4 month old feeding schedule

Zoha - posted on 08/19/2009 ( 25 moms have responded )

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I have a 4 month old and I originally started out with a 2 1/2 hour feed per my doctor's request. I would feed, play and then sleep. This was when he would only stay up an hour to and hour and half. Then he would sleep for and hour to an hour and half. Then as he got older, he would stay up longer, an hour to 2 hours. he still seems to stay on that same feeding schedule which means he only takes half hour naps! He also doesn't seem to take a big feeding after a nap. It is almost like he would rather not eat, for fear that he may fall back asleep. This explains why he only eats for 5 minutes off of one breast and can only last for 1/2 hour naps. This is not enough nap time!! I recently started feeding before naps to see if there was a difference and he eats WAY MORE!! He east from both breast!! He is also taking longer naps. An hour to 2 hours. However, I am still feeding him after he wakes up too ( granted, it is only for 5 minutes!). so that makes his feeding time, like every 2 hours. Shouldn't he be eating every 3-4 hours at this age? Should I drop the after wake up feed? It looks to me , however, now that he is used to this, he looks to be fed after he wakes up ( out of habit). Not sure why my doctor suggested I feed him after he wakes up and not before he goes to sleep. I think she wanted him to have good sleeping habits and not allow the breast to become his crutch for falling asleep. At night we feed him the bottle and put him down half awake to sleep and up until last week ( before the feeding experiment) he was going to sleep more or less on his own and it wasn't like I was feeding him then. But Id don't want to start a bad habit either. So what do i do? Feed before and after? Feed only after and deal with him not eating too much? Switch to bottle and see how much he eats ( he eats more from a bottle anyway)? Feed when he wakes up and then a half hour from then again? Feed only before he goes to sleep? Ahhhh...so many options? What do I do?! What is an appropriate 4 month old feeding schedule???

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Minnie - posted on 08/20/2009

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I think you posted this twice...

A breastfed infant should not be scheduled at all. You're putting your child at risk for failure to thrive and dehydration and yourself at risk for an inadequate supply.

If your doctor is recommending scheduling, then you need to find a new one, because he is not knowledgeable about the process of lactation.

You nurse your baby when he appears to want it. And it's perfectly finet to nurse him to sleep.

There is absolutey no need to use a bottle. If your infant is gaining weight (doesn't matter how much, as long as he's not losing it), if he's producing seedy yellow runny poos and his urine isn't dark or smelly he's getting enough milk.

Remember that breastfeeding is not just about nutrition. It is a very very important source of comfort, security, equilibrium and stability for your child. He also gains valuable immunities and growth factors from your milk. The way an infant breastfeeds cannot be compared to a formula-fed infant.

I have breastfed two children, and did not schedule either one of them, ever. I nurse my ten month old whenever she wants it- how am I to tell her that she does not need my milk or the comfort she receives from suckling at my breast? I cannot presume to know her immediate need. I trust that she knows what her body and mind needs.

Cathi - posted on 08/24/2009

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Breast fed babies are way different than bottle fed babies. Just as boys are different than girls...boys tend to eat more. That being said, the reason that he probably only takes to the breast for such a short time after a nap is because you're offering it, it's just a snack, as he had such a good feed before his nap. Try waiting it out for 30-60min., depending on how long before his last feeding was. Babies should be on schedules, but they don't have to be strict, because of how fast they grow their needs often change. My little guy isn't much of a napper, never has been, and some babies are like that. What you need to remember is that every baby is different, and there is no right answer to this question. The only one who can give you some insight into a feeding schedule for your 4 month old is your doctor. An extra note to the person who puts down those of us who bottle feed...I COULD NOT breast feed, not that I didn't want to, and I cried for weeks that I couldn't. You have no right to beak off about such things. You should be more sensitive and compassionate. Breastfeeding isn't something everyone can do, and before formula ppl would just give regular milk to the baby...do your homework before you preach!

