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Pumping and Breastfeeding Schedule

A proper breastfeeding and pumping schedule can be of the essence when it comes to helping your baby getting into a routine. It also makes family life with a newborn a bit more manageable. If you commute to work, such schedules can be especially handy.

The law is on your side, as in most states, it mandates that the employers must allow working mommies to pump during their time at work. But, making such a schedule can be a bit difficult. However, your child can be your guide.

Following your baby’s indications, you can predict and schedule their breastfeeding time. A predictable schedule allows for easier day management.

Breastfeeding Schedules

Breastfeeding on Demand

Many mommies think that such a practice does more harm than good. It is true that breastfeeding infants have different nursing schedules – varying from every hour to every couple of hours.

Newborn infants usually want to be fed on demand, and this is generally considered the ideal solution. That’s all according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

To do so, a mother needs to offer her breast each time her child shows signs of hunger, which are:

  • Chewing on Hands
  • Rooting
  • Fussing
  • Crying

In case you opt for this solution, you should expect to breastfeed your newborn eight to twelve times within a twenty-four-hour timeframe. It ought to be like that for the first few weeks of the baby’s life.

Such feedings can span from ten to forty-five minutes. It must be noted that some infants like to comfort nurse and can spend much time at the breast.

Creating a Breastfeeding Plan

Once the trickier, newborn stage is over, putting your child on a breastfeeding schedule gets easier. Keep in mind, it is better to consider it just a routine, instead of a strict routine.

Schedule for a Newborn

It is important to make the schedule according to the individual needs of your infant. You can expect each day to be different, particularly during a growth period. This is a sample breastfeeding schedule for newborns or young infants.

  • 07:00 – First feeding of the day, it would be best to try and feed the baby as well as possible.
  • 08:30 – Naptime
  • 10:00 – Second feeding
  • 11:30 – Naptime
  • 13:00 – Third feeding
  • 14:30 – Naptime
  • 16:00 – Fourth feeding
  • 17:30 – Naptime

If you chose to have a schedule, then it would be better to try and avoid letting your baby nap for longer than two or two and a half hours at a time. But, the most important thing is that your child gets twenty-five to thirty ounces of breastmilk per day, as it is essential for their growth. Once again, don’t forget that this can significantly vary during growth spurts – but it goes on just for a couple of days.

Schedule for a Four-Month Old

As your child gets older, things ought to get easier. At least the breastfeeding schedule should. At this time, your baby might need feeding every four hours. A good quality breast pump is a must.

Still, it could be fewer – it all depends on their needs, it will be an individual thing. This is a sample schedule that might work for you and your child.

  • 07:00 – First feeding (it can be whenever you start your day)
  • 09:30 – Naptime
  • 11:00 – Second Feeding
  • 13:30 – Naptime
  • 15:00 – Third Feeding
  • 18:00 – Naptime
  • 19:00 – Fourth Feeding
  • 20:30 – Bedtime
  • 23:00 – Last Feeding of the Day

Schedule for Six-Month Olds

Approximately, when your baby reaches their sixth month, you will be introducing solids for the first time. It is such a fun time for mommies as they can watch their child try out many different foods. About then, you might notice your child’s need for milk starting to decrease.

Despite the fact that they are having solids now, breastmilk still has to be the primary source of nutrients. It should be that way for the first year of your little one’s life. Here we have an average time for nursing a six-month-old who is having solids three times a day.

  • 07:00 – First nursing of the day. Doesn’t have to be strictly at this time – it can be whenever they wake up.
  • 11:30 – After waking up from their first nap
  • 15:30 – After the afternoon nap
  • 19:30 – In between dinner and bedtime
  • 23:00 – Last feeding of the day

Pumping Schedule

Now, this is where things can get a bit more difficult to handle. Typically, there are two situations that require a pumping schedule.

You might be a mommy that’s commuting to work, or you have simply chosen to pump exclusively. Each situation requires a schedule in order to sustain your breastmilk supply.

