How many feeds should a 3 month old baby have
3 Month Old Baby: Development and Milestones
What a charmer! At 3-months-old, baby is probably smiling plenty, and they’ve likely started to imitate what they hear and see (so watch what you do, mama!). You should chat with baby throughout the day, describing what you're doing, how you're doing it and where you're going—this is how they’ll eventually learn to talk! Just don't go too crazy though. Baby is a quick learner, but they need you to keep things clear and simple, and to recognize when they need a break.
As your 3-month-old baby continues to grow and develop, there are lots of things you’ll want to keep an eye on and a few key 3-month-old baby milestones to watch for. With a whole three months under your parenting belt, you may feel more confident in your child-rearing skills, but you likely have a lot of questions: How often do you feed a 3-month-old baby? How can you play with a 3-month-old? And let’s not forget: When will my 3-month-old sleep through the night? Ready for the lowdown? Here’s everything you need to know about your budding little person.
In this article.
Activities for a 3-month-old
3-month-old baby checklist and tips
Baby is becoming even more active and social at the three-month mark, right? They’re more in control of their body and more aware of people and interacting with them, which makes for lots of fun at playtime.
3-month-old baby weight and length
Parents want to know: How much should a 3-month-old weigh and measure? The average weight of a 3-month-old baby is 12.9 pounds for girls and 14.1 pounds for boys; average length is 23.5 inches for girls and 24.2 inches for boys.
Whether baby’s close to the average or not, the important thing is that they’re growing at a healthy rate. They’ve likely gained another 1.5 to 2 pounds and grown 1 to 1.5 inches this month. The size of baby’s head may have gone up by a half inch too.
It’s common for a baby to experience a 3-month-old growth spurt. Signs of a growth spurt are having an especially hungry or cranky baby. Baby might wake more at night too. Don’t worry—growth spurts are temporary! Let baby eat, sleep or cuddle more if that’s what they seem to want, and try not to get too frustrated by the sudden change. It can be exhausting for you, but growth spurts usually only last one to three days at a time.
3-month-old’s five senses
At 3-months-old, baby’s senses have developed rapidly.
- They’re working at becoming a great communicator, making eye contact with you, and they can now recognize your face.
- They follow moving objects with their eyes.
- They smile when they hear your voice.
3-month-old baby milestones
Read for all the cuteness to ensue? There are impressive developmental milestones approaching. So what should a 3-month-old be doing? Here’s a peek:
- They’re mimicking some sounds, movements and expressions and starting to babble.
- Let baby play on the floor or under a baby gym, since they love to kick up a storm and swing at things and bat at any dangling toys they see.
- A 3-month-old at tummy time probably raises their head and chest, holding up their upper body with their arms.
- They open and close their hands.
- When you hold baby upright, they’ll push down with their feet onto the floor or your lap.
- They bat at hanging toys above.
- They can grasp and shake a toy.
- You might be wondering, can a baby sit at 3 months of age? Every baby is unique, but many begin sitting up with support anywhere between the three- and five-month marks. The bigger and stronger baby gets, the easier it will be for them to sit up solo.
- Another big question: Can a 3-month-old baby see the TV? At this age, babies are beginning to see more vivid colors and can recognize faces at a distance. Regardless, most experts advise against introducing television or digital screens at such a young age.
You’ll also want to look out for these signs of a developmental or medical problem at the three-month stage; they’re worth a call to the doctor:
- Baby doesn’t respond to loud sounds or smile at the sound of your voice.
- Baby doesn’t follow moving objects with their eyes.
- Baby doesn’t smile socially.
- Baby can’t grasp or hold objects.
- Baby doesn’t bring their hands or objects to their mouth.
- Baby’s eyes still seem crossed most of the time.
- Baby doesn’t babble.
- Baby doesn’t pay attention to new faces.
- Baby doesn’t push down with their feet when they’re held upright and they’re placed on a flat surface.
There are lots of health questions parents of 3-month-olds have. Below are some of the most common, with links to detailed articles to help you answer them:
In the last couple months, baby’s appetite has certainly increased! And they know how to tell you when they’re hungry. Of course, you’ve probably gotten in such a routine with feeding that you know when they’re about to do that hungry cry.
How much should a 3-month-old eat?
- Bottle feeding: How much formula for a 3-month-old baby? Typically five ounces about six to eight times a day will suffice.
- Breastfeeding: How often should a 3-month-old nurse? Feedings are typically about every three or four hours at this age but each breastfed baby may be slightly different. What’s important is that baby seems content, your boobs seem to have been emptied (they’re soft) and baby’s gaining weight healthily.
To double-check that baby’s getting enough breast milk, you can also track their diapers. How many wet diapers for a 3-month-old baby? About four or five very wet ones per day indicate that your little one is getting ample milk.
