Your baby’s feed, play, sleep cycle is the basic structure of your baby’s day. All babies have varied sleep needs and therefore the following information is a guide only that you can use and adapt to your baby’s individual personality and your own daily activities.
In the early weeks you and your baby are getting to know each other through activities such as feeding, sleeping, listening and focusing on each other. Because feed times can vary so much (anywhere from 2 hrs to 5 hrs) it is not always possible to get your baby into a routine straight away.
To develop a rhythm to your baby’s day means establishing a pattern around three important activities:
- Feeding (perhaps every 21/2 – 5 hours)
- Changing baby’s nappy before, in the middle of or at the end of a feed and bath time at around the same time each day.
These three activities make up the core structure of your baby’s daily routine. Try to do them in the same sequence at the same time each day.
- It is normal for a newborn to feed between 2 to 5 hours each day.
- Your baby needs approximately 6 to 8 feeds every 24 hours (including overnight feeds).
- Whether it is breastfeeding or with infant formula, the feeding process is an important task that assists in developing that close mother-to-baby bond and provides you with an opportunity to interact with your baby.
Playing with your newborn is incredibly important for their development. Some things you can do with your baby include taking them for a walk, singing a song or reading a story. It is ok to do different activities each day as long as they take around the same time to complete.
While it is ideal that your baby sleeps between each feed, newborns often have long crying periods and may not always sleep at regular times. If this occurs, you may want to try some of our settling strategies.
- Some days things will go smoothly, but illness, disruption and busy days can affect your baby’s cycle. If this occurs, try to move back into your normal daily activities as soon as possible.