Establishing A Baby Bedtime Routine
You may feel ready to introduce a bedtime routine when your baby is around 3 months old. Getting them into a simple, soothing bedtime routine can be helpful for everyone and help prevent sleeping problems later on. It’s also a great opportunity to have one-to-one time with your baby.
The routine could consist of:
- having a bath
- changing into night clothes and a fresh nappy
- putting them to bed
- dimming the lights in the room to create a calm atmosphere
- giving a goodnight kiss and cuddle
- singing a lullaby or having a wind-up musical mobile you can turn on when you’ve put your baby to bed
- brushing their teeth
As your child gets older, it can be helpful to keep to a similar bedtime routine. Too much excitement and stimulation just before bedtime can wake your child up again. Spend some time winding down and doing some calmer activities, like reading.
The Ultimate Newborn Sleep Schedule: Week By Week
Youve come to the right place for your newborn sleep schedule and sleep patterns. I will help teach you how to get your baby on a schedule, how much time in bed is actually needed, and day and nighttime solutions.
When I was pregnant with my firstborn I hadnt babysat a child more than once or twice.
Much less a baby.
Much less a newborn that was as small as my forearm and was always hungry.
I read what I could, studied what I found, and now as a mom of 5 can safely say getting your newborn to sleep well is totally possible.
Ill show you how.
Tips And Things To Note:
- At night feed swaddled to communicate they should stay asleep and during the day unswaddle to feed which helps wake them up. This swaddle is breathable and you can change them at night without taking their arms out. Here are my best swaddling tips.
- Yawning, tugging ears, staring off into space, and eye rubbing are signs of tiredness, crying is usually a sign of overtiredness. Waiting until they cry to put them to sleep will likely result in a baby who cant get to sleep on their own
- Its okay to wake a sleeping baby during the day to feed them, really it is. Letting babies sleep long stretches during the day will not help in the day/night confusion issue.
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Dont Discount The Daytime Routine
Daytime naps and feedings play a big part in what happens at night. If baby gets too little or too much sleep during the day, it could throw bedtime out of whack.
Their feeds should be well-spaced throughout the day, Barnett says. If your baby is taking a four-hour nap in the middle of the day, theyre missing a feed and are going to need that feed at nighttime.
The same sleep cues that apply to the night apply to the day too. Barnett suggests post-nap feedings so that baby doesnt associate sleep with being fed.
A nap routine can be very, very similar to the nighttime routine, she says. Literally just one book on the couch to signal that it is time to go to sleep and then pop the baby down into bed.
A Day In The Life Of A Newborn
Newborn babies seem to mostly sleep, eat, cry and poo. But as you and your baby get to know each other and bond in your early days together, your day will also involve cuddling and playtime. All babies are different their eating and sleeping patterns often change, and it may take some time for them to settle into a routine.
You may prefer that your day-to-day activities follow what your newborn does. Alternatively, you may like to start to establish a very simple routine. Either way, your baby and you will begin to settle into a daily pattern of sleeping, feeding and playing.
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How To Establish A Routine For Your Baby
For the first few months, infants arent ready for a schedule, but you can use this time to prep for future success. First, teach your baby the difference between day and night. She may have these times reversed because she was lulled to sleep by your movement while in the womb. During the day, wake her to feed every three hours, and talk and sing a lot.
Depending on her weight, you may also need to get your baby up to eat every four hours throughout the night. During those feedings, encourage a quick return to dreamland by being quiet and keeping the lights dim.
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Understand Your Baby’s Sleep Needs
During the first 2 months, your newborn’s need to eat overrules their need to sleep. They may feed almost every 2 hours if you’re breastfeeding, and possibly a little less often if you bottle-feed.
Your baby may sleep from 10 to 18 hours a day, sometimes for 3 to 4 hours at a time. But babies dont know the difference between day and night. So they sleep with no regard for what time it is. That means your babys wide-awake time may be from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
By 3 to 6 months, many babies are able to sleep for a stretch of 6 hours. But just as you think your baby is getting into a nice routine — usually between 6 and 9 months — normal developmental stages can throw things off. For instance, when your baby begins to associate bedtime with being left alone, they may start crying just to keep you around.
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St Month Newborn Sleep Tips
What Your Newborn Is Up To: When it comes to the first few weeks of life everything is about figuring things out. Both parents and newborns are in the introductory stagelike the getting to know you stage.
For your newborn, he or she is adjusting to life on the outside. Everything is new! Sounds, light, dark, feeding, touch, mom and dad or siblings its a brand new world. Your newborn is still developing too. Things like figuring how to latch or feed are new. Newborn eyesight isnt fully developed. Stretching their bodies out and moving arms and legs is a new sensation.
For parents, things are new too! Youre probably getting familiar with your newborns cues, like which pacifier works? What swaddle blanket does the baby prefer? What do your babys different sounds mean? How many diaper changes are needed and how should feedings be spaced out.
So where does sleep come into play? Here are newborn sleep tips to help you during this stage.
The Key To A Good Newborn Routine
This may be so simple it goes without saying but the key to a good routine is keeping the routine.
It can be tricky to remember everything in order when youre beginning, but once you get the hang of it, routine will be second nature.
It can seem very difficult to get started doing or keeping a routine when you do not have one at all. Here are some ways you can learn to keep your routine.
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How Should Babies Sleep
During the first weeks of a baby’s life, some parents choose to room-share. Room-sharing is when you place your baby’s crib, portable crib, play yard, or bassinet in your own bedroom instead of in a separate nursery. This keeps baby nearby and helps with feeding, comforting, and monitoring at night. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends room-sharing without bed-sharing.
