Congratulations on your new bundle of joy! There will be so many beautiful moments of bonding, but very little sleep for you as a new mum. Babies take time to fall into a sleep routine. Newborns cannot stay on a strict sleep or feed schedule, but having some structure to your day as a new-mum will make you feel little more confident. First of all, it’s next to impossible to put a newborn in a sleep-schedule, and for the first few months, babies need to be nursed on demand, so a mealtime routine won’t work. When the time is right, make sure you don’t miss the simple signs and cues your baby is giving you.
First few weeks are for knowing each other, adjusting to the reality of having a baby and becoming a mother can take longer for some first-time mothers. In the early weeks after birth it’s important to prioritize what’s truly important and what can wait.
For the first week there is only one goal with regards to newborn – encourage your newborn to take full feeds. At one week old, of course, the baby doesn’t need to be put on a type of routine yet. They are learning how to feed, sleep, and be alive. When you begin nursing, encourage your baby to take a full feed. This will vary depending on the baby, but it will not be more than 5 minutes, and then baby will fall asleep. If your baby falls asleep after only few minutes, gently arouse them and encourage them to continue feeding. If you can get your baby to take full feeds for the first week they’ll naturally rest well, both day and night. I know it can be super hard for you to mentally survive this newborn phase, but you will get through it, we all have and you will surely too! We want to ensure that child takes feed from 1 side in 1 go for atleast 20-30 minutes mainly because the initial part of milk(fore milk) is rich in water to satisfy thirst, while hind milk is rich in fats which comes only after 13 minutes of continuous feeding which will provide satiety and help in gaining weight.
How to keep them awake long enough to feed
- Rub their feet and hands
- Wipe their forehead, neck, and face with a wet wipe or wet soft cloth
- Strip baby down to their diaper and un-swaddle or wrap them so they are not too warm and snug
- Burp thoroughly when you change nursing sides
- Check if your baby is sucking effectively. Speak with your pediatrician or Child Health expert if you’re unsure about attachment
- Avoid offering your baby a bottle; it can interfere with establishing breastfeeding.
Human babies are born very immature. They need to spend a lot of their time sleeping and conserving energy so they can grow. Here the trick is to understand how the baby sleeps. The more your baby sleeps, the better rested they will be. Keeping a baby awake in hopes of tiring him out will actually result in over-stimulation, and he/she will experience difficulty in falling asleep and staying asleep. It is very likely that an over-tired baby will sleep shorter, not longer. Also due to startle reflex in babies, they feel they are falling. Swaddling is best recommendable from birth to 4/5 months of age or till when baby is letting you do so. Swaddling tightly makes your new born sleep both better and longer. Don’t expect too much. Your one week old baby doesn’t know the difference between day and night and is way too young to sleep through the night. Be realistic in your expectations.
Routines need to fit who you are. There are not any hard-and-fast rules for creating happy, joyful routines for your infant. If your baby starts rubbing his/her eyes at the time of day when you’re used to running errands, you’ve got to go with the flow.
What’s more important one week after birth:
- Self-care: Mothers who eat well, stay hydrated and rest as much as possible are better able to care for their newborns.
- Accept offers of support: Don’t feel you need to do everything. If people offer you help then say yes.
- Don’t expect too much from yourself or your baby: Trying to implement a daily routine will only lead to tears. In these very early days be satisfied if you are meeting your own and your baby’s basic needs. Everything else will need to wait.
- Focus on your post birth recovery: It can take up to six weeks to recover from a vaginal birth and even longer from a C-section.
Woo hoo! We’ve experienced sleep regression, sleeping on the go, sleeping through teething…and so much more! Here’s to motherhood!