Determining the perfect feeding schedule for your little one sounds like a dream. The “perfect” schedule to some may sound like:
- Having your baby sleep at the same time every day.
- Your little one drinking an exact amount of ounces of milk per feeding.
- Your baby eating the correct number of perfectly balanced meals.
The reality is, this doesn’t exist. No two babies are the same and no two days are the same. A baby may sleep well one day and sleep horribly another. A toddler may have a great appetite one week and just want to snack the next. With that being said, having guidelines are fine, but they are to be used as just that – guidelines!
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I wanted to share sample daily schedules for my baby and toddler. These schedules highlight how I incorporate meal times into their days. They are on different schedules, but I try my best to coordinate their meals. Coordinating their meals allows us to all eat together. These are not at all rigid schedules and the times vary depending on the day, but for the most part, these are the schedules that have been working for us! There are days that naps are off and meals are shifted, but I only use these as a rough guideline throughout the day.
10 Month Old Schedule
Let’s start with my younger son, Levi. Levi usually wakes up around 6:30am each morning and starts the day with a milk feed. I offer him breakfast at around 7:30am and he has about 3 hours of wake time. He goes down for nap #1 at around 9:30 and usually sleeps for around 2 hours. I offer another milk feed at 11:30am and lunch 30 minutes later, around 12:00pm. I always try to keep at least 30 minutes between milk feeds and solids. Doing this gives him a little time to digest the milk and feel hungry for solids at the next meal.
Levi goes down for his second nap around 2:30pm and usually sleeps for around 1 hour. I offer a milk feed once he wakes up and offer dinner around 5:30pm. If I notice that he is hungry before dinner time, I offer a small snack. We begin the bedtime routine at around 6:30pm, and he is down for the night by 7:00pm.
I’ve noticed that this is the schedule that Levi has naturally fallen into. Are there days when his naps run shorter? Absolutely! Are there times when he barely wants to eat a meal? Of course! Each day is different, but as I mentioned above, this is simply a guide. I always leave plenty of wiggle room for change because life happens and babies will be babies!
Now, let’s talk about my big boy Myles.
Myles wakes up for the day around 7:00am. I offer him a cup a milk as I prepare breakfast. He eats breakfast with his little brother at 7:30am. Around 10:00am, I offer him a snack.
12pm is lunch time and both boys eat lunch together. Myles goes down for a nap a little after lunch at around 1:00pm. He usually sleeps for 2-3 hours (I know, I know, I’m lucky!) When he wakes up from his nap, I offer a second snack to keep him full until dinner time.
At around 5:30pm, I offer dinner. Again, both boys share this meal together. Myles’ bedtime routine begins around 7:00pm and he usually goes down for the night around 7:30-8:00pm.
BABY AND TODDLER MEAL PORTIONS
Both boys eat the same meals per day, I just offer my toddler a bigger portion. Here is a sample of what portion sizes with the same breakfast may look for them.
To some of you, this may seem like large portions, and to others this may seem like a small amount. Every baby and toddler is different when it comes to portion sizes, so follow your little one’s cues when it comes to determining how much to offer!
Do I need to have a schedule?
Your baby’s schedule may look nothing like this and that’s ok! You may not even have any type of schedule in place and that is ok as well! Every baby is different and every family’s circumstances are different. Some babies thrive with a later bedtime and eating smaller meals more frequently while other babies thrive with an earlier bedtime and fewer larger meals. The goal is just to get to 3 meals and 2 snacks a day by age one and there are many ways to get to that goal! Pick the schedule that works best for you and your family.
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