You don’t have to be a new parent or an expecting one to have general knowledge that newborn babies pretty much eat, drink, sleep and poop for the first few months of their lives. But that doesn’t exactly give you a reality-based perspective on exactly how you’ll be spending your time. How does that time really break down?
Your Newborn’s Life from Birth to Three Months
From birth to around three weeks you can expect the following from your baby.
Feedings – A newborn baby will have 8 to 10 feeding sessions per 24 hour period. Those feedings will be anywhere from 2 to 5 hours apart.
Sleep – Newborn babies take naps. You can expect them to take around 6 to 8 naps per day. Often newborns will even sleep up to 5 hours at night once you have them on a schedule. But not all of them. It’s quite possible you’ll have a serial napper for the first 3 weeks. It’s advised not to allow a breastfeeding baby to sleep more than 5 hours at night.
Around 3 weeks
Around three weeks your baby will experience a growth spurt. These will occur every 3 to 4 weeks and can often last up to a week.
Five Weeks Old
At around five weeks old your newborn baby will begin to go a bit longer between feedings. That’s because they will be able to eat more per feeding. You can expect them to edge towards an eating schedule closer to 3 to 4 hours.
Your newborn baby will begin to have longer stretches of sleep around six weeks. Most babies will be sleeping from 6 to 8 hours per night by this time.
Feedings – By 8 weeks, your newborn will likely have or be ready to, drop a feeding from their schedule. This should put your schedule at around 6 feedings per 24 hour period. Your baby will also be a lot more alert during feedings by this time. This will allow you to keep them awake longer, creating better and more predictable sleeping patterns.
Sleeping – By 9 weeks, most babies will be able to sleep from 8 – 10 hours per night, if breastfed. If bottlefed, some babies can sleep up to 11. However, there are still exceptions to this rule who are still not sleeping the full 8. Many babies this age will actually have a short period of waking in the early morning hours where they may even talk to themselves, fiddle with their hands, coo a bit and fall back to sleep.
Feeding – You can expect your newborn to be on a steady 4 hour feeding schedule by this time. They also will likely need from 5 to 7 feedings per day. Sleeping – Most newborns are sleeping around 8 hours by this age.
While there is definitely no set of feeding or sleeping rules you’ll ever be able to talk a newborn baby into, this basic schedule is what you can likely expect from your newborn baby.
And congratulations new parents!