A Newborn Routine That Works Every Time
A baby daily routine is very important not only for your baby but for you as well. It will help you create some consistency and stability in both your lives. Furthermore, it will help you plan yourself better because you will know what to do and at what time. As a result, you have an opportunity to prepare everything you need prior to the activity. This is necessary because doing things abruptly can lead you to forget some essential things.
There are different types of baby schedules which include:
- Baby-led schedules
- Parent-led schedules
- A combination of both
This is a schedule that follows what a routine that a baby has already established. You may begin to notice that your baby gets hungry at particular times and pees at a specific time without you instigating the activity. When you observe this, you can set a routine that follows your baby’s schedule. In order for you to establish whether your baby has her own routine, you must log in her timings into a diary or something of the sort. You can even use a tracker app for that. Having this information will help you pick out any particular times that your baby tends to prefer for feeding, a diaper change or playing.
This is a schedule that you set as a parent. You set the time for nursing, playtime, bathing and all the other activities. All your baby has to do is adapt to this routine. However, don’t be so particular about following the schedule to the letter that you neglect your baby’s needs. When she is crying because of hunger, just nurse her instead of waiting for the set time to nurse.
A combination of both
There are schedules that have characteristics of both baby-led and parent-led schedules. These schedules are more flexible because both you and the baby have some input. Sometimes, you let your baby decide what she wants to do and other times she follows your cue.
Regardless of which type of schedule you choose, there are activities that must be part of your baby’s daily schedule which include:
- Nursing time
Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your baby, you need to set a time for that. Make sure that your baby feeds well so that you don’t have to wake up at night to feed her. The frequency of feedings will depend on your baby’s age. Read more about how often you should breastfeed your baby.
Your baby should have naptimes during the day. These should be taken seriously because they help her have enough sleep even at night which makes her less fussy at night.
Playtime is time to bond with your baby. Have some time set aside for you to play with her. It will help with her overall development.
Newborn babies don’t need a bath every day especially newborns. When your baby is two or three weeks old, you can increase the frequency of baths.
- Diaper change
Diaper changes should be as frequent as your feedings, especially for newborns. Don’t allow our baby to stay with a diaper for too long.
Establishing a routine is important it helps both you and your baby. It makes your life much easier.
SAMPLE SCHEDULE FOR 2-12 MONTH-OLD
7:00 AM – Wake + Diaper change + Feeding
7:30 AM – Playtime
8:30 AM – Naptime #1
10:00 AM – Diaper change + Feeding
10:30 AM – Playtime
12:00 PM – Naptime #2
2:00 PM – Diaper change + Feeding
2:30 PM – Playtime. This is likely to be baby’s longest awake increment of the day, so, get some fresh air out of the house.
4:00 PM – Naptime #3
5:00 PM – Diaper change + Feeding
5:30 PM – Playtime
7:00 PM – Bath time
7:30 PM – Feeding
8:00 PM – Sleep
11:00 – 12:00 – “Dream feed,” can help your baby sleep longer
Nighttime feedings – will vary and decrease as the baby grows
*** In the first few weeks of life, breastfeeding should be “on demand” (when your baby is hungry), which is about every 1-1/2 to 3 hours. As newborns get older, they’ll nurse less often, and may have a more predictable schedule.