Everyone says having a baby is amazing and we all “oooh” and “aaah” over how cute babies are; but those teeny tiny toes come with a lot of work and responsibility. Bringing home a newborn is exciting and exhilarating and can be overwhelming and confusing especially as a first-time parent. I realized creating and using a newborn baby schedule helped my days run smoothly.
When I had my first son, I was overwhelmed with all the additional things I had to juggle in addition to being a full time student and commuting two hours each way to my lessons. I was lucky to have my mum come to visit from the United States and help out for the first three months of motherhood. Having an entire tribe help out after my mum had to leave was amazing and probably what kept me sane. My husband and my son’s godmother were absolutely AMAZING!
With my second son, I realized something that I could only assume but had no experience in until June 2019: our capacity to love multiplies when the number of children we have increases. I don’t have a favorite. I love both my sons equally (it does make it easier that they are both charmers).
But my time? My time is more divided than ever. Whoever said having two kids was easier than one LIED!!! I suddenly have two tummies to fill, two bodies to bathe and two bottoms to wipe. I have to engage them both in entirely different ways seeing as they are three years apart.
Kristoffer, my rainbow baby, changed the dynamic of the family. I rocked the first three months of motherhood with him really well. I handled the feeding and hugging and some of the changing, my mother and husband handled the other part of the changing and my mum handled the laundry and cooking while my husband worked himself overtime so we could live on a single salary since I had just gone from finishing school to being at home full time with a baby.
When my mother left to go back to her life in the US, my easy life ended. I had to figure out a way to handle being a mother to a three year old and a newborn at the same time and meet both their needs more than adequately. Now, with the additional responsibility of a second child, I really needed a schedule that would help me make good use of my time with each of my boys.
NEED MORE HELP WITH SCHEDULES AND ROUTINES?
I found that having a newborn baby schedule helped immensely to keep my organized and naturally created a schedule of sorts for my kindergarten-er and I.
I looked at a few schedules online and none worked for us. My son was different that these other children. I couldn’t feed him nine times a day when he was already sleeping through the night from the day he was born. I found out that, noticing his pattern the first few days and creating a schedule that was very close to his internal clock was the best thing I could ever do.
4 THINGS MY NEWBORN BABY SCHEDULE HAS TO HAVE
- It must set my little one up for good sleeping habits from an early age.
- I need to have independent and quality time with my older son.
- It must allow for downtime for me to take a shower, rest my eyes a bit or just take a break.
- It has to allow for couple time (how else are mommy and daddy going to make more of these little cuties?!)
My routine with my newborn was not strict to time. Life happens and with a little one who pooped 20 times (I kid you not) a day, and ate very little, I ended up with a general four hour pattern during the day and my darling boy slept through the night. That was an average of 6 – 8 hours of sleep for me. Minimum.
I am not watching the clock to make sure we are on schedule down to the minute but this newborn baby schedule really helped me know what to expect and tailor my daily chores and life to adapt to the new baby.
This newborn baby schedule is for a breastfed baby and it may or may not be a little different for formula-fed babies. In this post is a free printable of my newborn baby schedule and a template to create your own to suit your day and baby.
I nursed my son every time he showed signs of wanted food. Or when he wanted to soothe-feed. I find it unrewarding for both momma and little to “stretch out” feeding times. Your schedule should work around your little one, and not the other way around.
I also found out that, feeding my son often during the day had him full enough to sleep longer and better at night.
NEWBORN BABY SCHEDULE TIMELINE
6:00 AM – Wake baby up. Change diaper. Nurse
When my son wakes up, I change his nappy and change him out of his sleep clothes. While I nurse, I start my day off by checking my mails and replying any messages that came through while I was asleep. I burp him, change his nappy again (he likes to poop while eating) and then lay him down for his first nap.
6:30 AM – Nap
I get up and get my son’s breakfast and lunch packs ready for school and then I get him up and ready for drop off; after the baby goes down for his nap. Afterwards, I get a cup of tea down the hatch before nap time is over.
10:30 AM – Wake up. Change diaper. Nurse
The cycle starts again and I change my little one in a fresh nappy and nurse him. I find that he is less fussy when he is in a clean diaper and he poops right on schedule in a clean diaper too. After burping him, I lay him on his tummy for 5-10 minutes for tummy time and then it is time for his next nap (If he hasn’t gifted me with another poopy surprise).
11:30 AM – Nap
You don’t want to wait too long to put your little one down for a nap. Newborns tend to sleep for an average of 20 hours a day. Try to put your little one down for a nap when you see signs of tiredness. These include yawning and rubbing the eyes. It is best to not wait until after the baby is asleep.
3:00 PM – Wake up. Change diaper. Nurse
After our wake-change-feed cycle, I bundle my little one in his pram and take a stroll with him down to my toddler’s kindergarten for pick up (It is only a 15 minute walk). He falls asleep shortly before we get there and sleeps the whole way back until dinner time.
4:00 PM – Nap
7:00 PM – Wake up. Change diaper. Nurse
After our cycle, we try a bit of tummy time again for a few minutes before settling in for bed. It is important to start this early since it helps to build your little one’s neck, arm and back muscles. This is the part of the day when we also take a bath and change into sleepwear.
8:00 PM – Bedtime (Sleep)
10:30 PM – Wake up. Change diaper. Nurse
11:00 PM – Sleep
Midnight – Dream feed
3:00 AM – Night feeding. Change only if diaper is full or poopy.
Did this schedule help take away some of the overwhelming feeling you may have about balancing your new routine? Let me know in the comments!