Three-month-old babies may start eating less than they did previously. Breastfed babies do get more efficient, so it’s normal for your baby to feed in about half the time it took them to feed as a newborn. If you see all the signs that baby’s getting enough to eat, it’s perfectly normal. If not, it could be a sign of a problem, so talk to the pediatrician.
What can baby eat this month?
Baby is still only able to eat breast milk and/or formula. Many parents ask: “Can I give my 3-month-old water?” Nope! Most doctors recommend parents wait until baby’s ready for solid foods before they get water. Don’t worry, baby’s getting plenty of hydration from breast milk or formula and needs the nourishment it provides.
How often do you feed a 3-month-old baby?
Three-month-olds will likely still need to be fed every three to four hours during the day. When in doubt, look for hunger cues. Before crying for their food, baby may lick their lips, stick out their tongue, repeatedly open their mouth, suck on things or touch their hands to their mouths. These can all be signals that it’s feeding time.
3-month-old feeding schedule
Image: Megan Rubey
Three months in and you’re ready to get this whole sleep thing settled. Want answers to the most common sleep questions among parents of 3-month-olds? Curious minds want to know:
How long do 3-month-olds sleep and nap?
Three-month-olds typically sleep about 15 hours a day, and more of those hours are falling at night. In fact, it’s common for 3-month-olds to sleep about 10 hours at night, maybe with at least one five- or six-hour stretch. Baby is probably taking three naps totaling five hours of daytime sleep.
How can I get my 3-month-old to sleep?
It’s harder than you might think to get a tired baby to actually go to sleep! You’ve probably heard the usual advice: Keep the room dark and cool, rock and sing to your baby, and put baby to sleep while they’re sleepy but not yet asleep. Still, there are some nights when none of that seems to work. Try some other parents’ tried-and-true tricks for calming a fussy baby; they just might help you get your little one to snooze—finally.
What should my 3-month-old’s bedtime be?
The ideal bedtime for a 3-month-old baby depends on your family’s schedule, but many experts believe 7:30 p. m.—give or take—is ideal at this age. As baby begins to sleep for longer stretches at night, you’ll want to gradually make bedtime earlier, which (surprisingly!) encourages baby to sleep even longer.
Does my 3-month-old baby have sleep regression?
You may notice a bit of 3-month-old sleep regression. Baby might be waking more often at night because of a growth spurt, or it might be a developmental thing. Around 3 or 4 months, babies’ brains are becoming more alert and because of that, they want to be using that brainpower more often. Growth spurts can last a few days but true sleep regression (which typically happens closer to 4 months) can last two to six weeks.
3-month-old sleep schedule
Here’s a peek at a typical 3-month-old sleep schedule:
Image: Megan Rubey
Three-month-old babies are creatures of habit—bedtime, nap and feeding routines keep them happy.
3-month-old schedule example
A 3-month-old’s daily schedule might look something like this:
Image: Megan Rubey
Activities for a 3-Month-Old
Be sure to squeeze in some playtime with your 3-month-old baby each day. So how can you engage and play with a 3-month old? There are tons of ways to entertain your cutie pie at this stage.
- Give baby a mirror and let them admire their reflection.
- Sing, read and talk to your 3-month-old baby; encourage them to make sounds of their own. This sweet back-and-forth is the basis of an early conversation!
- Place a soft and colorful toy on baby’s chest and let them look, touch and play with it. A play gym or mobile can also provide plenty of amusement.
- Continue to put baby on a mat for tummy time. The more baby gets used to being on their tummy, the more they’ll be inclined to start working toward a scoot or crawl.
3-Month-Old Baby Checklist and Tips
- Make sure you have your four-month baby checkup scheduled.
- Look for signs of readiness for eating solid foods. The pediatrician may recommend you start as early as the four-month mark.
- If you’re going back to work after maternity leave, best wishes! You’ve got this!
- How often should I bathe my 3-month-old baby? Don’t worry about giving baby a bath more than once every few days.
- Find some new things to do with your 3-month-old baby.
- Take baby’s 3-month-old baby milestone photo.
A heads up that in the coming weeks, you’ll be entering new and exciting territory. Baby will work on those important 3-month-old baby milestones, and you’ll have even more to look forward to as they approach month four. Baby will master the art of holding their head up and maybe even begin rolling over from their tummy to their back.
Medical content was reviewed by Dina DiMaggio, MD, a board-certified pediatrician at Pediatric Associates of NYC and NYU Langone Health in New York City, and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is also the coauthor of The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers.
3-Month-Old Baby: Milestones, Weight and Sleep Schedule
Life with a 3-month-old baby is all about settling into this parenting thing by establishing routines and getting to know your little one. There's still some uncharted territory, but you may be feeling more confident in your abilities as a parent and excited about what's to come with each day. Here, we'll highlight some of the developmental milestones to look forward to, answer some common questions about life at this stage, and reassure you that, although you may be short on sleep, you're doing great!
