Change or feed baby first

Newborn sleep and feeding schedule for baby's first month

Here’s what to expect for your newborn baby’s sleep schedule, wake times, feeding routine and diaper changes in the first four weeks.

The newborn phase is the most intense getting-to-know-you you’ll ever experience, as you attempt to figure out what your tiny human needs for sleeping and feeding. Will they have a reliable schedule or routine? Probably not. Newborns sleep a lot. Or they don’t. Or they sleep really well during the day and are ready to play from midnight to dawn with the occasional catnap. Sometimes they feed All. The. Time. And often they switch things up, just when you think you’ve finally got an idea of what to expect.

Still, many parents find it helpful to have a rough idea of  a schedule and what could be coming, week by week. Here’s what to keep in mind when it comes to sleep, wake times, feeding and diaper changes in the first four weeks.

Baby’s first week

Newborns are usually very sleepy in the first few days after birth, and that’s normal. Babies born before their due dates have some extra days of sleepiness, while those born after their due dates may skip the super-sleepy stage entirely. They tend to feed less frequently in the first few days. Then their nervous system matures a bit, and they’ll have more alert periods of awake time and start to eat more, too. It’s important to check that they’re getting enough to eat by counting the number of wet and dirty diapers.

Week 1 sleep schedule

Wake time length: 45 to 60 minutes
Sleep time length: Up to 2 to 4 hours
Total sleep time: 16 to 18 hours a day

Week 1 feeding schedule

Breastfeeding: On demand, every 1 to 3 hours, or 8 to 12 times a day (or more)
Exclusive pumping: 15 to 20 minutes per breast, every 2 to 3 hours
Formula: 30 to 60 mL (1 to 2 oz) per feeding, about 8 times a day

Week 1 diaper changes

Day 1: 1 wet diaper, at least 1 dirty diaper
Day 2: 2 wet diapers, at least 2 dirty diapers
Day 3: 3 wet diapers, at least 2 dirty diapers
Day 4: 4 wet diapers, at least 2 dirty diapers
Day 5: 5 wet diapers, at least 2 dirty diapers
Day 6 to 6 weeks: 6 to 8 wet diapers, at least 2 dirty diapers

Baby’s second week

Being awake for 45 minutes is about all that newborns can handle for the first few weeks, says Erin Neri, a certified paediatric sleep consultant in Sherwood Park, Alta.  “If it feels like all you’re doing is feeding, changing and putting your baby to sleep all day long, then you’re doing it right!” she says. “That’s what it’s like when they’re brand new. Sometimes I talk to moms of newborns and their babies are up for two hours and then sleep for 15 minutes. It’s this vicious cycle, and their babies are overtired.” You’ll want to put your baby to bed at the 45-minute mark, while they’re awake, so you’ll hit that important window of time between awake and overtired. Of course, there’s still lots and lots of feeding going on, too, and you have to continue to keep track of the diaper situation.

Week 2 sleep schedule

Wake time length: 45 to 60 minutes
Sleep time length: Up to 2 to 4 hours
Total sleep time: 16 to 18 hours a day

Week 2 feeding schedule

Breastfeeding: On demand, every 2 to 3 hours, or 8 to 12 times a day (or more)
Exclusive pumping: 15 to 20 minutes per breast, every 2 to 3 hours
Formula: 45 to 90 mL (1. 5 to 3 oz) per feeding, about 8 times a day

Week 2 diaper changes

6 to 8 wet diapers a day, at least 2 dirty diapers (and often more)

Baby’s third week

Sleep often starts to consolidate a little bit more at this point, with longer nap times (up to 3 to 4 hours) and a bit of a reduction in the total number of hours of sleep each day (14 to 17 hours). Still, it’s also normal for your baby to have their days and nights mixed up because they aren’t yet producing melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. Hang in there! Your babe is eating as often as ever and is likely taking in more milk now than the previous couple of weeks.

