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I have a 4-month-old baby. No matter how much I try, I just can't have a schedule for feeding her. She can be not willing to take a feed for 4 hours to asking for feed every hour. I tried to do eat play sleep routine since she's a newborn. It was working for a while. But recent month she always just eats a little after wakes up from naps. Then cries for feed when she's tired and ready to sleep. Or in the middle of her nap! If I refuse to feed her before her nap. I'm not sure if this is caused by me feeding her to sleep at night time.

Our bedtime routine for her is a walk, massage, bath, feed to sleep. I know this is very bad. This habit came from early days. I find she wants to eat a lot more around 4/5pm so cluster feed her. Now I don't know how to stop. Because she won't eat much after she wakes up from last nap. Also no other ways I can settle her to sleep. I tried bouncing her, rocking her they work during the day for the naps but not for nighttime sleep! I really want to set up a schedule for her feeding and change feed to please help.

  • Welcome to Parenting.SE, Celine! Are you trying to implement a schedule (the baby eats and sleeps at certain times), or just hoping for a routine (you can expect feeding and eating at approximately the same times) – Acire Jul 20 '15 at 12:04
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    This is not going to work, you cant force some schedule on your baby. She will need to eat when she needs to eat. – Delano Zuurman Jul 30 '15 at 13:44
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I know this is not what you want to hear, but why are you trying to put your baby on a schedule? At 4 months old, they're still extremely tiny and even if you manage to "enforce" (for lack of a better word) a schedule her, her needs will change in a matter of weeks, literally.

I'm pretty sure you eat when you're hungry, not when someone tells you to. Your baby knows when she's hungry and I believe it's important to nurture that natural hunger instinct so that she develops into an adult that can listen to her body telling her when she's hungry and when she's full. Also, at that age, babies go through growth spurts every couple of weeks/months, when they have more milk for several days.

Feeding to sleep is not necessarily bad and you can break off that habit later.

I know it's incredibly hard and often frustrating taking care for a little baby (this coming from a mother of a 15 month old who still wakes 5-6 times at night) but it will get better with time. However, please take into consideration that your baby is a little person, not a machine, and she needs your full attention at this period in her life. Have someone help you out both with chores and the baby so you can get some alone time and relax.

Regarding settling to sleep, have you tried babywearing? I have a ring sling which helped immensely with settling my child when he was your daughter's age and it was invaluable when he was sick.

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I felt the same way when my daughter was that little. You want so bad to get them on a schedule close to what you followed before you had them. But honestly, a baby that young simply won't take to a schedule. Babies under about 6-8mo should be allowed an "on demand" schedule. This means feed, sleep, play, etc whenever they want. Believe it or not, they actually thrive better this way. If you want to implement a schedule later either out of necessity (due to work or other obligations) or just because you want to, a slow, gradual implementation is best. As the previous answer states, routine is key, not schedule.

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