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

Tips with a newborn

The first weeks with a newborn

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 first few weeks with a newborn , also known as the postnatal period , are a truly exceptional time. Mother and baby first have to cope with the physical affects from birth before they can start finding a new daily routine. So, don't worry if things are still a little chaotic at this point. Breastfeeding , changing nappies, eating, shopping, etc., are all things that take time to become routine.

It is therefore a very good idea, before you go into labor, to talk with family and friends and ask for their help during the first 2-3 weeks after birth.

The following tasks can all be performed by others:

  • Food preparation and cooking
  • Shopping/running errands
  • Walking the dog
  • Picking up siblings from nursery/school 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

You can’t expect to follow a strict routine in the first week with your newborn . Try not to put too much pressure on yourself and enjoy these first weeks with your new precious bundle. As soon as you feel up to going for short walks, and once breastfeeding or bottle feeding is going well, you can get started in setting yourself gentle routines. A structured day helps not only the parents, but many babies also settle well into a routine.

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 sleep patterns are age-dependent, but on the other they can also differ between individuals. A day-night rhythm only develops after the first 2 months. So, it is quite normal for babies to repeatedly wake at night and sleep during the day.
  • Breast/bottle feeding rhythm: Whilst some babies might gulp down their feeds, there are babies who like to feed frequently for short periods, and then 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 amazing 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 if you have to return to work.
  • Family arrangements: Your routine might also be dependent on how much help is available and when. For example, maybe grandma is available to takes the baby for a walk every morning.
  • Living situation: Babies should sleep in the same room as their parents for the first 6 months, but where their things are kept, ie in the same room or in a nursery, can also affect or change the family routine.

Mother bends over newborn baby and smiles at her

Help, how do I find our rhythm?

Whilst routines are useful it is also important to remember that life happens. 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 nappy – get dressed – walk/shopping
  • Changing: what is the nappy 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 nappy, a good-night song, night light – a sleep ritual helps all babies to switch off.

After breakfast, (weather permitting) many mothers like to take their babies for a walk in the pram or baby sling as fresh air is great for both mum and baby. For fussy babies, in particular, a regular daily routine can provides important support. 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 you will 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