Ultimate Guide to Newborn Baby Feeding and Sleeping Schedule

A newborn baby sleeping

Getting your baby to follow a schedule for sleeping and feeding is like trying to get a camel through a needle. Most new parents complain about lack of sleep and exhaustion due to the vagaries of a newborn’s schedule. However, there are ways to influence your baby’s sleeping and feeding habits for your benefit.

It is essential that you keep in mind how the pattern of a baby’s sleep affects their development and how to work around their sleeping pattern for both their wellbeing and yours. Understanding and adapting to a sleep pattern of your newborn can be hugely beneficial to your mental health as well as your efficiency in caring for them. Your 1 month-old baby’s feeding and sleeping schedule may not be the easiest to follow and may take a lot from you.

Remember, raising your newborn baby is a tough task to do by yourself, so seek help from your partner, family, friends or other care-givers to ensure that you do not stretch yourself too thin. To better understand the requirements in sleeping and feeding patterns of a newborn baby please consult your paediatrician.

The sleeping and feeding patterns of a newborn baby are not always inter-connected but they do depend on each other a little. Both sleep and feeding requirements for children change on individual cases, there can be multiple reasons why your baby isn’t able to adapt to a planned pattern for food and sleep. To best understand how to tackle this issue, please consult a specialist.

Newborn Sleep Pattern

 A newborn baby sleeping

Any baby under the age of three months is considered a newborn. Newborns have a sleeping cycle that is very different from adults. As their circadian rhythms are not yet regulated, you will find that your newborn sleeps often in short bursts and feeds in between the naps. Some babies are born with their rhythms completely opposite which is why they wake up more often in the night and sleep for longer in the day. A typical nap can last anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes or even from 3 to four hours. You will find that your newborn will be much sleepier in the first two weeks of her life. She even might drop off to sleep while you are feeding her after she has had her fill. At this age, you might have to wake up your baby in order to feed her. After three weeks, however, your newborn will start to wake up and demand a feedthrough crying.

Newborn Feeding Pattern

A mother breastfeeding a newborn

Newborn babies feed very often as their stomachs are much smaller and need nutrition frequently. If you are feeding your baby with formula, then your baby will feed less often than a baby on breastmilk. This is because the formula is harder to digest and hence takes longer to get assimilated. Breast milk, on the other hand, is very easy to digest.

If your baby is on formula then you can use an easy thumb rule in order to determine how much to feed her. Multiply your baby’s weight with 2.5 and that should give you the amount of formula to feed her in a 24-hour period. If your baby weighs 8 ounces, then you will have to feed her 20 ounces of formula in a day.

If you are breastfeeding your baby, then the ideal is between 20 to 30 ounces for a newborn. However, you should try to feed on demand in the first few weeks as this will help establish the milk supply. Your baby will have one to two long sleep periods in a day. This will typically last four hours. So apart from this one cycle, you must breastfeed your baby every 2 to 3 hours. This frequency will increase s your baby grows.

Growth Spurts in Newborns

A newborn baby will go through several growth spurts which is why she requires the right amount of nutrition. Your baby will feed through all the growth spurts and it is important that you feed her as per the demand. Typically, your baby will go through growth spurts during the following periods:

  • 7 to 10 days old
  • 2 to 3 weeks old
  • 4 to 6 weeks old
  • 3 months old

Infant Breastfeeding and Sleeping Schedule

Your baby will be the best indicator of a sleep and feeding schedule. Note of signs of sleepiness such as yawning or rubbing eyes and get your baby to take a nap immediately. Here, we discuss the average sleep and feeding schedules of babies. You might find that your baby fits into a schedule that is slightly different from these.

2-8 Week Newborn Baby Breastfeeding and Sleeping Schedule

This schedule is meant for babies who consume an average amount of breast milk. It is also created keeping in mind an average amount of breast milk production. Here is an average 7 week old baby sleep schedule. This remains the same from the second to the eighth week.

9:00 AM Wake the baby and feed
10:00 AM Nap for 30 to 60 minutes
11:00 AM Wake the baby and feed
12:30 PM Nap for 30 to 60 minutes
1:30 PM Wake the baby and feed
3:30 PM Nap for 30 to 60 minutes
4:30 PM Wake the baby and feed
6:00 PM Nap for 30 to 60 minutes
6:30 PM Wake the baby and feed
7:30 PM Short nap for 20 to 30 minutes
8:00 PM Wake the baby and feed
9:30 PM Short nap for 20 to 30 minutes
10:00 PM Wake the baby and feed
11:30 PM Feed and to bed
3:30 AM Feed and sleep immediately
6:30 AM Feed and sleep immediately

Source: https://www.parentune.com/parent-blog/feeding-schedule-newborn/3958

If your baby suffers from reflux or feeds small amounts, or you are unable to produce the right amount of breastmilk, it is best that you consult with your paediatrician on how best to feed your baby.

2-8 Week Newborn Baby Formula Feeding and Sleeping Schedule

With babies that are fed formula, there will be longer nap times and a lesser frequency of feeding as formula takes longer to be digested.

9:00 AM Wake the baby and feed
10:00 AM Nap for 30 to 60 minutes
11:00 AM Wake the baby
12:30 PM Feed and Nap for 30 to 60 minutes
1:30 PM Wake the baby
3:00 PM Feed and Nap for 30 to 90 minutes
4:30 PM Wake the baby and feed
6:00 PM Nap for 30 to 60 minutes
6:30 PM Wake the baby
7:30 PM Feed and Nap for 30 to 60 minutes
8:30 PM Wake the baby
9:30 PM Nap for 30 to 60 minutes
10:00 PM Wake the baby and feed
11:30 PM Feed and to bed
4:30 AM Feed and sleep immediately
7:30 AM Feed and sleep immediately

Source: https://www.parentune.com/parent-blog/feeding-schedule-newborn/3958

As mentioned before, these schedules represent the average requirements for newborns. You must tweak and experiment with this schedule depending on your baby’s needs. Consult with your paediatrician for any concerns that you may have regarding your baby’s schedule. If you want your baby on a combination of breastmilk and formula, you can talk to your doctor about how best to make the formula work for you and your baby. For instance, your baby can have the formula when you are going to work and just before bedtime as it will allow for less frequent feeding. You must keep in mind that your 2 month old’s sleep schedule may not change for very long and ensure that you are mentally prepared for the same.

Also Read: How Much Sleep Does a Baby Need