How Do You Get Your Baby to Feed on Schedule?

A first-time-mom wants to know if she should be worried that her two-month-old baby is not feeding on the recommended schedule.

Over on the Mamas Uncut Facebook page, our robust community of moms is always having a conversation about topics that matter. We like to highlight those conversations from time to time. Important questions. Thoughtful answers. This is our Community Questions feature!

A member of our community asks:

So I am a first time mom, and I am still learning. My 2-month-old is supposed to eat 5 oz. every 3 hours, but every time, right at 2 hours, he starts screaming for a bottle. I feel like that is too early, because he tends to spit up more if I give it that early. I have tried distraction, but he always tends to scream his head off that last hour. Does anyone have any tips or advice? I feel like I’m doing something wrong!

Mamas Uncut Community Member

The Mamas Uncut Facebook community rushed in with a ton of good advice. Here are several responses to consider.

Not All Babies Need the Same Schedule

“Yes some babies do better with a schedule, but it’s not always necessary to be so strict with it. I’ve never had issues with needing to feed when we go somewhere, and she has slept through the night since the day we brought her home. And naps have always been on schedule. I just feel that if they are hungry, let them eat. Better than dealing with a fussy baby.”

Babies Get Hungry Between Meals Just Like Us

“I always fed on demand, even bottle. Do you get hungry in between meals? Thirsty? So do they. Give him an extra ounce or two if he needs it.”

No Hard and Fast Rules

There’s no rule on how much or having to be 3 hours. What baby wants, baby should get…”

Guidelines Don’t Always Apply

“I hate those guidelines. I think they are so silly. My kids never took a 5 oz, bottle, even when they were older; they just ate more frequently. Just feed them when they are hungry!”

Try a Smaller Amount of Milk and More Burping

“Feed him when he’s hungry. Could be too much if he’s spitting up, or need to burp more.”

When Baby Is Hungry…

“I never followed a feeding schedule, per se. Feed-on-demand is what I was told by all my doctors. When the baby is hungry, feed the baby.”

Feed Baby When Hungry, But Try Smaller Amounts

“I always go by “if baby is hungry, feed them.” Try a smaller amount and see if it helps with the spitting up right away. Could be spitting up because of crying and getting so worked up before eating.”

Try Every Two Hours Instead of Three

“I was told to feed every 2 hours, and maybe 5 oz is too much.”

Don’t Force It or Wait Too Long

“Feed the baby when hungry and as much as they want. Don’t force or wait for an hour.”

Another Vote for More Feedings with Smaller Amounts of Milk

“5 oz. for a 2-month-old seems like a lot. Since the baby is spitting up a lot, try 2 oz. – 3 oz. tops, but more feedings. Overfeeding can cause major spit up and hurt their bellies.”

Yet Another Vote to do Smaller Bottles More Frequently

“Try cutting back to 2.5-3 oz and feed every 2 hours? Baby will let you know when they’re hungry!”

A lot of good advice! Most of it seems to boil down to: When the baby is hungry, feed the baby! To get more specific, a lot of moms recommend upping the number of feedings while simultaneously decreasing the ounces of milk per feeding. That way, baby is eating the recommended amount, just at a slightly different interval. In the end, remember that every baby is different, and guidelines don’t always apply exactly to every situation. You aren’t doing anything wrong, mama!

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