Newborn Routines: How to Get Your Daytime Routine and Schedule Set Up
Routines and schedules with a newborn?
Not all families want a routine or a schedule with their new baby when they arrive, if you do want a routine, read on!
Getting your baby on a schedule and setting a routine that works for your family, can be wonderful. A schedule for your newborn can make life more predictable and give you a chance to get more done with your time and rest easy with some predictability.
When do you begin working on a schedule?
In those first few weeks home with a newborn there are a lot of ups and downs and for the most part, you do what you can, you feed on demand and you get through with your postpartum support team. As your baby reaches 3-4 weeks you will begin to see a pattern, you will know your baby more and your baby will know you! You can begin to work on a schedule around this time!
What can you do in the early weeks to work on sleep and a routine?
Have support set up to help you stick to routines and stay consistent throughout those early weeks to stay away from bad habits or becoming sleep deprived. Begin setting a “nighttime” and a “daytime” for your baby from the moment you get home. Get them comfortable with their sleep space and start laying them down awake early on!
It can be startling for babies, rightly so, to fall asleep in arms and wake up in a bassinet or crib! Begin to acclimate them to their sleep space early on so that it is easier to have them sleep in their own space in their own room when you are ready.
What is the real reason that routines are helpful?
Babies like predictability and consistent boundaries. When things go back and forth or change often, it can be hard for babies to adjust and settle in to their full potential. When you give babies their space and the support to sleep well and grow well, they will thrive.
What can routines and schedules look like?
In the beginning, whether breastfeeding or bottle feeding, babies will feed every 2-3 hours typically, then they may sleep or stay awake or dirty a diaper or sleep or… you get the point. They just do their thing and it is hard to put a system or schedule to it at that point.
As they begin to have more predictable stretches of feeding, and their weight is caught up, you can begin making a daily routine. In between their feedings they will have more awake time, which you can use for tummy time, baths or outtings.
Begin making 1 hour before your determined bedtime (which for babies should be around 6-7pm) your time to settle down, get ready and set the environment for night time aka sleep. This will catch on!