Every baby is different, so even a sample feeding or sleeping schedule could be all wrong for you. However, you shouldn’t let that stop you from doing your best to get advice from experts as well as other moms. As a matter of fact, there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel if someone has already found something that works for them. However, one problem you might encounter is that a feeding schedule is reliant on much more than when your baby might be hungry. It can have a huge impact on health and sleep, so you should do all the research possible before settling on something you think may work. Feeding schedules will also depend on your child’s age, developmental progress, health issues, and much more.
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Tips to Make the Schedule Easier to ManageAt two months old, a schedule may still be wishful thinking. If that’s the case, you can still begin to implement a schedule to get on track. Up until now, your baby has been in charge, but they’re old enough now to let you gradually take the wheel. Right now, it’s more important that you develop a routine rather than follow a strict schedule. It won’t be long before your baby is ready for more structure, and until then, you can shape your day around the rhythm that works for you both. This will build healthy habits while allowing for the flexibility that your baby needs. Keep in mind that every day may look a little different, but you’ll start to notice patterns developing, which makes it easier to plan around your baby’s feeds. Whether you’re a first-time mom or you have older children to take care of as well, it can be hard to juggle it all. However, as you fall into a routine, you can begin to adjust the schedule according to everyone’s needs. Here are some tips to make it easier.
Don’t worry about the clockYour two-month-old is still way too young to follow a schedule based on the time of day. Instead, you should be planning your feeding routine according to time increments. For example, your baby will be able to stay awake for 1 or 1.5 hours before needing a morning nap. They may wake up at 6 am or they may sleep until 7:30 am. You can’t plan a nap for 9 am every single day, but what you can do is plan for a feeding when they wake up and then another feeding right before their first nap, which is about 1.5 hours after they wake up. After this first nap, they may be able to stay awake for about 2 hours, so the next feeding or two will happen during this time, with a nap occurring anywhere between 11 am and 12:30 pm. Be sure to watch for the ready signs like yawning, rubbing eyes, or fussiness. The longest awake time of the day is between 2 and 2.5 hours, occurring between the last nap of the day and bedtime. Feedings during this time will depend largely on how your baby sleeps and how your feeding schedule affects sleep. As your baby ages, awake times get longer, so you can continue to think of time in increments but adjust the schedule accordingly.
Establish good sleep habitsGood sleep habits are important for building a schedule that works. That means putting your baby down sleepy but awake is critical. Try to wean them off of feeding to sleep so they get used to self-soothing. It will also help them understand that their crib means it’s time to sleep and get used to you leaving the room. It can also eliminate the separation anxiety that comes from them falling asleep with you there and waking up with you gone. While putting them down sleepy but awake may not work consistently just yet, you should begin to practice it at bedtime and the first nap of the day. Your baby will get more restful, healthy sleep, which can translate to easier, more cooperative feedings. Also make sure that as you approach three months of age, you begin napping at home in a quiet, dark space. While newborns can sleep anywhere, establishing this routine will help with consistency throughout the rest of the day as well.
Develop an itineraryYou should follow an eat, play, sleep framework. As your baby wakes up, make sure you offer food whether you’re breastfeeding or formula feeding. Then spend some time playing, doing chores, spending time in a bouncer, walking, singing, talking, or whatever you want to do. Then, nap. Keep this routine going for the whole day to get your baby used to it.
Focus on napsIf you spend your energy on the first and second naps of the day, your baby will get the most restorative sleep. Afternoon naps are iffy, so make sure they get in a couple of good ones early to make your schedule easier to manage.
Feed, feed, feedIf you stack feedings during the day, your baby will learn to eat as much as they can during the day so they will sleep longer at night. A two-month-old should have 7-12 feedings in 24 hours if you’re breastfeeding and 6-8 feedings during the day if you’re formula feeding. Get as close to that goal during the day as you can. If your baby sleeps all night, congratulations! Although they may not, you’ll get closer the more consistently you do it.
Two-Month-Old SleepYour baby is starting to smile and show some real personality. It’s an exciting time of development, but sleep can become erratic as it changes. If you’re experiencing longer stretches of sleep at night, you’re lucky. If it’s taking you a while to get there, that’s normal, too. Most babies this age will sleep 9-12 hours at night and 4-6 hours during the day. You may even notice a few nighttime feedings hanging on. Bedtime is hit or miss, but soon, your baby will begin to consolidate sleep and sleep through the night.
Two-Month-Old FeedingIf your baby is formula-fed, it’s more likely that you’ll see consolidated feedings begin. Stomach capacity is increasing so your baby will be able to eat more and go longer between feedings now. If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll still want to continue to feed every few hours to maintain your supply, which means your baby will likely still need more night feedings. If you’re struggling with exhaustion and considering introducing solids to help with sleep, think again. This tactic typically doesn’t improve sleep, and it’s still a bit too early for solids anyway. Breastfeed or formula feed exclusively until your provider tells you it’s time to do something different.
Example Feeding SchedulesNow that you’ve read up on some tips to make your feeding schedule go more smoothly, it’s time to look at some example feeding schedules for your two-month-old. This will look different for every child, but you can try your best to follow these loosely and adjust accordingly. These schedules are based on a 7 am wake up time, but you can adjust them if your baby wakes up earlier or later.
Breastfeeding schedule7 am: Wake up and feed * 7:30 am: Play 8:30 am: Nap * 9:30 am: Wake up and feed 10 am: Play 11:30 am: Feed and nap * 1 pm: Wake up and feed 1:30 pm: Play 2:30 pm: Nap 3 pm: Wake up and feed 3:30 pm: Play! 4:30 pm: Feed and nap 5:30 pm: Play # 6 pm: Feed 6:30 pm: Play 7 pm: Wind down ^ 8:30 pm: Feed and bedtime 10:30 pm: Dream feed (optional)
- 4-5 night feedings
Formula feeding schedule7 am: Wake up and feed * 7:30 am: Play 8:30 am: Nap * 10 am: Wake up and feed 10:30 am: Play 11:30 am: Nap * 1 pm: Wake up and feed 1:30 pm: Play 2:30 pm: Nap 3:30 pm: Wake up and play! 4 pm: Feed 4:30 pm: Play # 6 pm: Catnap 6:30 pm: Feed and play 8 pm: Wind down ^ 8:30 pm: Bedtime 10:30 pm: Dream feed (optional)
- 2-3 night feedings