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Community Questions - Newborn Routines

"I'm due with my first baby in a few weeks and wondered if you had any advice or tips on newborn routines which would be helpful?"

Newborns don't have a fixed routine, as they tend to sleep and feed frequently throughout the day and night. However, here are some general guidelines on what you can expect from a newborn's routine:

Feeding: Newborns need to be fed often, as their stomachs are small and can't hold a lot of milk at once. Breastfed newborns may need to feed every 2-3 hours, while formula-fed newborns may need to feed every 3-4 hours. For formula-fed babies, the NHS guidance is:

'Newborn babies need quite small amounts of formula to start with. By the end of their first week, most will need around 150 to 200ml per kilo of their weight a day until they're 6 months old. This amount will vary from baby to baby.'

Sleep: Newborns tend to sleep for between 2-4 hours at a time, between feeds. Newborns need a lot of sleep to support their rapid growth and development. The NHS Guidance on newborn sleep is:

'Most newborn babies are asleep more than they are awake. Their total daily sleep varies, but can be from 8 hours up to 16 or 18 hours. Babies will wake during the night because they need to be fed. Being too hot or too cold can also disturb their sleep.'

Nappy changes: Newborns may need to be changed as often as every 2-3 hours, or whenever their nappy is wet or soiled.

Playtime: Newborns don't need a lot of stimulation, but they do enjoy looking at high-contrast patterns and hearing calming sounds like lullabies. You can also try gentle touch and movement to soothe your baby.

It's important to remember that every newborn is different, and your baby's routine may vary. Pay attention to your baby's cues and adjust your routine as needed to meet their needs.

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