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During my first pregnancy I read quite a few practical parenting books and scoured the Internet for lots of tips and advice on how to establish a routine with a newborn baby. I knew I would be returning to my 9-5 job after 6 months and that establishing a routine with our newborn early on would be a massive help with the transition.

When Jake was born on the 16th May 2008 after a whirlwind birth, our life changed completely. The love we felt for this tiny little human was incredible and both Paddy and I were so proud and grateful to have been giving such an amazing gift.

It took me a couple of weeks to realise that establishing a routine with a newborn was a little harder than I’d expected it to be, and as someone who personally thrives off routine I felt a little out of my depth! It would be fair to say I put myself under a lot of pressure to be the perfect Mama and have it all together.

Well firstly, let me say that you DO NOT need to have it all together all of the time. There will be days when the routine goes completely out of the window, even when you start the day with the best intentions. There will be days when you can’t even muster the energy to shower because you are so exhausted. It’s OK to be perfectly imperfect!

So if you are someone who, like me, thrives on routine I wanted to share some of my own advice based on my experience:


  1. I was adamant that Jake would automatically fit into a 3 hourly feeding routine when he was born. I became quickly overwhelmed when this tiny little human wanted to feed every hour.

It was emotionally and physically draining as I struggled to breastfeed, I would become anxious that I couldn’t tell if he was getting any milk and he would sit and feed for nearly 1.5 hours sometimes. It took a couple of weeks for me understand that this was completely normal, his tummy was so small and he needed to feed little and often.

  1. I’d read somewhere that it was important for a baby to have some activity time after feed, and before naptime. The activity could include a nappy change, time on a play mat or interaction with a parent. Taking the time to do some kind of activity after feeding allows the baby to getting into a good sleeping habit, so they don’t rely on needing a feed to fall asleep. I absolutely agree with this theory, but one of my biggest pieces of advice would be don’t keep your newborn baby awake for too long. Jake used to get really grouchy after activity time because he became overtired. I was too focused on following a set routine from a book rather than watching out for his sleepy signs. I quickly realised that in the early days his activity time could be no more than 15-20 mins after a feed before I then had to put him down for a nap.

  2. In the first few weeks I would highly recommend keeping a diary to record your baby’s feed times and nap times. Writing down how much milk they took in their bottle, or how long they breastfed for also helps. As well as how long they napped for. It gives you all the information you’ll need to easily see a natural pattern and you can begin to establish a routine.

  2. I truly believe establishing a consistent bedtime routine is key and was something we worked hard on with Jake. We would begin around 6pm with bath time, which would last no more than 10 mins. After the bath I would take him into his bedroom, close his curtains and turn on his lamp to create a really cosy and relaxed environment. After drying him, we’d spend a few minutes practising baby massage before putting on pyjamas and having a bedtime feed. I had been given a CD of lullaby music as a gift, and I used to play this every night to soothe Jake and we’d sit and have a cuddle whilst he got really sleepy. One of the tips I did pick out from the book was to allow baby to fall asleep by himself, so after having a little cuddle we would transfer Jake to his bed so he didn’t get used to falling asleep on us. This worked really well and it wasn’t long before we could put him down awake and within less than a minute he would be fast asleep with no fuss at all.

  2. This one may divide opinion. As Jake grew bigger, I began to work on keeping a consistent feeding routine during the day. I wanted to make sure he received the majority of his milk intake during the day, rather than in the middle of the night. I didn’t want him to get used to waking up in the night and needing a feed to go back to sleep. In order to keep the feeds consistent during the day, it meant that I did need to wake him up from a nap sometimes. Even if he had only been asleep 30 mins, I would still wake him to feed him.

  2. My biggest piece of advice would be to learn your baby’s signals and watch carefully for them during the day. Learn his hungry cry, or sleepy cry (yes there are different cries!). Watch out for any gestures, or sounds your baby may make. Whilst they are unable to speak at this early age, they will try to communicate through a variety of ways and if you can learn their signals you’ll be able to react quickly so your baby’s needs are always met and you have a contented little baby!

I would love to hear your thoughts and best advice for helping new Mama’s and Mama’s to be with establishing routines with a little one.



I'm Gemma and I'm the heart and soul behind Rosy Apple Creations, a wedding planning and design boutique based in the Yorkshire Dales. I heartfully plan, design and style beautiful celebrations which are full of loveliness, meaning and love.
I'm mama to two gorgeous boys, Jake and Liam, and I love them both with my whole heart. I know all too well that being a parent brings its own challenges and running a business too means there is always a lot to juggle. I have a confession to make though....I'm a huge fan of routine! I find it's the best way to have a chaos free house, especially when it comes to getting our family ready on a morning which can often turn into a whirlwind of craziness!


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