Newborn Feeding and Sleep Schedule: 0-4 Week Daily Routine

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What the heck is a newborn schedule? We all know newborns just sleep, eat, poop and repeat right? So whats the point of trying to put a newborn on a schedule?

Well there is actually a few reasons why you should try to get on a newborn schedule. I say the word “schedule” loosely because let’s face it, there is no way to make a newborn stick to a schedule.

This is more of an easy guide or a simplified routine for helping you understand what your newborn wants and when to give it to them.

This post is about newborn’s feeding and sleeping schedule.

Why set a schedule?

Creating a newborn schedule can help:

  • Keep you from becoming over exhausted. If you’re like most new parents, then you have no idea what you’re really doing. You probably know that newborns need to eat every two hours, thats exhausting. But if you know what to expect and when to expect it, then you might actually get a little rest
  • Make sure baby is eating and sleeping enough. Knowing when baby needs to fed or sleep (to avoid becoming over-exhausted) will keep you from guessing what they need next.
  • Be confident as a parent. It feels good knowing that your baby is thriving and their needs are being met by keeping track of time and learning your baby’s cues.

If these are things you want as a parent then creating a newborn schedule can help benefit you and your baby.

How To Create A Newborn Schedule

There is no set times for newborns to be awake and asleep. What I mean is, we know all newborns don’t wake up at exactly 9am and go sleep at 8pm everyday.

When setting a schedule for your newborn there are a few things you need to know.

As I first time mom, I did not know anything about when or for how long newborns needed to eat or sleep (sounds bad, but it’s true!).

I really just thought babies eat when they’re hungry and sleep when they are tired, right? I mean…that is sort of, right, but there were some seriously important things I wish I would have known.

Let’s break it down into two categories, eat and sleep. Learning about baby’s eat and sleep needs are essential for taking care of your newborn.

Newborn Feeding Schedule

Eating is one of your baby’s main activities! 

Newborns eat every 2-3 hours. That’s 8-12 times within a 24 hour period. 

Breastfed babies tend to eat less frequently than formula fed babies. This is because breast milk is digested quicker than formula, which means those little tiny tummies get empty in a shorter amount of time. 

A timed schedule for newborn feeding can’t really be exact as long as they don’t go more than 3 hours between feeding. Feeding on demand is the best way to keep your baby happy.

When it comes to newborns and being hungry it’s important to learn their hunger cues.

Baby hungry cues are:

  • stretching
  • closed tight fists
  • putting hand to their month or sucking on hands
  • if they are extremely hungry, crying and turning red

The best way to avoid baby becoming too hungry and crying, is keeping track of feedings and looking for early hunger cues.

How much does a newborn baby eat? How do you know if your baby is eating enough?

If you’re breastfeeding then you won’t be measuring exactly how much your baby is eating, they will just feed on demand (every 2-3 hours) and eat until they are content.

For breastfeeding the best way to know if your baby is full, is by they way they behave.

If they are still displaying hunger cues, then they are probably still hungry. Most of the time infants will fall asleep while feeding, this is another great indicator to know they have eaten enough.

For formula feeding or supplementing newborns will eat 2-3oz of milk at each feeding.

They will also eat less frequently than breastfed babies.

If baby is routinely spitting up after each feeding they may be over eating or eating too fast.

Newborn Sleeping Schedule

Newborns sleep A LOT. Seriously. An Infant spends most of their time asleep.

Newborns sleep 17-19 hours within a 24 hour period. They do have awake periods but are usually never awake for longer than 45-60 minutes at a time.

So baby may wake up in the morning to eat and maybe play a little, then within the next hour they will be back to sleep.

Infants don’t necessarily get tired or worn out, it’s just that an hour of awake time is all they can really handle at a time. Which is why it’s important to keep track of time when baby is awake so that you can help baby fall back to sleep before they become over exhausted and fussy! 

There’s not a set time for when baby sleeps, it’s not like, 2pm is nap time. It will vary day by day, depending on what you’re doing that day. 

The good news is that baby’s pretty easily fall asleep anywhere. Probably mostly, on mom. 

Other places baby may sleep often:

Recommended baby sleep must haves:

If you read my How to build a baby registry post, you’ll know EXACTLY what you need for baby’s first year. Broken down into categories such as clothes, baby gear, eating, and sleeping necessities. Here are some of the sleeping products that can help you prepare for baby’s sleeping needs. 

It’s pretty normal that baby’s sleep location will vary as newborns. Every nap does not need to be in their crib, mainly because with how much they sleep it’s not very practical. Newborns love being held and rocked. 

Daily Newborn Schedule Chart

This chart is an example of a newborn’s daily schedule.

Like we talked about earlier, there is no exact time stamps for when baby will wake up, eat and fall back asleep. Everyday will likely be different.

Keeping track of the time difference between feedings and naps is the best way to make sure baby is happy.

I hope this helps!

I wish that someone would have broken down a newborn’s schedule for me when I was a first time Mom, I probably would have felt a lot more confident in what I was doing. 

Hi I'm Fina! I am passinate about Motherhood and I really enjoy helping other Mom's navigate through this crazy journey. So wheather you're pregnant, a new mom or a mom to many(like me!) I'm so happy you're here. Let's figure out this Mom-life out together!

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