What to Expect With a Newborn

What to Expect With a Newborn

We've been talking all things new born at The Sleep Teacher since the launch of our Newborn Program and it's not going to stop anytime soon (we're still so excited)! I've given you a lot of information on new born sleep, awake windows, mastering the sleep transfer and so much more. So I though it fitting to walk you through what a day in the life of a newborn looks like to help you feel more prepared and know what to expect when your little one arrives. Life with a newborn may feel like an unmanageable chaotic mess in the beginning, but you'll start to get into the swing of things and establish a simple routine of sleeping, feeding and playing in no time!


Your newborn will spend a lot of time sleeping - 14-17 hours worth. The length of each sleep depends on each baby and is often determined by how hungry they are. You may remember we touched on the awake windows for a baby (those being how long your little one should be awake for between sleeps). For newborns I recommend the following awake windows:
  • 1-3 weeks 40-60 minutes
  • 4-6 weeks 60-90 minutes
  • 7-12 weeks 90 minutes (give or take 15 minutes)
Remember that is a guide only and these sleep patterns will change regularly, especially for a newborn. Just remember to take it slow and be flexible.


Your newborn will also spend a lot of time feeding. Whether they are bottle or breastfed, you can expect to feed your newborn about 8-12 times over a 24 hour period. Some feeds will last up to an hour which may lead into your baby's sleep time which is totally fine! Despite what people say, it is okay to feed your baby to sleep.

Cuddling and Playing

You can definitely cuddle and play with your newborn! It's actually really important to encourage their growth and development. There are many ways you can engage with your newborn such as smiling, talking, singing and making faces. You can also introduce supervised tummy time which encourages your little one to strengthen their head, neck and shoulder muscles and boost their motor skills!


I know it's not what you want to hear, but your newborn is going to cry. But don't worry, this is a normal and the way your newborn communicates with you! When they're crying, they may be hungry, tired, too hot or too cold, frightened, need a nappy change or just need a cuddle from their mum. It's so important to be patient with your baby during this period. Remember, your newborn is experiencing a while new world and as long as you're there to provide love, warmth, safety and attention you're doing great. If you want a visual of a day in the life of a newborn, I posted a video of the gorgeous 4 week old Brooklyn - you can watch it here. If you haven't already, check our our newest sleep program tailored to newborns. It'll be your best friend helping you to navigate a newborn, answer all your sleep questions, establish healthy habits and teach you to love and embrace everything the fourth trimester has to offer. Check it out here.
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