Schedules and Newborns

Some where along the way the myth developed that newborns can adhere to a rigid schedule. Many new mommies believed this story and began trying to develop schedules in the lives of their babies.

BABY SHOULD EAT EVERY 2 1/2 TO 3 HOURS is one of these myths. Young mommies did everything they could to make this work for their babies. They stressed themselves out, stated up nights trying to make it happen, and were extremely frustrated when it did not work. They woke their babies up at three hours, no matter how long baby wanted to sleep. In other words, they made their lives miserable because someone somewhere said their babies should be on “A Schedule”.

BABY SHOULD SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT AT TWO MONTHS, is another of these myths. Breast feeding mommies jumped through all kinds of hoops to make this one happen. They stretched out their time between feedings until their babies succumbed to “The Schedule”. Their breasts hurt as their bodies made milk for baby to drink, but “The Schedule” denied them. Mommies learned not to listen to what their babies were telling them, you know how babies communicate, so “The Schedule” could be achieved. Babies going through growth spurts were ignored and forced to fit into “The Schedule” because so much time and effort had been exhorted to achieve it.

Many mommies were so frustrated with the stress and exhaustion of trying to keep the schedule they gave up breastfeeding all together. Others missed their babies during the long nights once “The Schedule” had been achieved but were afraid to go to them and feed them because of what others might say or think. Some mommies started adding formula to their babies feedings in order to keep up with the rigid requirements necessary to achieve “The Schedule”.

Doulas and midwives tried to help mommies see the bigger picture. This time with your little one is a precious gift. For just a few months you can enjoy your baby, just you and her. You can be alone with her in her dark bedroom, rocking her as she eats. You can cuddle her, get to know her, talk with her, just sit with her as you burp her and put her back to bed. What is the rush to achieve “The Goal” and get away from your baby? Enjoy this few months of your babies life and yours. Let things progress slowly, comfortably, patiently. Let the early months of parenthood be a blessing rather than a chore. You have the rest of your life to organize and achieve with your baby. Cut yourself some slack!!!! Let yourself enjoy these lovely moments.

‘Feeding on demand’ means just feeding your baby when he lets you know he wants to eat. It means allowing him to sleep until he wakes and calls you. Babies are very smart little creatures. They figure out quickly that you want to meet their needs and they do everything they can to help you do just that! Mommies come home from the hospital with all kinds of useless information.

  1. Baby needs to eat every time he cries. Not so. Sometime baby has a tummy ache. Sometimes he is uncomfortable and needs to be moved. Sometimes he just wants company. After all, from his perspective you held him for 9 months and he isn’t OK with being alone just yet.
  2. There is only one way to swaddle a baby. Hay, you and your baby work out the best way to help him sleep. Swaddling reminds him of being in your uterus, snug and warm. His arms, over which he has no control, do not flail around and wake him. He feels safe and sleeps well when swaddled.

More to come……………..

Feeding Amounts for Newborns

A question I am often asked is “How much milk should my baby be drinking per day?” This is the million dollar question!! Trying to find an answer can make you crazy!! Why is this? It seems easy enough to decide. However, there are many variables affecting the outcome.

Breastfeeding mothers feeding on demand (meaning feeding baby from the breast when she is hungry) have a difficult time discovering how much milk baby is actually drinking. The best way to find actual amounts baby is drinking is with a home infant scale. Weigh baby in his diaper before feeding. Breastfeed. Then reweigh him in the same clothing or just his diaper. This provides an actual number on how many ounces baby is finishing. The amount will change through out the day. Early the morning, after both baby and mommy have been sleeping there will be more milk. As the day moves on amounts will vary as to mother’s food and water intake, baby’s attention, length of the feed, etc. You will have a general idea on how much each feeding provides.

Baby Scale, Toddler Scale, Pet Scale, Accurate Enough Digital Weighing Scale for Newborn Infant Toddler Cat Puppy Animals ...

Baby Scale, Toddler Scale, Accurate Enough Digital Weighing Scale for Newborn Infant Toddler

Talk with your friends about which scales they have found to be most efficient. These are available on Amazon. You will only need this for a few months. it you have a friend whose baby is a few months older than yours perhaps you can go together to purchase one. Or simply borrow it for the time you need it. As you will discover there is no shortage on the number of items you can purchase for baby.

Smart Weigh Comfort Baby Scale, 44 Pound Capacity, 3 Weighing Modes, Accurate Digital Scale for Infants, Toddlers, and Babies

Smart Weigh Comfort Baby Scale, 44 Pound Capacity, 3 Weighing Modes, Accurate Digital Scale for Infants, Toddlers, and Babies. $34.99

For families using formula it is easier to know exactly how much baby is drinking. Our tendency is to overfeed babies. I encourage you to start at the lower amounts on the following charts and move into more milk as baby grows and her stomach stretches. Babies who have been fed too much milk tend to spit it out at the end of the feeding. If this is happening to you and you baby, diminish the amount of formula by an ounce. Use the smaller amount for a few days and see how the spitting up problem proceeds. Try adding more formula to your feedings a few days later and watch results. I encourage you to be patient. Overfeeding baby is messy and upsetting.

Also, think about how you want your time with you infant to proceed. Talk with your friends about how they decide how much to feed their babies. Know if your baby is putting on weight and is calm and happy you are doing well. Do not let grow charts or others push you into feeding your baby more often or more than necessary.


Formula feeding chart by age

Here are typical amounts per day based on age:

AgeOunces of formula
Full-term newborn2 ounces per bottle every 3 to 4 hours
1 month old3 to 4 ounces per bottle every 3 to 4 hours
2 month old4 to 5 ounces per bottle every 3 to 4 hours
3 month old4 to 6 ounces per bottle every 3 to 4 hours
4 month old4 to 6 ounces per bottle, 4 to 6 times a day
5 month old4 to 6 ounces per bottle, 4 to 6 times a day
6 month old6 to 8 ounces per bottle, 4 to 5 times a day
7 month old6 to 8 ounces per bottle, 3 to 5 times a day

From 8 months old until their first birthday, you can expect your baby to have 7 to 8 ounces per bottle, 3 to 4 times a day.

As your baby gets older – and their tummy gets bigger – they’ll drink fewer bottles a day with more formula in each. It’s important not to overfeed your baby so they’ll stay at a healthy weight. Your baby shouldn’t have more than 32 ounces of formula in 24 hours.

Ounces per day by weight:

WeightOunces of formula
6 pounds15 fl oz every 24 hours
7 pounds17.5 fl oz every 24 hours
8 pounds20 fl oz every 24 hours
9 pounds22.5 fl oz every 24 hours
10 pounds25 fl oz every 24 hours
11 pounds27.5 fl oz every 24 hours
12 pounds30 fl oz every 24 hours

These numbers aren’t rigid rules. They offer a rough estimate for what your baby may need. Some babies will grow well while taking less than the recommended amount, while others consistently need more. Your baby’s daily feedings will also vary according to their individual needs – in other words, they may want a bit more on some days and a bit less on others.