The first few weeks as new parents tend to be as exhausting as they are exciting. There are many things that are out of your control, but you will be fine. This stage does not last forever, as time goes by you will start settling into a new routine. It is important to cherish every moment, with every phase comes its own joys and struggles, and they go by so fast. It will probably take a couple of years for you to go back to your old sleeping patterns, but when your baby is around four months old you can start organizing your daily life by establishing a feeding schedule and a night routine.
How can I establish a feeding schedule?
Feeding your baby properly is important for their wellbeing, development and growth. But how many times should they eat in a day? Below you will find a general recommendation that can be followed.
Babies should be fed around:
- 12 times a day up to 4 months.
- Six times from 4 to 6 months.
- Three to five from 6 to 8 months.
- Three to four from 8 months up to one year old.
Even though that is the general recommendation, you should always check with your health care provider to make sure you are feeding your baby just enough.
How can I establish a night routine?
As an adult, you have learnt the difference between day and night. Babies, however, often have the concepts confused, since while in the womb what would put them into sleep were the movements inside the uterus. But how can you incept the idea into your baby’s mind? Think back to a time you have felt jetlagged, to get over it you have to set your biological clock to a different time. But that is not something you can achieve overnight; you need to be patient. It is the same with your baby. The little one must create an association between the night-time, sleep and relaxation. But how can you do that?
You can build the ambience by: - Dimming the lights. - Giving them a bath. - Changing them into fresh clothes. - Reading them a story. - Singing a soothing lullaby. - Trying not to talk too loudly. - Avoiding overstimulating your baby, leave the games and excitement for the daytime. - Putting them in bed right after being fed and changed.
Try to keep the night-time ambience the entire night, from when you are preparing them to bed through the times you wake up to feed your baby.
But what about during the day?
What should they associate with daytime? Since the sun is out, and the atmosphere is more vibrant, your routine should be built around that.
- Open the curtains to let the light in. - Play games. - Let your kid explore new things, it is the right time for excitement and stimulation.
Getting into a routine may not be easy at first, but it will be worth it. Most of your life now revolves around your baby, so by getting into a routine, it can give you the tools to better organise your schedule as well.
- Feeding Baby in the First Year. (2020). Cleveland Clinic.
- NHS website. (2020, December 7). Helping your baby to sleep. Nhs.Uk.
- Parents. (2019, October 7). How to Establish a Routine for Your Baby.