Mother holds newborn in her arms and kisses it on the cheek, sibling stands next to mother and blows a kiss at the baby

Newborn care

The First Weeks with your Baby

How to Settle into Your New Routine

The birth of a child initially throws everything into disarray. Nothing is the same anymore. That is wonderful, exciting – and sometimes exhausting. We have put together some tips and tricks to help you get through the postnatal period and cope with your new everyday life with a newborn!

The exceptional postnatal period

The early days of the postnatal period, in particular, are a truly exceptional time. Mother and baby first have to cope with the physical strains and changes before they can start to find a new daily routine. So, don't worry if things are still a little chaotic at this point. Breastfeeding, changing diapers, eating, shopping, etc., are all things that take time to become routine.

It is therefore a very good idea to organize enough help for the first 2-3 weeks after the birth, before you go into labor.

The following tasks can also be performed by others:

  • Food preparation and cooking
  • Shopping/running errands
  • Walking the dog
  • Picking up siblings from kindergarten or playing with them in the afternoon
  • Doing the laundry/ironing
  • Cleaning

Whatever form of help is available – do not be afraid to accept it!

Slowly establishing a routine

As soon as you are fit enough to go for short walks again, and once breastfeeding or bottle feeding is going well, you can get started: a structured day helps not only the parents, but also many babies to become content with their new situation.

Little ones love regular routines – it give babies a sense of trust and security.

However, your routine will depend on many individual factors:

  • Sleep pattern: on one hand these are age-dependent, but on the other hand they also differ between individuals. A day-night rhythm only develops over the course of several weeks. So, it is quite normal for babies to repeatedly wake at night.
  • Breastfeeding rhythm: there are babies who like to feed frequently for short periods, and there are slow "suckers". Allow yourselves time to find out what is best for both of you.
  • Your work: sometimes the circumstances also dictate the rhythm. It is astonishing how many things are possible when they have to be, such as switching between breast and bottle or transferring baby's care to a new caregiver.
  • Family arrangements: a routine of your own can also develop depending on how much help is available and when. For example, grandma takes the baby for a walk every morning.
  • Living situation: does the baby have its own room, or does it sleep in a room with its parents? This can also affect or change the family routine.

Mother bends over newborn baby and smiles at her

Help, how do I find our rhythm?

You don't have to plan the day to the minute and stubbornly repeat this routine.

Set activities at specific times are helpful. So instead of mapping out the complete day, it is sometimes easier to keep individual aspects similar every day: 

  • Waking up: how does the day begin? For example, breastfeed/breakfast – change diaper – get dressed – walk/shopping
  • Changing: what is the diaper changing routine? Is there a particular song or little game that is always incorporated – this is also a pleasant routine that gives the child security.
  • Breast/bottle feeding: do you always sit in the same place, with the same cushions, music, and feeding – winding – feeding pattern?
  • Bathing: here, too, a regular sequence for washing the areas of your baby's body or a certain bath toy, for example, can be used to establish a routine and comforting familiarity.
  • Bedtime: feeding, changing the diaper, a good-night song, night light – a sleep ritual helps all babies to switch off.

After breakfast, many mothers first take their babies for a long walk in the pram or in a baby sling – this not only gets mom and baby out in daylight and fresh air, it also gives mom an opportunity to exercise while baby enjoys a long nap. For fussy babies, in particular, a regular daily routine provides important support and ideally even "therapy". Above all, adequate sleep is important for sensitive newborns. Regular rituals or sequences of meals and rest phases help them to calm down more easily. But regardless of any routine there is no need to fret: nothing is set in stone and the regime can change from week to week depending on the development stage.  

With a little patience and by being aware of the needs of everyone involved, over time it is possible to find a good balance between consistent structure and flexibility suitable for everyday life.

We wish you a wonderful start to your life as a family!

Photos: Unsplash, Shutterstock