When your baby starts to take a bottle, whether from birth or after a few months of breastfeeding, it is essential to respect his rhythm. Or rather, the rhythm of his digestive system! In this article, find out how to space out your bottles while observing your baby’s needs. And to do this, follow the guide!
Signs that your baby is crying for a bottle
Your baby has a kind of alarm clock in his stomach! As soon as he’s hungry, he cries. It’s normal, it’s his language to express his needs to you for the moment.
During the first weeks of his life, we advise you to follow your baby’s rhythm. This way, you can meet his vital need to eat. Indeed, leaving your child crying for long minutes can be anxiety-provoking for him, and for you. It is therefore better to give him his bottle as soon as he asks for it.
The little tip: to make this moment soothing for you and your child, you can change his diaper and do his little wash before the bottle. This way, your child can fall asleep or rest peacefully for his digestion phase!
How to space out the bottles?
From 2 to 4 weeks
From 2 to 4 weeks of age, your baby needs a total of about 700 ml of milk for 24 hours. Since his digestive system is still very weak, this amount of milk should be divided into 7 to 8 bottles. At this age, your baby still wakes up at night to eat. It is therefore important to take this phenomenon into consideration when dividing your bottles. Depending on your baby’s appetite, you may want to space out the feedings by 3 to 4 hours. However, your baby also needs to sleep! Therefore, it is better to let your child finish his nap and wait until he wakes up to give him his bottle, even if this shifts the spacing between each bottle by a few tens of minutes.
From 1 to 3 months
Between 1 and 2 months, your child continues his little cruising rhythm! He is much more alert, looks at his environment, starts to recognize your voice, plays with familiar faces, babbles, etc. And all these activities require even more energy! You can therefore increase the total amount to 750 ml per day, divided into 5 bottles, spaced out at 4 to 5 hours.
From 3 to 4 months
This period is a pivotal time for your baby. He will soon be able to start diversifying his diet. But before that, his needs in calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamins increase. Between 2 and 4 months, you can give your baby 900 ml of milk per 24 hours, with a frequency of 5 bottles, every 4 to 5 hours.
From 4 to 6 months
From 4 months onwards, your baby’s diet becomes more varied. Indeed, his digestive system can now digest other foods than milk. You will be able to prepare small purées of vegetables and meat, and introduce fruit with homemade sugar-free compotes.
Even though your child’s body will begin to draw essential nutrients for his development from other foods, the amount of milk will increase, because his bones need calcium to grow. For example, between 4 and 6 months, your baby needs 850 to 1000 ml of milk per 24 hours. Ideally, this should be divided into 5 bottles, 4 hours apart.
Beyond 6 months
From 6 months onwards, your baby will enter a period of rapid and dazzling development. He’ll start to need more energy to learn to crawl and walk. His brain continues to discover the world around him and to become more and more attentive to colors, sounds, objects, etc.
To accomplish all this, your baby needs a richer nutritional intake with more vitamins, minerals and protein. The spacing of the bottles therefore follows this new feeding rhythm of your child. Thus, you can distribute between 500 and 600 ml of milk per 24 hours at breakfast, snack and evening.
The important thing to remember is that each child has different nutritional needs. The most important thing is to cover them properly. To do this, the only secret is to follow his rhythm by spotting the signs of your baby, his cries or his mimics! Moreover, by knowing your baby’s digestion rhythm, you can calmly schedule the time between each bottle!