A Day In The Life With a Newborn Baby

newborn baby

Bringing a newborn home is an exciting time, but it’s easy to get home and feel like you don’t know what you’re doing! If you’ve just got home with your little one and don’t know what to expect, we’re here to help. 

Those first few days and weeks can seem like a whirlwind, filled with feeding, changing, and trying to decipher your baby's cries. To help you navigate this new journey, here’s a look at what a typical day might entail with your newborn.

Remember that all of the times given are estimates. All babies are completely different, and that’s completely normal. This is just a rough guide of what you might expect to give some guidance.
Read More: 5 Things Every Expectant Parent Should Know About Newborns

Morning: Waking Up and Feeding

6:00 AM - 8:00 AM: Early Morning Feed

Newborns usually wake up early and hungry! The first task of the day is often a feed. Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, expect this to take anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes. Your little one will get better at feeding as they get the hang of it, and the length of these feeding sessions will come down. For now, they’re still learning, so be patient with them. 

Early morning is also a perfect time for some skin-to-skin contact, which helps with bonding and stimulates milk production if you’re breastfeeding.

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8:00 AM - 9:00 AM: Nappy Change and Playtime

After the feed, it’s time for another nappy change. Newborns can go through 8 to 12 nappies a day, so have plenty on hand. Post-change, if your baby is alert, you can spend some time engaging them with gentle activities. Tummy time is great at this age, helping to strengthen their neck and shoulder muscles, as long as they’re happy doing it.
Read More: Your Ultimate Guide to Tummy Time

Mid-Morning: Nap Time and More Feeding

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM: Nap Time

Newborns sleep a lot! They often sleep up to 16 hours a day, but in short bursts. This morning nap can last anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. If you feel up to it, use this time to rest yourself, have breakfast, or catch up on household chores. But, don’t be too hard on yourself. If you’re exhausted, don’t feel like you can’t get back to sleep for a quick power nap with the baby monitor on hand.

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM: Mid-Morning Feed

By late morning, your newborn will likely be ready for another feed. Pay attention to hunger cues such as rooting, sucking on their hands, or becoming more alert and active.

Afternoon: More Sleep and Activity

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Diaper Change and Interactive Play

As you might have guessed, another nappy change is due before engaging in some more interactive play. Simple activities like talking to your baby, making eye contact, and showing them different objects as you move round the house can be very stimulating for their development.

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Afternoon Nap

This nap might be a bit longer, giving you a chance to take a nap yourself, fuel your body with some lunch, or simply relax and have some time to yourself.
Read More: 5 Self-Care Practices for Mums to Prioritise Their Mental Health

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM: Afternoon Feed

Your baby will likely wake up very hungry again. This is also a good time for some gentle tummy time or singing to your baby to enhance their sensory experiences.

Early Evening: Wind Down

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM: Nappy Change and Evening Nap

After another nappy change, your baby might settle down for another short nap. This evening nap can be crucial as it helps them not get too overtired before their nighttime sleep.

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM: Evening Feed

This feed can often be a bit longer as it helps prepare your baby for a longer stretch of sleep at night. It’s a great time for quiet bonding before bed.

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Night Time: Preparing for Bed

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM: Bath Time and Bedtime Routine

A warm bath can be soothing for your newborn and helps signal that it’s time to wind down for the night. Follow this with a gentle massage using baby lotion, which can be very calming for your little one.

8:00 PM - 10:00 PM: Final Feed Before Bed

The last feed of the day is important for setting up a good sleep. Ensure your baby is well-fed, which might help them sleep longer. This is also time for another nappy change and singing some soothing lullabies together to set a relaxing sleep environment.
Read More: Night Feedings By Age: How Many Night Feeds Will My Baby Need?

10:00 PM - 6:00 AM: Sleep (Hopefully!)

Newborns will wake up several times during the night for feeds. Typically, they might wake every 2 to 3 hours. Nights aren’t always easy with a newborn, so don’t be hard on yourself if your little one isn’t sleeping well. Keep nighttime feeds calm and quiet to help them distinguish between day and night.

Tips for Managing Your Day With a Newborn

  1. Flexibility is Key: Newborns often don’t follow a strict schedule. Be prepared to adjust your routine as needed.
  2. Recognise Cues: Learning to read your baby’s hunger and sleep cues can make the day run much more smoothly. This helps in anticipating their needs before they start crying.
  3. Self-Care: Take care of yourself by resting when the baby sleeps, eating nutritious meals, and asking for help when needed. The housework can always wait, you come first.
  4. Bonding Time: Use feeding times, nappy changes, and playtimes as opportunities to bond with your baby.

Every baby is different, and routines can vary widely. The key is to stay flexible and respond to your baby’s needs while also taking care of yourself. Over time, you and your baby will settle into a rhythm that works for both of you.

If you’re concerned in any way or struggling to get into a routine with your newborn, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Health Visitor or speak to them at one of your visits.

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