Establishing a routine with your baby can be incredibly useful during those early years.
Knowing when your baby will be sleeping, eating and playing means you can finally start to plan your day, prepare your feeds and, most importantly, catch up on your own sleep – which is crucial for our mental (and skin) health.
Most experts suggest that you wait until your baby is at least 2 months old before starting to establish a routine.
However you can start teaching them the difference between night and day much sooner than this.
A short walk around the block at sunset is really good for gradually getting your newborn’s body clock to adjust. Ten minutes of fresh air as the light begins to fade can work wonders!
In the morning, change them again and do something active like carrying them around the house with you.
They will soon start to associate dark skies with crib time and brightness with activity, laying the groundwork for their future sleep routine.
Have a bedtime routine
A consistent bedtime routine will also help your baby understand what time it is.
Start by giving them a bath, turn down the lights, change their clothes, give them a feed, put them in the crib and read or sing for a little while.
It might take a while, but after a few months your baby will start to respond to the routine.
Most of all, don’t get too hung up on advice. Pai’s customer experience manager, Kirsti, says:
Before I had my first baby I remember reading loads of books with very strict routines – down to the very last minute of the day and completely focused on the baby.
By the time I had my third baby I was so busy with the other two that she simply fell into our routine.
As a result her first few months were a much more relaxed experience for all!”
When your baby is ill, teething or going through a growth spurt, you will have to change your routine to suit their needs.
That doesn’t mean starting from scratch, just a couple of disrupted nights before getting back into your usual bedtime routine.