4 Month Old Eats Every 2 Hours

4 Month Old Eats Every 2 Hours


The eating and sleeping routine of a newborn or a baby who is four months old can be unpredictable for parents. Babies that are fed formula may sleep for longer lengths of time whereas breastfed babies may wake up every two hours.

The fact that babies feed every two hours and frequently wake up during the night while doing so is quite natural.

We’ll discuss the various facets of a 4-month-old baby’s feeding and sleeping schedule in this blog post.

Cluster feeding, infant formula, feeding, breast milk, sleep regression, weight gain, and other issues will also be covered. Thus, if you’re a new parent having trouble with your child’s feeding and sleeping habits, keep reading to find out more about what to expect when your 4-month-old feeds every 2 hours and when to consult a doctor.

How much and how often should a 4-month-old eat?

baby, eating, firsts

As a 4-month-old baby grows, it may require more or less formula or breast milk than before. a 4-month-old baby may eat anywhere from every 2-4 hours for longer stretches during the day and potentially longer stretches at night, depending on their individual needs.

Formula-fed babies typically consume between 24 and 32 ounces of formula per day and may need to feed every 3-4 hours, while breastfed babies may need to eat every 2-3 hours during the day and potentially longer stretches at night time. Cluster feeding, where a baby feeds more frequently in a shorter amount of time, is also perfectly normal and may occur during growth spurts or sleep regression.

It’s important for the baby to get enough milk and gain weight, so frequent feeding is necessary. The baby may fall asleep during feeding, and it’s perfectly normal for babies to wake up at night. Some babies may sleep for longer stretches, while others may wake up every 1-2 hours but this varies from child to child.

Starting solids, such as rice cereal, may be introduced around 4-6 months, but it’s important to continue feeding breast milk or formula as the main source of nutrition. Dream feeds, where the baby is fed while still asleep, may also be helpful for longer stretches of sleep.

Parents should talk to their child’s doctor about their feeding and sleeping habits, as well as any concerns about weight gain or development. Starting solids or introducing rice cereal is generally not recommended until around 6 months of age, but this decision should be discussed with a healthcare provider.

Establishing a Feeding and Sleeping Routine in a 4-month-old

Establishing a feeding and sleeping routine in a 4-month-old can be challenging, especially when dealing with sleep deprivation. For formula-fed babies, feeding every 3-4 hours is normal, while breastfed babies may feed every 2-3 hours. Cluster feeding, or feeding more frequently, may occur during growth spurts or when the baby is going through a sleep regression

Here are some tips to establish a good Feeding and sleep routine for a 4-month-old:


Establishing a good feeding routine for a 4-month-old baby can be challenging, but here are some ideas to help:

  1. Stick to a consistent feeding schedule, offering breast or bottle every 3-4 hours during the day.
  2. Watch for hunger cues, such as sucking on fists or increased fussiness, and offer a feeding when you notice them.
  3. Avoid distractions during feedings by finding a quiet, calm place to nurse or bottle-feed your baby.
  4. Encourage full feedings by allowing your baby to feed on one breast or finish a bottle before switching sides or offering more.
  5. Consider introducing solids around 6 months of age, with guidance from your pediatrician.
  6. Pay attention to your baby’s weight gain and adjust feeding amounts as necessary.
  7. Offer a dream feed before you go to bed at night to help your baby sleep longer stretches.
  8. Be flexible and responsive to your baby’s needs, as every baby is different and may require different feeding schedules.


Consistent Bedtime: Establish a consistent bedtime and stick to it every night. This will help your baby’s body adjust to a regular sleep schedule.

Nap Schedule: Make sure your baby is taking regular naps throughout the day to avoid overtiredness.

Bedtime Routine: Establish a calming bedtime routine that your baby will associate with sleep, such as a warm bath, reading a story, or listening to soft music.

Relaxation Techniques: Use techniques such as swaddling, white noise, or a pacifier to help your baby relax and fall asleep.

Reduce Stimulation: Avoid stimulating activities before bedtime and create a calm, quiet environment for your baby to sleep in.

Dream Feeds: Consider a “dream feed” right before you go to bed, as this can help your baby sleep longer stretches through the night.

Consistency: Consistency is key, so try to stick to the routine as much as possible even on weekends or when traveling.


Sleep Deprivation and Signs of hunger in a 4-month-old: Formula Fed Babies vs Breastfed

Sleep deprivation can often make it difficult for parents to recognize signs of hunger in their 4-month-old baby. However, there are several cues that can indicate a baby is hungry, regardless of how much sleep they’ve had.

There are several signs of hunger to look out for in a 4-month-old baby.

These include: rooting or turning their head towards anything that brushes their cheek, putting their hands or fingers in their mouth, sucking motions, lip-smacking, becoming fussy or irritable, crying, and squirming.

It’s important to note that not all babies exhibit the same hunger cues, and some may have more subtle cues, so it’s important to learn your baby’s unique hunger signals to respond promptly to their needs. Additionally, it’s important to offer feedings before your baby becomes too hungry and upset.

Formula-fed babies may need to be fed every 2-3 hours, while breastfed babies may cluster feed, feeding more frequently for shorter periods, or going longer stretches between feedings. Additionally, weight gain is an important factor to consider, as is the baby’s overall growth and development.

