Everyone knows there really isn’t such a thing as a newborn schedule now is there? In the first few weeks, all babies do is eat, sleep, poop and repeat. So why bother having a schedule some might ask?
Babies, kids, and adults, all thrive on routines and schedules.
We are two months into the newborn phase of our son Huxley. The schedule we’ve adapted to, is followed pretty loosely but for the most part we stick to it as a guideline.
Here is the schedule I’ve followed for two weeks now. I wish I would’ve started it from day one, but it is what it is. I started it at seven weeks, and so glad I did. For two weeks in a row, our newborn has slept from anywhere to 4-7 hours straight at night. I feel like that is awesome at this stage for newborns!
I do believe that breastfed babies do tend to eat more often than formula fed babies, because breastmilk doesn’t leave them full for as long as formula does. I always feed him if nothing else is soothing him, even if it’s before the “scheduled” time to eat. Babies are human beings, not robots, your motherly instincts kick in and you do what you have to do.
With this being my second child, I am much more relaxed with everything. And I mean everything. If he doesn’t eat at the time he should, then he doesn’t eat. He eats when he eats, and you adjust accordingly. You’ll figure it out, trust me!
The main idea of this schedule is to not let your baby sleep more than an hour and a half during the day, between feedings. Some days he might sleep for 45 minutes, or an hour, or not at all. When that happens, I try my best to keep him awake and happy until the next feeding time. Now he doesn’t always make it to the time exactly, he might be off 30 minutes, or even an hour. And that is okay! Like I said before, these are babies, not robots. They are trying to figure out this life in the short time they’ve been here. Which is our job as mothers and parents, to help them figure it out because they need help!
You can adjust the schedule to fit your lifestyle. For example, if you start your day at 5am then have that be the start time and go from there. If you’re a working parent, adjust it to give you time to get yourself ready then get the baby up, etc. Some mornings, my son wakes up at 6am, instead of 7am. It’s all however it’ll work for you!
I have to say, this schedule has been a lot of work, but worth every second. Having a baby is a lot of work. Feeding your baby is a lot of work, however you choose to feed them. Everything about babies is lots of work (but I love every second of it!). And it’s very easy to let them nap for 3+ hours so you can get things done or even rest! But remember, babies need routines and structure. The more you do it, the more likely they will stick to it.
For naps during the day, he’ll either sleep in his swing downstairs, sometimes the car seat, or in his crib. Wherever he ends up napping, I always leave it light in the room. Sometimes we use a sound machine, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we are loud, sometimes we are not. All depends on the day, and what is going on.
For morning wake time, if he’s awake I say, “good morning” and turn off the sound machine/night light, open the blinds and let all the light in. Anything to help them differentiate morning time, from nighttime. If he’s sleeping, I will wake him but not let him go past 8am. It all depends on your lifestyle, and you adjust things to adapt.
So, there you have it, the schedule we’ve been using for our newborn! I understand this might not work for everyone, but if you aren’t following some type of schedule, I recommend trying to find one that works for your lifestyle. I never followed a schedule this early with my daughter, and she is the best sleeper! I found this particular schedule on one of the mom groups I follow on Facebook. The group is called Baby Sleep Training Tips & Help, which can be found here.
Hope this can help you, or at least lead you on the path to find something that works for you and your baby!