Ahhh routine, love them or hate them, everyone seems to want to know “What is a Normal Baby Routine?”.
It is crucial to remember what is NORMAL:
- newborns do not ‘do’ routine because they are still maturing and developing emotionally and physically.
- You may see a lovely pattern that you think will remain for life, and in a heartbeat it changes and the only predictable thing becomes lack of predictability.
- Predictable routines are not natural for all babies initially, but over the first few months you will begin to see more and more of a pattern in their behaviour.
- Do yourself an enormous favour, just believe that a pattern will emerge and don’t rush it.
- If you are in a hurry to create a routine for the sake of predictability, you may well find that all goes out the window because what you want, is not what your baby can do right at this minute.
- With the lack of ability to understand your needs, a baby may begin to cry or fuss more or feed poorly because they have been put in a routine before they can cope with it.
- The first 2 to 3 months are for love, cuddles and adjustment for both parents and baby.
- Around 3 to 4 months a pattern begins to naturally emerge.
- Newborns are not made for strict routines, they need to feed often because their tummies are tiny and can only hold small volumes of milk, so they feed often.
- You will see a pattern begin to emerge if you support it, for example at night, offer feeds in a quiet, non stimulating way, with low lighting, minimal talking and cuddles, then back to sleep.
- During the day, once the feed is done, it is a lovely time to have ‘chat’ time or just looking into each others’ eyes time. Nothing major, but this will become play time as your baby grows.
- The most important thing to remember DON’T try and rush a baby into a routine.
- When you baby looks tired, it is sleep time.
- When a baby wakes they are usually hungry.
- When a baby is crying it is cuddle time!
- Remain flexible so that the initial variations in your babies day don’t bother you.
- Look at your baby to see what they are telling you so that you can offer timely and appropriate care to your growing bundle that sparks every emotion in you that is known to human kind!
Watch this video on Sleep Cycles and Sleep Associations from our Sleep Expert Helen Stevens