I’m not entirely sure if this is a controversial topic. When I googled ‘typical routine for a newborn’ there were plenty of results, implying this is something people are looking into and ultimately following up on, yet talking to other mothers and my midwife, I get the impression it’s a bit taboo.
I think there’s a good demographic of people who think that, for lack of a better expression, babies should be free spirits. Let them come into this world and just, be. Feed when they want, sleep when they want – Mum and Dad should just go with the flow. This is a nice idea in practice, and maybe those with a less of a disposition to constant organisation than myself could do it. But for me, no, just no.
To clarify, with breastfeeding (which as I’m frequently reminded ‘isn’t established til the 6th week’) you do have to be on demand, which sometimes sucks. It’s incredibly important that you baby feeds and feeds, growing bigger and stronger everyday. There will be growth spurts when you have to feed more and with shorter intervals, and besides this, I wouldn’t be able to watch my 3 week old baby crying with hunger as I deprive them milk for the sake of a routine.
That said, after just a few short weeks I’ve become a big believer in developing some semblance of a routine – not for LG, but for Peter and I. Parenting is work, and work has routine, schedules and appointments. I don’t think I’ve ever been a person who can just sit back and ‘go with the flow’, and I’m certainly not going to change now!
At the moment, a few things are established for us as a family.
1) Since day 5 : Bedtime starts at 9.45pm. Even if he’s snoozing, LG will have his nappy changed, get put into his pjs and then have his first feed of the ‘night shift’. We aim to have him asleep somewhere between 10.15pm and 11pm. Sometimes he’s asleep at 10.20pm, sometimes he’s restless until midnight. God help us all if he is, hello sleep deprivation!
2) Since the start of week 2 : Pram adventure at 11am. LG is fed and changed around 10.45am, then off we go! Once in the pram (his happy place), he’ll sleep until 1.30pm. Fresh air for Mama & LG, and a welcome party at the end of a shift for Papa 🙂
3) Since the end of week 2 : Evening nap between roughly 8pm and 9.45pm. Our theory is he needs a little snooze before bedtime, since he’s quite often awake between 6 and 8pm. Timing is quite important here since if he had his evening nap at 7pm, he’d be awake at 9pm and potentially hard to get to sleep, or alternatively, he’d fall into a deep sleep too early and we’ve got a looooong night ahead of us.
4) Since the start of week 3 : Bathtime at 7.30pm. He looks so cute in the bath, probably one of the highlights of my day ❤ We started this today, who knows how it’ll work out ….
Even typing up all these things gives me a sense of calm, which only serves to reinforce the idea that this Mama couldn’t live without her routines, and Baby LG is going to learn to love his schedule!
Mama M x