Week 3 sleep schedule

Wake time length: 45 to 60 minutes
Sleep time length: Up to 3 to 4 hours
Total sleep time: 14 to 17 hours a day

Week 3 feeding schedule

Breastfeeding: On demand, every 2 to 3 hours, or 8 to 12 times a day (or more)
Exclusive pumping: 15 to 20 minutes per breast, every 3 hours
Formula: 60 to 90 mL (2 to 3 oz) per feeding, about 8 times a day

Week 3 diaper changes

6 to 8 wet diapers a day, at least 2 dirty diapers (and often more)

Baby’s fourth week

Newborns definitely eat often, but cluster feeding is also common, depending on when your little one’s growth spurt kicks in. They may add a few feeds, especially in the evenings, or want to eat for long stretches at a time. Prep as much as you can to take care of yourself, whether you’re bottle feeding or nursing (full water bottle, check; one-handed snacks, check), and have the rest of your household pitch in, too. When it comes to sleep, you may notice slightly longer stretches now than over the past couple of weeks. Continue to keep an eye on the number of wet and dirty diapers.

Week 4 sleep schedule

Wake time length: 45 to 60 minutes
Sleep time length: Up to 3 to 5 hours
Total sleep time: 14 to 17 hours a day

Week 4 feeding schedule

Breastfeeding: On demand, every 2 to 4 hours, or 7 to 12 times a day (or more)
Exclusive pumping: 15 to 20 minutes per breast, every 3 hours
Formula: 120 to 150 mL (4 to 5 oz) per feeding, about 8 times a day

Week 4 diaper changes

6 to 8 wet diapers a day, at least 2 dirty diapers (and often more)


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FILED UNDER: Baby 0-3 months baby sleep Bottle-feeding Breastfeeding Newborn care Newborn sleep Parent hacks

what to expect for your baby – The Irish Times

Nothing quite prepares you for a baby who constantly needs your attention

The first weeks with a newborn are often a blur of feeds, nappies, first-timers’ nerves, and of course crying – probably from all of you.

Margaret Hanahoe is assistant director of Midwifery at Dublin's National Maternity Hospital, and set up the hospital's first Community Midwife Domino (Domiciliary Care In and Out of Hospital) programme. "These first six weeks can be quite a shock for parents. Nothing quite prepares you for a baby who constantly needs your attention," she says.

“Having a little advance information, however, can make things easier, because what can seem strange and unusual to a new parent is actually normal. For instance, it’s reassuring to know that sleeping newborns make lots of noises – particularly if they are trying to clear out mucous. Or that the second and third nights after birth can be very difficult because babies may want to feed all the time, even those being bottle-fed.

“ It’s also good to be aware that babies can get a range of spots and rashes in the first weeks,” says Hanahoe, “or may look cross-eyed occasionally, or may posset [regurgitate a little milk] after feeding.


Even changing those first nappies can be nerve-wracking for many parents. “It will soon be a doddle,” assures Hanahoe. “A few tips: Change after feeds, not before, as babies often perform mid-feed. Keep the nappy folded below the umbilical cord stump until it falls off after about two weeks. Make sure you leave boys with their penis down before you close the nappy, to prevent urine leaking up on to the umbilical cord area.”

As you get accustomed to handling your baby it can be reassuring to know it is not necessary to bathe them daily. “A baby only needs to have a full bath once a week,” says Hanahoe. “However, keep the bottom – and umbilical cord area – clean at every nappy change, and wash the face, neck and hands (and any folds of skin on the arms and legs) daily with just a sponge wet with warm water.”

Even putting your baby to bed can be a worry for new parents. “Knowing you have removed all the risk factors for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome can be very reassuring,”says Hanahoe. “ The cot should not have bumper pads or contain pillows or toys. Put your baby to sleep on their back, with feet near the foot of the bed, so they cannot wriggle under blankets. Be careful not to overheat. The right temperature for a baby’s room is between 16 and 20 degrees. Cellular blankets [blankets with holes in them] are best as they allow air to circulate.”

And then there’s the crying!

