J.D. asks from San Diego, CA on April 08, 2011
Daily Schedule of Feeding and Napping for 6 Month Old
I would love some advice on or examples of feeding and napping schedules for a 6 month old. My little boy is doing well . He sleeps through the night ( 7:15-6:45) and is on a consistent eating schedule. Right now , he eats an 8 oz bottle every three hours, 5 times a day(he's a big eater and a big boy- 93rd percentile in height and weight). Now that we are starting foods( we have onlt done a little rice cereal in the morning) and he is getting older, we are having trouble figuring out an eating and napping schedule
He currently takes 3 naps a day for about 45-1hr after being up for about 2hrs after each feeding and then the cycle starts all over. I have been told we want to try and get him to take two longer naps(which we would prefer too) and I'm not sure how to do that and have also read that many babies take three naps up until 9 months. If he not ready, he's not ready, but I would love some advice on how to incorporate foods into his schedule and thinking that might help with the naps as well since we will be feeding more often while he is awake and he will be more full when it is time to go down for a nap. Thanks in advance for your help
1 mom found this helpful
J.S. answers from Boston on April 08, 2011
My daughter is 6 months old and my pedi was extremely pleased with the schedule I have her on.
7am 6oz bottle 2tbl of cereal
9am Bath Story Nap
1130am 6oz Bottle 1tub of Fruit or veggie
2pm Story Nap
4pm 6oz Bottle
7pm 6oz Bottle 1tub of Veggie or Meat
8pm Bed time
She also has sometimes has snacks when she gets up from her nap of either cheerios or those mum mum cookies. She is a very happy healthy child and developmentally right on schedule.
J.M. answers from Boston on April 08, 2011
Great work with the night time! 9a and 1p nap worked great for me, then I switched to just noontime nap at 14 months. He can probably tolerate being awake longer. I did breakfast, lunch and dinner with 2 snacks in between. Extra pacis and soft toys in the crib help too and I don't rush in to get them when they wake.
K.C. answers from Chicago on April 08, 2011
At 6 mos my son's schedule was as follows:
7:30 a.m. wake up
8:30 a.m. bottle(breakmilk) then cereal with a little baby fruit
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. nap
12:30 p.m. lunch(started about 8mos) and bottle(breastmilk)
2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. nap
4:30 p.m. bottle(breastmilk) and play
7:00 p.m. (nursed when I got home from work)
(eventually 7:15 p.m. dinner)
7:30 p.m. bath, book
8:00 p.m. bottle(of formula), rock, and bed
Hope this helps a little
A.P. answers from Janesville-Beloit on April 08, 2011
We do two naps, and our schedule looks like this:
6:30-7:00 wake up, and breast feed
8:00 oatmeal or rice cereal and sometimes prunes
9:00 breast feed and then nap
Usually naps until 11
11:30 breast feed
12:00 vegetable (sweet potato, squash, green beans or avacado)
2:00 breast feed and nap
Usually naps until 4
4:30 breast feed
6:00 vegetable and rice cereal/oatmeal
7:30 breast feed and bed
I always feed her before she sleeps, and she takes 2, 2-hour naps per day. I know some people don't feed before sleeping, but that is what works for us! Good luck!
Oh-I should mention that she doesn't sleep through the night.....
R.G. answers from Los Angeles on April 08, 2011
With my DD, our nursing/sleeping routine looked something like this at 6 months...we didn't add solids until 7 months and when we did, we started with a couple Tb. after her PM nap. Once she was doing well with that, we added some to the midday feeding, then breakfast, always nursing first.
7AM - up and nurse
9AM - nap for 1.5-2 hours
11A - up and nurse
1 P - nap for 1.5 - 2 hours
3 P - up and nurse
5 P - nap for about 45 min...sometimes took, sometimes didn't. This nap was totally eliminated by around 8 months
After the third nap, nursed if she wanted to.
Between 7-8 (depending on if there's been a 3rd nap), nurse and then bed. Once the 3rd nap was eliminated, bedtime was 7-7:15, with nursing right before bed.
She slept through the night for the most part from about 8 weeks on...we were lucky. She went through a stint of night waking at about 4 months, usually wasn't interested in nursing then though, just wanted to say "hey"... from about 5.5 months on, no more night waking. This was also when we moved her into her own room, so probably not coincidental! ;) I think we woke her up more than we realized.
Oh, and we went to 1 midday nap at about 14 months, when she started being irregular with the other naps. It is a tricky transition, but I LOVED when we got there. :)
S.H. answers from Honolulu on April 08, 2011
6 months is also a growth-spurt time and a time of MANY developmental changes. Thus, they need to feed more often, more frequently and more. Thus, you cannot feed according to a 'schedule.' Because scheduled feedings does not keep up with baby.