Follow these recommendations for a safe sleep environment for your little one:
Put Your Sleepy Baby To Bed
Starting when your baby is 6 to 12 weeks old, soothe them until they are drowsy. When they are on the verge of sleep, put them down and let them drift off on their own. Don’t wait until they are fully asleep in your arms this could be a behavior that may become a struggle to get rid of later in their life.
This routine will teach your baby to soothe themselves to sleep, and you won’t need to rock or cuddle them to sleep every time they wake up during the night.
If your baby has trouble settling down, try moving their bedtime earlier, not later. Being overtired can make it hard to nod off.
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Coping With Disturbed Nights
Newborn babies invariably wake up repeatedly in the night for the first few months, and disturbed nights can be very hard to cope with.
If you have a partner, ask them to help. If you’re formula feeding, encourage your partner to share the feeds. If you’re breastfeeding, ask your partner to take over the early morning changing and dressing so you can go back to sleep.
Once you’re into a good breastfeeding routine, your partner could occasionally give a bottle of expressed breast milk during the night. If you’re on your own, you could ask a friend or relative to stay for a few days so you can get some sleep.
Week 6 Of Newborn Sleep Schedule
Morning wake times.
This is one of the most important habits you can start with your 6 week old baby. Why decide a morning wake time?
Well its simple.
If you feed them at a consistent time each morning, thats the time they learn to sleep until.
So, if you feed your baby at 5:30 am and then start the day their metabolisms and body clocks will get used to waking up for good at 5:30 am.
You probably want to avoid this.
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Week : Address Bumps In The Road
Inching closer to 2 months and you may have experienced a few glorious nights of good sleep or restful afternoons of naps.
Just when youre feeling caught up on sleep yourself you might experience times when your baby is sleeping more like a 1 week old.
Things pop up in a newborns life for a variety of reasons. You might have a week of cluster feeding. Your baby might have digestive issues and get painful gas. You might experience colic with your newborn.
These situations put a halt on working towards regular sleep schedules or may put a damper on sleep altogether.
It may be easier said than done, but dont sweat it if youre not getting in your 10 am nap every day for the time being. Focus on taking care of your baby and figuring out what they need.
The good thing about newborns is that they are always changing and evolving and that means difficult phases dont last forever. Whatever bumps come your way things will smooth out.
The Ultimate Baby Bedtime Routine
You probably have a set routine before bed that looks something like this: turn off screens, wash your face, brush your teeth, get into bed.
Just as a nightly routine helps you transition from day to night, a bedtime ritual is good for your baby, too. An established routine can cue your baby that its time to sleep and lays the foundation for a good sleep schedule for years to come.
Not sure how to get started? Weve got the tips you need to create the ultimate baby bedtime routine and make sure everyone in the family gets the nightly ZZZs they need.
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How To Get Your Newborn Into A Routine That Works For You
Some babies slip easily into a routine, others are more unpredictable, leading to frazzled parents. I struggled with two babies myself who were unpredictable, fussy and colicky. My third was unsettled until he was 4 months unless he was feeding or attached to me via a carrier, he was often not happy. It can be a lonely, frustrating, and exhausting time being a new parent, whether its your first or your fifth. You just want to do your best for your child whilst still feeling a sense of normality. I myself struggled when I was a first-time parent, I knew how to feed and change a baby, the practicalities of looking after a baby, but beyond that, I felt helpless and struggled with the new demands and lack of sleep. In desperation, I went and bought Gina Fords contented little baby book and tried to follow it to the letter. It didnt work, just left me feeling that my baby was naughty,broken or worse, that I was just not good enough or consistent enough. A better read was The Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg. She sadly died of cancer in 2004, but her work is still popular today. She talked more sense. My method is loosely based on her book, and also from my research and experience as a Mum of 3. My youngest is 3 and a half as I write this and I have an 8-year-old and a 7-year-old. They have all been different in their sleep habits.
Sleep Fact For 2 Month Old Babies
Two months is a great time to introduce a consistent bedtime routine to cue that its time to sleep. Short and sweet is best at this age no need to be complicated, it just needs to be consistent to be effective!
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You Can Survive The 4th Trimester
These helpful newborn sleep tips are broken down week by week to get you through this season. Infants change and grow so much and you need tips that change with them. When you hit the 12-week mark youll be able to look back and see how much your newborn grew!
Youll also be able to look back and see how your newborns sleep patterns have changed.
Until then take things one week at a time so you can focus on using the right newborn sleep tips at the right time when your baby needs them!
How To Keep Babies Awake Long Enough To Feed:
- Rub their feet and hands
- Wipe their forehead, neck, and face with a wet wipe
- Strip baby down to their diaper and un-swaddle or wrap them so they are not too warm and snug
- Burp thoroughly when you change nursing sides, or halfway through with the bottle
- Before a feeding, put your newborn on the ground for a little tummy time while you prepare to feed them, theyll kick around and wake themselves up a bit
When you begin nursing, encourage your baby to take a full feed. This will vary depending on the baby, but it will not be 5 minutes, then falling asleep.
If your baby falls asleep after only a few minutes, gently rouse them and encourage them to continue feeding.
If you can get your baby to take full feeds for the first week theyll naturally rest well, both day and night.
I know it can be super hard for you to get through this , but you will get through it.
Theres a tendency to just let baby feed for a few minutes here and there and sleep here and there. This feels natural, but if you are a first time mom particularly its very hard to begin to understand babys cues.
Because baby seems to be fussing a lot and then falling asleep a lot and you dont know when theyre tired or when theyre hungry. THIS IS WHY routines are so beneficial to baby and mom.
Baby doesnt need to cry to make their needs known if they are just well fed and well slept from the get go.
Sample One Week Schedule:
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