Baby Development Milestones
There's a lot happening this month as your baby grows and becomes more aware of her physical self and the world around her. Here's a look at some of the developments you might be observing.
Growth and Physical Development: Stronger by the Day
Thanks to developing bones and muscles, your baby is now able to stretch herself out, showing you just how long she is. On average, she's probably growing about 1 to 1½ inches per month, and gaining about 1½ to 2 pounds, although every baby is different. Your 3-month-old baby is slowly gaining more control over her body and her movements. As a newborn, many of her movements were involuntary reflexes, but now she may be starting to be more intentional as she moves her head, hands, and feet, for example. With her neck strength increasing, soon she'll be able to hold her head up independently and look at people and things in her field of vision. At the same time, you may notice your baby begin to reach for objects nearby or follow moving objects with her eyes as her vision improves.
Senses: Building Blocks of Communication
There's a lot to discover, and your 3-month-old baby is learning to take it all in, bit by bit. Her vision is improving, and she's more sensitive to circular shapes and patterns now, including spirals and curls. Faces, especially yours, are among her favorite sights.
When it comes to hearing and speech, your baby has already learned to associate your voice with comfort, soothing, and love. Now, she's likely becoming more aware of your tone and emphasis on certain words, and she'll try to mimic those sounds. At 3 months old, she's learning that conversations are a two-way process and picking up other concepts of communication. Watch as she takes in your delighted reaction to her babbles and her own delight in your singing or reading to her, for example.
Movement: A Full-Body Workout
At around this time, most babies' movements become more deliberate, and you'll probably start to see some exciting developments in your little one's motor skills. Stretching her body out helps to strengthen her leg muscles, and this is just the preparation she needs to be able to roll over. Rolling over probably won't happen for another two or three months, but she's getting ready!
Have you tried placing your baby on her feet while supporting her under her arms? You may notice she's able to flex and straighten her legs on her own, which is great preparation for standing. Try letting her bounce herself in this position and see how proud she is of this new ability.
You can help encourage her movement by providing daily tummy time sessions, handing toys to her, and letting her grasp at objects hanging from an infant gym or playpen. These activities can help your 3-month-old baby with motor development, hand-eye coordination, and other important skills.
And, it's not only your baby's legs that get a workout this month. Your 3-month-old baby can now open and shut her hands to grasp things, like toys or your fingers. By now, she's likely gained slightly better control of her arms, so she can attempt to reach for objects and may try to bat at something that catches her eye. She's probably also gotten more successful at bringing her hands to her mouth, so it's time to be extra careful about what she may be able to get her hands on.
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Personality: Your Baby's First “Conversations”
Watching a baby's personality emerge is one of the many joys of parenthood. Have you noticed she's smiling more and responding to your voice? That's great! It's likely that she really enjoys play time with you and other people, and she's now able to express her enjoyment with her face and whole body. She may even start to imitate some of your movements and facial expressions. If this isn't happening yet, or if you're wondering what to expect from a 3-month-old baby, don't worry: all babies develop in their own way and on their own timeline.
Your little one may now be having “conversations” with you, though these mostly consist of back-and-forth exchanges of sounds, smiles, and gestures. These little “chats” you have with your baby are not just fun, but also help build her trust in you and boost her self-esteem. If you have other children in your household, you may notice your baby is increasingly interested in them. At this age, babies often have favorite people and become quite curious about other little ones.
Babies make their needs known in different ways, and as a parent, you'll get to know your own baby's subtle (and not-so-subtle) cues that she needs something. The ways she communicates with you are important parts of her personality and temperament. For example, you'll get to know her urgent needs by the way she cries or from her body language, and you'll learn to distinguish these cries and gestures from one another. Your baby's cries of hunger will likely sound and look different than her cries of pain. Similarly, you'll get to know when she's simply fussing, and when a change of activity or favorite toy can calm her.
How to Support Your Baby's Development
Your pediatrician will share a variety of ways you can help foster your baby's development. Many of these suggested activities will encourage movement and help your baby master the skills she will need to roll, sit, and hold her head up, while others will promote cognitive and sensory development. Here are some strategies to keep in mind, along with some 3-month-old baby activities to try:
Strengthen back and neck muscles. With you close by, place your baby on her stomach on a play mat or blanket for short stretches of tummy time to gain more control over her legs, arms, and head.
Promote hand-eye coordination. Encourage your baby to grasp for small objects like toys or your fingers. She'll need this skill as she learns to bring her hands to her mouth successfully.
Aid visual development. Her distance vision, color vision, and tracking skills are all improving during this month. Help her along by introducing stimulating colors, patterns, and textures for her to enjoy in the form of toys, books, colorful mobiles, play mats, and other activities.
