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Newborn Feeding and Sleep Routine

Trish Martin | Jun 15, 2022

From 0-6 weeks

What does a newborn to 6 week old routine look like?


Babies in the first 7-10 days sleep a lot, but many mums will tell you that by the time your baby is 14 days old, their little personalities start to shine and they are a bit more awake.

This is a great time to start implementing some consistency with your feeding and sleep routine. The routine starts from the time your baby wakes until it’s bedtime.


A 0-6 week old awake window is 45-60 minutes

This includes:

  • Feeding
  • Burping
  • Nappy Change
  • Play Time

Then back to bed.

To get all these in within the 45-60 min time frame can be very challenging.

The reason why many babies are unsettled, hard to get to sleep and only cat nap is because they are over tired.

It’s also very important to know how to recognise and differentiate between your baby’s cues. Baby cues are signs and signals to let you know if your baby is hungry, tired or in discomfort. You can read more about your baby’s cue in this Ebook

Feeding

I recommend not timing your feeds but rather know the difference between hunger and comfort feeding. Babies feed differently. Some babies are more efficient than others. When babies are feeding for a long time, they are often comfort sucking. When you are satisfied your baby is full, then you can proceed to the next step.

Burping
Keep burping to a maximum of 10 min especially if your baby is already tired. Babies who are crying are unlikely to burp well. Burping between sides is recommended.

Nappy Change 
Change nappy after you have finished feeding. I don’t recommend changing nappies between sides when you are breastfeeding. You can also give your baby opportunity to kick around without a nappy as part of floor time.

Play Time (Floor Time)

Offering play time is important even for newborns. Giving them time and space to explore. It’s also a to easier to recognise your baby’s cues when they are awake. This is also a great time to introduce tummy time even if it’s only for a few minutes.

Bed

Once your baby is starts to grizzle, and is showing tired signs, then it’s time for bed. You can place baby in bed awake and see if they can sooth themselves to sleep. If they need help to settle then it’s important to understand what will work for you especially long term. Feeding, rocking and holding your baby too sleep are all ok but if you do this consistently, it may create challenges that are not sustainable. 

This routine is best from time your baby wakes in the morning ( 6-7am) until around 10 pm. If your baby is feeding well and healthy then you can leave them however long they want to sleep during the night from 10 pm. You can also introduce a dream feed to help them sleep longer during the night. Learn about dream feeds.  
The evening and/or night routine does not include play time and only change nappy if needed. 

Quick note- Cuddles are awesome, babies love cuddles, so it’s important to have flexibility. 

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