Your baby is 4 months old and there are quite a lot of demands for your attention (to say the least!). How do you effectively plan? You want to implement some order to the chaos and a schedule of sorts is going to be the best way to go so that your baby knows when to expect bathing, sleeping, and eating. In this article we are going to focus on planning a feeding schedule for a 4 month old and more! If you are ready, let’s explore this important subject!
A routine for a 16 week old baby
Babies need your love and all of your attention. Establishing a schedule early on can help to establish reliable (or as much as can be expected) sleep and eating patterns and this can translate into more reliable sleep and relaxation time for mom and dad. A good schedule is simply a MUST. The first portion of creating the schedule is going to be establishing what the baby’s specific needs are.
The 16 week old baby routine
At 3 or 4 months old your baby has some very specific needs which are easy to quantify. Babywise, your 4 month schedule should include:
- 15 hour sleep periods – Aside from nighttime sleeping (which hopefully baby won’t be too fussy about), you’ll want to make sure that there is naptime as well.
- 6-7 oz. of breastmilk per feeding session – No more than 32 oz. of breastmilk in a 24 hour period, but do try to make sure that your child is getting 6 to 7 oz. in a feeding. This not only helps to nurture your child but to pass along immunities, so a 4 month old breastfeeding schedule is definitely a good idea.
- Playtime – Those muscles are developing so playtime is going to be a must. Combination bed and play areas such as the Pack and Play are a great way to ensure that your child has a play area and a place to nbap that you can bring around the house or wherever else that you need to go with baby.
- Introduction to solids – At 4 months old, some parents will begin introducing solid foods to their babies. Don’t worry if your baby does not appear to be receptive to this, it will come soon. In any case, 4 months is a good time to make an attempt if you feel that they might be ready.
Sample schedule for a 4 month old
Now that you have determined what baby needs then it is time to start plotting out your schedule. Patience is going to be required, as your child may not be receptive to it at first, but with a little practice of your new schedule you might be pleasantly surprised at how your child responds! Here is a sample schedule to give you an idea of what your own might be like:
- 7:00 – Rise and shine! – It’s time for baby to wake! Your baby will be hungry so it is time for breakfast as well.
- 8:30 – Back to sleep! – This is the time for the first nap of the day. Your child needs a lot of sleep and if you can get it running on a schedule than you will get more sleep too!
“ Your child may not be receptive to it at first.”
- 9:15 – Wake and play! – Now is a good time for baby to play in the playpen while you work on some things at your desk or that need to be done around the house.
- 10:45 – Early lunch! – Baby is going to be hungry again so let’s take an early lunch. Remember, 6 to 7 oz. is our target per feeding. Well fed, your baby will be getting tired and so….
- 11:00 – The second nap! – 45 minutes of recharging is called for, so turn that playpen into a bed or take your little one to a crib and hopefully they’ll drift off right away.
- 11:45 – Back into action! – Baby is ready to play again, so it’s back to the playpen with their favorite toys for the next hour and 45 minutes.
- 1:30 – Nap number 3! – All that play is exhausting, so let’s give baby another nap.
- 2:15 – Feeding number three! – Wake your baby up with a feeding and a little playtime afterwards.
- 4:00 – The fourth naptime – Time for a little more sleep (hopefully) so that baby will be ready for more playtime.
- 4:45 – Playtime! – Wake up baby and it’s playtime! Back to the playpen for a little over an hour.
- 6:00 – Dinner and bedtime preparation – Time to feed your baby and to play a little (hopefully it will tired them out a little, it really depends on the baby).
- 7:00 – Bedtime – Time to put baby in the crib and to kiss your little angel goodnight.
- 10:30 Sleep-insurance feed – To help your baby (and yourself) to get a full night’s sleep, waking baby for a quick feeding is a good idea. You can also check their diaper and make sure that everything is perfect for dreamland. With a bit of luck this late-night feeding will help to ensure that baby sleeps throughout the night (but no promises, you know how it goes!)
We hope that this information will help you to prepare your own schedule for your 4 month old. If your child won’t follow one particular schedule, try tweaking it to see what works. Every child is different but with a little patience and luck you may just find the magic schedule that works best for both you and your child. Just don’t let yourself be discouraged as these things can take time. As a last tip, try specific music for those scheduled naptimes to tell baby it is sleepy time. Until next time, good luck with your scheduling!