Wednesday, October 05, 2011

How Much Do Babies Eat and Sleep?

These are two questions I think a lot of first time parents ask--and since my brain has since been filled with toddler stuff to the point I worry I've forgotten all about newborn-care, maybe second-time parents too. When Kate was born, I found a couple charts that were extremely helpful as guides regarding those two issues, and I'm posting them inside a kitchen cabinet for my reference this time around too. I think the sleeping chart was in a book, which I photocopied, and the eating chart was in a formula ad I tore out. (It makes sense that any feeding chart listing ounces would be referring to formula, but since I pumped and bottle-fed breastmilk, it was definitely helpful to know how much and how often was typical.) I'll admit I feel guilty for not being able to credit sources here, but not guilty enough not to share these very helpful guides.

Average Hours of Sleep

Newborn: 16-18 hours per day, distributed evenly over 6-7 sleep periods.
1 month: 3 naps totaling 6-7 hours and 8.5-10 hours at night (not uninterrupted)
3 months: 3 naps totaling 5-6 hours and 10-11 hours at night (not uninterrupted unless you're really lucky)
6 months: 2 naps totaling 3-4 hours and 10-11 hours at night
9 months: 2 naps totaling 2.5-4 hours and 11-12 hours at night
12 months: 1-2 naps totaling 2-3 hours and 11.5-12 hours at night
2 years: 1 nap of 1-2 hours and 11-12 hours at night
3 years: 1 nap of 1-1.5 hours and 11 hours at night
4 years: no naps and 11.5 hours at night
5 years: no naps and 11 hours at night

Clearly, this is an approximation and reality may be more or less, but it's nice to have some idea what is "normal" when you're navigating life with an infant. Kate was fairly close to this as an infant, I think. Now at 2.5, she only sleeps about 10 hours at night, but is generally still napping once a day for 1.5-3 hours (this napless weekend notwithstanding!)

Average Bottle Consumption (breastmilk or formula, I'll add!)

Newborn: 2-3 oz. every 2-3 hours, about 8-12 feedings per day
2 months: 2-4 oz. every 3-4 hours, about 6-8 feedings per day
3 months: 3-5 oz. every 4-5 hours, about 5-6 feedings per day
4 months: 4-6 oz. every 4-5 hours, about 5 feedings per day
5 months: 5-7 oz. every 4-6 hours, about 5 feedings per day
6 months: 6-8 oz. every 4-6 hours, about 5 feedings per day

Around six months, you've started solids, so liquid feedings might go down some. (Note that the AAP recommends not introducing solids before four months, including putting cereal in a bottle. They're linking early solids to childhood obesity, apparently.) I think Kate's eating was pretty much in line with this chart, though again, these are clearly approximations.

1 comment:

Emily said...

I would caution mothers who are breastfeeding not to be so caught up on ounce amounts. It can be really daunting when your breasts don't have measurements on them! Plus, the composition of breastmilk varies from mother to mother, so a mother with fattier breastmilk may only produce fifteen or twenty ounces a day, while a mother with thinner milk would make a lot more. Both are adequate for the baby. The main thing to watch is the baby's weight gains and hunger signs. Plus, formula and breastmilk aren't really all that comparable. See this website for a lot more information:

Great 31 days posts! Loving them.


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