Inside: If you love baby sleep tips that will help your baby sleep better, then you’ll love this newborn routine and baby checklists printable set.
It was my first night back to work since giving birth 10 weeks prior, and I was a wreck. I grabbed my nursing scrubs, got dressed and headed down stairs.
Scattered across our kitchen table were baby checklists and newborn routines, followed by more checklists and more checklists and more…well…you get the idea. I wanted to cover all my bases before leaving the baby for the first time.
I can have a good laugh about it all now, but the truth is that all was a very big deal to me as a first time mom.
I wanted my husband to easily follow the same newborn routine that I followed. I wanted it to be an easy transition for our whole family. And maybe deep down, I wanted to feel like I was doing something for my baby even when I was at work.
Newborn routines help baby fall asleep faster.
Did you know that by six to eight weeks, babies show clear signs that they can predict what will happen during feeding and sleep routines? Which means, your baby can easily identify pre-nap and bedtime routines when done consistently.
Routines help babies…
- Know what to expect. They are soothing and comforting.
- Feel safe. The safer babies feel, the more they relax.
- Get sleepy. When babies go through a pre-sleep routine, it helps trigger their bodies natural sleep hormones.
Have everyone caring for baby use the same routine.
Everyone who helps take care of your baby may do the routine a little bit differently. Or they may skip the whole thing altogether, which is fine, until you get a phone call saying, “The baby won’t go down.” Or you decide to take a shower while your spouse puts the baby to bed and you get a knock on the bathroom door saying, “The baby needs you.”
Helping everyone follow the same pre-nap and bedtime routine for your baby makes a huge difference. (There are plenty of moms and dads out there that don’t use a routine, and that’s perfectly fine. But I’ve always found routines to be our golden sanity saver.)
If you’re worried that creating a routine will feel like a lot of work, I have good news.
How to use a printable newborn routine for bedtime.
After regularly hearing about moms struggling to keep everyone on the same routine with their baby – and recalling my own struggles – I knew there was an easier way.
Our printable routine cards for kids work so well for parents, we knew a set of printable newborn baby routine cards and checklists would be the perfect solution.
The set includes everything you need to get started with a baby routine:
- 20+ routine cards in gender neutral colors.
- Blank cards to create your own custom routine item.
- Set of baby sleep checklists to help you troubleshoot sleep in a pinch.
- Two editable templates to make the ultimate custom baby sleep routine.
Sample newborn baby routines for bedtime and naps.
This is how you introduce a routine to a newborn – simply add in the routine items you want to include and consistently repeat each day. Your baby can understand routines as early as 6-8 weeks!
Here’s the newborn routine we typically use before bedtime:
- Bath time. This is usually with just water and a rag under the neck and to the hands, feet and groin.
- Clean diaper.
- Lotion / massage. This is incredibly soothing for babies, but it also help give their brain important sensory input. (We use Young Living lotions and soaps with our kids because they are the only company I love that truly offers chemical free products.)
- Pajamas. It was the one time of day I always changed my babies’ outfits to help them know it was bedtime.
- Feed. All that really matters is that the baby gets a hearty full feed right before bedtime.
- Swaddle. (We use the Halo Sleep Sack)
- Sing a quick lullaby. Sing the same song to help the baby trigger their sleepy hormones and know it’s time for sleep.
- Turn on white noise. We always use gentle white noise with our kids. Any simple fan on low will do the trick. It helps mimic the sound babies are used to in the womb.
- Lay down awake, but drowsy. If you can do this to support your baby’s independent sleep, it’s so helpful.
Here’s the sample newborn routine we use before naps:
- Close the curtains.
- Turn on white noise.
- Swaddle and cuddle.
- Sing a lullaby.
- Lay down awake, but drowsy.
You can also find my 4 core baby sleep schedules in my book For the Love of Sleep and 25+ sample routines and schedules for baby through school-age in Routines, Rhythms and Schedules.
How to get started with a newborn routine.
1. Grab, download and print your cards here.
After you get your cards printed (card stock is ideal), grab a scissors and cut them out. If you’re looking for an even faster way, I love this quick and easy paper cutter.
2. Create your routine.
Think of a routine that’s realistic and easy to maintain. It can be as simple a three-step baby routine. Or as long as a seven-step baby routine. The most important part is that it’s a baby routine you can stay consistent with. More consistency in your routine means your baby is most likely to know that it’s sleeping time.
3. Hang it up on the wall.
You can put it somewhere in the baby’s room that is easy to see. But here’s the best part: You can print a second set for your babysitter’s home or a grandparent’s home. You can also take it down off the wall and take with you if you want.
Sample baby schedules to use with your routines.
This is what a typical newborn schedule looks like. Always add in more feedings if needed. For the first few months, I often cluster fed every 2 hours in the evening. My son was very fussy during that time, and regardless if he was truly hungry or not, I still nursed him to help get us through that tough part of the day for him.
Putting your baby on a loose schedule like this can help organize your baby’s day and help them have better nighttime sleep. It basically helps your baby differentiate between their days and nights.
- 07:00 am wake up for the day, eat, play
- 08:00 am nap
- 09:30 am awake time, eat, play
- 10:30 am nap
- 12:00 pm wake, eat, play
- 1:00 pm nap
- 2:30 pm wake, eat, play
- 3:30 pm nap
- 5:00 pm wake, eat, play
- 6:30 pm bedtime routine, bath, bottle
- 7:00 pm bed, down for the night
- 10-11 pm Dreamfeed (if desired)
- 11 pm-7 am night feeds (as many as your baby needs)
For more sleep schedules check out:
- 6 Tried and True Baby Sleep Schedules for Mamas Who Need Sleep
- 5 Month Old Sample Routine for Busy Moms
How to understand baby cues and signals.
Baby sleep can feel a little bit like swimming in a rough ocean. The waves keep crashing over you. The current shifts you in a different direction than you want to swim. But when life with a new baby pulls you under, routines can help you push against the bottom to the surface and…breathe again.
Because moms with babies are busy (and tired) I created a set of nitty gritty baby sleep checklists that will help you understand your baby’s cues and signals.
- What to look for if your baby is sick.
- What to check if your baby won’t sleep at night.
- What to do if your baby won’t go back to sleep at night.
- And so much more!
More on healthy baby sleep habits.
- Top 10 Baby Sleep Tips That Will Help You Get More Sleep
- 8 Infant Sleep Facts Every Parent Should Know
- Best Baby Sleep Tips for Longer Naps
- 5 Month Old Sample Routine for Busy Moms
- 1 Year Old Sleep Schedules From Parents
Find your printable pack here.
Print your free baby sleep checklist!
Looking for a quick and easy way to help baby sleep better? This printable simplifies it! Plus, when you grab this printable, you’ll get instant access to my free 3-day baby sleep eCourse.
Download Your Free Printable
- Download the checklist. You’ll get the printable straight to your inbox, plus get my Free 3-Day Baby Sleep eCourse!
- Print. Any paper will do the trick, but card stock would be ideal.
- Place it on your refrigerator. Use it as a quick reference and don’t forget a thing!
I've created a free email series just for you! If you are struggling with finding a routine, rhythm or schedule, this email series will help you find one that will work for YOUR family. Yes, really. I've seen my sample routines work time and time again for parents. I know it can work for you too.
This free email series will help you:
- Free sample routines for your child
- Best morning routine tips and tricks your kids will actually follow
- All-time favorite parenting hacks for getting more cooperation at bedtime
- Step-by-step guide for using a printable daily schedule with kids
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