If you managed to maintain a routine with your newborn over the holidays, congratulations! Please let us know how you did it! If your routine fell by the wayside, don’t fret. It is completely normal. This article from Pregnancy Birth and Baby can help you reset and get back into a routine. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work!
Newborn babies seem to mostly sleep, eat, cry and poop. But as you and your baby get to know each other and bond in your early days together, your day will also involve cuddling and playtime. All babies are different — their eating and sleeping patterns often change, and it may take some time for them to settle into a routine.
You may prefer that your day-to-day activities follow what your newborn does. Alternatively, you may want to establish a very simple routine. Either way, you and your baby will begin to settle into a daily pattern of sleeping, feeding, and playing.
Newborns spend most of their time sleeping between feedings. Each sleep period is around 2 to 3 hours. However, your baby may start to get restless after 40 minutes and need your help to settle back into sleep again. They may sleep for 16 out of 24 hours. Yes, newborns do sleep for most of the day!
Your baby can’t tell the difference between sleeping during the day and night and will probably wake for feeds 2 to 3 times during the night. At one-month-old, your baby may start sleeping for longer periods at night, and from 3 to 6 months, they may sleep for 4 to 5 hours at a time.
Because a newborn’s sleep patterns change regularly, it is a good idea in the first few months to take it slow and remain flexible.
Whether you choose to body feed or bottle feed, your baby will need about 6 to 8 feeds in 24 hours, totaling 2 to 5 hours daily. Breast milk is easily digested, so if you are breastfeeding, your baby may feed up to 12 times a day.
Sometimes, your baby may feed very frequently, called cluster feeding. After the cluster feed, they might have a longer sleep.
To calculate the time between feeds, you should work out the time from the beginning of the last feed, not the end.
As well as providing your baby with the important nutrition they need to grow, feeding your newborn is a great way to have some cuddle time.
Cuddling and playing
Making cuddling and playtime with your baby part of your daily activities is important for their growth and development. The key is interacting with your newborn rather than giving them games and toys. Ideas for playing include:
- making eye contact, smiling, and talking
- singing nursery rhymes
- taking your baby for a walk
- reading or telling them a story
- making faces
- blowing raspberries
Other play ideas include:
- giving your baby different things to look at and feel while talking to them
- giving your baby supervised tummy time each day
- making sounds
- giving your baby a massage
For some babies, play time might simply involve cuddling or having a quiet stretch and kick on a blanket. Some may want only 10 minutes of play at a time, while others may prefer longer. It is best to pay attention to your baby’s behavior; if they seem upset or unsettled, they may be scared, tired or overwhelmed. If so, try a quieter activity later on. Alternatively, you may notice from their behavior that they are getting tired and need to sleep.
Sometimes it seems as if your baby is always crying! This is normal and is a way for your newborn to communicate with you.
About 1 in 10 babies cry more than 3 hours a day. You may find that your newborn cries more in the afternoon or early evening than at other times.
When your baby is crying, check if they are hungry, tired, or uncomfortable. They may need feeding, settling to sleep, a clean diaper, or being too hot or cold. They could be frightened, need a cuddle, excited, or overtired.
As you get to know your baby better, you will start to recognize different types of cries and what they mean. Responding to your baby’s crying is an important part of trust and bonding.
What routines can I start with my newborn?
It helps to remain flexible with newborns. However, you might choose to start doing simple things with your baby in a similar order when it comes to sleeping, feeding, and playing:
- when your baby wakes from sleep, offer them a feed
- in the middle of or at the end of the feed, change your baby’s diaper
- have a cuddle, talk, and playtime
- settle your baby down to sleep
At night you may prefer to skip play time and simply try to settle them back to sleep. You should do what you feel is best for you and your baby, but seek advice if you are not sure.
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By getting your baby into a routine, you are setting them up to sleep through the night. This ultimately means a better night’s sleep for you, too! We know that being a new parent can be overwhelming. We are here to help new parents find peace of mind and confidence. We can help YOU be the best parent you can be…positively submerged in expert support. Are you interested in learning more? Contact us here! Also, you can access our entire library of video content when you register for any of our webinars or sign up for our newsletter!
Article Source: https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-newborn