When baby is new, feeding time will drive the routine and, on many days, it won’t feel routine at all.
Newborns should be fed every 2-3 hours - often even more frequently than that - and around the clock. As baby gets older, their stomach gets bigger, they’ll be able to sleep for longer stretches of time, and the time between feedings will lengthen. By the time baby is six months old, you will have a sense of what their natural routine is and, if you want, you can begin to implement a more structured schedule at home.
Begin to establish patterns around key events in baby’s day: breastfeeding, solid foods, naps, bath time, story time, play time, even mom-needs-to-get-out-of-the-house time. You can establish habits through consistency – for example, by going through the same bedtime routine every night including bath, pajamas, singing songs and reading books, and turning out the lights. Establish a routine that works for both you and baby.
This is also a great way to get your partner involved and provide them with some bonding time. Find moments throughout the day that can be special times for them and baby, and you may land on a tradition that lasts through their childhood.
With all things baby, flexibility is key. It’s good to have a routine that works for you and your family, but baby won’t always cooperate. Diaper blow-outs, doctor appointments, commitments with older kids, colds or flu bugs, or even baby getting older and simply aging out of certain stages will require you to adjust and readjust through the toddler years.