Today I’ll be talking to you about one of my absolute FAVORITE topics ever—eating and sleeping schedules for babies! I think that having a set schedule is the key to having a well-rested and well-fed baby. Consistency is really important for babies at this age, and hopefully once they get used to it, mom and dad can catch a little break, too.
What should a day for my 6-9 month old look like?
At this stage, your baby has likely been sampling solid foods and sleeping longer at nights (which we all LOVE, right?!). It’s a really nice stage, and sleep for babies at this age comes in the form of about 2-3 naps per day with plenty of feedings (milk and solids!) in between the naps.
As far as naps are concerned, this is a general idea of what your baby’s schedule should look like. I’m following my experience here over the course of my five babies. (For some different perspectives on babies and sleep at this age, check out this helpful article from our friends at FamilyEducation.com.)
- 9:30-11:30 a.m. morning nap.
- 1:30-3:30 afternoon nap
- 45 minute-1 hour “Cat Nap” from 5:30-6:30 p.m. or from 6-7 p.m.
This is just a guideline, and of course, it varies tremendously from baby to baby. Some babies take shorter morning or afternoon naps, some take shorter cat naps, and some babies have even started to transition from 3 to 2 naps, which I go into a bit more in this video here.
So now that we’ve covered sleeping, when is my baby supposed to take milk between all of those naps? At this age, it’s best to be giving your baby milk 4-5 times per day, approximately every 4 hours. And just a quick side note: this schedule applies whether you’re breastfeeding or giving your baby formula!
- 7 a.m. after they wake up
- 11:30 a.m. after their morning nap
- 3:30 p.m. after their afternoon nap
- 7:30 p.m. after dinner and before bedtime
- 11 pm “top off feed,” or one nighttime feeding. This is interchangeable—you can swamp the 11 p.m. top off feed for a late feeding at 2 or 3 a.m., it just depends on your preference.
So that’s it for milk feedings, but what about solids? My doctor advised me to get my baby used to all of the different tastes and textures at this age, but primarily the nutrition is coming from the milk. Ever heard of the expression, “food before one is just for fun?” Well, that definitely applies here! It’s a good idea to get into a routine of introducing solids to your baby, and I have another video on that if you’re having trouble with this transition!
When should you add solids into your baby’s day and how will this work?
- 7:30 a.m after the milk feed. I would try to do solids meals after milk feedings since most of their nutrition comes from the milk feedings. If they’re too full from milk, wait 20 minutes and try again!
- 12 p.m. after milk feed
- 7 p.m. before last milk feed
This is quite a bit of overwhelming information to take in, so I put together an entire sample schedule for your 6-9 month old with all of this combined. Again, this is all personal preference, but it has saved me plenty of sleepless nights with my children!