In the early days your baby’s routine will be about eating and sleeping. In those first few weeks it’s normal for your baby to feed every 2 -3 hours day and night, which is 8-12 times in a 24 hour period! It can be a real challenge for you to get a decent sleep at this time and you will probably feel exhausted. Just remember as your baby gets older and grows bigger, s/he will feed less often and sleep for longer.
A few tips to help get baby into a good sleep pattern and also help you get much needed rest:
- Sleep when your baby sleeps- small regular sleeps can be amazingly recharging and help you cope better with the first exhausting month or two
- Work towards a routine- although you'll need to be a little flexible with this to start with, it helps to work towards getting baby into a feeding/sleeping routine. Talk to other parents, a trusted health professional, or read some of the great baby books out there to work out a realistic plan.
- Self settling - let your baby learn to settle his or her self. You can do this by putting them down in their bassinet or cot when they’re drowsy, but not asleep.
- Ignore the racket – it can be a good idea to let your baby to get used to sleeping through noise. The house doesn’t need to be completely silent when they are asleep.
Remember as a parent you will be getting advice from well meaning people 'left, right and centre'! At the end of the day, you choose to do what will work best for you and baby. Every family is different, and what has worked well for others, may not be the ideal advice for you. Trust your instincts.