Jo - posted on 07/28/2011

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Hi there, I have 4 children whom my first I couldn't bf as I have inverted nipples so he had to be bottlefeed from 2weeks and there isn't anything wrong with him... his a happy and healthy 6yr old :D My second I bf until I got an absucc the size of my head and nearly lost my breast due to dr's thinkin they know better!!! my 3rd child I bf until she started teething and atm I have a 4 and a half month old daughter whom I'm bf and I feed her whenever she wants to be feed!!! I just go with the flow and she is happy and that makes life alot easier on me!!! A HAPPY BABY= A HAPPY MUMMY :D Just remember only you and your baby know whats best for you both... advice is great but do what you feel is right!!! :D

Kathleen - posted on 08/22/2009

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Hope you are getting some help from these posts, I agree with post above that routines are great and Im glad I got my daughter into one. Unfortunately i couldnt breast feed, and I take offence to the comments made about bottle fed babies. My daughter gets lots of love and attention and I do lots of things to help with her development. So to those comments that say bottle fed babies dont get the nutrition they need, its a croc of shit, my daughter wont be a dummy just cos she is on a bottle. My hubby has a degree and I have a diploma, my neice is at uni studing to be a doctor and guess what we were all bottle fed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So please dont dis bottles cos until you know what you are talking about you should keep your nasty comments to yourself!

Amanda - posted on 02/17/2012

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My 4 month old son eats before bed & when he wakes up...The only way I can get him to fall asleep is with a bottle he's not on a schedule he eats when he wants

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/17/2012

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Old thread, closing it down. Feel free to start another one.



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Hayley - posted on 04/25/2011

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I always just go with the flow. All 3 of my babies have been different when it comes to feeding at this age and by 3/4 months they usually get themselves into some kind of routine.

Erin - posted on 04/21/2011

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My son is the same age and I LOVE his schedule. My 4 month old feeding schedule:



8 - breast feed

12 - breast feed a little then feed him 1 tablespoon cereal mixed with 1 tablespoon veggie. finish with BM.

4 - Breast feed

7- breast feed a little. feed him 1 tablespoon cereal mixed with 1 tablespoon veggie. finish with BM.

9 - Night time formulas bottle 8 oz



He usually naps between 9:30-12 and 4-7. Hope this helps!!

Zoha - posted on 08/26/2009

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Sorry to hear that! WOW!! Honestly, I don't think the person that made the comment about bottles and breast meant anything by it. I think she made that comment because of the person before her had said for me to bottle feed breast milk so that I could see how much he was actually eating. She just was saying not to do that and keep up with breast feeding only.
I guess I am the one that wants the schedule:( Unfortunately , my son, unlike yours, is a snacker. So I am feeling like I am feeding all the time!! The last couple of days, I feel like if it were up to him, his schedule is kinda like every 2 hours. Of course each day is different. It seems to me that the babies that are formula fed can go longer and so that makes sense with the 3 hours. I am going to just keep this up with the 2 hours but hopefully it can change to longer when he starts solids. Wish me luck!!

Amie - posted on 08/25/2009

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Is your baby already in a schedule? or are you wanting to put him in one? My baby put himself in a schedule and has just always stuck to it. He feeds every three hours about 150mls. Until 10pm then he sleeps till 7am. IF he drinks less, he'll make up for it next time and vice versa. He WONT feed if he's not hungry, he's not a snacker. I have started feeding him solids after a bottle because his reflux is very bad, its the only thing that calms it down. (he's nearly 5 months). I'm sorry I don't have any concrete advice for you on a feeding schedule for your 4 month old. All our babies are so different, what works for one wont work for another! :-) but do what you feel is best for your baby! I am not a believer in telling people what they SHOULD or SHOULDN'T do as I wouldn't want someone doing that to me. I couldnt breastfeed my son, we tried but HE was the one who refused to take it. The hurtful comments made about formula feeding pushed me to my limits and i ended up with postnatal depression. So PLEASE everyone think before you speak!

Kia - posted on 08/23/2009

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A breastfed infant can eat as often as every 2 hours. You really don't want to fed less than two hours apart so you can give the food time to digest. Once your baby gets older, they are able to empty the breast more effectively and faster. You are concerned about your baby eating only 5 minutes, but within that 5 minutes your baby maybe getting a lot. My son used to nurse for a long time, it seemed, when he was first born, but now he can empty one breast in about 10 minutes or less sometimes and he just turned 3 months. His weight gain is good. I am not sure what the feeding after the nap is about, but I would feed before he goes to sleep and try to feed him whenever he wants as long as it is two hours apart and make sure he is done eating before you lay him down to sleep. My son has a big appetite and he still eats every two hours during the day and at night I feed him whenever he wakes up, which is usually once. Hope this is helpful for you in establishing a feeding schedule for your 4 month old.