Babies may wake frequently during the night, and it’s important to pay attention to their cues to ensure they’re getting enough milk. Breastfeeding babies may feed on one breast at a time, or may wake frequently for night feedings. Formula-fed babies may take long stretches of sleep, but most babies still require full feedings every 3-4 hours. Some parents may choose to introduce rice cereal or other solid foods at this stage, but it’s important to talk to the child’s doctor to ensure that the baby is ready for this step.

During growth spurts, babies may require more frequent feedings, and it’s perfectly normal for babies to wake up frequently during the night. Some babies may also experience sleep regression during this time, making it difficult for them to fall asleep or stay asleep for longer stretches. It’s important for parents to pay attention to their baby’s cues and ensure that they’re getting enough milk, whether from breast milk or infant formula. With time and patience, babies will grow and develop, eventually sleeping longer stretches and waking less frequently at night.


What to do If your 4-month-old Eats too Frequently

If a 4-month-old baby is eating too frequently and causing sleep deprivation, there are a few things parents can do.

Firstly, parents should check if the baby is formula-fed or breastfed. Formula-fed babies tend to eat less frequently than breastfed babies, so parents can try to space out feedings by increasing the amount of formula given at each feeding.

For breastfed babies, it is perfectly normal for them to eat more frequently, especially during growth spurts or sleep regression periods. Parents can try to cluster feed the baby, which means feeding the baby more frequently during certain times of the day to help them get more full feedings in.

Parents should also make sure the baby is gaining weight and growing appropriately. If the baby is not gaining enough weight, it may indicate a problem with the milk supply or feeding technique, and parents should seek advice from their child’s doctor.

It is important for parents to pay attention to the baby’s cues and feed them when they are hungry, but they can also try to encourage longer stretches of sleep by establishing a bedtime routine and dream-feeding the baby before putting them to bed.

Additionally, parents can try to create a sleep-friendly environment for the baby by keeping the room quiet and dark and avoiding stimulating activities before bed.

It’s important for parents to remember that every baby is different, and what works for one little one, may not work for another. They should talk to their child’s doctor if they have any concerns about their baby’s eating or sleeping habits.


Will Formula Feeding help my 4-month-old fall asleep Better?

Formula feeding may or may not help a 4-month-old baby fall asleep better, as each baby is unique and has different needs. Some babies who are formula-fed may sleep for longer stretches at night compared to breastfed babies, as the formula is slower to digest and may keep the baby feeling fuller for longer. However, it’s important to note that formula-fed babies may also experience sleep regressions and night waking, just like breastfed babies.

Formula-fed babies tend to gain weight more quickly than breastfed babies, which may affect their sleep patterns. They may also cluster feed less frequently than breastfed babies, which can lead to longer stretches of deep sleep. However, some breastfed babies may also sleep for longer stretches, especially if they are able to self-soothe and fall back asleep on their own.

Parents should pay attention to their baby’s cues and make sure that their baby is getting enough milk, whether it’s through breastfeeding or formula feeding. It’s also important to talk to the child’s doctor about any concerns regarding weight gain and feeding.

It’s normal for babies to wake frequently at night, especially in the first few weeks of life, as they grow and go through growth spurts. They may also wake up more often when they are teething or learning new skills.

Parents can establish a bedtime routine and create a sleep-friendly environment in their own room, with little noise and a comfortable sleeping area to help their baby fall asleep, They can also try dream feeds or offering a full feeding right before bed.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that every baby is different and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for helping a 4-month-old baby fall asleep better.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, sleep deprivation is a common experience for new parents, and feeding patterns can have a significant impact on a baby’s sleep schedule. Formula feeding may result in longer stretches of sleep for babies, but breast milk provides important nutrients and benefits for both baby and mother.

Cluster feeding, frequent feeding, and growth spurts are all normal aspects of a baby’s development and can lead to night waking, but this is perfectly normal. It’s important for parents to pay attention to their baby’s cues and feed them enough milk, even if it means waking up every two hours in the first few weeks.

As babies grow, they may start to sleep for longer stretches and wake up less frequently, but it’s important for parents to talk to their child’s doctor about their specific needs.

Ultimately, every baby is different and parents should follow their child’s lead when it comes to sleeping and feeding patterns.


Is it normal for my 4-month-old to eat every 2 hours?

Yes, it is normal for a 4-month-old to eat every 2 hours, as they have small stomachs and require frequent feedings to meet their nutritional needs.

How many hours apart should a 4-month-old eat?

A 4-month-old eats every 2 hours however, a baby may need to eat every 3-4 hours during the day, with long stretches of sleep at night. However, each baby is different and may have their own unique feeding schedule.

Why is my 4-month-old eating more frequently?

A 4-month-old may be eating more frequently due to a growth spurt or increased hunger from increased activity and development. It is important to follow the baby’s cues and offer frequent feedings as needed.

How do I stop my baby from feeding every 2 hours?

To stop a baby from feeding every 2 hours, it is important to ensure that they are receiving full feedings and not just snacking. This may involve encouraging longer stretches between feedings during the day, introducing solid foods if appropriate, and establishing a consistent sleep routine at night. It is important to consult with the child’s doctor before making any changes to their feeding schedule.



This post is written and edited by Sandy who is a clinical pharmacist with over 20 years of experience specializing in pre-natal and post-natal care.