Feeding Your 3-Month-Old Baby
Three-month-old baby feedings may become less frequent than they were in the early newborn days. Whether their nourishment comes from breast milk alone, or from formula, or from some combination of the two, most babies this age are able to consume more milk at each feeding than they were able to in the previous two months (now five to six ounces on average), so their feedings are less frequent (perhaps six to eight feedings in a 24-hour period).
Tracking wet and dirty diapers: Tracking diapers is a good way to gauge if your baby is getting enough to eat. Her stools may be more solid now, and occur less often. As a newborn, your baby may have passed a bowel movement after every feeding, but your 3-month-old baby may only pass one once per day, or even once every two or three days. In general, you'll know she's feeding well when she produces around six wet diapers per day.
As you’ve no doubt noticed, your baby’s going through lots of diapers. Download the Pampers Club app, if you haven't already, to turn all those diapers into rewards like gift cards, cash back, and more.
How Much Sleep Does a 3-Month-Old Baby Need?
At this point, your baby's sleep habits may be going through some changes. All that growing she's been doing means that she's able to eat more during the day, and so possibly requires fewer or no night feedings. She's now more alert during the day, which in turn makes her sleepier at night. And now, she may take two or three naps during the day, followed by a longer stretch at night. Some babies may be sleeping through the night, but it's important to remember that this doesn't apply to all babies and that “through the night” often means a stretch of about five or six hours.
How to Put Your Baby to Sleep
When putting your baby to bed at night, or for a daytime nap, follow these guidelines for safe, restful sleep and for reducing the risk of SIDS:
Always on her back
Never in bed with you
On a firm crib mattress with no loose bedding
Dressed comfortably for room temperature
With a pacifier.
Tips for a Good Night's Sleep
It's a good idea to aim for a consistent baby sleep schedule that suits you both. Try the following tips for a more restful night:
Establish a routine. Giving her a gentle massage, reading a story, or singing a lullaby are great ways to help your 3-month-old wind down after the day's activities. Our video guide shows you more about how to create a comforting nighttime routine.
Let her squirm. Your baby may need a minute to settle down and get comfortable. It's OK to let her wriggle, babble, or even cry just a bit before she nods off.
Minimize stimulation. If you need to attend to your baby during the night, try to minimize distractions. Keep the lights low and don't talk very much during nighttime feedings or other visits to keep her calm and make it easier for her to drift back to sleep.
Don’t miss these must-watch sleep tips from the Smart Sleep Coach pediatric sleep consultant:
A Day in the Life of Your Baby
Life with your 3-month-old baby can be full of surprises. Even if following a set routine is a ways off at this point, you could look at this guideline for feeding, sleeping, bathing, and playing to add a little structure and fun to each day:
Your Baby's Health: Infant Massage
You may be wondering if there is anything you can do to promote health and wellness beyond your baby’s regular playtime activities. Some babies enjoy the relaxation and bonding that comes from an infant massage. By applying the right techniques, you can strengthen your bond with your baby while reducing his stress levels, and possibly decrease the amount of crying.
It's a good idea to check with your pediatrician first, and you may even be able to find local classes in infant massages to show you the ropes, but here are some basic techniques to try:
Create a relaxing environment. You can use your baby's changing table or your own bed. With your baby on his back, maintain eye contact as you begin to massage him.
Use a gentle touch. Use gentle strokes to massage each part of his body from his head, neck, and shoulders to his waist, thighs, feet, and hands.
Talk or sing to him. He'll feel more relaxed if you talk softly or sing a favorite song while massaging him.
Gauge his reaction. Continue the massage if your baby seems happy. If he seems restless or fussy, tine to stop, as he's probably not enjoying it.
You'll want to wait at least 45 minutes after feeding before beginning a massage. If your little one ends up enjoying this activity, it can continue well into the toddler years, too.
Your Life as a Parent: Dealing With Sleep Deprivation
Missing those pre-baby mornings when you could sleep as long as you wanted? Any new parent can tell you sleep deprivation is a very real concern. Of course, you want to be at your best for your baby, but lack of sleep doesn't make it easy. Here are a few suggestions to try to make things just a little bit easier:
Teamwork - between you and your partner and/or other caregivers, like a grandparent or nanny. For example, you could choose to share the load on your baby’s bedtime routine so that the responsibility to putting baby to bed doesn’t fall solely on you.
Prioritization – don’t try to do everything, think of the one or two things each day that absolutely must get done and let the other tasks go.
Downtime – this may be tough, but if possible, try to get 30-60mins a day just for you, could just be to run a short errand by yourself or to take a walk. It’s amazing how refreshed you can feel after a quick break!
As your baby nears 4-months, talk to their pediatrician about sleep training – a science-backed process in which you teach your baby to fall asleep on their own and stay asleep longer.
If you're considering sleep training but not sure where to start, download the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers™. This easy-to-use and incredibly effective app walks you through the sleep coaching process, includes a sleep tracking tool that optimizes bedtimes, and offers effective meditations to help you stay present and positive in frustrating moments. You can get a head start on sleep training today by taking their free sleep assessment.
