I’ve been working with newborns for many years in my studio in Salisbury. One thing I’ve learnt over that time is there is no such thing as a ‘typical newborn’. They don’t come with an instruction book and no two days will follow the same ‘routine’. Well, not until your newborn is much older anyway.
So, what might you expect in 24 hours with your new baby?
Newborns need lots of sleep. It may not seem like it, but in the first few weeks of life your newborn will sleep for 16-17 hours per day! Granted this is usually in very short stretches of 2-4 hours at a time, which is why you never really feel like you have time to do anything meaningful for yourself in between. Of course, everyone will tell you to sleep when your baby sleeps and this is great advice. It’s just really difficult to do when you look around and see domestic chores piling up. My advice is try to forget the jobs - your newborn needs you to be energised, so catch up on your sleep.
It doesn’t matter if you’re breastfeeding or bottle-feeding - your newborn is best fed on demand. This means they’ll feed 8-12 times over 24 hours for the first few weeks. It can feel never-ending in those early days. They’re either asleep or feeding! If you want to calculate the time between feeds, remember to start the clock from the start of the last feed, not the end.
Your newborn has a tiny bladder and, because they’re feeding so often, you’ll go through plenty of nappies. You’re looking at up to 12 nappy changes a day in the early days with your newborn. This also means you’ll go through plenty of cotton wool as you clean up.
You’ll also spend a good portion of your day with your newborn changing their clothes. Both ends of a newborn are notoriously leaky so expect at least one change of clothes per day.
Although a newborn tends to be asleep or feeding, it’s nice to have some time for cuddles and interaction. You might enjoy a sleepy cuddle after feeding your newborn but also make time to play. Singing to your newborn and even reading to them will stimulate their senses and help you bond. It’s also a good idea to start tummy time early - even for just a couple of minutes at a time - to help strengthen their neck and head muscles.
So, you can see that there’s not much time between all of this for you. This is one of the reasons we offer our ‘At Home’ portrait sessions. You don’t need to leave the house to shoehorn a visit to us into your day. We can come to you instead. We bring all of the equipment and props we need and can set up in a relatively small space. Have a look at these examples and get in touch for more information.