With a newborn, the days can seem so long. There is definitely some monotony when moms are home all day with the baby, but that doesn't mean that those times aren't interesting. The trick for moms is to make sure that the baby's day looks like it should from the doctor's point of view so that every moment the baby is healthy and thriving.
There is an old saying that babies only do three things — eat, sleep and use up diapers — and then the cycle starts all over again. That is definitely true in the beginning, although there are few other things that doctors recommend moms make sure that the baby does each day. We're going to talk a lot about those three topics since babies do a lot of eating, wetting diapers and sleeping. But those things can change over time too, so while the topic might be the same, we've got plenty to cover each time. And mom and dad might be surprised at the other things that will encompass the newborn's daily activities.
Each 24 hours is a blessing, but sometimes it's hard on mom and dad. This guide might help. Here is a day in a life of a newborn baby (as recommended by pediatricians).
20 Getting Cleaned Up In The Morning
Morning can mean different things to different newborns, but at some point, mom will considered the day begun, so when the baby wakes for the day, it's time to get cleaned up. That means giving a good wiping down during the diaper change. While mom might have changed the diaper once or twice during the night, it's likely that the baby spent longer in a wet diaper than he should have, so cleaning in the morning can make a big difference in keeping that area clean and healthy.
There is nothing wrong with the baby staying in his pyjamas all day, especially when he is little and staying home. But some moms want to put the baby in something cute, and if the diaper has leaked, it's might be time for something clean. It might be a great way to get started on the day.
19 First Feeding Of The Day
Most newborns wake up for the day hungry. That means it's only a few moments before they will make known that it is time for the first feeding of the day. In the very beginning, newborns eat every two hours, but once those feedings start to space out, the first session of the day will be a big once, since there is usually a little more space before it
That's also the time when the mom has the most milk, so if she is pumping to create a stock of milk in the freezer, it's a good idea to pump in the mornings after nursing. That might make the morning feeding even more intense, but it's worth it to fill the freezer.
18 A Little Play Time
After the baby is clean and full, it's time to play. For a two week old, that might only mean a few minutes of looking at mom, but as the baby gets older, the playtime can get more fun. The baby doesn't necessarily need toys since before the baby is 4 months or so, he's not necessarily going to be able to grasp it. Hands and feet can be baby's toys at the beginning.
This first play time is a great opportunity for the mom and baby to spend some time bonding. The baby is studying mom's face and might mimic her smile before she starts giving genuine grins. Some moms like to hold the little one and others like bouncers or play gyms. Many times the baby likes a change of scenery, so it might be good to try all opportunities.
17 Time For A Nap
Babies nap a lot in their first year. In their first month, the baby will have cat naps that are short but will add up to be three-quarters of the day. Things will change later on so that the naps last longer, which means that moms can catch a little shut-eye herself.
Sleep is really important to a baby because that is when the growth happens. It might be a few months before the naps become predictable, but all babies in the first year will definitely need at least one morning nap, maybe two.
16 Skin-to-Skin Moments With Mom
This is something that usually happens in the first day of life, but many moms forget to add it into the daily schedule. Skin-to-skin time is really important for a newborn, and for the first month or two or three, the benefits remain and it should be a daily priority.
The practice has been proven to be incredibly helpful for newborns, and it's so important that doctors and nurses consider it a major part of therapy for premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit. The baby's heart rate can sync with his mom, and the bonding can be beautiful. It's amazing, and pediatricians acknowledge that it should be a part of every day for the baby in the beginning.
15 Diaper Changes Happen A Lot
Babies go through a lot of diapers a day — a lot more times than we have noted on this list. But it's definitely worth mentioning more than once since it's a huge part of the day. In the first month, a baby might need a dozen diaper changes, although it slacks off a little to average about eight diapers a day after a few months.
Moms should keep an eye on diapers, since newborns should have at least six wet diapers a day. If not, they might not be getting enough milk or formula and might be close to dehydration.. Some babies have as many as four or five diapers with stool a day, although some breastfed babies can go a week without a No. 2 and still be perfectly healthy, but if baby seems constipated, talk to the doctor.