Breastfeeding on demand
You can often hear from a nursing mother: "I feed on demand, my baby requires a breast every 3.5 hours." Or: “I have always fed on demand. In a year, we already had 1 feeding in the evening, and my child calmly refused to breastfeed. Before talking about the demand of the child, it is necessary to find out what modern women mean when they say - "I breastfeed."
Modern mothers consider breastfeeding necessary for feeding their baby. Just for feeding. Breast milk is food, the mother supplies the baby with the nutrients necessary for growth and development. When a baby suckles at the breast, he eats. Breastfeeding makes sense only as a process of supplying proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and microelements.
During suckling, the baby receives the nutrients it needs with mother's milk. This is the absolute truth. There is another unconditional truth, which is not given any importance in modern society, it is not taken into account and is not considered. Breastfeeding for a child is communication with the mother. We need to figure out how the child understands feeding on demand? Can he understand anything at all? Is there any difference for him how he is fed, for 15-20 minutes after 3.5 hours or in some other way?
What is on-demand feeding
On-demand feeding of a newborn baby means putting it to the breast for every squeak or search. Squeak and search movements in newborns, even as early as the second or third day of life, begin to appear much more often than after 3.5 or 2.5 hours. The need for attachments increases rapidly, and by the 10-12th day of life, the need to attach to a child may occur 15-16 or more times a day. Applications vary in duration. The baby can fall asleep and sleep while sucking for, for example, 1.5-2 hours. Can release the breast after 1-2 minutes. And then ask her again. Why does a child need such frequent contact with his mother's breast?
That's why. Being in the mother's belly, in a calm, familiar environment, listening to the noises of the mother's body, being in a warm, cramped, confined space, the baby sucked his fist, fingers, loops of the umbilical cord, swallowed amniotic fluid. Learned to suck and swallow. After birth, experiencing discomfort for any, the most insignificant reason, the baby tries to get rid of it. You can get rid of discomfort by getting into the usual conditions of a comfortable stay. The only place where the baby after birth can feel the sensations familiar to him is in the arms of the mother. The only familiar action is sucking. The only familiar taste and smell is the taste and smell of milk and lube in the areola. Milk and lubricant have an odor and taste similar to the taste and smell of amniotic fluid. Therefore, experiencing discomfort, the baby squeaks, or begins to look for an object to suck with his mouth. Ideally, it is immediately applied to the chest. The baby becomes warm, cramped, he hears the beating of his mother's heart, breathing, grumbling in the intestines, he sucks and feels the familiar taste and smell. If such an action happens constantly, the baby gains confidence, no matter what happens, he will solve all his problems with his mother. The place of comfort is now under the breast, and you can suck on the breast.
This whole process is biologically justified. A newborn child does not feel the feeling of hunger, this feeling is not formed in him. It will begin to form at about two months of age. How to feed a creature that does not experience hunger ?! How to encourage him to take some action to get food? This can be done only at the expense of some other incentives. This stimulus for the newborn is constant bodily discomfort, thanks to which he wants to suckle all the time! The most intense, frequent and prolonged sucking in infants is observed in the first two or three months of life. It is in these first months that the main weight gain of the baby occurs.
Feeding in the first month
Baby falls asleep with breast in mouth, sleeps sucking for a while. Falling asleep deeply, lets go of the chest. After sleeping for a while, he wakes up, and is applied on waking. After sleep, he can stay awake for some time, for example, an hour and a half. During wakefulness, he may feel discomfort 2-3 times, for example, from a completely natural desire to pee, and having called his mother for help, having kissed for a couple of minutes, he will do his deeds. Then he will want to sleep, feel discomfort and, kissing his chest, will again fall asleep sucking. After some time, he will wake up and attach again. Then again a little "walk". And after some time, he will fall asleep at the chest again.
The daytime naps of a one-month-old infant feeding on demand vary in duration and number. There can be 4-6 dreams during the day, and they can last from 5-15 minutes to 2-2. 5 sometimes 3 hours. "Around" each dream, the baby is applied to the chest, and applied between dreams several times. At night, the child falls asleep at the breast. Usually in the early morning hours, he begins to fuss and apply. In the morning, he almost never fully wakes up. The baby sleeps, from time to time, sucking on his mother's breast. Waking up in the morning, the baby is again applied to the chest. If you count all the attachments that have happened in a baby of one month of age, then approximately 16-20 attachments are obtained. This is how a newborn human cub behaves if it is given the opportunity to behave in accordance with physiological and psychological needs, which, by the way, are genetically determined. The child of the first months of life does not separate his personality from the personality of the mother and from her breast. Mom and her breasts, and everything connected with them, are the universe of the baby and himself.