Jill - posted on 08/23/2009

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Hi Zoha,

I've been reading all these posts. Some seem more helpful than others regarding a feeding schedule for your 4 month old. I was actually going to post a question myself about the routine of a 5 month old. My son is breastfed and I'm trying to figure out how often to put him down for a nap and how often to feed. I go back to work in a few weeks and I was trying to help give the sitter a schedule. My older son who is now almost 3 only took 1/2 hour naps so I feel your pain. It was so frustrating to have NO down time. He woke like 30 minutes to the dot! I got nothing done. My baby started out that way but is now sleeping a little better. However, I can empathize with you in that he has for the past few weeks only eaten for like 3-5 minutes on one breast at a feeding and that's it. I try to pump to keep up my supply and only get out about 1-2 ounces. FRUSTRATING!!!! I figure if he's happy after that feeding (even if I'm not) then so be it. I'm letting him figure things out and I adjust. He takes a nap about 1 1/2-2 hours after he last wakes. If he wakes up early and it hasn't been at least 3 hours I play with him until it's time. Hope this helps and...you're doing a great job!!!

Kylie - posted on 08/22/2009

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My 4 month old's feeding schedule is every 5 to 6 hours and is having about 200mls and he has mashed potato before his night time bottle and he sleeps from 8:00pm to 6:30 in the morning. He only wants 3 bottles a day, and hes still gaining weight which is good even though he feeds between 5 and 6 hours each day

Kassie - posted on 08/22/2009

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you know what? i would feed your baby the way you want to. like when he is hungry, feed him. there is no law that says you should have a 4 month old on a feeding schedule. its when your baby is ready. i am sure your doing a great job :)

Zoha - posted on 08/22/2009

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I think the reason why he doesn't like to eat too much is because he wants to play or maybe for fear he is going to get sleepy or maybe my milk isn't coming fast enough and he doesn't want to work that hard. When I pump on each breast, it takes 20-25 minutes to get out 3 ounces on each breast. So a total of 5-6 ounces is produced every 3-4 hours. Every 2 hours I produce 3-4 ounces after 20-25 minutes of pumping!!. He doesn't eat from both breast usually, even when we did the 2 1/2 or 3 hour schedule. hence why I dropped down to 2. but if we do 2 hours, that hits right before nap time ( he is usually awake for 2 hours) and he won't eat before a nap ( probably due to the routine) and it also throws off the whole, eat, play sleep routine he is used to, anyway. I know this all seems too much, but we both like the predictability of what will happen. He likes it and seems to need it. I also like it when he sleeps from 7:30-4:30 and not 7:30-1!!

Zoha - posted on 08/22/2009

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good...I was checking to see if my post worked. Tried writing this earlier and it didn't take...ok, so hear I go...first of all, my baby doesn't sleep for a half hour and then wake up to eat. He eats, plays and goes down for the nap and wakes up after a half hour because, i feel, cause he is hungry. So that makes a 2 1/2 hour routine. I have tried stretching and he just won't go. He won't eat any more than 3-4 ounces in one sitting, if we are lucky. When we feed more often, his naps are longer, anywhere from hour and half to 2 hours. I don't want to take away from the sleep because I am wanting him to be on a schedule. However, I do know that the schedule is what makes him sleep longer at night. When I have fed on demand, then he keeps waking up at night...though he can usually do a 6 hour stretch regardless. No offense to demand feeding moms....but it just isn't for me. I prefer knowing what he is crying about. Plus, I just can't do the kid on boob 4 times an hour thing. Milk supply goes down and I get exhausted. I feel at 4 months, that is just too much. He seems most comfortable on a 2 hour schedule or if I feed and then half hour later feed again. Unfortunately, then, he only takes breast the first sitting ( for maybe about 5-10 minutes) and bottle for the next half hour feed even though I can tell he is hungry because he is cranky and eating his hands and when I pump, it looks like he would have had maybe 2 ounces ( which doesn't help the milk supply issue either) The only other time he takes breast ( MAYBE...NOT ALL THE TIME) is before sleeping. So, with that...any ideas on what I can do?

Lexie - posted on 08/21/2009

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Oh, I also put her down to sleep when she is still awake. She cried a little at first (first few months we did it for a few minutes), but now she goes straight to sleep. She gets much better sleep that way than if someone holds her when she is sleeping.

Lexie - posted on 08/21/2009

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My 4 month old feeding schedule was changed to every 3 1/2 hours where previously it had been every 3 hours. She adjusted to it quite well. It only took about 2 days, and she was back on her routine. About this age, they are sometimes not going to sleep all the way to the next feeding. We do eat, play, sleep too. But if she wakes early, I just play with her until feeding time. Some people hate schedules, but I swear by one. I have to get my sleep to be a good mother to my child. By the way, my exclusively breastfed child has been sleeping through the night since 7 weeks and is as healthy as can be. It doesn't work for everyone, but works for me!