Always, give the bottle BEFORE solids. Formula or breastmillk, is a baby's primary source of nutrition and calories. Not solids.
At this age, solids is only an introduction to 'eating.' Not their main intake nor meals.
Napping should be when he is tired. Not by a 'schedule.' It needs to go by his cues. Otherwise, a baby will get over-tired. And when over-tired, babies/kids actually sleep/nap worse and fall asleep worse.
And yes, a baby typically does get tired and needs a nap, after being awake for 2 hours. Even a bath at this age is an 'activity' for them.
My son, for the 1st year, napped 3 times a day, for at least 2 hours. I went by his cues. I knew him and when he gets tired. I always nursed him before naps and after. And on-demand at any time. My son, had a GINORMOUS appetite, was a big tall solid boy, nursed often, even if he was on solids once a day at this age. I nursed him on-demand 24/7, day and night. And he was in the 97th percentiles for growth. And grew like a weed. At growth-spurts, he nursed a TON and often. Which is normal.
You need to give him more bottles. And on-demand.
Often times, a baby will even need to feed every single hour. This is called "cluster feeding." And when they are having growth-spurts and developmental changes. Which 6 months old, is.
Also at this age, they can begin teething. This also tweaks their sleep.
Naps, for a baby, is not the same for all. There is no 'shoulds' that he should be taking 3 naps until 9 months old. I never heard of that. My son as I said, napped 3 times a day, for the 1st year. Then as he got closer to 2 years old, he napped 2 times a day. For 2 hours each. He is now 4 years old and STILL naps everyday, for at least 2 hours.
I go by his cues. And I know when he is tired. I don't put him to nap, when he is over-tired or past that window of tiredness.
When over-tired a baby/child has a harder time, napping and falling asleep and sleeping well.
Solids, will not 'make' him nap longer.
The focus should be on feeding him his Formula, not on giving him solids.
As I said, whether nursing or getting Formula, this is a baby's primary source of nutrition.
3.B. answers from Cleveland on April 08, 2011
I would start by maybe cutting down the bottle size 3x a day, and adding the solid food with the smaller bottles. At 6 months he should absolutely be gettnig solids 2-3x a day.
My baby is almost 7 months and we do cereal mixed w/ fruit and formula in the a.m., bottle in between lunch which is then a veggie, or mixed veggies. Maybe a small amount of fruit. Then at dinner he does the meat/veggie combo foods. He started off with the single foods though the first month or so. And napping is still scattered. Go with with what works for you and your baby. guidelines dont work for everyone!
B.G. answers from Los Angeles on April 08, 2011
My 6 mo old doesn't have a set schedule! He is teething and growing a lot, so his sleeping is totally off. I let him sleep when he is tired and eat when he is hungry, or every few hours. He naps only twice a day and sleeps from 9-8. We don't keep a schedule though. Uh oh... am I not doing this right?
S.F. answers from San Diego on April 09, 2011
Hi there :) I consulted w/a sleep expert and here is what she told me:
Bottles: After 4 months, keep your baby on "4" 8oz bottles/day (you don't want to 'up' the bottles, you want to start 'up'ing' the food). So, 4/8oz bottles until they are one year and they transition to milk. You give the bottles same time everyday. One at wakeup, then at 10:00am, then 2:00pm then right before bedtime.
Solids: 4 months, start solids (this can be cereal and or purees). I started purees at 4 months (bfast and dinner) and then added lunch at around 7-8 months. Cereal tended to constipate my kids so I added that into purees at 6 months. Again, if they are hungrier as they are growing, 'up' the food, not the bottle.
Keep them on a 12hr schedule. If he wakes at 6:45, put him down at 6:45pm
Naps should be 2/2hr naps then one short nap (typically 45 min). Watch for sleepy signs right after they wake (yawning is a late sign, losing eye contact is one of the first signs) and put them down before they get over-tired.
To get them to take a longer nap, put them down and leave them in their crib for 90 min. If they wake at 1 hr, leave them in their crib for at least 90 min before picking them up. Babies will wake up at 35-45 min after they lay down because they are transitioning from Sleep 1 to Sleep 2 (REM SLEEP). Sleep 2 is really important and a lot of parents might pick up their child at that 45 min 'wake up' and get them up. They will go back to sleep but you need to let them do this on their own. If you pick them up, it will almost be impossible to get them back down.
Just some info I got from her that helped me. My babies slept GREAT (12hrs at night and great naps) because of her suggestions with sleeping & eating (which go hand in hand).
Always consult w/your pediatrician on eating & sleeping if you have questions.
Good luck!! :)