Baby Milk

Nursing and Pumping – Sample Schedules for Working Moms

Schedule 1

  • 05:30 – Pump
  • 06:30 – Nurse
  • 09:00 – Pump at work
  • Lunchtime pumping
  • 15:30 – Pump
  • 17:00 – Nurse
  • 20:00 – Nurse
  • 22:30 – Pump
  • One or two nightly nursing sessions

Schedule 2

  • 05:00 – Pump
  • 06:00 – Nurse
  • 07:30 – Nurse during drop off
  • 10:30 – Pump
  • 12:30 – Pump at lunch
  • 15:00 – Pump
  • 18:00 – Nurse at pickup time
  • 19:30 – Nurse
  • 23:00 – pump and nurse
  • It’s likely there will be a night nursing session

Schedule 3

  • 06:30 – Nurse
  • 07:30 – Pump
  • 08:30 – Nurse
  • 10:30 – Pump
  • 13:00 – Pumping at lunch
  • 17:00 – Nurse when arriving home
  • 18:30 – Nurse
  • 21:00 – Nurse
  • 22:30 – Pump
  • Nurse if baby wakes

Schedule 4

  • 06:30 – Nurse
  • 07:00 – Pump
  • 08:30 – Nurse
  • 12:30 – Pump at lunch
  • 15:30 – Pump
  • 15:30 – Pump
  • 18:00 – Nurse when arriving home
  • 19:30 – Nurse
  • 22:00 – Pump
  • Night nursing if baby wakes
mom breastfeeding

Exclusively Pumping – Newborns

You need to make sure you have a big enough milk supply as breastfeeding babies tend to feed between eight to twelve times in a twenty-four-hour timeframe. In other words – you have to pump the same amount of milk, and as frequently, as if your baby were naturally nursing.

So, let’s say you want to pump eight times a day. This when you could do it:

  • 07:00
  • 10:00
  • 12:00
  • 15:00
  • 18:00
  • 21:00
  • 00:00
  • 04:00

If you are having struggles with keeping up your supply, you might need to do it more frequently. Eight is the lowest recommended number of times, and it works best for mommies that have large supply or oversupply.

If that’s not the case with you, there’s no need for concern. Here is a sample schedule of ten pumping sessions.

  • 07:00
  • 09:00
  • 11:00
  • 13:00
  • 15:00
  • 17:00
  • 19:00
  • 00:00
  • 03:00
  • 05:00

Exclusively Pumping – Older Babies

As your child grows, nursing frequency decreases. When that time comes, you need to imitate what would naturally occur. There’s not one right schedule – you should be basing yours on the needs of your little one.

However, as you decrease the frequency of pumping, you need to increase the time of each pumping session. For a four-month-old, you might want to do it six times a day.

Still, it all depends on your infant’s needs. Let’s take a look at a sample pumping plan:

  • 06:00
  • 10:00
  • 12:00
  • 15:00
  • 18:00
  • 22:00

In case your child doesn’t need additional bottles, this is a great time to forego midnight pumping sessions and get yourself a good night’s sleep. For a six-month-old, you can pump five times:

  • 06:00
  • 09:00
  • 12:00
  • 15:00
  • 22:00

When your baby reaches their ninth month, you could decrease it to four times:

  • 06:00
  • 10:00
  • 14:00
  • 22:00

Once your angel celebrates their first birthday, you might be able to decrease it to two or three times a day:

  • 06:00
  • 12:00
  • 10:00
Baby with big eyes

Conclusion

It must be noted once again, each child has their own, individual needs and some babies might need to be nursed more frequently. You wouldn’t want to delay nursing when your child has to eat more often.

As your child grows, you can start decreasing the nursing or pumping frequency. You might notice your child starting to nurse for a longer period of time. In that case, you should pump longer, while decreasing the frequency. Be as it may, by the time your child is one year old, you should be feeding them between two and four times a day.

Sticking to a nursing or pumping schedule might seem a bit daunting. However, with the help of the aforementioned guides, you might come to realize it’s a great way to keep your little one well-fed and happy.

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