Allison is already 3 months old, how did that happen?! We’ve gone through many iterations of “routine” around the homestead recently, so I’m pausing to share a bit of our day-to-day life with you here on the blog. And then we’ll get back to the regular content you’re used to. But I figured it would be useful to read about bedtime and morning routines in case you’re a new or expecting mom wanting to know what those first few months are like. I know I was! So join me for a bedtime and morning routine with our newborn, plus I answer some FAQs related to newborns..
Allison is already 3 months old, how did that happen?! We’ve gone through many iterations of “routine” around the homestead recently, so I’m pausing to share a bit of our day-to-day life with you here on the blog. And then we’ll get back to the regular content you’re used to. But I figured it would be useful to read about bedtime and morning routines in case you’re a new or expecting mom wanting to know what those first few months are like. I know I was! So join me for a bedtime and morning routine with our newborn.
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Morning and Night Newborn Routine
I was going to write this post up separately for morning and night (because that would correspond with my YouTube videos). But, I’m starting to post more blog posts separately from YouTube now. It makes more sense for these posts to be combined into one and for the videos to post separately. Anyway, I know this isn’t my normal content so let me know in the comments below if you find it helpful 🙂
Here are the YouTube videos:
We have a baby now!
Sometimes I have to stop and remind myself that we are, in fact, a family of 3!
If I can ever stop my ever-moving mind to pause and reflect on how fast time is going by, I’d be shocked that we now have a baby! So right now I’m stopping to think about the fact that this time last year we were about to find out that we were pregnant.
Here are just some of the natural pregnancy / baby posts I’ve shared on the blog over the last year:
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Night Time Routine with a Newborn
Every evening around 5 o’clock I start thinking about winding down. The evenings are a nice and ritualistic time for me, and although they aren’t always calm and peaceful, I still like to strive for a nice wind down routine.
I’ve started developing a nightly routine with Allison that I really enjoy. I always knew that having kids would be something I would love, but it takes some time to develop that. At first you’re just trying to keep up with their changing needs. So here’s what we do now (and this is a rough estimate, of course every night is a little different):
5:00pm – Allison wakes up from her afternoon nap and we start winding down for the night. Fold laundry (usually the cloth diapers from the day before) and towels. Get the water running for a bath.
5:30pm – feed Allison if she’s hungry and get in the bath! I use epsom salt and herbal bath packets for our baths. Now we don’t do this every night, but probably 3 or so times a week (plus it’s relaxing for me!)
6:00pm – get the downstairs ready for dinner and the evening. Usually John or I will cook dinner, or we cook together. But before dinner I like to get the kitchen clean (ideally it would be clean after lunch but I don’t kick myself if that doesn’t get done). Fluff pillows, light a candle, etc. Just anything that is minimal effort but a big impact.
6:30pm – We start cooking! Now Allison is a hit or miss here. Sometimes she’ll be napping, other times she’s active. Then there are times when she’s just fussy – can’t leave out those times. There are nights when I think we won’t eat, but I’ve learned this: no matter what, we get it all done. We eat, we clean up, an we get to bed. Trust the process!
9:30pm – By this time we’ve eaten and watched a Netflix show, then it’s time for clean up. Allison at this point is ready for bed, so we are working quickly now.
10:00pm – I take Allison up for bed. We do a feeding, read some books, and eventually she’ll feed herself to sleep. She’s much happier once she’s in bed. Whereas if we’re just downstairs, she’s more fussy. So this is a really nice time for me!
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Morning Routine with a Baby
On the day I’m typing this, Allison slept in until 11am this morning! I couldn’t believe it. That’s not the norm though, so here I’ll share an “average” morning routine for us.
8am – I like to wake up no later than 8. Ideally this would be even earlier (maybe once Allison wakes up fewer times throughout the night). I go downstairs and make a smoothie with kefir grains. If you don’t know what those are, i have entire blog post on kefir here.
9am – This is about when Allison wakes up. John and I go upstairs and greet her right as she’s waking up. It’s so cute because this is her favorite time of day. She’s in the best of moods and just gives out cute cheeky smiles left and right.
9:30am – We’re working on breakfast and I’m sipping coffee playing with Allison or checking my phone. I sleep with my phone on airplane mode, so I don’t see everything that’s happened since the day before until the next morning. I try to limit this time to 15 minutes or so and then put the phone down for most of the rest of the day.
