The Newborn Routine


So I've had my little pocket princess home for just over a month now and I have no shame in saying it's bloody hard work this parenting lark! Between sleep deprivation and the constant stress and worry of having a prem baby in winter, I've had a grand total of 0 minutes to myself. Which I don't really mind because she's just so damn cute, but the main thing is that I hardly get time to even see her daddy because when hes awake I'm trying to sleep!

Although my baby is only supposed to be 3/4 weeks old, I have noticed her getting bored and fed up when her day doesn't have routine or structure. I know that sounds bizarre, but it's definitely true that babies need stimulation even from the early days. Aria has been a bit of a nightmare overnight... and so I realized it's probably due to the fact I'm letting her sleep most of the day, because I thought it's what she needed but then overnight she'd be awake craving stimulation and wanting to play. So I read up on a few routines for newborns and schedules for babies etc and devised my own catered to Aria's feeding times and the routine we already have in place for her.

Most babies are demand fed but due to the challenges Aria had to overcome, she is not yet allowed to be demand fed and thus is being fed every 3 hours. Here is Aria's new routine:

7am: Change nappy, Feed, Awake time
8.30am: Sleep
10am: Change nappy, Feed, Awake time
11am: Colic massage
11.30am: Sleep
1pm: Change nappy, Feed, Awake time
2.30pm: Sleep
4pm: Change Nappy, Feed, Awake time
5pm: Colic massage
5.30pm: Sleep
6.30pm: Bath (only add bubbles 3 times a week), Change nappy, Pj's
7pm: Feed
7.30pm: Cuddles, Storytime
8pm: Bedtime
10pm: Change nappy, Feed
1am: Change nappy, Feed
4am: Change nappy, Feed

Ok so I know some of that sounds obvious, some sounds unnecessary and some sounds silly - like putting a new born to bed at 8pm. I know a lot of people say to keep them awake late etc. But we bring her moses basket downstairs and make sure she goes in it by 8pm, it lets her know that after her bath, bottle, cuddles and story it's time for bed. We have to do it around then as she will burn herself out by getting a bath and getting changed and then feeding etc, and also you aren't supposed to bath baba's too late at night because of the temperature decrease! So although shes not really expected to sleep from 8pm on wards because we continue to wake her for feeds, she will associate that bedtime routine for when shes older.

Obviously sometimes your plan just doesn't go to plan. Sometimes they poo when they aren't due a nappy change, sometimes they are too awake to have a nap or too sleepy to play. For example this is what Aria looked like during her 1pm playtime today:

And this is what she looked like by 3pm when she was supposed to be sleeping:


So the plan isn't set in stone, it isn't perfect and it will definitely change, sometimes she will need more colic massage, sometimes she might not need it at all etc. This plan is also unique to Aria, your baby's feeding time might be different, they might go longer in between, and other things but it's just to show the basics of a newborns routine, to not just make them sleep all day because it will definitely bite you in the ass!

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