14 Meal Time Again
As much time as mom spends changing diapers, she will spend even more time feeding the newborn. That's especially true at the very beginning, when a newborn needs to have a bottle or nursing session every two hours. The baby might not be consuming a lot in those first few weeks, but because the baby's tummy starts out so small, he'll need a little bit of food very often to make sure he gets enough.
Over time, the bottles will be bigger and the time in between the feedings will be longer. But that will still be about six feedings a day. That's a lot of bottles or times to nurse, and most of the time those will take about 20 minutes each. During a growth spurt, the baby will want even more to eat. Feedings are a big part of each day in the life of a newborn.
13 Tummy Time Needs To Be On The Schedule
Most moms know that they can expect a lot of bottles and diapers in the baby's life, but they don't realize that the baby needs tummy time until the pediatrician brings it up. It's a big part of the baby's development, so most doctors stress the need to add it to the baby's schedule from the moment the umbilical cord falls off.
Many newborns don't enjoy tummy time, but it isn't long until they can begin to hold their little neck up better. Then their backs get strong enough to allow them to hold their chest up. Eventually, the baby will begin rolling and eventually crawling and pulling up. It all starts with tummy time, which should be done daily with the newborn.
12 Getting Some Sunshine
Some doctors recommend keeping the baby at home and away from crowds in the first few weeks of months, especially for preemies and little ones with health complications and during flu season. But that doesn't mean that the baby should stay indoors. In fact, pediatricians say a dose of sunshine every day has big benefits.
Sunshine provides vitamin D, which can help a lot and help the mood for baby and mom. It's especially great for helping a newborn get over jaundice. If things get too bad, you have to go to the hospital, so it's definitely a good idea to make sure that the newborn gets a little bit of time outside every day.
11 Napping Again
We mentioned before that napping is a big part of a newborn's day, but the need for a half dozen naps start to diminish over time. By the end of the first year, most infants can handle a schedule with a morning nap and an afternoon nap, and that afternoon nap might stick around until after the kid finishes kindergarten.
Once the baby is on a regular nap schedule, the afternoon siesta usually lasts around two hours, although some days it might be less and others it might be longer. The afternoon nap can allow the mom to have a little time to herself, maybe get some laundry done or relax with a little Netflix. The evening can be harrowing, so we recommend taking advantage of the time, since the baby needs the sleep anyway.
10 Some More Play Time
Babies spend a lot of their awake time playing. They will have several sessions a day, and moms might not realize it, but that time is really important. Doctors recommend trying things like peek-a-boo and singing songs because that can help with the baby's development. Play time is learning time for infants, so it's great to include in the schedule every day.
A number of interactive toys are on the market these days that help attract kids attention and help them gain skills. During play time, the baby is practicing things like grasping and picking up, looking in the mirror to make faces and more. These standing toys are not necessarily great at helping the baby to walk, but there are benefits to being upright and playing and exploring that doctors don't want babies to miss.
9 Afternoon Cry Time For Colicky Babies
No mom wants to put crying time on her baby's schedule, but in a day in the life of a newborn, it's going to happen. That's especially true for babies with colic, and pediatricians say that the time is that is likely to be the worst is in the later afternoon.
After a long hard day of eating and playing and napping, many babies are just cranky, and sometimes there is nothing that mom can do to make them feel better. For working parents, it's especially hard since this is the period when they are home and want to soak in baby smiles. They are rushing to get dinner on the table, but sometimes they just have to stop and be there for the baby. We want to note that dealing with a colicky baby can be really tough, especially since it's the end of the day for mom and dad too. It's OK to leave the baby crying in a safe place for a few moments, if you need to take a break. That's a better decision than getting frustrated and accidentally hurting the little one.
8 Bath Time For Baby
This item doesn't have to be on baby's schedule every day, as pediatricians say that it is sometimes a good idea to go every other day or so with a bath to keep from drying out baby's skin. But we wanted to include it on the list since some moms find it is part of a bedtime routine that can make bedtime easier.
