So…. you just had a baby. This baby comes with no schedule, no routine, and definitely no instructions. Now what?
Let me just start by saying that in my opinion – when this baby arrives, you have the first shot at establishing a routine. Ball is in your court. I know some people believe that you have to go with what the baby does, etc. And I do agree to a certain extent. But – I don’t necessarily agree that the parent needs to just roll over and give in to all the demanding needs of this infant either.
So I went through 2 kids doing very similar things, however, I was much more organized I think the second time around – let alone I loved that Babybix had a phone app by then! Now you are thinking… what in the world did I do? Ok… here it goes. It might sound confusing, but somehow in my twisted neurotic mind, it makes perfect sense and I made it happen.
Baby debuts. Baby is hungry. You are anticipated to feed them about every 2-3 hours. AND you know those nurses are going to be on your ass about it – checking times, etc. (I loved being able to log in Babybix and just show them the app for them to check everything). Go ahead and go with that. That baby is going to be crying, sleeping, peeing, pooping… the works! But what I am being conscious of and trying my hardest to do from the get-go…. is time one feeding as close to 11:30pm as possible. That is equivalent to me making the first move. With an 11:30pm feeding time, then I’m targeting 12am as my starting “bedtime” for the baby (I’ll be doing a series on this whole sleep schedule/training craziness later… and you will understand why I target 12am). So again, my goal is those two times to start. Everything else the baby is doing in the first couple days outside of that… just let them. I’m logging feeding from Day 1, but about 5 days out, I start logging sleep as well. I continue to only log outside of those two times so that I can get a sense of the baby’s natural routine (ah ha! This is the part where you do have to allow the baby to be themself). But remember – YOU have set the tone for each day, but starting the last feeding at 11:30pm and bedtime at 12am.
In the following week after that, you should definitely start to see SOME sort of pattern… sporadic, but potentially identifiable. Its based on this, that I start to then pick specific common feeding times that become “designated” feeding times. What that means is, by 2 weeks old, if the baby wakes up a little earlier than my designated time, I might hold out on the feediing until the designated time – or if the baby is still sleeping, I’d wake the baby up to feed and keep on schedule. Remember.. all this is still done while logging! Because it is going to continue to evolve, and you will have no idea what it is best evolving into unless you track it.