When you first bring a newborn baby into your home, your life will be turned upside down and you couldn’t feel less prepared. Building a routine based on your baby’s natural cues gives structure and stability and a chance for you to find peace (at least for a wee bit! ). It will seem next to impossible when your baby needs to be fed on demand, but your baby’s pattern will become more predictable over time, generally at around 2-4 months of age. Tracking your baby’s activities can help in understanding his natural cues and even recognize developing patterns. Then, you will be able to steadily build a routine that works. Here are 5 tips to help you do that.
First, observe what time your baby likes to take naps. It is ideal that your baby takes naps between each feed so working out your baby’s nap time can also help you establish a feeding schedule
Your baby needs to be fed 6-8 times in a day. One you’ve figured out your baby’s nap time and night sleep, establish a mealtime routine where you space out the times a evenly as possible.
Once your baby is ready for baby food, make sure to establish a proper dinner time so that your baby can develop a healthy eating habit.
Over-prepare for Bath Time
Preparation is key when it’s time to give your baby a bath. Before you start bathing your baby, make sure EVERYTHING is laid out and ready. This will put less stress on you and your baby.
A baby that sleeps through the whole night is rare so plan a bedtime routine that is as relaxing for you as it is to the baby. Create a calm and relaxing mood with low lights, white noise (if your baby falls asleep well to it), and other calming activities. Your baby will eventually learn that nighttime is for sleeping.
Trust your instincts
Having a steady routine for you and your baby is a great help but don’t let it control you. When your baby is crying and your gut feeling is that he is hungry, then do feed him. Remember that routines are meant to be a guideline and to give more structure into you and your baby’s daily routine but nothing should be set in stone.