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Newborn Sleep and Feeding Schedule

Newborn Sleep and Feeding Schedule

Newborn Sleep Pattern

As soon as your baby is born forget about the clock. It doesn’t mean anything anymore because your baby is going to sleep whenever he wants to sleep regardless of what time it is. The old adage of “sleeping like a baby” is very misleading in that, well babies don’t really sleep, at least not like we picture them to. Overall, babies do sleep a lot averaging about fifteen to eighteen hours a day, however these are not alltogether but in short periods of anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours.

These patterns don’t follow any clock causing many babies to have day/night confusion. If your baby is like this, which he most likely is, then he will sleep a lot during the day regardless of visitors’ attempts to coax him awake, and wake up erratically during the night.

The first week of life is like a blissful dream, and you may think how easy it is to have a baby. But do not be fooled! Around three weeks of life your baby will suddenly realize they are no longer in the womb and sleep will become a distant memory for you. This is when parents enter survival mode.

Do whatever you need to do in order to make the baby sleep: nurse him, rock him, shush him, swaddle him, swing him and so forth. But are these healthy practices? Are you teaching your baby bad habits? Are you inadvertently setting yourself up for future sleep failures?

I wouldn’t worry so much about that in the beginning because your baby really doesn’t know the difference either. Do whatever you need to do to help your baby sleep, however do it on a schedule, or a much better word, a routine. To help create a new sleep schedule, it’s important to understand a newborn’s feeding patterns.

Newborn Feeding Pattern

Whether you are breast feeding or formula feeding, its a good idea to set your child on a baby feeding schedule. For breast feeding, the popular consensus is to feed whenever the baby is hungry or to follow your baby’s lead (baby led). This is absolutely a great practice as well but the reason why I say it’s important to set a baby feeding schedule is because some newborns just won’t wake up on their own to eat. Some babies, especially at the beginning of life, will be perfectly content with sleeping for longer periods of time, say for 4 hours or more. As tempting as it may be to let your baby continue to sleep, it’s recommended that you wake your baby up every 2-3 hours to feed.

As for the amount of milk to feed your baby, it all depends on your baby’s weight. Always follow what your doctor or pediatrician recommends. If you’re breast feeding, it’s a good idea to follow the 2-3 hour routine of feeding. If you’re formula feeding, it’s a bit different since babies digest formula a lot slower than breast milk. According to babysleepsite.com, an easy way to tell how much formula to feed is to multiply your baby’s weight by 2.5 to get the amount of ounces to feed.

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Newborn Sleep and Baby Feeding Schedule

The best way to keep your sanity when it comes to handling your newborn is to implement a feeding and sleep schedule right off the bat. Having a schedule will ensure that all parties are on the same page with what the baby needs and at what time leaving out alot of guessing and minimizing frustration. As time goes, your baby will also learn the routine and know what to expect next. When I say schedule I mean more of a routine and not so much being a slave to the clock. It’s great to use time as a guideline, but let’s face it, some days will be good and some days will be bad.

A great routine to follow is the E.A.S.Y routine from the book The Baby Whisperer Solves all Problems. E.A.S.Y stands for Eat, Activity, Sleep and You. Upon awakening, your baby eats immediately. After he is done eating it is time for activity. At the beginning, your baby’s awake time will be very short spanning from only 15 minutes to 45 minutes. Spend this time taking full advantage of your baby’s alertness, play and talk with him, cuddle, change his diaper, implement tummy time etc. Watch for his sleepy cues and then put him down for sleep. While the baby rests it is then you time. You can do whatever you want with this time, whether its feeding yourself, doing some chores, vegging out infront of the tv or even sleeping.

Here’s a couple sample schedules below:

2-8 Week Old Newborn Baby, Breast Feeding

7:00am – Wake up and feed*

8:30 – Sleep

10:00 – Feed*

11:30 – Sleep

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1:00pm – Feed*

2:30 – Sleep

4:00 – Feed*

5:30 – Sleep

6:00 – 1st cluster feed*

7:00 – Bath time

7:30 – Sleep

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8:00 – 2nd cluster feed and put right back to sleep*

11:00 – Feed and right back to sleep

2:00am – Feed and right back to sleep

5:00 – Feed and right back to sleep

* I suggest trying to keep to these same feed times every day. By always feeding around the same time, you are creating a schedule that will keep both you and the baby on track. You can’t really control how long your baby will sleep or when, but you can at least control when you will feed them

Cluster feeds are helpful during the early weeks when trying to teach your baby the difference between day and night. You want to make the last two feeds only two hours apart so that your baby is full and satiated to sleep for a longer period of time.

2-8 Week Old Newborn Baby, Formula Feeding

I would suggest the same schedule above even if you are formula feeding. At the beginning, formula fed babies tend to go longer in between feedings than breast-fed babies and may require less feeding sessions. This is because babies digest formula differently than breast milk, so they feel fuller longer therefore tend to sleep for longer periods. This difference evens out at about 3-4 weeks. With bottles it’s a lot easier to control the amount that you are feeding your baby. Around this age, babies tend to eat around 2-5 oz, as long as they are over 6 1/2 lbs.

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These are simple and general guidelines to follow when determining your baby’s sleeping and feeding schedules. In the early weeks, it can be a very unpredictable and stressful time as you and your baby are learning and figuring things out. Every baby is different and therefore their schedules may deviate a bit. The most important thing is to implement a routine from day one and stay consistent.

Newborn Sleep Resources:

http://www.babysleepsite.com/schedules/newborn-sleep-feeding-schedule/

The Baby Whisperer Solves all Problems

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

Featured photo credit: She’s in the very first day in the world/睿 薛 via flickr.com

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Published on January 30, 2019

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

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The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

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As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

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I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

5. Don’t keep score or track time.

At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

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The Bottom Line

To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

Reference

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