Babywise Newborn Schedule
William was in the NICU for week 1, and at home for week 2. The NICU had him on the perfect schedule, and we simply continued it at home.
William is a preemie, born at 34 weeks 2 days. This schedule is no different than the schedule we’d have used had he been full term. The main difference would have simply been that we’d have let him sleep as long as he wanted at night…
Feedings occur every 3 hours at 6 am, 9 am, 12 pm, 3 pm, 6 pm, 9 pm, 12 am, and 3 am
We are waking him around the clock due to the NICU and pediatrician’s recommendations, that you can read about here.
William has very minimal awake time. Mostly he is just awake for the feeding.
We try and get a few more minutes out of him, which may or may not happen depending on the time of day, and the amount of time it took him to feed.
On a typical feeding, he eats for 10-15 minutes on one side, and 5-7 on the other.
We make sure to keep him awake to get a full feeding! We start by changing his diaper to wake him fully. Then feed on one side, then burp, then feed on the other.
I often have to undress him in between sides to wake him up. I blow cool air on his skin, rub his head and belly, etc. We make sure he eats as much as he wants and gets his full feedings!
Half of the time he poops after finishing the first half of his meal. I then change him again, and that helps to wake him up for the second side of feeding.
The mornings are his longest awake time. He is usually wanting to be awake for 60-65 minutes after the 6 am feeding.
The awake time seems to gradually decline throughout the day. By the time it’s evening, he hardly has any after his feeds.
If he is awake, we give him time on a mat, and some tummy time.
Instead of using just the clock, we watch for sleepy signs as well. We usually get a good yawn out of him, or his eyes start to get heavy.
If this is the case, no matter how soon after feeding, we get him down for a nap. Otherwise we just cap his wake time at 60 minutes.
At night, since we are having to wake him to feed him every three hours, we keep it dark, quiet, and do not attempt any awake time after the feed. This is all we can do to distinguish day from night at this point.
Along with that, we make it a point to let the sunlight in during the day, keep the regular daytime volume of our house, and even let him nap around the noise at times during the day.
For the most part, he’s sleeping in his crib, though for naps.
We are making sure to do eat, wake, sleep routines with him during every cycle that occurs during the day.
Even if we only get a couple of minutes of “awake time” after a feeding, we make sure to keep up with the eat, wake sleep cycles.
For naps and bedtime, we put him in a swaddle for the first week at home. Then we just turn the lights out, or close the curtains, and lay him down.
We aren’t doing any rocking, shhshing, bouncing, etc. unless he wakes up needing it (which is very rare so far).
Even then, on the rare occasion, we just hold him for a bit and he goes down easily when we set him down after settling.
He puts himself to sleep so well. We literally put him down awake, and walk away. He fusses here and there for a bit, but for the most part he does incredibly well with it.
Usually, if he does fuss, by the time we get to him he’s quiet with his eyes closed.
We take our time getting to him, but never more than a couple of minutes. I think we are much more laid back with him than we were with our first.
His fussiness during sleep is likely just him transitioning sleep cycles. He’s doing great with settling himself back down.
His naps are great. He sleeps until his next feeding, give or take 10 minutes. Usually, we are having to wake him.
William wakes up pretty much on schedule every 3 hours. At night I have had to wake him most of the time, however. I’m eager to see how he does when we are letting him sleep as long as he wants at night.
He sleeps through noises, and can sleep anywhere. The first week at home (2nd week of his life), we made it a point to keep him downstairs, and have him around the noise.
The second week at home (I’ll do a full update soon), we started putting him in the bassinet for sleep, and now that he is 2.5 weeks, we are putting him in his crib for most naps.
I really wanted to make sure that he’d be flexible with his sleeping habits, but I also want to prioritize his sleep and set him up for success. It’s a fine balance!
I want him to be able to be around noises, but also I want to limit noises and give him as good of sleep as possible. So, we just mix it up here and there.
Breastfeeding is going SO well.
He latches well. He eats on both sides.
He’s getting enough from me, it seems like, and is not wanting a bottle afterwards.
We were instructed by the NICU and our pediatrician to offer a bottle of 22 calorie formula mixed with breast milk after feedings. They wanted to make sure he was gaining weight well, and thriving.
We attempted the bottle during week 2, and he only took a handful of them.
As a result, I reduced my pumping frequency to once a day and just focused on breastfeeding. By week 3 I had completely stopped pumping.
He’s able to make it 3 hours between feedings without any issues. I think all in all we’ve been very successful with breastfeeding thus far!
When he was born, he was 6 lbs 3 oz. When we left the hospital, he was right at 6 lbs. That Friday (5 days later), he was 6 lbs 4 oz. His weight gain has been great!
Life at Home
Now that we are home from the NICU, it is so nice.
Caroline got to meet her baby brother, FINALLY!
She is so in love. She loves giving him hugs and kisses, and is super patient with the fact that he is rarely awake.
She asks to show him toys and play with him on the mat. She’s gentle and so loving.
Caroline also loves playing with her baby doll or stuffed animals and pretending they are babies. One of the first things she did was pretend to be breastfeeding in the glider.
The dogs are both doing great with William as well.
My husband, Joe, was home for the first two weeks. During the first week, William was in the NICU, and he mainly took care of Caroline and things at home while I was going back and forth to help feed William.
He’d occasionally get to go visit as well, but he also seemed to have caught a little bug, so he was steering clear of the NICU just to be safe.
During the second week, we got to bring William home and just have good family time, and Christmas fun! It was beyond wonderful to have my husband home with us for two weeks.
Week three is underway, so I’ll have an update soon on how things are going with Joe back at work, but so far so good! We are adjusting to life with two kids at home, and everything is perfectly wonderful.
William and Caroline look insanely alike as babies! It is unreal to me how much so.
They both came out with a full head of hair, and yes both pregnancies were full of heartburn and reflux for me.
William makes funny balloon noises just like Caroline did to earn her nickname of Caro-loon, (now Loon).
They both have the exact same stretches, and make the same noises when hungry. It’s like I’m holding baby Caroline all over again.
I know I’m biased, but I think we make pretty amazing babies in this house!
We are all extra thankful to be able to bring another life into our family.