If you’ve learned anything by now from being the mom to a newborn, it’s that new babies and schedules don’t mix. This post isn’t what you think — I don’t have Norah on a schedule at all. She has formed patterns of when she does certain things though. The easiest part of new motherhood is figuring out those patterns and finding your rhythm together.
So, don’t bother trying to put your baby on their own schedule, ha! Instead, try to understand their cues, believe it or not they are great at communicating their needs even if they can’t talk! Here are Norah’s daily patterns, and here is how I go about them (especially with a toddler in tow).
My Daily Schedule With a Newborn
not every day is like this. When she’s having a growth spurt, or just extra fussy, she feeds more, sleeps more, or sometimes sleeps less (yikes), just know that if you’re reading this and wondering “why doesn’t my newborn do this?” just know that NEWBORNS ARE UNPREDICTABLE sometimes, and just because this is how must days go for us now that she’s two months old, she still keeps me on my toes lots of the time too 😉
So, like I said, I use the word “schedule” loosely as I feed Norah on demand, so if she cries, sucks on her hands and hasn’t eaten in awhile (even if it’s 45 minutes after a feeding) I nurse her…I also don’t try to sleep train her (especially this young), and she does spend a considerable amount of time sleeping on or right next to me. This is what works for me – it doesn’t mean it will work for you. If you are having trouble with your newborn, consult your pediatrician or GP about the questions you have 😉 This is just how we spend our day!
So, Norah usually wakes up when Grace wakes up… at 5:40 AM (ahhhh!) but the good news is she is only up for a bit and then takes a morning nap. She wakes up and is ready to eat right away, so we nurse (in the side-lying position so I can still lay down and wake myself up for the day) on one side, then I offer the other side. By then, my husband and Grace are both awake so we spend this time doting over her. I change her diaper, undress her, and then Grace, my husband, and I talk to her and show her some of her little baby toys. We basically just “play” by cooing and making silly faces.
Here is the little wooden toy gym we got for her. We hang her toys on that. I like that you can easily put it in her crib, on the bed, floor, or over her Charlie Crane rocker.
I take advantage of the time she’s awake + fed for my husband to hold her and cuddle her so I can throw myself together. I quickly do my make-up and hair (which literally takes five minutes now, I’m a pro at the whole speed-getting-ready thing), then I start Gracie’s breakfast.
Typically by this time she is SO ready to go to sleep. Unfortunately, I can’t sit down and have her sleep on me, bit of she was my firstborn I would sit on the couch with her and let her nurse until she fell asleep. That isn’t my reality most days, though, so I wrap her up! She loves being wrapped, and since I’m ready for the day, I can have her close to me in our favorite carriers (she loves being worn) and I can make Grace breakfast, drink my coffee and eat breakfast, and then get Gracie ready for the day too. (I usually have laundry or dishes to quickly get done, but not always). She sleeps for about an hour to 90 minutes then she’s ready to eat!
I think the biggest difference between me with Norah and first time mom me with Grace is the realization that I don’t have to “lay her down” for nap time. I do realize that sometimes it’s nice to lay baby down and not have to hold them all the time — I get that. But know that they grow SO quickly, so if you can afford the time, let baby sleep with/on you! You’ll miss it. I miss Grace being tiny 🙁
I feed Norah and usually we are out the door for a playdate or one of Gracie’s little classes. Norah HATES the car seat, so life is really hard right now when we’re out and about. We don’t leave the house super often these days, but when we do it’s in the morning since that’s when she usually sleep a ton. She’s awake in the car on our way to wherever we’re going and usually stays awake until I get her out and into the carrier.
Oh, and something fun about this morning outing — she’s decided it’s the “I’m going to have a blowout in my car seat” time of day, so I’m pretty much ALWAYS changing a giant blowout diaper in my trunk when we go somewhere during this time, ha!
9:00 – 11:00 AM
So, Norah sleeps when we’re on our morning outing and rarely needs to nurse when we’re out (there are exceptions though — like when she was going through Wonder Weeks, Leap 2 this week, she wanted to eat an hour after we left the house and she’d just eaten) newborns are unpredictable. We usually come home, and she’s ready to eat, so it’s feed Norah, change her diaper, then get Gracie’s lunch ready.
12:00 PM ish
Grace naps around this time, but it’s such a crazy time for Norah — some days she will sleep and others she will be wide awake, ha! This past week she’s been cluster feeding around this time. She’ll be fussy so I’ll nurse her and she will fall asleep but then sort of dream feed. Some people aren’t okay with this, but I don’t mind it. She’ll stay latched and soothe herself to sleep, still latched, and then I’ll have a letdown. She’ll do this for an hour or two, then wake up and I’ll change her. If she’s awake during this time, I just play with her. I ordered this for her, since she LOVES to look at her toys. She’s started grasping at them, and smiles at them too, ha!
We don’t really have a structured thing we do during this time – sometimes we are out, and she will be awake, and sometimes we’re home and she’s sleeping in the carrier. It truly is different every day. There are some diaper changes, feedings, and some play time mixed in there too.
