Well, congratulations to the proud new parents! As a new parent, you must educate yourself about the early food habits of your baby. It is also vital that you take full responsibility for your baby’s breastfeeding schedule. However, you must also look into other factors that are crucial for their health. So, whether you’re a first-time parent or not, following a feeding schedule will always guide you through your baby’s fussiness.
Breastfeeding, also referred to as nursing, is a common phenomenon of feeding human milk to a child directly from the breast or a bottle. According to WHO and UNICEF, a child must be breastfed within the first hour of its birth until 6 months. This implies the baby should not be on any other food or liquids during this time. After 6 months, adequate consumption of food can begin, while breastfeeding continues till 2 years of age and above.
Subsequently, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), breastfeeding is an excellent source of nutrition for the child. So from the moment, your baby is born you must look after your baby’s growth and its proper intake of nutrition. Now that the facts are on the table, let’s get into the details of setting up your newborn's breastfeeding schedule.
Table of contents
What’s an ideal newborn breastfeeding schedule?
Pediatricians recommend that newborns should solely be on breastfeeding for at least 6 months. As breast milk has all the right nutrients for healthy growth, it’s a perfect choice for your baby’s safety. However, if consumption of solid food grains takes place before 3 months of life, it can put your baby at risk. It can lead to food allergies that can be life-threatening as well.
According to UNICEF, breastmilk alone matches all the energy and nutrition needs of the baby until 6 months. You must introduce food items by 4 - 6 months of age when milk alone cannot match the nutrient requirements. So, you can surely opt for this feeding schedule in case you’re breastfeeding and formula-feeding. However, a breastfed baby may have to be usually fed more than a formula-fed baby.
Breastfeeding Schedule For Newborn (0 to 3 Months)
Following is the breastfeeding schedule for your 0 to 3 month-old newborn child. Give it a read for a better understanding & set your baby's schedule accordingly.
Breastfeeding Schedule For Newborn (4 to 6 Months)
You see below a breastfeeding schedule for a 4 to 6 month old child. Make sure you go through it for your baby's healthy growth.
Formula Feeding Schedule For Newborn (0 to 3 Months)
This is a recommended formula feeding schedule, in case your baby is 0 to 3 months old. Follow this right away for setting up a healthy timetable & for greater progress.
Formula Feeding Schedule For Newborn (4 to 6 Months)
Last but not the least, given below is the formula feeding schedule for a child belonging in the range of 4 to 6 months. Let them drink up accordingly!
How often should you burp your child during feeding?
Burping your baby after each feed is important, even if your baby is sleeping. There is a constant need behind this practice. During the process of feeding, your baby might intake a little air with the milk. That means now that there are air bubbles (or gas) present in the baby’s stomach, it can become a source of discomfort for him/her. So, to get rid of the excess air present in your newly born, you burp your baby. It pulls up the excess air trapped in the stomach and provides instant relief to all the trouble.
Now the question arises as to how often you should burp your baby? Well, it depends on whether you’re bottle-feeding or breastfeeding your child. It is also advisable to put your baby in a vertically raised position after feeding for at least 10 minutes.
In case you’re breastfeeding, you must burp your child after you switch the breasts each time. If you notice your baby seems to be fussy, gassy, or is spitting a lot, try burping every 5 minutes.
In case you’re bottle-feeding, you must burp your child every 2-3 ounces. Subsequently, if you notice some kind of fussiness, you must burp your baby more. Do not forget to burp your baby after the feeding as well.
How can you tell if your newborn baby is getting enough milk?
If your baby is nursing well, the ultimate nutrition will look after its growth and development. If you’re bottle-feeding your little one, you can quantify the consumption of milk. But, in case you’re breastfeeding, there aren’t any quantifiable measures to do so. However, some signs showcase whether the consumption of milk is enough or not. So, here’s how you can relate to it.
Your baby settles down after feeding and is usually alert after waking up from a nap.
Your breasts may feel softer and less filled after the feed.
Your baby is on the feeding schedule (every 2-3 hours or even throughout the night during the 2 months of your baby’s life)
Constant weight gain
When you’re changing at least 5-6 wet diapers every day
When your baby is latched on correctly and you can hear the sound of swallowing during nursing
Your baby seems calm, content, and may sleep after the feed.
Your baby will stop on its own by the end of the feed
What if your baby seems more hungry than usual?
If you feel your baby is hungry a lot of the time, there can be reasons associated with it. Simple actions like putting or waving hands towards their mouth are an indication that your baby might be hungry. However, growth spurt or cluster feeding may be the right answer to this rapid change. Sometimes, you can confuse hunger with some other reason altogether. That means your baby is either tired or uncomfortable.
What’s cluster feeding & growth spurt and is it normal?
The growth spurt is a bodily condition where your baby grows swiftly during the first 12 months of its life. It simply means a period of development that brings in multiple changes in your baby. Those are constant hunger, change in sleeping patterns, and they may be fussier than normal. Moreover, your baby’s weight increases rapidly and you observe sudden changes in your newborn child. This usually happens around
Cluster feeding is a period when your newborn demands constant feeds at short intervals. It is different from the normal feeding schedule or eating behavior. However, it tends to happen during the first few weeks during the growth spurt and might drain you physically and mentally. You must not worry about this as it ends up quickly. You can always consult a lactation consultant or a pediatrician, in case you’re worried about your baby’s eating behavior.