Many newborns don't enjoy bathtime, and moms might find it stressful, since you need to worry about keeping the baby warm and safe, cleaning them up and making sure you have all the supplies you need on hand. It's OK to skip the occasional bath, as long as you make sure to clean up the baby's crevices, including the legs and under the neck, each evening before bedtime.
7 A Little Baby Massage
If moms do decide to give their little one a bath each day, they should use a little lotion on the baby afterward and even give a relaxing infant massage. Doctors find benefits to the practice, and they encourage moms to keep baby's skin hydrated with lotion while having a little bonding time.
Infant massage has a lot of benefits, and it might even help soothe little ones with colic. Sometimes using a lavender lotion can also having a calming effect, and it might help the baby get ready for a longer, happier sleep at night.
6 Dressing In Clean PJs
The need to change baby's clothes depends a lot on the baby and the day. Some little ones have reflux and need four or five outfits a day, while others might occasionally spit up and might not need a new set of clothes during the day. It's not always necessary to put a baby into pjs, but that might be a good opportunity to put on clean clothes after a bath and get all comfy and warm in footy pyjamas.
In the first few weeks, babies might sleep better when they are swaddled, but it doesn't take long before they can squirm their way out of it, which would leave a loose blanket in the crib and that might be dangerous. So many parents choose to buy sleep sacks that help keep the baby warm but without the danger of a blanket.
5 Another Feeding Before Bed
Before the baby goes down for the night, it's a good idea to do one last feeding. That way the baby will sleep a little longer and hopefully won't be hungry for a while. The last feeding before bed can help the baby settle in and possibly even get close to entirely sleep.
The one thing we want to note here is that pediatricians don't want the baby to nurse to sleep or take the bottle to bed. There are several reasons for that but one is that it can help the baby to learn to self soothe by allowing the baby to get sleepy while eating but put him to bed just before he's entirely asleep. Some people think that they should put rice cereal in the bottle to give the baby more calories to sleep better, but some pediatricians don't recommend using empty calories.
4 Brushing Baby's Teeth Or Gums
Another reason that the baby shouldn't nurse to sleep or take a bottle to bed is because that means she's going to bed without brushing her teeth — or gums, if the baby hasn't gotten any pearly whites yet. Moms should start the habit of cleaning the baby's mouth each day from the very beginning, according to dentists.
Babies can get bacteria in their mouths that can lead to cavities, and it is possible that the baby might need a filling before the age of 2. That is more likely if the mom doesn't make it a point to clean the gums or the teeth every day.
3 Reading Before Bedtime, Even For A Newborn
Reading is one of the best things that moms and dads can do to help their little one academically. And pediatricians say that there are benefits long before the baby is even able to recognize her letters. It doesn't take long before the baby starts to understand a story and figure out how to turn a page.
Reading to the baby is no guarantee that they will be reading themselves by kindergarten, but the sounds of a parent speaking helps develop language, and other skills can also be enhanced. This doesn't have to happen before bedtime, but it could be a great routine that starts early and stays with the baby for years.
2 So-Called 'Sleeping Through The Night'
Night times with a newborn can be interesting and exhausting for a mom. In the first few weeks of life, the baby really doesn't know a difference between night and day, and he will continue his cycle of eating, sleeping and filling a diaper every two hours or less even in the wee hours of the morning.
Most babies "sleep through the night" at around four or five months old, but we put that phrase in quotes because doctors consider sleeping for a five or six hour stretch to be through the night. Sometimes bottle fed babies are quicker to have longer stretches at night, but that isn't always true. It can take a while before the nights are more restful.
1 Night Feedings
One of the biggest things that moms have to deal with at night is feeding the baby. There are diaper changes at times too, but if the mom can figure out the night feedings, it can make a big difference in letting her get some rest. Moms handle the night feedings in different ways, but whether the baby is taking bottles or the breast, the American Academy of Pediatrics agrees on one thing that might help.
Some moms choose to bring the baby into their bed in hopes of getting more sleep, and we can certainly understand that. But doctors believe that co-sleeping can be dangerous and it's not worth the risk. Instead, they recommend that moms room-share, having the baby close by in the room but not in the bed with the mom. It could make the night feedings more convenient while keeping the baby safe.