Like many things in parenting, there isn’t just one way to do things. For instance, some parents begin using Babywise when their babies are 12 weeks old, others (like myself) start on day one. There is no right or wrong way, it is just what works best for your family. If you are like me, however, then you might be wondering how to start right off the bat. That is why I have written this post. If you’re not at all familiar with Babywise, then start –> HERE.
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Don’t Look At The Clock
This is the rule that is clearly noted in the Babywise book. It is super important that during the first couple of weeks you look away from your clock and simply follow the lead of your baby. I know that may not come naturally, but it really is an important factor in those early days. Not only will it help you relax, but it’ll also help you get to know the cues your baby gives.
This is much easier said than done, I know. What is important to remember is that you’re not going to create any truly terrible habits in those first early weeks. The first week or two is survival mode. You are still recovering while simultaneously trying to get to know the child you delivered, as well as keeping them alive. It is hard. It is a shock to the system, especially if it is your first time. So, realise that Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your baby’s sleep routine.
Understand The Sleep Hierarchy
My friend, Val from Chronicles of A Babywise Mom has written this genius post about the newborn sleep hierarchy. I have personally referred to it over and over with both my children. I suggest you do the same. While establishing a healthy sleep and feeding schedule is the ultimate goal, there are also other needs to consider. Be sure to balance the two.
Focus On Full Feeds
Getting your baby to take full feeds will go a long way in helping to establish a daily routine. Not only is it great for that, but some obvious benefits are the health of your child and if breastfeeding, establishing your supply. Keeping your baby awake for feeds is usually quite a challenge at the start but there are tips and tricks to help you out! See –> THIS POST
Work On Day/Night Confusion
It is very common for newborns to arrive with some day/night confusion. Working to correct that will help everyone get more rest in the long run. It is a frustrating issue to deal with, but it can be overcome by practising some simple things. Find out what they are in my free email series. 🙂
By focusing on the above points, you’ll likely find that your baby naturally falls into a 2-3 hour feeding routine by the end of the second week. You can then start being more intentional about adhering to an Eat, Wake, Sleep routine. And then gradually focusing on independent sleep skills. However, remember to always give you and your baby grace and to allow for flexibility when it is called for.
Until next time!