Hopefully by the time your baby is 4 to 6 months old, you’ve gotten in a good groove with breastfeeding and are starting to feel a little more like yourself. And you’re probably wondering where the time went. Those sleepless nights are long, but the newborn months really do fly by. Trust me, I’ve done it five times!
This is the stage when many parents try to institute a daily routine, particularly if you’ve been breastfeeding on demand up to this point. With an infant who is 4 to 6 months old, you might be feeding your baby 5 times a day – approximately every 4 hours. Here’s the feeding and sleeping schedule for babies at this stage that worked really well for me.
This schedule assumes a 7 a.m. feeding, but can be adjusted for whatever time your day begins.
Baby’s Feeding and Sleeping Schedule:
7 a.m. – First Feed
9:30 a.m. – Nap (1.5 hours)
11 a.m. – Second Feed
1:30 p.m. – Nap (1.5 hours)
3 p.m. – Third Feed
6 p.m. – Nap (1 hour)
7 p.m. – Fourth Feed
8:30 p.m. – Bedtime
11 p.m. Final Feed (directly back to bed)
This final feed of the night is sometimes referred to as a “Dream Feed” or a “Top Off” feed. You want to keep baby in her nursery and keep everything dark and quiet. In fact, many babies will sleep right through the feeding, but it’s important to “fill up the tank” so your little one (and you!) can sleep longer overnight.
This schedule may not seem realistic for a lot of parents at this stage. You might be having trouble getting your baby to sleep for a long stint overnight, or go down to sleep in the crib, or nap consistently. You should check with your doctor, but in my experience trying to institute this type of routine results in a child who is well rested and feeds a lot during the day, and sleeps longer stretches at night. I encourage you to give it a try.
People ask me how I survived having five babies in six and a half years, and my answer is that this schedule has truly saved my sanity (and my marriage!).