In most cases, a modern woman, being afraid to “accustom a child to hands”, strives to limit his requests for sucking. A pacifier and a bottle of tea or water come to her aid in this matter. They, too, can be sucked ... The need for sucking seems to be satisfied. But only the need for communication with the mother during suckling is not satisfied, the peculiar chain of mutual assistance and cooperation between mother and baby is destroyed, the formation of maternal affection and concentration is disrupted. Is the difference in the two actions noticeable to the reader: the baby cried, the mother took him, put him to her chest and started rocking him, or gave him a pacifier and started rocking the stroller, even with the words “Why are you crying, my sun?”
The modern woman who gives a pacifier and pumps a stroller is not a bad person deliberately harming an infant. She is simply in captivity of prejudices regarding the relationship between mother and baby. She does not know how to behave correctly, does not know what to do in accordance with the natural needs of the child. If you tell her what the child really needs, she will exclaim in horror: “What is it, don’t let him get away with?!” Indeed, the child of the first months of life must not be let off the hook. For a woman who does not know how to comfortably carry a baby, and who does not know how to feed him in various positions (sitting, lying, standing and even moving), this can be very difficult. Especially if she is not sure of the correctness of her actions.
An action that should become automatic for the mother of a newborn: when the baby cries or shows other signs of anxiety, put the baby to the breast.
The baby is growing. A fairly stable rhythm of daytime sleep begins to form in him, and a 3-4-month-old baby behaves quite differently from a newborn. Feeding on demand at this age looks something like this...
- At three months, the baby has 10-12 feeds during the day and 2-4 at night. There are frequent applications for a short time, but their number is reduced. There may be a long night break in feedings, about 5 hours, but this is very rare. Much more often the night break is 2.5-3.5 hours. By this age, the baby's body is noticeably rounded.
- At four months, the baby begins to breastfeed noticeably less frequently. The main feedings are associated with sleep: the baby suckles before bedtime, during awakening and during sleep, both daytime and nighttime. In this regard, he has a fairly accurate feeding regimen. And many babies stop breastfeeding when they wake up after daytime sleep, sometimes as early as 2.5-3 months.
- At five months, the baby has 8-10 daytime feedings and 2-3 nighttime, attachments as well as in the fourth month of life, are organized around dreams - the baby eats when going to bed and some babies suck during awakening.
- At six months, the feeding regimen changes. The most active sucking shifts to the last 2-3 hours before waking up from a night's sleep. The period of daytime wakefulness can be divided into two periods: in the morning, when the baby sucked during the night is rarely applied to the breast, and in the evening, when attachments become very frequent. In total, there can be 7-10 day applications and 3-4 night applications. At this age, the baby begins a period of acquaintance with new food - pedagogical complementary foods. Sometimes there are attachments associated with the introduction of complementary foods, the baby “washes down” samples of new food with mother's milk. But many children do not want to drink complementary foods. When complementary foods are introduced to an on-demand baby, it is never meant to replace feedings with complementary foods. This is practically impossible, because the main feedings of the baby are associated with sleep, and mother's breakfasts, lunches and dinners, during which the baby gets acquainted with new food, are located between the baby's dreams, during his wakefulness.
- At seven months, the frequency of application is about the same.
- At eight months, the feeding regimen changes. Since the baby shows high motor activity and is very busy exploring the surrounding space, in the daytime he forgets to breastfeed. In this regard, the number of daily feedings can be reduced to 6-8 times. The baby compensates for the reduction in daytime feedings by increasing the frequency and duration of nighttime feedings up to 6 times.
- In the second half of the year, babies who stopped breastfeeding when waking up after daytime naps recall this habit again. The baby’s daytime sleep in the second half of life, as well as in the region of a year and older, looks something like this: the baby falls asleep sucking, sleeps quietly for a while, for example 1-1.5 hours, then starts tossing and turning, fiddling, worrying, at this moment the mother lies down next to , gives him a breast and the baby can fill up 10-15-30 minutes sucking. Mom may well use this time for her own rest - lie down, read, while the baby sleeps while sucking. I know my mother, a lover of embroidery, who used this time specifically for embroidery ...
- Breastfeeding becomes more frequent at nine to ten months. In the daytime, this is 4-6 full feedings and about the same number of attachments for various reasons. The baby has new reasons for attachment. If, during active actions to master the world, the baby fills a bump or gets scared, he calms down with his mother's breast. There may be situations when you can comfort the baby by sitting next to him and hugging him. At night, 4-6 feedings remain, the baby begins to suckle more actively in the morning between 3 and 8 hours.
- At eleven months, a baby can already have 2-3 complete complementary foods. Initiation to adult food in the mind of a child is not associated with breastfeeding: attachment to the mother's breast is something other than the desire to get enough of the product they like. As a rule, after the baby has eaten, he feels the need to attach himself to the breast. The number of daily feedings remains the same in the child, but the number of short-term attachments increases. There are active mid-morning feedings between 4 and 8 o'clock in the morning.
