"What should my baby's schedule look like?" is one of those questions for which there are a lot of right answers. Being "on a schedule" is usually just a matter of following baby's natural cycle; it shouldn't feel forced or like a stand-off between parent and baby, and there are as many versions of a good schedule as there are families and caregivers. And for some parents the schedule is their first step to helping baby sleep through the night. Below is one example of a 5-6 month's old schedule.
Sample Schedule for a 5-6 Month Old
7:00am wake up, change
7:15 or 7:30 milk/formula given when baby is showing signs of hunger
8:30 solids: grain, or grain + fruit when solids are introduced as directed by your pediatrician. Milk/formula can also be given here.
9:30 wind down to get ready for nap
10:00 down for a nap
- 4 hour cycle repeats upon waking up –
12:30 solids: grain or grain + veg (when lunch is introduced as directed by pediatrician) Milk/formula can also be given here.
12:00 – 1:00 activity
1:00 – 1:30pm wind down for nap
1:30 – 3:30 nap
- 4 hour cycle repeats again upon waking from nap, but with a third short nap-
3:30 – 4:30 quiet play, try to stay around home and stick to calm activities
4:30 – 5ish nap
5:30 dinner of solids (this is appropriate whenever you want to begin the addition of an evening meal---we are only including it to show what it looks like to have a 3 meal per day schedule)
6:15 – 7:00 milk/formula, getting into PJ's, books and quite time and then into bed
10pm Dreamfeed if you wish. Baby does not have to be fully awake for this. It is just a small 2-3 ounce feed to be sure baby has gotten all of the ounces in for the night. You do not have to wake baby, simply hold the bottle or breast to baby's lips and baby will instinctually take in what is needed. When you're done there’s no need to burp since baby ois so relaxed but a quick diaper change should be done.
There will be 3 “blocks” of 4 hours. The last block will only include a short nap since it is close to bedtime.
Each block begins with milk and the last block ends with milk, so feeding times are at: 7am, 11:00am, 3pm and 6:30pm. There may be milk "snacks" in between and at mealtimes, especially for our breastfed babies who do not take in 6 ounces per feed but the 4 main feeding times are the anchor to this schedule.
Once again, the schedule above is just an example. Please share what works for you below!