Your baby will be ready for sleep once you have fed them, changed their nappy, and had some quiet playtime – total time awake, 1½ hours. Play, in the first few weeks, will be a bath or a cuddle and a quiet chat – about 15 minutes. By 8 weeks, playtime may have stretched to 30 minutes, including some tummy time on the floor, sitting in a baby rocker chair, and ‘chatting’ together while you have a snack or a drink, or reading them a story.
Watch for the early tired signs that indicate your baby has had enough stimulation and is ready for sleep.
Possible tired signs:
Keep track of the last breast used by putting a paper clip or safety pin on your bra cup or keep a record on your phone. Feel how heavy and full your breasts are before a feed. If baby has had a good feed, your breasts should feel lighter and softer afterwards.
How many feeds?
Your baby may need to feed very frequently in the first weeks of life. While it is common for babies to breastfeed 8 to 12 times in a 24-hour period, some babies may need fewer feeds and some more.
As baby grows they will go for longer between feeds, although remember that feeding frequency will increase again during growth spurts. Some babies may continue to wake for night feeds for at least 6 months.
Looking after yourself
Eat a healthy balanced diet with three meals and two small snacks per day. Ensure you have something to drink each time the baby feeds so you don’t get thirsty. Try to take the opportunity to sleep or rest when your baby is asleep.
Chapter 1 Baby Basics