- At ten or twelve months, the baby, if he is already walking, can sometimes breastfeed every time he comes to his mother, i. e. about every 15-30 minutes. Attachments around dreams and night sucking persist. Therefore, if a mother says that a child suckles once or twice a day, this means that there is no feeding at the request of the child. There are restrictions imposed by the mother, with which the baby has come to terms. He treats breast sucking like food, sucks on a pacifier or a finger to fall asleep or soothe, or falls asleep just like that, without calming down.
- At twelve months, the baby is applied in about the same way.
- At the age of one and a half years, there may already be one daytime nap, so there are fewer attachments associated with sleep. Preserved for morning sucking. The baby is very free with his mother's breasts. Sometimes it happens that he comes up to suck just for pleasure. For example, like this: he comes up, climbs on his knees, looks into his mother’s face, smiles, starts to swarm in his shirt, gets breasts, smiles at his breasts, sucks for 30 seconds and leaves.
As for the number of feedings per day when feeding a child on demand, their number is almost never less than 12. A newborn has 12 or more attachments, mostly they are all associated with dreams. And a child, say 1.5-2 years old, can also have about 12 attachments, only 3-4 are associated with sleep, and the rest are short-term attachments for various reasons. I suggest to all mothers reading this text - do not count the application, do not notice their duration. Breastfeed your baby as often as he asks, when you feel the need to.
Moms who don't think about breastfeeding without looking at the clock may get the impression that when breastfeeding on demand, the mother can do nothing but feed the baby. This is not true. After the birth of a baby, a mother begins another life, she is called life with a baby. That's all. The child is with the mother, not the mother with the child! Feel the difference! You need to be able to organize your life in a different way, in the first months, of course, the help of loved ones is very necessary. In the tradition of many peoples, it was customary for the first 40 days after childbirth to remove a woman from any housework and household chores, she was engaged only in a child. In some nations, objects that the mother of a newborn touched were considered “unclean”, therefore, they preferred to protect the mother from the rest of the household, allocating her a separate “corner” of the house, where no one bothered her and she did not interfere with anyone. Among the Slavs, such a restrictive custom was called a six-week. By 1.5-2 months, the rhythm of daytime dreams begins to form, and the baby has a kind of “regime”, the mother becomes more free.
For a mother who can't imagine breastfeeding without looking back at the clock, and who is sure that the “right” baby is the baby lying quietly in her crib all the time, feeding on demand will be a complete hassle. It will be much easier for such a mother if she stops looking at the clock and ties the baby to herself with a large scarf or uses a patchwork holder (sling). It will become easier for her if she stops running between the nursery and the kitchen, but takes the baby with her to the kitchen and carries him around the house with her, doing housework, in a box, a cradle, a special chair, if she tries not to put him off often, and pick up as soon as possible, postponing the baby only in case of emergency and not for long.
Breastfeeding is not the same as house arrest. In the conditions of modern society, it is possible to organize the exit of a nursing mother to work from about 6 months of age of the baby. If necessary, you can start working from the age of 4 months, but, of course, it is better not every day of the week and not full time. It is the responsibility of a breastfeeding consultant to help a mother organize her return to work.
Sometimes, when I advise mothers on breastfeeding, I suggest that they forget for a second that they are already living in the 21st century. I propose to return, for example, to the cave and ask what they will do if the child woke up at night, how to calm him down? If you are walking through the forest and trying not to attract the attention of predators, how to make the baby silent? If the child is thirsty, what will you give him? What is the baby used to, for thousands of years of its existence? To the fact that he sleeps on his mother while she wanders through the forest with a digging stick in search of roots, and wakes up when mother stops. Since mom stopped, then there is time to wake up and suck. Therefore, even now the child sleeps well, tied to the mother with a patchwork holder, wakes up when the mother, having done a few household chores, sits in a chair to take care of the baby.
Some mother, reading about the cave, will be offended, saying that she is a civilized creature. But please think. Man, mother's breast and mother's milk have been created by evolution over millions of years. They are made for each other. Baby food has created progress and more recently. The skills of motherhood and breastfeeding have also been lost by our society quite recently. A person is not physiologically adapted to artificial feeding and a pacifier. The mother's breast will not produce enough milk at 6-7 feedings per day. Nature did not know, when creating man as a mammal, that the time would come when the need for breastfeeding would be satisfied by some kind of pacifiers and nipples.
Changes that occur during the formation of the personality of a child who did not have full contact with the mother during prolonged breastfeeding are noted by modern research by psychologists and sociologists. These are changes with a minus sign. It would be better if they were not, these changes.
