Hi there, my daughter is 3 1/2 months old and im finding that every day is a different routine. For example, feeds are at all different times of the day, sometimes she will go 4 hours between a feed (bottle fed) other times longer. Her bed time at night is always at a different time and can vary between 7pm and 9pm. Is this normal for her age or if not, how do i go about creating some structure?
It can be normal for some babies, it just depends if they’re happy with this or their parents are keen to implement some structure. Generally at 3.5 months bottle fed babies need 5-6 feeds a day of around 180 mls each bottle. This depends on their individual weight and appetite of course. Aiming for a sleep of 1-3 hours x 3 times a day and a longer sleep of 5-6 hours during the night is common.
It’s also normal to have one or two wakeful and unsettled periods each day, often in the afternoons. They still (commonly) need at least one overnight feed in the early hours and it’s useful to make this a calm, non engaging feed time where parents just place their baby back into their cot after they’ve had their feed.
Generally, 4-4.5 hours between feeds is also normal, particularly if they’ve had their quota at the last feed time. Check with your CHN what your baby’s individual feeding requirements are based on the weight. If you’re finding your baby isn’t lasting 4 hours between her feeds you may need to increase the volume you’re putting in her bottle.
She’s too young at this stage for solid foods, her gut won’t be able to digest any food other than milk. Regarding the variation in her nighttime settling, this is normal. At her age, just getting established into a routine is normal, give this time and consistency to develop.