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6-Month-Old Schedules: When Should Your Baby Eat and Sleep?

As a new parent, each day brings new experiences and new challenges. Your bundle of joy’s daily sleeping and feeding routines are always fluctuating and you have to adjust accordingly. But what typically works best for a 6-month-old baby? Read on to find out more.

A 6-month-old baby

How much sleep do 6-month-olds need? 

At this stage, your child’s sleep patterns are starting to settle down. They’ll get roughly 11 hours of rest at night, plus a few daytime naps, for a total of 14 to 15 hours per day.

Fortunately, these long, uninterrupted stretches of time mean you’ll finally get some of the rest and relaxation you deserve. Simply follow these easy tips for improving your own sleep habits. It’s also a chance for you to rekindle physical intimacy with your partner.

When should 6-month-olds sleep? 

Here are two sample schedules that are appropriate for formula or breast-fed 6-month-old babies. Just remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach and it’s OK to customize them to suit your child’s specific needs.

Sample sleep schedule for formula-fed babies:

  • 7 a.m. — baby wakes up, eats, and plays
  • 9:30 a.m. — takes a morning nap
  • 11:30 a.m. — wakes up, eats, and plays
  • 2:30 p.m. — takes an afternoon nap
  • 4:30 p.m. — wakes up, eats, and plays
  • 6:30 p.m. — takes a bath and prepares for bedtime
  • 8 p.m. — eats, then goes to sleep for the night

Sample sleep schedule for breastfed babies:

  • 6 a.m. — baby wakes up, then enjoys bonding time with mom
  • 8 a.m. — takes a morning nap
  • 10 a.m. — wakes up, eats, and plays
  • 12 p.m. — takes an afternoon nap
  • 2 p.m. — wakes up, eats, and plays
  • 4 p.m. —  takes another short nap
  • 4:30 p.m. – enjoys playtime in bed
  • 6 p.m. — eats, plays, takes a bath, and prepares for bedtime     
  • 8 p.m. — eats, then goes to sleep for the night

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A woman feeds her baby according to a sample feeding schedule for formula-fed babies

Are you also looking for a few pointers at mealtime? Here are two sample feeding schedules, along with serving suggestions and tips for making the process a little easier on you and your baby. Again, it’s important to note that no two kids are alike, and individual pace and intake may vary.

Remember:

  • You should always start feeding at the earliest sign of hunger and stop feeding at the earliest sign of fullness.
  • At 6 months of age, they might be eating as often as four to six times a day, roughly every four to five hours. Despite being able to consume 6 to 8 ounces of formula in one sitting, your child should never have more than 32 ounces per day.
  • While it’s an appropriate time to introduce solid foods, the majority of their nutrition should still come from breast milk or formula. Signs of readiness for solid foods include better hand-to-mouth coordination, decreased tongue protrusion reflex, sitting up unassisted, and opening their mouth for the spoon.
  • Stay away from choking hazards like small fruits, raw vegetables, nuts, candy, gum, and whole grapes. Give them soft, easy-to-chew foods such as peas, bananas, sweet potatoes, or pears. New items should be added individually, and at least a week apart, so you can clearly identify what they can or can’t handle.
  • Since breast milk is not a good source of iron, consider incorporating iron-fortified baby cereals and iron-rich produce into their diet.
  • The daily caloric requirement for 4 to 6-month-olds is roughly 690 kilocalories per day for boys and 645 kcal per day for girls. Between 7 and 9 months, it increases to 825 kcal for boys and 765 kcal for girls.

Sample feeding schedule for formula-fed babies:

  • 7 a.m. — baby drinks morning formula (6 ounces)
  • 10 a.m. — eats breakfast (oatmeal cereal with fresh fruit)
  • 2 p.m. — eats lunch (a bottle of formula, along with a serving of fruits or vegetables)
  • 5:30 p.m. — eats dinner (two servings of vegetables and one serving of fruit)
  • 7 p.m. — drinks bedtime formula (6 ounces), then goes to sleep for the night 

Sample feeding schedule for breastfed babies:

  • 7 a.m. — baby wakes up, then nurses for 20 minutes
  • 8:30 a.m. — eats breakfast (oatmeal cereal made with 2 ounces of breast milk and 2 ounce serving of fresh fruit)
  • 12:30 p.m. — nurses for 20 minutes
  • 3 p.m. — eats lunch (3 ounce serving of vegetables)
  • 5:30 p.m. — nurses or drinks a bottle of breast milk
  • 8:15 p.m. — eats dinner (oatmeal cereal made with 2 ounces of breast milk and 2 ounces serving of vegetables), then goes to sleep for the night 

In the event that your 6-month-old’s eating and sleeping patterns remain inconsistent, consider consulting your pediatrician. For more information on how to care for and nurture your child, visit Flo’s website!

https://www.verywellfamily.com/baby-food-baby-feeding-schedules-2633783

https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/6-month-old-feeding-schedule#how-to

https://www.sleep.org/articles/best-sleep-schedule-babies-6-9-months/

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/Pages/How-Often-and-How-Much-Should-Your-Baby-Eat.aspx

https://www.parents.com/baby/sleep/basics/understanding-baby-sleep-4-6-months/

https://www.thebump.com/a/baby-schedule-6-month-old

https://www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org/education/your_baby_at_6_months/

https://www.thebump.com/a/baby-schedule-6-month-old

https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/infantandtoddlernutrition/foods-and-drinks/index.html

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