Breastfeeding is not only important for the baby, it is also important for the mother. During on-demand feeding, the woman's feelings change, a stronger attachment to the baby is formed, the woman becomes more sensitive to the needs of the baby. Deeper affection and understanding are not only preserved in infancy. They persist for life. For clarity, imagine what happens to a woman’s feelings if she tries to “withstand” a child, endures his crying, anxiety. What happens to a woman if she uses the recommendation from one very popular parenting book: "Go to the child if he cries for more than 15 minutes"? Speaking in abstract terms, humanity is interested in reviving the practice of breastfeeding. The revival of this practice is impossible without mothers realizing the true reasons for the child's need for attachment to the breast.
Lilia Kazakova, pediatrician,
head of the breastfeeding and childcare consultant service
Child's daily routine at 3 months: daily routine
day became more understandable and predictable. Now comes an important period in the life of a child, when it is necessary to pay special attention to the organization of the regimen, habits and conditions of sleep, so that in the future sleep does not become a problem.
Let's see what to remember when organizing a three-month-old baby's daily routine.
Baby's daily routine
At the age of three months, a baby needs about 15 hours of sleep per day. Most likely the child will sleep during the day 3-5 times for a total of about 4-5 hours. The duration of one daytime sleep will be about 1-1.5 hours.
Night sleep reaches 10 hours with awakenings for feeding. This month, the stretches of uninterrupted night sleep are already quite long. And the mode of sleep and wakefulness by the end of the month becomes more stable and predictable.
When organizing a child's regimen, it is also worth paying attention to the optimal time of wakefulness. By three months, the baby can comfortably spend active time for about 1 hour 15 minutes - 1 hour 30 minutes. Prolonged wakefulness will lead to severe overwork - it will be difficult for the child to fall asleep, and sleep itself will be restless. To prevent this, it is important to watch for signs of fatigue and start putting the baby to bed as soon as they appear.
The day mode is not yet possible to make by the clock. But by 4 months, it is better to gradually shift the time of leaving into the night closer to 20 hours. It is important that the baby wakes up no later than 7-8 hours in the morning. Following these recommendations will thus gradually form the physiological regimen of the child's day in accordance with the biological rhythms of the child's body.
It is better to form a child's day regimen based on the time of wakefulness, taking into account the recommended sleep rates for this age.
Newborn sleep habits
At three months, parents may experience that the baby:
- Started to sleep short naps and as a result there is no stable sleep schedule
- Responds to all stimuli
- Wakes up very often at night
- Stays on hand when laying down
- Needs a breast or pacifier every time she wakes up
- Sleeps only when moving in a wheelchair
- Refuses to sleep in crib or wakes up when changing sleeping place
So now is the time to start good sleep habits, read the tips below and join the A-to-Z Mode Club:
Enter the ritual before daytime and nighttime sleep, if you have not already done so. A ritual is a day-to-day routine that helps children relax and get ready for sleep: washing/bathing, massaging, putting on diapers and pajamas/swaddling, feeding, reading a story/singing a lullaby, curtaining the windows, and turning on white noise. For a ritual of three months, 10 minutes during the day and 20-30 minutes in the evening are enough.
Create a comfortable sleep environment: darken the room with thick curtains, use white noise to muffle extraneous sounds and help your child sleep longer. Make sure the room is no more than 25 degrees in summer and no more than 23 degrees in winter.
Try to sleep at home in your crib. In the stroller in the fresh air, the last day's sleep is possible.
Let your baby try to sleep on his own. If you are feeding, rocking, or holding your baby, try not to do this until you are completely asleep. Then put the half-asleep baby in the crib - he should fall asleep on his own. But do not insist if he cannot fall asleep right away. This way of laying down will help the baby learn to independently cross the last line to sleep, which will become an important basis for future sound sleep.
Check our chart to see if your baby is getting enough sleep
Sample feeding schedule for a 3 month old baby
Babies at 3 months will need about 2-4 feedings per night, depending on whether your baby is breastfed or formula fed.
The baby has grown up and can take more breast milk or formula in one feeding. This means that he stays full longer and the intervals between feedings will be longer, and the duration of one feeding will become a little shorter.
The feeding schedule for this month is still under construction on demand. Your baby will likely eat every 2-3 hours during the day and every 3-4 hours at night.
If a three-month-old baby wakes up very often at night and you think that the introduction of complementary foods will change the situation, then this is not true. At this age, children are not yet ready to switch to adult food - now mother's milk and formula are the most healthy food for a newborn.
Infant development at 3 months
A three-month-old baby can already do a lot:
- smile and laugh
- keep head steady
- imitate certain movements and facial expressions after an adult
- take hands in mouth
- recognize the face of mom and dad
- push off with hands when laying on the tummy
- grab toys and shake them
The development of these skills takes place at its own pace, taking into account the individual characteristics of the individual child.
Walking on the street, tell your child everything that you see around him, because he is already very interested in it. Respond to his emotions with care to build trust.
Play with musical and luminous toys and rattles. Feel free to sing. All this will help the child develop hearing.