Minnie - posted on 08/21/2009

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You can't compare bottle feeding and breastfeeding. My ten month old nurses, on average, twice an hour. At four months old she was nursing probably 3-4 times an hour. Breastmilk digests in about half an hour, and again, it is so much more than nutrition. What in the world did people do (or currently do) without a plastic plug to comfort baby? A breast.

Kathleen - posted on 08/21/2009

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My 4 month old's schedule:



My daughter is bottle fed and has 4 200ml bottles per day and sleeps through the night from 7pm to 6:30am. I feed her when she gets up after a sleep or whenever the 4 hours rolls around so if she has a feed at 6:30am she wont have a bottle till either 10 or 10:30am depending on if she gets grumpy if she gets up earlier, after that its 2:30pm then normally 5:30 cos she never holds out for 4 hours after she has had a bath at night.

I wouldnt feed your wee man after every half hour nap cos its obviously gotten him into a bad sleeping routine of waking every half hour, I would make him hang out, distract him with play or maybe you might need a dummy(my daughter never took one)

At 4 months definitely should be a longer period between feeding. My daughter gets up has a bottel plays for hour and a half to 2 hrs then is back in bed for a couple of hours.

Hope you get him sorted!

Carlaround - posted on 08/21/2009

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Hello...ur baby should not be on a schedule...you should feed your baby as often as he requires. There is no need for a 4 month old feeding schedule. He is a baby..my doc told me that babies should be fed as much as they want and when they want so dont put a time to it...just go with the flow of your baby and everything will be just fine. He will let you know when he's hungry so take some of the pressure off urself.

Mel - posted on 08/20/2009

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My son's 4 month old feeding schedule is basically that he feeds on average every 3 hours. We found he began his routine as he got older. In the beginning he was feeding every 2 hours cos he had jaundice and when then went away and he was steadily gaining weight we streched him to 3. His routine is eat, play, sleep and he does this himself. We are both first time parents so we just relied on him telling us whay he wanted. He generally has a big feed before he goes to bed (which is after his bath) and he sleeps right through.

Zoha - posted on 08/20/2009

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my apologies! I posted this twice for whatever reason! if you are responding here, the go ahead. I will check both posting...though it seems that most moms are answering in my first post.

Katie - posted on 08/19/2009

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a baby shouldnt have a feeding schedule until they are ready to sit at a table and eat with a fork on there own! the baby will let you know when they are hungry! when you welcome them to some solids.. i would welcome one food a week to make sure she didnt have alergies to any kinds of food! i wold do that about twice a day and the reast of the times bottle.. but as a baby.. they will let you know when they are hungry!

Erin - posted on 04/21/2011

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My son is the same age and I LOVE his schedule. My 4 month old feeding schedule:



8 - breast feed

12 - breast feed a little then feed him 1 tablespoon cereal mixed with 1 tablespoon veggie. finish with BM.

4 - Breast feed

7- breast feed a little. feed him 1 tablespoon cereal mixed with 1 tablespoon veggie. finish with BM.

9 - Night time formulas bottle 8 oz



He usually naps between 9:30-12 and 4-7. Hope this helps!!

Amie - posted on 08/25/2009

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Is your baby already in a schedule? or are you wanting to put him in one? My baby put himself in a schedule and has just always stuck to it. He feeds every three hours about 150mls. Until 10pm then he sleeps till 7am. IF he drinks less, he'll make up for it next time and vice versa. He WONT feed if he's not hungry, he's not a snacker. I have started feeding him solids after a bottle because his reflux is very bad, its the only thing that calms it down. (he's nearly 5 months). I'm sorry I don't have any concrete advice for you on a feeding schedule for your 4 month old. All our babies are so different, what works for one wont work for another! :-) but do what you feel is best for your baby! I am not a believer in telling people what they SHOULD or SHOULDN'T do as I wouldn't want someone doing that to me. I couldnt breastfeed my son, we tried but HE was the one who refused to take it. The hurtful comments made about formula feeding pushed me to my limits and i ended up with postnatal depression. So PLEASE everyone think before you speak!