“If your baby keeps crying and doesn’t want to be fed or changed, he may just want some body contact,” suggests Hanahoe. “Try curling up together bare tummy to bare tummy. A lot of babies, though not all, also like to be swaddled to feel secure, as it reminds them of being snug in the womb. Ask your midwife to show you how. Walking while holding him – or wearing him in a sling – can also be soothing. Distraction, even at this young age, also works. Sing and talk to him, nod your head, stick out your tongue.”

Parents whose babies have colic may experience hours of non-stop crying on a daily basis. “Seek advice and support,” advises Hanahoe “and bring in friends and family to give you regular breaks.”

Another major cause of crying in babies is reflux, when milk and stomach acids flow back up into the oesophagus after feeding. “Many babies with reflux vomit after feeds,” says Hanahoe, “Others will not, but they will usually dislike being laid flat, will wake frequently, and will often start crying about an hour after feeding or show signs of discomfort. Seek medical advice, as unlike colic which just eventually goes away, reflux can usually be treated successfully.”

Any concerns you have about your baby’s health in these weeks should be brought to your doctor or public health nurse, advises Hanahoe. “Always remember that no matter how inexperienced, you know your baby best. If you feel that he is not ‘right’, then you are probably correct.”

And what about that elusive “routine” that most parents expect to be established by the end of the first six weeks? “As the weeks pass your baby will become more settled,” says Hanahoe. “Most babies will fall naturally into a regular pattern of eating and sleeping for longer periods without waking. Start a bedtime routine as early as possible, so that baby gets the idea that this is time to sleep. Try not to let baby fall asleep at the breast or on the bottle. Put him down in his cot while still awake, even if very drowsy, and don’t play with your baby at night while feeding or changing.”

Louise Ní Chríodáin

National Maternity HospitalLouise Ni ChriodainMargaret Hanahoe

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Children and frost

Young children need outdoor walks - this is a well-known opinion of all pediatricians. Staying in the fresh air has a calming effect on the child, allows you to release excess energy, immunity is strengthened from temperature changes, metabolic processes are improved, vitamin D is produced under the action of the sun, which is a prophylactic against the occurrence of rickets. In addition, on a walk, the child develops, forms as a social personality - walks with friends, learns to communicate, share, and behave correctly in society. If summer
everything is clear with walks, in spring and autumn, on fine days too, then walking in frosty winter raises many questions. Let's try to give answers to the most common of them.

To walk or not to walk with a small child in the cold?

We can definitely tell you that if the baby was born in winter, then the first walk at a temperature outside below zero is best done in a room with an open window, dressing the child and gradually accustoming him to temperature changes.

With a child from six months, you can walk at temperatures up to -10 in calm weather, with good “warming”. If it’s cold and windy outside, then either reschedule the walk or cancel it. For adherents of walks at any time of the year and in any weather, it is worth noting that if the baby is protected from wind and frost by the hood of the stroller, a warm cozy envelope, then the mother, who is even warmly dressed, will have a very difficult time.

Strong wind, or fluffy snow that hits the face, not all children tolerate well - they begin to act up and cry. Keep this in mind when going for a walk, stock up on a protective raincoat, umbrella. nine0004

Older children like walking in the cold, and they endure low temperatures much more easily.
If the child is active, moves a lot, then he will not freeze, play outdoor games with the baby, play catch-up - and the baby will not freeze, and you will warm yourself.

Before going for a walk with a small child:

• feed the baby;

• pack all the things you need for a walk: bibs, napkins, toys, a mobile phone, etc. in a separate bag or bag and immediately put it in the stroller so you don't forget and don't come back; nine0004

• If the stroller is on the balcony, bring it into the room to warm it up.

Where to walk with a small child?

