See what a realistic Babywise newborn schedule is for your baby and when it’s appropriate to put your newborn on a schedule.

mom holding newborn baby

If you want to get a jumpstart on your baby’s sleep habits then you may be wondering about getting them on a good sleep schedule.

Learn more about the difference between a Babywise routine for newborns and a Babywise newborn schedule and get tips for starting your newborn’s routine when you’re ready.

Want a realistic newborn sleep schedule? Download my free newborn sleep schedule to see what a day with your newborn might look like. Click here to grab it. It’ll be super helpful.
newborn baby

When Should You Start A Schedule for A Newborn?

You don’t need to jump right into a Babywise newborn schedule after birth.

Give yourself time to adjust to being a mom and your body time to heal from birth.

Trying to put a newborn on a strict schedule too early can cause unnecessary pressure and stress for parents who are already adjusting to so much.

That being said, I am all about adapting a routine for your newborn as soon as you’re ready.

The words schedule and routine are sometimes used interchangeably, though they can have very different meanings.

Babywise newborn schedule

Newborn Schedule vs Routine

You can start a routine as soon as you feel ready!

A simple newborn routine can include:

There really won’t be a rigid nap or feeding schedule at this age, because we want to follow our baby’s hunger cues and sleep cues.

You can start setting up this routine from day one or as soon as you feel ready after adjusting to delivering a human! (Give yourself some time to get settled in and recover and don’t feel pressured to start doing it all right away!)

How Often do you Feed Babywise Babies?

Most newborns need to eat every 2 to 3 hours.

Babywise also stresses the importance of keeping your baby awake for feeds. Newborns are very sleepy and are prone to falling asleep at the breast or bottle.

There are different things you can do to ensure your baby stays awake and takes a full feed such as switching breasts or undressing your baby a little.

What Should A Newborn’s Schedule Be?

Newborn sleep is still really scattered at this point and continues to be scattered through the first 3 months.

Sleep typically doesn’t become more regular closer 4 to 6 months old.

The best schedule you can follow at this point is to watch the clock like a hawk and make sure you get your baby down for a nap or bed within their appropriate wake window, which is only about 45 minutes!

Newborn Wake Windows

Your newborn can only be awake for about 45 minutes before they really need to go to sleep again.

Keep them awake much longer than that and you’ll get an overtired baby.

Since newborn sleep is so unpredictable, your entire Babywise newborn schedule will revolve around their wake window.

You can also work on fixing their day and night confusion by exposing them to natural light during the day and using blackout curtains in their nursery for night sleep.

It can take up to 12 weeks for them to grow out of their newborn circadian rhythm.

Here’s a sample newborn schedule using 45 minute wake windows.

newborn sleep schedule

Keep in mind this is a general overview and I urge parents to always feed a hungry baby and follow their baby’s feeding cues.

7:00 AM: Wake up + nurse or bottle

7:45 to 9:30 AM: Nap (Baby slept in bassinet or crib)

9:30 AM: Nurse or bottle

10:15 to 12:15 PM: Nap (Went for a walk in a stroller)

12:15 PM: Nurse or bottle

1:00 to 2:30 PM: Nap

2:30 PM: Nurse or bottle (Parents woke to feed and head to grandma’s house)

3:15 to 4:45 PM: Nap (Baby happily took a contact nap in grandpa’s arms while visiting)

5:00 PM Feed (Waited to feed 15 minutes after baby woke up)

5:30 to 6:15 PM: Nap (Car nap on the way back home)

6:30 PM: Start baby’s bedtime routine + nurse or bottle

7:00 PM: Bedtime

Video on Babywise Newborn Schedule

Watch the video below where Amy will go over sample newborn sleep schedules for the first three months. Sometimes it helps to hear someone explain it versus reading a blog post.

Babywise newborn schedule

How Do you Get A Newborn On A Schedule?

One thing to keep in mind regarding Babywise sleep schedules is that a newborn won’t fall into a perfect schedule at this point.

The term schedule can mean rigidity and I firmly believe that new parents and newborns need flexibility this early in the game.

A newborn’s naps can range from 20 minutes up to 2.5 hours at this stage and can take time to develop. If your baby only naps 30 minutes, that’s okay! They’ll slowly be able to extend their sleep cycles.

Contact naps can also be very common at this age and a great way to make sure baby gets much needed rest.

You can try working on getting your newborn to sleep in their bassinet as well, but just know that they may need assistance and that’s okay too!

If you have any questions about the Babywise newborn schedule, leave them below and we’ll help you troubleshoot.

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