Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Baby Feeding Schedule - 4 Months

We are truly blessed to have a baby who sleeps 12-13 hours straight throughout the night at 4 months old. Being exclusively formula fed may be a contributing factor; but even so, I have been told time and time again just how incredibly lucky we are. (Knock on wood.)

I love waking up to the rustling sound of Asher having his morning stretch in his co-cleeper then looking over to see his his freshly awoken smile illuminated by the early morning light. His eyes are always directed straight at me as if to say, "Good morning, Mommy! Let's have breakfast, shall we?" Sometimes it's more of a, "Feed me NOW or someone is going to get hurt!!!" Even then, I can't complain since it's always after at least a 12 hour stretch of sleep for him and 6-8 hours or so for me. (Both John and I have a bad habit of going to bed late. In our defense, "me time" can be just as important as sleep!)

It's amazing to have such a sound sleeper, however, this also can make it difficult to make sure Asher gets enough to eat throughout the day without having some sort of a nap and/or feeding schedule in place. Mostly, it is becoming more difficult due to our current 'Super-Spitter-Upper' situation. One hopeful solution to lessening the outpour of spit-up may be allowing him smaller portions, more often, like when he was younger. Except now, we have to squeeze that into the 11-12 hour time frame that he is awake sans the 2-3 hours of nap time strewn throughout the day! We're averaging at about 22-24 oz of formula per day right now, but I think that he could definitely eat more if we plan it right with a feeding schedule. According to the formula serving chart, we should be at about 30-35 oz a day between 3-6 months. He is gaining weight steadily, thriving and growing and I know some babies need more than others... but I at least want to give Asher the opportunity to eat as much as he may need just in case he isn't getting quite enough.

So, I think a flexible feeding and nap schedule will be a nice addition to our chaotic day to day. Here's what I'm thinking (times approximate and feeding amounts to fit the pattern we've been seeing with what he can normally handle without too much spit-up):


8:00am - 1st bottle 5-6 oz
10:00am - 2nd bottle 2-4 oz
10:30 - nap (45 min - 2 hour)
12:30 - 3rd bottle 5-6 oz
3:30 - 4th bottle 2-4 oz
4:30 - nap (45 min - 1.5 hour)
5:30 - 5th bottle 4-6 oz
7:00 - bath
7:30 - 6th and last bottle 4-6 oz
8:00pm - bedtime!

On any given day he can eat between 22 and 32 ounces with this feeding schedule depending on how hungry he is. Most likely it will be closer to 25 for awhile. But at least we'll be offering him more if he wants it! This is sort of how it goes now - just usually without the pre-morning nap bottle. I think this schedule will help us get just enough more in each day. Sometimes he falls asleep during that last bottle, too, only getting in 2 ounces if we're lucky.

The nap times and lengths tend to vary, especially on days that we are not at home, whether I have him with me to work at the shop or if we are out and about for any other reason. So this is definitely meant to be a SOFT schedule with a lot of flexibility, but at least it gives us a general guideline to work with. I say us, but I guess I mostly mean me.

For now, we'll see how this goes. I know that 4 months is the peak age of spit-up amount and occurrences, but if we can reduce it as much as possible while also ensuring this little guy is getting his fill, that will help save my sanity on laundry days!

Here are more fun pictures from our 4 month photo shoot in his 4 month onesie.


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