Kiddos go by their own schedule—and boy, it sure is unpredictable! Although little ones are famously fickle, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to create a workable newborn baby routine. In fact, adding a bit of predictability to your home life could be a major stress-reliever.
Kiddos go by their own schedule—and boy, it sure is unpredictable!
Although little ones are famously fickle, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to create a workable newborn baby routine. In fact, adding a bit of predictability to your home life could be a major stress-reliever.
In this post, I’m going to share five ways to add a bit of order to your new mom daily routine. Just be careful not to make these routines too rigid! Your newborn’s needs should always supersede our scheduling suggestions.
Five Scheduling Ideas For Your New Mom Daily Routine
Pay Attention To Day-Night Cues
After all those months in the womb, it’s no wonder kiddos have such a confused circadian rhythm! Thankfully, there are simple ways you could help your little ones understand the difference between day and night.
For instance, when it’s bright outside, that’s the time to ramp up the cute baby talk! Schedule all of your playtime activities when the sun is shining to keep your kiddo active and alert.
As the sun begins to set, dim your lights and speak softly to your little one. In fact, some new mommas don’t talk at all during their last feeding session. These simple tricks help little ones get a sense for the calm vibe of nighttime.
Start A Relaxing Nighttime Ritual
Picking up on the last point, many new mommas find it helpful to establish a predictable bedtime bonding ritual. Not only is this a great way to connect with your kiddos, it also subtly reinforces the idea that nighttime is sleepy -time.
There are many things you could do during this routine, but a few common suggestions include singing a lullaby, reading a picture book, or giving your little one a gentle massage. You should also change your kiddos into their adorable jammies every night to signal it’s time for sleep.
Figure Out Your Kiddo’s Nap Routine
When it comes to napping patterns, babies usually fall into one of two groups. Some little ones fall asleep every two hours, but others get sleepy at set times.
You should be able to figure out your little one’s natural sleep schedule at about three months old. Whenever you notice it’s nearing your kiddo’s predictable naptime, it’s time to bring your little one to the crib for an abridged bedtime sleep-time routine.
Naptime routines don’t need to be as long or elaborate as your nighttime ritual, but you should have one. Choosing just one predictable activity (e.g., singing a lullaby) could help your child fall asleep at their set nap timesnaptimes.
Create A Safe & Social Atmosphere At Dinner
Dinnertime isn’t just about feeding our tummies. More and more research shows that kiddos who regularly eat with their family have a greater sense of emotional well-being. Establishing a safe space at the dinner table keeps everyone connected—provided you remember to “disconnect” from your phone!
Since positive mealtime memories are so crucial for kiddos, try to bring your little one near the dinner table early and often. As you eat your family meal, give your kiddo some Cheerios or another snack as they sit on a high chair. As long as you have a pediatrician’s approval, you could even cut some of your food and see if your little one likes it!
The important thing with this routine is to establish dinner as a time for sharing and socializing. Setting this pattern early-on is the best gift you could give your little one.
Consider Adding “Dream Feeds” To Your Routine
If you’ve read through a few blogs with first-time mom advice, you might’ve run into the “dream feed” routine. As the name suggests, “dream feeds” mean you breastfeed your baby while they’re dreaming. Mommas who practice this strategy usually give their baby one “dream feed” every night about two hours after they put their kiddo to bed.
So, what’s the point of “dream feeds?” Many mommas claim these feeding sessions help their babies sleep for longer stretches without crying. Of course, this also means you might get some extra shut-eye—and what new momma is going to refuse that?
Interestingly, there is some scientific research to back up the “dream feed” technique. For instance, a study from the University of Illinois suggested mommas that gave nightly “dream feeds” saw remarkable improvements in sleep duration within three weeks.
Please Don’t Forget To Stay Flexible!
As a final reminder: your little one has the final say on what’s going to happen each day. Although you could nudge your kiddo in a certain direction, please don’t rely too heavily on these daily routines.