So, the possible explanation for this is your baby needs enough nutrition to serve the hunger during the growth spurt period. This means you need to match the supply. However, at the end of this period, your milk supply may increase and your baby will have a good night’s sleep.
How to get your baby into a breastfeeding schedule?
As a newborn child, you need to carefully watch your baby’s behavior. Some babies sleep 17 hours a day, while some 14. Like everything else, it takes time for a child to adapt to a schedule. Usually, the time duration is 4-6 months but it’s always a great idea to watch and set patterns among these newborns.
You can identify these patterns in the form of changes in the sleeping cycle, feeding behavior, and others. Getting your baby on a workable schedule will help you in establishing a predictable behavior. That means you will have a chance to look after your baby’s needs in advance. The purpose is to make your child understand what has to be done at what time. So, let’s together establish a routine for your baby!
You must read your baby’s cues and signs to understand their behavior. Make a note of the signs that ensure that your baby is hungry or being fussy about something. Learn about their playing habits and when they are drowsy. With the right patience and understanding, you’ll be able to create a feasible schedule. The gist is to let your baby drive you through the entire process.
It’s best to establish a foreseeable bedtime routine that will train your baby to sleep and wake up at the same time. This takes time but sets a schedule that is achievable. You can fix their bathing schedule or extend the time between two feeds as per the need. This will ensure that the nursing period is longer but fewer.
Make your baby learn the difference between day and night. You can bring in changes like putting a sleeping suit on them. Try speaking to them less at night and more during the day. You can also sing a lullaby or read a short story to them. So, do not stress much because your baby will soon catch the light!
Benefits of breastfeeding: For mother and baby
There are several benefits of breastfeeding for you and your baby. Not only does it provide the ideal nutrition for your baby but it also lowers the risk of depression for you. Generally, children are on breast milk even after they consume solid food items. It is usually done through the baby’s first year of life.
Breastfeeding is often linked to as an antibody for your child. It resists viruses and immunes your baby against allergies. Since breastfeeding is vital, let’s discuss the potential benefits that it showers upon you and your baby. Moreover, if your baby is fussing or suckling on things, it probably means that your little one’s hungry!
Benefits of breastfeeding for the baby
Provides colostrum - Pre Milk thick yellowish fluid that helps boost the baby’s immunity.
Acts as ideal nutrition - an amalgamation of proteins, vitamins, and fats.
Acts as an antibody - resist viruses and bacteria
Lowers the risk of asthma, pneumonia, diarrhea, and other issues
Acts against middle ear infections, childhood leukemia, and necrotizing enterocolitis
Research shows that breastfeeding reduces the risk of baby’s overweight and obesity.
Physical closeness and intimacy - Eye contact, skin-to-skin touch, and a sense of security.
Reduces the chance of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
Benefits of breastfeeding for the mother
Assists in reducing pregnancy weight
Prevents postpartum depression and advances recovery
Reduces risk of breasts and ovarian cancer
Helps in bonding with your baby
Lowers risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and heart diseases
Might pause menstruation
Involution - Contraction of the uterus to the usual size with the help of the release of a hormone - oxytocin
6 Tips For Breastfeeding Your Baby
While nursing is absolutely natural, yet can be challenging at times. As breast milk is the source of ideal nutrition for your child, you must know about these tips to make the process easier.
Intake a healthy diet and drink plenty of fluids. You must rest and make necessary changes in your lifestyle, like not smoking.
You must not worry about leaking. Your baby is new to this. It will gradually disappear with time as your baby continues to feed. So stay relaxed and always nurse in an environment that makes you comfortable.
Anticipate your baby’s hunger needs. You must follow cues and signs like when your baby is opening or closing the mouth. Followed by sucking the lips or turning your head towards the breasts. So, do not keep them waiting and offer your breast right away.
Do not worry about the supply of milk. The process of nursing triggers the release of hormones prolactin and oxytocin. That means these hormones are responsible for stimulating the supply of milk. During the first 2-3 days of nursing, you may observe a thick yellowish fluid coming out named colostrum. It is very nutritious and healthy for your baby.
Look after the skin of your breasts. It is tender in nature and you can use a gentle cleanser to wash it out. Apart from this, you can use bra pads in case of leakage during the feed. However, limit the amount of soap or shampoo after the feed.
Help your baby to find the ideal breastfeeding position. Make yourself and your baby comfortable. The child should be latched correctly and the level of its mouth should match with your nipples.
While breastfeeding can be challenging at first, but you and your little one will get used to it. You must also know about baby and postnatal massages that can provide you relief in multiple ways. Pink Orchid will help you embrace this! As breastfeeding is important for both you and your baby, embrace this ideal nutrition for your little one! However, it will also lower the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and will prevent postpartum depression.