The majority of a newborn's time is spent sleeping; they sleep roughly 16 hours out of every 24 hours. Night and day, they're trained to sleep in brief spurts of roughly 2-3 hours between feeding. In addition, babies require feeding every 2-4 hours. They require your attention at all hours of the day and night.
The first few months of your baby's life are a great time to get to know your little one and learn about their needs. You may discover that a very simple, flexible regimen appears to benefit your infant while also allowing you to feel more in charge. In either case, your baby and you will fall into a routine of sleeping, feeding, and playing eventually.
Between feeding, newborns spend the majority of their time resting. Each sleep cycle lasts about 2 to 3 hours. However, after 40 minutes, your baby may begin to stir and want your assistance to fall back asleep. They may sleep for 16 hours in a 24-hour period.
Your baby will likely wake up 2 to 3 times during the night for feeds since he or she cannot tell the difference between sleeping during the day and sleeping at night. After a month, your baby may begin sleeping for extended periods of time at night, and between 3 and 6 months, they may sleep for 4 to 5 hours at a time. Because a newborn's sleep patterns fluctuate frequently, it's best to take things gently and be flexible in the first few months.
Your kid will need 6 to 8 feeds in a 24-hour period, for a total of 2 to 5 hours each day, whether you breastfeed or bottle feed. Because breast milk is quickly absorbed, your infant may feed up to 12 times each day if you are breastfeeding.
Your infant may feed quite frequently at times, which is known as cluster feeding. They may sleep for longer after the cluster feed. If you want to compute the duration between feeds, start at the beginning of the previous feed rather than the end. Feeding your infant is a terrific opportunity to get some cuddle time in addition to providing them with the nutrition they require to grow.
Related: Best Nutrition For A Newborn Baby
Cuddling and playing
Making time for snuggling and playtime with your infant as part of your regular activities is critical for their development and growth. Rather than offering your baby games and toys, the goal is to interact with them. Making eye contact, smiling, and singing nursery rhymes are all fun ways to play.
Taking your baby for a walk while reading or giving them a tale is a great way to bond with them, or blowing raspberries and making expressions may help.
Other play ideas include:
- giving your baby different things to look at and feel while talking to them
- giving your baby supervised tummy time each day
- making sounds
- giving your baby a massage
For some newborns, playtime may consist of nothing more than cuddling or a peaceful stretch and kick on a blanket. Some people love to play for only 10 minutes at a time, while others prefer to play for longer. Pay attention to your baby's behaviour; if they appear upset or unsettled, they could be scared, exhausted, or overloaded. If that's the case, consider a quieter activity afterwards. Alternatively, you may see that they are becoming exhausted and need to sleep as a result of their actions.
It may appear that your infant is continuously crying - this is very natural and serves as a means for your baby to communicate with you. Approximately one out of every ten babies cries for more than three hours every day. You could notice that your baby screams more in the afternoon or early evening than at other times of the day.
Check if your newborn is hungry, weary, or uncomfortable when they cry. Your newborn may require feeding, calming to sleep, a clean nappy, or be too hot or chilly. They could be scared, in need of a hug, or overtired. You'll begin to recognise different types of screams and what they represent as you get to know your baby better. Responding to your baby's cries is a vital component of building trust and bonding with your child.
Related: Help - My Baby Won't Stop Crying
What routines can I start with my newborn?
It is beneficial to be flexible when dealing with babies. When it comes to sleeping, feeding, and playing with your baby, you might want to start doing simple things in a similar order: when your baby wakes from a nap, offer them a feed in the middle of, or at the conclusion of the nap, change your baby's nappy, and have cuddle, talk, and play time.
You also want to set your infant up for a good night's sleep. You may want to omit play time at night and simply try to get them to sleep again. You should do what you feel is best for you and your baby, but seek advice if you are not sure.
Remember, nobody's perfect - take everyday at a time. You’ve got this!