Last Updated On:

There has been a never-ending debate on what has better benefits and works best: a newborn eating schedule or feeding on cue?

Mothers have been researching non-stop for professional help regarding the best choice. Some professionals even have their own opinions about what is a better choice.

As a parent, it is best to consider what is best for the baby. Also take into consideration the preferences of your baby. This way, your baby will also feel closer to you, when they feel like their needs are always met.

You can work with a newborn eating schedule as well as feeding on cue. They both have benefits, and they both will come in handy at certain times. 

It is just a matter of figuring out when one will work for the moment and when the other will be of best use for certain circumstances. A newborn eating schedule can come in handy at times when we need assurances, while feeding on cue comes in best when your baby is the “always hungry” kid in the family.

It is important to spot the signs which to follow – the scheduled eating or the on-cue indicators of the baby.

Let’s start!

How do we know we need to follow the cues or the newborn eating schedule? Let’s identify the signs below.

Newborn Eating Schedule or the Feeding on Cue?

newborn eating schedule

Image From Shitota Yuri

A newborn eating schedule must be followed in certain situations that would benefit the needs of the baby. Yet, there are times when the feeding cue should be followed, too.

When your baby is sleeping most of the time, say more than an hour or two, it would be a good time to check for their sleeping habits. Usually, the baby would show feeding cues even while they are sleeping.

These cues include their hands reaching for something (or someone). This would mean they are calling for their mother to start nursing. In other circumstances, it would cue for a baby bottle for milk.

Other cues are;

Their lips are gesturing a sucking or smacking sign since they want to breastfeed or bottle feed.

In other instances, they start to get cranky. Since they cannot say what they want, or the mother cannot seem to understand their language, they start acting up through showing restlessness or irritation.

Sometimes, the baby would like to suck on their thumbs or put their hands to their mouth. They are mostly salivating during these instances – hinting that they are ready to breastfeed or bottle feed.

The most obvious cue, and probably the baby’s limit, is when the crying starts. Babies know when they want something – and they are smart enough to know that crying will help them get what they want.

Usually, when the baby starts crying, it means they have been waiting for their food for a while and they are grumpy wanting it.

The newborn eating schedule still comes in very crafty to make sure your baby is getting enough food and nutrients.

The newborn eating schedule can be followed when your baby is not asking or cueing for any nursing or bottle feeding. 

It is important to remember that newborn babies feed at six (6) to seven (7) times a day. When your baby is not asking for milk, always follow a schedule to make sure you are nursing your baby for breastfeeding at least every two hours.

Much like grown ups, babies may also not have the appetite to feed at times. This is the best time to follow a newborn feeding schedule. This assures the best times to feed your baby for proper nutrition at all times.

There are also instances when babies may have had issues when they were born. A newborn eating schedule must be followed to get their bodies to adjust to digestion and using their bodies to its newness.

Following a schedule would mean the baby would be less likely to be underfed or overweight at a very early age. It is also good for their growth and development that they are monitored to be fed when they do not have a big appetite.

The Disadvantages of a Newborn Eating Schedule

newborn eating schedule

Image From Kelly Sikkema

There may be a few disadvantages if you follow a newborn eating schedule.

What if your newborn baby would like to breastfeed or drink milk before their schedule time? It would not be good for their development to deprive them of milk, especially given that it’s their main source of nutrition.

It can also be a lapse in the intimate bond of the mother and the baby. Sometimes, the baby may also lose the appetite to breastfeed or drink formula milk after depriving them for an hour or two.

One of the best things about the newborn eating schedule is that you can always adjust it with feeding your baby according to their cues. While it is important to have order in your baby’s growth and development, it is good to have adjustments along the way. This is because all baby’s are unique and have their own preferences. It may be convenient for some to have a newborn eating schedule, but not for all.

Babies have different habits and appetites. Some babies may have similar issues or experiences, but they will always be unique little angels. If your baby is not feeding well because of sleeping too much, or they are not very active in feeding in general, this is when a newborn eating schedule would come in handy.

How to Implement a Newborn Eating Schedule

Your baby at one month old is not going to be a very heavy milk drinker. They will drink from four (4) ounces of milk to six (6) ounces. The usual feeding frequency is seven (7) to eight (8) times a day.

The reason the baby does not take too much milk in their first months of feeding is due to the adjustment their bodies are doing. Everything is brand new for them – so, they need to take a few more weeks to adjust with digestion.

If you would like to adjust your baby to a newborn eating schedule, here are some tips to consider doing;

Make sure you have asked the advice of your paediatrician. They know your body best, and they almost everything about your baby. They will give you the best advice on baby feeding schedules and the benefits this will bring to your baby.

Do not force your baby onto a schedule. They will not be able to understand why or why not they cannot feed yet.  In these circumstances, it is great to feed your baby on cue.

Remember that it is best to contact your doctor when it comes to making decisions in the family, especially when it concerns your children.

Were we able to help you with your concern regarding a newborn eating schedule? Tell us what you think through a comment! Keep smiling!