Kia - posted on 08/23/2009

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A breastfed infant can eat as often as every 2 hours. You really don't want to fed less than two hours apart so you can give the food time to digest. Once your baby gets older, they are able to empty the breast more effectively and faster. You are concerned about your baby eating only 5 minutes, but within that 5 minutes your baby maybe getting a lot. My son used to nurse for a long time, it seemed, when he was first born, but now he can empty one breast in about 10 minutes or less sometimes and he just turned 3 months. His weight gain is good. I am not sure what the feeding after the nap is about, but I would feed before he goes to sleep and try to feed him whenever he wants as long as it is two hours apart and make sure he is done eating before you lay him down to sleep. My son has a big appetite and he still eats every two hours during the day and at night I feed him whenever he wakes up, which is usually once. Hope this is helpful for you in establishing a feeding schedule for your 4 month old.

Jill - posted on 08/23/2009

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Hi Zoha,

I've been reading all these posts. Some seem more helpful than others regarding a feeding schedule for your 4 month old. I was actually going to post a question myself about the routine of a 5 month old. My son is breastfed and I'm trying to figure out how often to put him down for a nap and how often to feed. I go back to work in a few weeks and I was trying to help give the sitter a schedule. My older son who is now almost 3 only took 1/2 hour naps so I feel your pain. It was so frustrating to have NO down time. He woke like 30 minutes to the dot! I got nothing done. My baby started out that way but is now sleeping a little better. However, I can empathize with you in that he has for the past few weeks only eaten for like 3-5 minutes on one breast at a feeding and that's it. I try to pump to keep up my supply and only get out about 1-2 ounces. FRUSTRATING!!!! I figure if he's happy after that feeding (even if I'm not) then so be it. I'm letting him figure things out and I adjust. He takes a nap about 1 1/2-2 hours after he last wakes. If he wakes up early and it hasn't been at least 3 hours I play with him until it's time. Hope this helps and...you're doing a great job!!!

Kylie - posted on 08/22/2009

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My 4 month old's feeding schedule is every 5 to 6 hours and is having about 200mls and he has mashed potato before his night time bottle and he sleeps from 8:00pm to 6:30 in the morning. He only wants 3 bottles a day, and hes still gaining weight which is good even though he feeds between 5 and 6 hours each day

Kassie - posted on 08/22/2009

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you know what? i would feed your baby the way you want to. like when he is hungry, feed him. there is no law that says you should have a 4 month old on a feeding schedule. its when your baby is ready. i am sure your doing a great job :)

Lexie - posted on 08/21/2009

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My 4 month old feeding schedule was changed to every 3 1/2 hours where previously it had been every 3 hours. She adjusted to it quite well. It only took about 2 days, and she was back on her routine. About this age, they are sometimes not going to sleep all the way to the next feeding. We do eat, play, sleep too. But if she wakes early, I just play with her until feeding time. Some people hate schedules, but I swear by one. I have to get my sleep to be a good mother to my child. By the way, my exclusively breastfed child has been sleeping through the night since 7 weeks and is as healthy as can be. It doesn't work for everyone, but works for me!

Kathleen - posted on 08/21/2009

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My 4 month old's schedule:



My daughter is bottle fed and has 4 200ml bottles per day and sleeps through the night from 7pm to 6:30am. I feed her when she gets up after a sleep or whenever the 4 hours rolls around so if she has a feed at 6:30am she wont have a bottle till either 10 or 10:30am depending on if she gets grumpy if she gets up earlier, after that its 2:30pm then normally 5:30 cos she never holds out for 4 hours after she has had a bath at night.

I wouldnt feed your wee man after every half hour nap cos its obviously gotten him into a bad sleeping routine of waking every half hour, I would make him hang out, distract him with play or maybe you might need a dummy(my daughter never took one)

At 4 months definitely should be a longer period between feeding. My daughter gets up has a bottel plays for hour and a half to 2 hrs then is back in bed for a couple of hours.

Hope you get him sorted!

Carlaround - posted on 08/21/2009

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Hello...ur baby should not be on a schedule...you should feed your baby as often as he requires. There is no need for a 4 month old feeding schedule. He is a baby..my doc told me that babies should be fed as much as they want and when they want so dont put a time to it...just go with the flow of your baby and everything will be just fine. He will let you know when he's hungry so take some of the pressure off urself.

Mel - posted on 08/20/2009

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My son's 4 month old feeding schedule is basically that he feeds on average every 3 hours. We found he began his routine as he got older. In the beginning he was feeding every 2 hours cos he had jaundice and when then went away and he was steadily gaining weight we streched him to 3. His routine is eat, play, sleep and he does this himself. We are both first time parents so we just relied on him telling us whay he wanted. He generally has a big feed before he goes to bed (which is after his bath) and he sleeps right through.

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