Finding a Routine with Your New Baby

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Finding a Routine with Your New Baby

The postpartum period, often referred to as the “fourth trimester,” is a time of significant transition for both mom and baby. This period involves not only physical recovery from childbirth but also emotional and psychological transitions as parents get used to their new roles. Establishing a routine with a newborn can be challenging yet beneficial for the whole family, providing a sense of structure and stability during a time of a lot of changes. Routines are good for parents, as well as infants and toddlers. Learn more on how to find a route with your new baby.

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One of the first steps that I find helpful for new parents in navigating this transition is understanding and accepting that every baby is unique, and what works for one family might not work for another and that’s okay! Parents need to be patient with themselves and their babies as they learn about each other’s needs and cues. Initially, routines will be heavily influenced by the newborn’s feeding and sleeping patterns, which can be unpredictable. Gradually, parents can start to introduce a flexible schedule that accommodates their baby’s natural rhythms, including designated times for feeding, sleeping, and play. During this time it’s important to sleep when the baby sleeps and eat when the baby eats. Eat well and stay hydrated!

A good time to start setting a routine is around  2-3 weeks postpartum. Start gently by getting into the routine with the baby of waking, Eating, and playing. It won’t always work out exactly in that order but it is a good goal. What that looks like is when a baby wakes they get to breastfeed or bottle feed, and then spend some time doing tummy time or reading books with parents or caregivers. end the wake window by being laid down drowsy but awake in a crib or bassinet with gentle shush and patting to sleep. Try spending 10-15 minutes outside in the fresh air at least once a day. Nature is good for both mom and baby and it will help baby figure out their circadian rhythm, helping them to figure out what day is and what night it is. The day is for play, tummy time, singing, and reading books. The night is for sleeping. Try a couple of naps during the day in the crib and the other naps being worn in a wrap or a baby carrier for a contact nap. My personal favorite is the Moby Easy Wrap Carrier.

In addition to establishing a routine, parents need to take care of their well-being. The postpartum period can be emotionally taxing, with many mothers experiencing feelings of being overwhelmed, exhausted, or even a postpartum mood disorder. Seeking support from partners, family, friends, or professionals like therapists, postpartum doulas, and medical providers can make a significant difference. This support can come in many forms, such as helping with household tasks, offering to watch the baby to allow the parents some rest, or simply providing a listening ear. Remember, taking care of yourself is not a luxury but a necessity for being able to care for your newborn effectively. Both parents need to take time for themselves. You don’t have to leave the house if you’re not comfortable with that but a relaxing bath, a good book, or coffee with a friend can be rejuvenating. If you need postpartum or sleep support, reach out! Those around you would love to support and love your family. It is a blessing to give as much as it is to receive. And if you don’t have family nearby, reach out to a local postpartum doula or sleep consultant. 

About Shannon Lee

Shannon Lee, Pediatric Sleep Consultant, Doula

Shannon Lee has worked with women and families in some capacity for 20 years. Eleven years ago she became a birth doula and the rest is history! She is a lifelong learner so she has added many skills: pediatric sleep consultant, Hypnobabies childbirth instructor, postpartum doula, and breastfeeding counselor. She assists families from pregnancy through age six!  She has been blessed to be in attendance as a birth doula to over 600 births and counting. Shannon is excited to now add a birth assistant to her skills and to support families in this new role. 

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with my husband and her four boys, crocheting, reading, and volunteering. Her doula bestie and she runs a free postpartum moms group in Waukee that meets twice a month. Every birth is unique and such a miracle. It’s always a blessing to witness!

Learn more and book her services at


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