10am – At this time we are finishing up breakfast and coffee and Allison is downstairs in her pack and play. Because we get a good couple hours of her in this good mood, I usually do my workout at this time. I try to get a workout in at least every other day and recently Allison has really enjoyed watching it! She’ll hang out in her little rocker and watch me work out in the living room. I have to say I am a big fan of seeing her watch me, it’s so sweet. She usually falls asleep for a quick morning nap.
11am – I’m finishing up my workout and Allison is waking up for her morning nap. We’ll do another feeding and then I have to take a shower (I’m all sweaty). So I’ll either hand Allison off to John who will put her in the wrap while he does computer work, or I’ll take her upstairs with me. Sometimes she’s okay with hanging out on the floor while I shower and looking at a book.
Again I hope to make this routine start earlier, but that’ll be something I focus on another time.
I googled “morning routine with a newborn” and “night time routine with a baby” just to see what I would find. To be honest I didn’t find much, which is part of why I went ahead with writing this post. But anyway, I did find some frequently asked questions. I didn’t even know people googled this kind of stuff? But since they do, here’s my shot at answering the questions!
When Should you Start a Morning Routine with a Newborn?
I think morning routines come about naturally, depending on when your baby wakes up. I have read that babies need about 12 hours of sleep at night, which is pretty consistent with what Allison does. If she goes to bed at 10pm she generally sleeps until 10am (with feedings during the night of course). There have been a couple of times that we had to wake her up earlier, and it wasn’t pretty. She has a really hard time being woken up from a deep sleep. So in our house the rule is, let the baby sleep! LOL
Do Babies Need a Morning and Night Routine?
I would say, yes and no. My rule of thumb is to let the baby lead the way. If she’s tired, let her sleep. If she’s hungry, feed her, etc. But I think your family probably already has a morning and night routine – things you just do naturally – so you don’t need to really implement a new one. The baby will just join you in whatever you already do.
I will say Allison does well with our “routine” and if we go spend the night somewhere else she’s a little confused. But it’s not a bad thing, it’s just different. So I guess that’s a roundabout way of say yes, they need a routine, but when it changes it’s not that big of a deal either.
What is a Good Schedule for a Newborn Baby?
I think I covered this above but I’d say, just let them lead the way. There have been a couple times when I thought Allison was on a real “schedule” like feed every 2 hours or something. But then she had a day where she went 4 hours without food and was fine (she never asked for it). Then there were days when she wanted food every 30 minutes for 2 hours.
Now I’m not a baby scheduling expert so consult your midwife if you’re worried about something of course. But my midwife always told me to let my baby and my motherly instincts lead the way, and that’s worked great for us. I’ve tried not to sweat the small stuff.
What do you do with a Newborn at Night?
In the evening we just let Allison do whatever we’re doing. She eats dinner with us (or naps through it) and then hangs out on the couch while we watch a show before bed. When we go upstairs to bed she hangs out, does a feeding, we read a couple books, and she goes to bed. The only times she’s really fussy or difficult is if she is refusing to nap and only wants to go to bed (that happens sometimes). So, we just go to bed!
Or the opposite happens when we think we’re ready for bed but Allison is wide awake and giggly. So in that case we just keep reading books until she falls asleep. Two adults who are trying to sleep and one giggly baby in the middle – it makes for a funny night that’s for sure 🙂
How Long are you Up at Night with a Newborn?
This depends on the age of your baby. At first you are up every hour or two in the night. Luckily that phase goes by quickly and soon they need food every 2-3 hours, then 3-4 hours, etc.
I will say one thing that has made our nights so much better has been co-sleeping. Now I know some folks don’t feel safe doing that, but we did our research beforehand and planned on doing that when I was first pregnant. So it’s gone really well. The benefit is that when Allison is hungry now, I just let her feed while we’re sleeping, so I don’t even get up. Makes for a way better nights sleep!
Another tip I read in one of my books was to just stay in bed as long as you need to to get a full nights sleep. For example if you go to bed at 10pm and wake up at 8am, you were in bed for 10 hours. But you had to do feedings and maybe a couple diaper changes, so you only sleep 7-8 of those 10 hours. So you got a full nights sleep, as opposed to going to bed at 10 and waking up at 6 but not sleeping that entire time.
How Do you Put a Newborn on a Sleep Schedule?
Ha! I read this question on Google and laughed out loud. I honestly don’t know anyone who puts babies on a sleep schedule. But, I guess you could at least encourage babies to sleep more at night and less during the day. You can do this by letting them nap during the day in your baby wrap and keeping the lights on, noises on, etc. So they sleep lighter during the day and then at night they sleep heavier. That’s the extent of sleep scheduling I will go into here!
Thank you so much for reading! Share your thoughts?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on baby morning and night routines in the comments below.
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