Having a baby is a life changing event and the first few weeks can be a bit of an upheaval as both you and your baby try to adapt to your new life.
The first few weeks can be a bit daunting and tiring, even if your baby does spend most of their time sleeping. Getting a routine in place will be on a lot of mothers' minds and undoubtedly one of the hot topics at any get togethers for new mothers.
In the first few weeks you shouldn’t worry about trying to get your baby into a firm routine. A newborn baby needs to feed frequently, every 3 hours on average, and it takes a while to get your baby used to day and night. At this early stage focus on getting to know your little one, establishing breastfeeding, helping them settle to sleep and making sure you rest and look after yourself.
Establishing a routine will help you to feel more in control of your life and will also help your baby feel more secure. Most babies will feel more comfortable knowing when it’s time to play, eat or sleep. And for mothers, it’s great to know that you can have a bit of ‘me’ time now and again.
All babies are different
There is no right or wrong when it comes to establishing a routine. All babies are different. Introducing a sleep-time routine is a good starting point though. In the early evening, by the time your baby is around 2 or 3 months old, try a bath, a quick massage, a feeding and a soothing song or lullaby. When they reach six months, you may want to introduce a story and a sleep-time teddy. You can encourage your baby to sleep more at night by feeding them regularly during the day, and at night, keep lights low, avoid too much stimulation and only change their diaper if necessary. Good sleep habits will benefit both parents and child for many years to come.
A pacifier may also help them to settle. Babies have a strong instinct to suck and that simple sucking action may naturally relax them. Try and choose an orthodontic pacifier that is better for developing teeth. Remember to sterilize your Pacifiers regularly and always if they have been dropped on the floor.
While it’s recommended that your baby sleeps in your room for the first 6 months, in a separate crib, there will be times when you’re not in the same room. That’s when a good baby monitor can help. It’s a great way to keep an eye (or rather an ear) on your baby without rushing in whenever they make a sound and that way you can let them try to settle themselves first, which will help them to establish good sleeping habits in the long run. Some of the new baby monitors are digitally enhanced, which means there is no interference and crystal-clear reception. For extra peace of mind, some carry additional features such as real-time digital humidity and temperature sensors which allow you to monitor your baby’s room conditions.
There are no hard and fast rules
Just remember there are no textbook rules when it comes to baby routines. Your baby is an individual and it can take time to learn what routine works for them. You have a big influence of course, but not all parents want a firm routine, others don’t know how they would manage without one. This is your baby, your time as a mom or dad, follow your instincts and don’t be afraid to seek support and guidance if you need it. A good routine is one everyone is happy with.
Please be aware that the information given in these articles is only intended as general advice and should in no way be taken as a substitute for professional medical
advice. If you or your family or your child is suffering from symptoms or conditions which are severe or persistent or you need specific medical advice, please seek professional medical assistance.
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