The short answer…YES!
But let’s use the term “schedule” very loosely for a newborn and rather think of their schedule as a ROUTINE! When you hear the word schedule we assume things happening at set times each day. Well that is just not realistic for a newborn and can bring on a lot of anxiety for a new parent who then starts to obsess why one day their newborn is sticking to the “schedule” and one day they aren’t! So let’s make the idea of a newborn routine less anxiety-producing and rather more empowering for you as a parent!
Elements of a Newborn Routine
So your newborn’s day will consist of the following elements:
- Eating – whether it’s bottle feeding or breast feeding
- Soiling Diapers – sometimes it gets exciting and you experience a blowout!
- Play/Awake Time – when you can practice tummy time and stare into your beautiful newborn’s eyes
- and Sleeping! That’s where our expertise comes into play. And let me tell you, newborns need A LOT of sleep!
Now you are probably researching The “EASY” or Eat, Play, Sleep newborn schedules. That’s great! But also let’s just be realistic those first 2 weeks of life. Your newborn can only be awake for roughly 40-60 minutes, and a solid chunk of that is feeding so often during that feed, they will sleep! THAT IS OKAY! More than okay, it is normal for them.
Let’s look at this graphic below to first understand (on-average) how often sleep is repeating for a newborn
So as you can see, by 8 weeks your baby will likely have formed more predictable circadian rhythms and you can most likely gauge when they will be needing to feed and sleep. If they experienced day and night confusion, by now they would have come out of that and are starting to interact more with their environment during the daytime – hello baby smiles! This is a great time to really start practicing having your baby sleep in the crib more during the day and at night if that hasn’t been established consistently yet. When they start showing tired signs and then see you move them around that time to their room/crib, they will start to associate it with sleep!
So knowing a newborn eats roughly every 2-3 hours and can only be awake for roughly 60 minutes, well then it’s just one big math equation for a 24-hour day! So that’s why I like to think of it as a routine vs. a set schedule by the clock. So here is an infographic image of one example of how a newborn routine can look like based on this information!
So there you have it parents! While I don’t expect a newborn to wake up at 7AM each day, knowing roughly how often they can go in between full feedings and how long they can stay up without getting overtired can help you navigate your newborn’s day from morning to nighttime!
Need help and advice pertaining to your newborn’s sleep? Check out our Newborn Sleep Guide or book a 30-minute Phone Huddle call with a coach from The Sleepyhead Coach!