If the weather is calm and calm, then choose a place for a walk with a small child so that the sun's rays hit the baby as much as possible, so that vitamin D is produced in the body. When walking with a stroller, choose places away from the bustle of the city, transport, roads. Take a walk in the park or forest, to the reservoir, if there is one in your area. Older children will be happy to chat with their peers on the playground - organize a game for them so that they can move and not freeze. nine0004

If a small child is ill

Contrary to the opinion that walking with a cold is undesirable, you can still go for a walk, but only if the child does not have a high temperature, he feels fine, and it is slightly frosty outside, there is no wind and precipitation. A child with a temperature will not want to go for a walk on his own. It is not recommended to walk with angina, as the load on the heart increases significantly, and this is highly undesirable. With a sick child, walks should be short and should be carried out close to home. If the child is naughty - immediately return home. And, of course, during the illness, exclude contact with other children. nine0004

Winter frosts. How to dress and warm a child how to save from frostbite

It is winter outside, and it is known to be famous for its frosts. Even if the child walks on the street quite recently, the cheeks still turn red. Sometimes red cheeks do not portend danger, and sometimes frost plays rather evil with children's cheeks. This may indicate that the child is slightly cold (reddened fingers and toes will also tell you about this). But exposure to air for a long time at a temperature below zero and its high humidity can lead to such unpleasant consequences as frostbite. Under such conditions, frostbite can be obtained within an hour, since children's skin is more sensitive to such cases. If your child has frostbite, get him urgent medical attention. The first thing to do is warm it up gently to avoid serious damage. Early warning signs of frostbite in a child can be noticed by every attentive parent. You may notice reddened or numb cheeks and fingers. Immediately take the child to a warm room and warm it - this will help to avoid frostbite. The child has. nine0004

Frost stings usually on the tip of the nose, cheeks, ears (if it gets to them), as well as on the fingers and toes. They become white and numb. When it's frosty outside, and the kids can't wait to frolic in the cold, then drive them into the room more often to warm up and drink hot tea. At the same time, you will check whether their mittens and other clothes are dry, whether their noses and cheeks are warm. In the game, children themselves do not notice that they are cold and do not notice numb fingers, so it is very important to control this yourself. After the child has entered the house, take off his outer clothing. Since the child sweats in the game, and wet clothes take away body heat, therefore, the sooner you remove wet clothes from the child, the faster he will be able to warm up. The best and most gentle way of warming is warm water. Fill a basin, bathtub, or sink with warm water and submerge the frozen body parts. The water temperature should be slightly higher than body temperature - approximately 40-42 degrees. Keep frozen parts of the body in warm water until they warm up and the child feels a sensation of warmth. It usually takes 15-25 minutes. Keep an eye on the temperature of the water yourself, because numb and frozen legs or hands will not be able to correctly feel the true temperature, and in this case, you can get burned without even noticing it. If parents notice that the child's hands are frostbitten - in no case do not rub them! The fact is that tiny ice crystals form in the skin when it is frostbite and when rubbed, these crystals damage the skin cells, like small sharp blades. Therefore, it is better to wear warm dry clothes or warm them in warm water. nine0004

How to prevent frostbite

The right fabric in cold weather. The desired fabric is clothing made from natural fabrics. No synthetics! And the modern market also offers such a clothing option as thermal underwear, which retains heat and does not allow the body to freeze. It is also very important to have waterproof mittens, woolen socks, well-dried shoes.

Insulation. Particular attention should be paid to the insulation of the legs and arms. This means that instead of gloves, it is better to choose mittens, and woolen socks and felt boots should “show off” on your feet. On the head - a warm hat, and a scarf can cover the face. You can also purchase a ski mask. But some caring mothers knit special masks for their children with holes for the mouth and eyes. nine0004

Not the whole truth in the thermometer. Do not trust just one thermometer, because what it shows is not everything. It can be only -10 degrees outside, but a piercing cold wind blows (even if not strong). And it chills the body.

A friend to help. It's good when a child is not alone on the street, but with a friend. Warn both to watch each other's nose, cheeks, ears. The child himself may not notice white cheeks, but a friend will pay attention to it. nine0004

If you notice signs of frostbite in your child, take immediate action. Frostbite is no joke, it can lead to the loss of fingers or toes, as well as infection. In addition, it is also important to take into account the fact that the child can get hypothermia, a symptom of which is a drop in body temperature.

