New Born Daily Routine
In the early weeks it can seem like all you're doing is feeding are trying to get your baby to sleep, because it's true! Those early days are so difficult, below are mock up schedules all approved by The Mama Coach to help get into a routine or just prepare yourself before the baby arrives. Remember achieving good sleep is no easy task... read about my experience of the first 6 weeks of motherhood at the bottom of this page.
TIP: SLEEP FEEDS SLEEP! Many people think this is counter intuitive, and it is! But it works... Never wake a sleeping baby! The more they sleep in general the more they will sleep at night. Live by the 45 minute awake period, if babies get over tired they are less likely to sleep.
TIP: To help transition your baby to longer night time sleep, try and expose your baby to some sunlight during daytime awake periods. This can include going out for a walk, or even just having your windows open in a bright room!
During the Night: By 6 weeks a healthy baby is capable of sleeping longer stretches (4-6 hours)
Between 10 to 15 weeks babies like to explore, this is a great time to get them on an activity mat! Also remember to work those neck muscles and give them lots of tummy time! See the essentials tab for more examples.
Carrie, the Mama Coach Founder, says if your baby is healthy once they reach 13 lbs (10-12 weeks old) they are physically capable of sleeping through the night! Developmentally this can be challenging to get there right out of the gate. It's easier on both baby and mom to start by keeping a feed, but changing what the feed looks like (i.e. not nursing to sleep).
During the Night: By 12 weeks a healthy baby is capable of through the night (8+ hours)
The First 6 Weeks...
I'll never forget the first night with my daughter at the hospital, I was looking at the nurse in the nursery and saying "it's late and I'm tired"... she replied "prepare yourself for a lot of sleepless nights..." and I was in pure shock. I don't know why, I had done the readings and thought I had prepared myself! I had also heard from other parents, the first 6 weeks will actually be the worst 6 weeks of your life. My thought process pre-baby was "it can't be that bad, plus my baby will be perfect right?" Wrong! The first 6 weeks is hard because babies can't produce Melatonin on their own yet, this changes at 6 weeks and thank goodness. The nights are long with lots of feedings and awake time... Remember this was your baby's busy time in the womb, because mom walking around all day lulled them to sleep.
Doctor Weissbluth, from Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (E), defines this time as "the six-week peak" when all babies are the most fussy and awake in their infant cycle. But the good news is, once you make it past the 6 week hump, it gets better! I also remember my family doctor saying enjoy this special time, they don't stay this little for very long. So on the long hard nights, remember that, they don't stay this little for very long. Try to cherish the little fingers and little toes, sleep will come. And if it doesn't ask for help!
I was very reluctant to ask for help initially, I felt like I was already failing as a parent, I couldn't even get sleep right. Then I became so desperate that I threw my mom ego out the window, and it was the best thing I ever did. I hit my breaking point at 6 weeks. My child wasn't sleeping more than two hour intervals, and I thought things would magically get better after 6 weeks... another humbling moment for me in my motherhood journey. Thankfully a friend suggested The Mama Coach, when we all started to sleep everything just seemed to fall into place. When you ask for help, especially from someone who can empathize with you, the most magical thing happens... You conquer your problems faster and easier, and you have someone to share your success with.