Norah is typically awake around this time and my husband will hold her or lay her on the bed and make silly faces or let her look at her toys. He keeps her busy for around a half hour and then can bounce her and hold her off until she needs to nurse again. During this time, I run around trying to clean the house, play with Grace, and/or cook dinner. Sometimes my husband cooks, and that’s pretty wonderful. Haha.
Then we eat our food, and I typically wear her while I eat. Sometimes if she is awake and not sleeping (which is rare during dinner time) I will put her in her Charlie Crane rocker (pictured below) so she can sit and enjoy watching us!
Norah takes a good 1.5 hour nap in the evening after being awake a few minutes after we eat dinner. Usually during this time, she takes a nap in the wrap while we go on a walk with Grace, or play in the back yard. Then she’s up for quite a bit before her bedtime at 9:00 PM.
Norah’s Bedtime Routine
Gracie takes her bath around this time (my husband helps with this). I retreat to our room to hang out with Norah a bit. She is awake for like an hour or sometimes 90 minutes. She loves to be talked to, cuddled with, and we nurse a little bit, but I try not to do a full feeding because I do that before she goes to bed at 9.
8:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Almost every night I take a bath WITH Norah. Meaning I sit in the tub, we undress her and my husband hands her to me. I wash her, talk to her, play with her in the water, and nurse her. I swear by this method — I did it with Gracie starting at six weeks old and she was SUCH a great sleeper! (With exceptions of course! The four month sleep regression is no joke!) But it’s been a great tool for us.
I turn on the white noise machine and let that play while I nurser her until she’s in a deep sleep. We make sure to keep the lights dim too after the bath to show her that we’re getting ready for bed! Routine is everything with kids/newborns.
After her bath, we get her little nightgown on (click here to see the one we like to use) and then I lay her in the middle of our bed and she lays on her side while I nurse her, on my side. It’s the side-lying nursing position and I did it tons with Grace too. Click here to see what I mean when I say “side-lying”.
The reason I do this position right before bedtime is that she isn’t in my arms nice and cozy then all of a sudden I transfer her to a cold crib, haha! She’s already on a flat surface… I’ll slowly back away and then make sure I’m ready for bed (face washed, contacts out, etc.) then, I’ll quietly take her off of my bed and place her in our Snuggle Me Organic lounger inside the crib (which is right next to my side of the bed) where she spends a good stretch of her night.
I leave the white noise on a timer to go off at an hour. Norah doesn’t usually wake up again until 3:00 AM. This is about a six hour stretch and that’s the longest I’ve gotten in two months. Sometimes she’ll wake up at 12:45 AM to eat, and other times she will be totally fine if I just give her the pacifier.
Middle of the Night Feedings
I never weaned Gracie from night feedings. She weaned herself when she was ready. I strongly believe that babies need to eat when they need to eat and it isn’t up to us to train them. Especially this young.
That being said, for middle of the night feedings, I keep the lights dim, I don’t talk to her during diaper changes or anything, and I just do what needs to be done and she usually falls asleep nursing!
This is typically around 3:00 AM, and we get up at around 6:00 AM with Grace, so instead of transferring Norah back to her crib I let her lay next to me and I nurse her. I lay her not in between me and my husband though — I lay her on the other side since she can’t roll yet – this will all change when she can roll… She sleeps with me until Gracie comes wakes us up, and then we start the day all over again!
(Note: this is what works for us — like I said above, not every family can do this, or wants to, and that’s completely okay. Again, just my experience!)
So a few quick sleep tips:
– have a nighttime routine (bath, story, PJ’s, white noise)
-keep the lights dim
-keep chatter to a minimum
-try to nurse without baby in your arms if possible so that transferring is easier
SHOP THE PRODUCTS IN THIS POST:
Let me know if you have any questions! You can ask them in the comments or email me! I hope this post about our daily schedule with a newborn was helpful. I know it’s a lot of information!
Love this! I am in my third trimester with my first and just love all the baby posts like this!
Yay! Congratulations, mama! I’m so glad they’re helpful! Let me know what kinds of posts you want to see in the future!
I loved reading about your “schedule!” I also have a 3 year old daughter, and my baby is now 9 weeks. Quick question… when you transfer Norah to her crib during her long stretch of sleep, do you burp her? I nurse my son to sleep in a rocker and transfer him to the bassinet in our room, but I have to burp him, and he’ll sometimes wake in the process. I’m nervous not to burp him, though, because he still has some reflux from his lip and tongue tie
Great question — I don’t burp her! I know that’s horrible, but I don’t want her to wake up so I don’t, haha! Hope that helps 🙂
I’m curious if you swaddle for bedtime? My 7 week old sleeps so well when she’s swaddled but I’m not sure how the whole nursing while swaddled thing will affect her.
I didn’t swaddle! I did with my first and it was such a hard thing to get her to quit, so with Norah (my 2nd) I didn’t do it at all! She’s been an okay sleeper over all 🙂