Some mums swear by their routines, others never manage to get baby into one.
If you follow the advice of TV Supernanny Jo Frost, you’ll start thinking about your baby’s sleep and feeding pattern almost from day one.
She tells Babyexpert why:
‘When you’ve just had a baby, you’ll find your baby’s habits change week by week, then every two weeks.
‘They come into their own sleeping and eating habits and it’s important to observe how sleeping and eating relate to each other.
‘If your baby is hungry, he won’t sleep. If he won’t sleep he may well be crying. This is when many mums find themselves putting the baby to their breast or giving them a bottle: you can feel that you need to be feeding your baby every time they cry.
‘As a mum, you’ve got to be realistic. Your instinct may be to feed but this can soon turn into comfort feeding. You have got to keep your head.
‘The milestone for most mums is the day you hear your baby crying but know he can’t be hungry because he fed not long ago. Remember: every baby needs to feed every so often but not too often.’
Supernanny Jo, 37, has spent 20 years looking after babies. She’s now written a book to share her wealth of experience with all new parents: Jo Frost’s Confident Baby Care ( £12.99, Orion). Click here to buy.
It’s practical tone and clear guidance make it a valuable reference book for any new parent wondering how to go about caring for their baby during the crucial first 12 months.
Supernanny Jo advises against trying to implement a proper routine until your baby is four months old.
Until then, she says, you need to be encouraging good habits – making sure your baby gets used to taking full, regular feeds rather than snacking, and sleeping properly rather than dozing.
Jo adds, ‘There’s a balance between making sure you can establish your own baby’s pattern as regards their sleeping and eating habits and imposing . When I’m troubleshooting, I usually find that if a baby’s not sleeping well it’s because the feeding has gone haywire.
‘Get one sorted out and the other will follow. You can start working on that from the very beginning.’
But Supernanny Jo is not in favour of imposing a strict regime on your baby and yourself.
‘Your baby is not meant to be living by a rigid schedule from day one. But a routine does give stability. It allows you to get the rest you need, your other kids to get a piece of your time, and you to keep your relationships going. It also gives the baby time to grow and develop.
‘Working out your own routine is about having the confidence to listen to the voice inside you. Mums know what is right. Don’t worry about what other people say you should or shouldn’t be doing.
‘Listen to your intuition. As a parent you’ve got to be confident enough to go with your instinct.’
Jo Frost’s Confident Baby Care ( £12.99, Orion). Click here to buy.