like your are doing great. Bring your baby to the dr and see if he is growing. If so, you can continue as is. Try to make sure he gets a regular feeding and a full feeding, meaning that he is awake and not wanting more food. he is still so little, over time he will move to a more stretched out schedule– and you will get your life back. I promise. xo Melissa

    • http://www.cloudmom.com/about Melissa Lawrence

      I am going to try to answer this more in depth in a video, but in short, it sounds like your are doing great. Bring your baby to the dr and see if he is growing. If so, you can continue as is. Try to make sure he gets a regular feeding and a full feeding, meaning that he is awake and not wanting more food. he is still so little, over time he will move to a more stretched out schedule– and you will get your life back. I promise. xo Melissa