Feeding Schedules

If you’re having issues with feeding your child, it is important to look at your child’s feeding schedule. Even small adjustments can have strong effects.

Time between Feedings

If your child is still satiated from the previous meal, the next meal’s intake might be low and there might be an increase in food refusal. The best strategy (if your child is not too young) is to leave 3–4 hour gaps between your meals. Note that you cannot count nap times, as digestion almost grinds to a halt during sleep.

This adjustment might seem counterintuitive for some, because sometimes parents spend their entire day attempting to feed. However, it would reduce some of the valuable time that parents typically spend feeding. For these parents, having preset criteria for stoppage is important (i.e. a trial run of a day or two before quitting).

feeding log

Formula, Breast Milk, and Other Liquids

If your child is old enough to eat solids, it is important to monitor the intake of liquids. For example, if a child is drinking too much in general, that could lower the overall intake of solids.

Check with your pediatrician to find out what the range of liquids should be for your child; the required volumes vary by age and weight.

You should also closely monitor how much time occurs between giving liquids and feeding solids. (E.g. if you feed a bottle of 4 oz of formula 30 minutes before feeding solids, you might find that there is a low volume of solids consumed. It might be better to wait another hour before trying the solids.)

Juggling Act

Trying to find the right combination of timing, naps, and volumes can be a bit tricky. Don’t expect to figure it out in one day. Give yourself at least a week to make all the necessary adjustments.