Q: Do multiples do better on a set schedule?
A: Just about everyone, and infants and children in particular, seem to do better knowing the expected routine. Infants’ schedules tend to be set by feeding and sleeping needs. Ideally and when possible, preemies should be fed on demand until they reach 10 pounds: a point when they start sleeping for longer periods at night and have more wakeful periods during the day.
- Babies between 4-5 pounds generally eat every 2.5 hours.
- Babies between 6-7 pounds generally eat every 3 to 3.5 hours
- Babies between 7-9 pounds eat every 4 hours.
- Babies around 8.5 lbs tend to take short naps and feed more during the day, indicating they may soon sleep better at night.
Putting babies at this weight range down for a nap while they are still awake helps them learn to settle themselves so when they wake during the night, they know how to fall back to sleep without a bottle or nursing. Keeping feeding, diaper changes, and sleep schedules charted also helps new parents feel more organized and less stresses. Also, be sure to speak with your physician prior to discharge regarding your babies’ feeding needs.