Hypothermia. Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature drops below 35 degrees and it is in this case that urgent medical attention is required. Symptoms of hypothermia in a child can be considered apathy, drowsiness, pallor, lethargy, confusion, disorientation. Your actions are similar - remove cold, damp clothes, put on dry cotton clothes and wrap the child in a warm blanket. Call emergency services if necessary. nine0004

Frostbite. It is dangerous if the child's skin turns white, waxy and hard. First, change your child into warm, natural, dry clothes and call an ambulance. Remember - no rubbing! Dry heat preferred.

Dress your children properly in winter!

Light overalls, insulated not with a thick layer of padding polyester, but with a modern "thin" material that creates an insulating air layer inside the overalls. The technology of "double frame" allows you to better keep warm. The fabric for overalls should be waterproof, windproof, breathable, retaining elasticity and softness in any frost. The main seams of the overalls must be taped and completely waterproof. The lower part of the overalls should be denser, resistant to the aggressive environment of salt, snow and mud. Trousers are supplied with removable elastic bands. The cuffs and hood are lined with soft, comfortable fleece that traps heat. The top of the jumpsuit should be softer and more elastic than the bottom, as this makes it much easier for the child to move. The lining of the overalls should be made of synthetic fibers, as the cotton lining collects moisture and is not suitable for winter. Such overalls are best for unstable winter weather (sometimes "plus" or "minus") and is considered all-weather. nine0004

We help the child to get comfortable at home after discharge.

Such a long-awaited and exciting event as a discharge is what not only a young mother, but also all relatives, who are eager to finally see the baby, are waiting for with pleasure.

On the eve of discharge, it is necessary to prepare a house and a place for the child. It can be either your own bed or a lullaby, or a place next to your mother on a large bed. It is important that the baby is comfortable and warm. It is necessary to allocate a special place for essentials - napkins, diapers, bottles, diapers, a thermometer, socks, undershirts. All this should be in the “quick availability” zone and be ready to instantly come to the aid of young parents. nine0004

The first days after discharge are always stressful. The stress that mother and baby experienced together must be leveled and all irritating factors minimized. The house should be warm (temperature 22-24 degrees), optimal humidity (about 60%), cleaning must be carried out, and the room must be ventilated.

It is important that during the first few days at home you are disturbed by the minimum number of visitors. A child, like a mother, needs to rest and fill up with strength. nine0007 Imagine, at first the baby was in the amniotic sac and felt great, then he got into some completely incomprehensible world and found himself among people in white coats. And now he has moved somewhere again, and is already in his bed at home. Several stress factors. And if you add to this all the relatives who want to meet, there will be a clear search.

If, nevertheless, the closest people decide to come to visit you , they should behave as carefully and quietly as possible. The child has not yet adapted to the effects of external irritants and loud or unexpected sounds can simply frighten him. When you arrive home, change your baby's clothes (if necessary), feed him, and put him to bed. Remember that he has an umbilical cord (until approximately 22 days of the newborn). You need to be careful when using diapers and make sure that the umbilical cord area remains open. Therefore, fold the edge of the diaper to the desired level. nine0004

Another important stage of home development is the first bath . It will be easier for parents to carry out this procedure together - someone will hold the baby, and someone will bathe. Water should not be too cold or hot - 37-38 degrees is the optimum temperature. Usually potassium permanganate is added to the bath. Water must be boiled, it is necessary to boil until the umbilical wound heals.

Before bathing , prepare all the necessary things, undress the baby and put him on the changing table (for a few minutes), so that his body gets used to the air temperature. Next, gradually immerse the baby in water (after checking the temperature). Do it smoothly, gently support your head. First wash the child and rinse with water. Use hypoallergenic, fragrance-free shampoos and soaps. Thoroughly wash the wrinkles on the body. After that, rinse the baby with clean water and wrap in a towel. It's not hard at all if you have someone around to help you. nine0004

After bathing it is necessary to do special hygiene procedures for caring for the baby:
1. It is important to treat the umbilical wound with hydrogen peroxide and brilliant green. Trim your nails if necessary.
2. Wipe the eyes with a damp cotton pad (you need to wipe from the outer corner of the eyes to the inner), then wipe the entire face. Clean ears and nose with cotton swabs.

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