Having a newborn baby is an exciting but challenging time for new parents. The first few weeks with a newborn are often filled with sleepless nights, constant feedings, and trying to figure out how to soothe a crying baby. Many new parents wonder when it will start getting easier and they will adjust to their new normal. Here are some answers to common questions about when life with a newborn begins to feel more manageable.
When will my baby sleep for longer stretches?
In the first few weeks, it is normal for newborns to wake every 2-3 hours during the night for feedings. This interrupted sleep can leave new parents exhausted. Many babies begin sleeping for longer stretches of 4-5 hours around 2-3 months old. However, every baby is different. Some babies begin sleeping longer at 6 weeks, while others may not until closer to 6 months. If your baby is gaining weight well and your pediatrician approves, it is fine to let them sleep longer stretches if they are capable of it.
When will my baby have a more predictable schedule?
The erratic schedule of a newborn can be frustrating for parents. In the early weeks, you may feel like you are just feeding, changing diapers, and trying to soothe your crying baby all day. Around 6-8 weeks, you will likely start to notice your baby falling into more of a pattern with feedings, naps, and awake time. Setting up routines like bath and bedtime can help encourage a schedule. But it takes time for a schedule to fully develop.
When will my baby cry less?
It can be disheartening when your newborn cries for hours and you don’t know how to soothe them. The period of peak fussiness for babies is often around 6-8 weeks old. As babies get a bit older, they tend to cry less as they are able to communicate in other ways. But crying is still their main way of communicating needs. Responding to cries and learning your baby’s cues can help minimize crying episodes. Just know it is normal for babies to cry and you are not doing anything wrong. Over time you will get better at interpreting and responding to cries.
When will my baby interact more?
In the early newborn stage, babies do not consciously interact much. But somewhere around 4-8 weeks old, you will probably start to notice your baby becoming more alert and aware of faces and voices. Your baby may start focusing on your face, tracking objects with their eyes, responding to your smiles and words, and making more eye contact. This can make staying up those late nights for feedings more enjoyable.
When will it get easier to leave the house?
Leaving the house with a newborn can feel daunting. You have to get the diaper bag packed, track feeding times, and lug around a car seat without waking the baby up. It may be easiest in the very early weeks when the baby sleeps more soundly. Around 4-8 weeks when they become more alert, leaving the house can become more challenging. Once you get into more of a rhythm and feel like an expert with your baby’s schedule, it will get easier again. Aim to start with short outings like going for a walk or to run an errand.
When will my baby be less colicky?
Colic, or excessive, inconsolable crying in a healthy baby is very common in newborns. It often appears around 2 weeks old and peaks around 6-8 weeks. While the exact cause is unknown, colic may be related to gas, immature digestive systems, or temperament. The good news is that colic tends to resolve on its own once babies pass 3-4 months old. Until then, stay patient, try different soothing techniques, and know it will pass.
When will my baby start sleeping through the night?
Many new parents eagerly await that magical age when their baby finally starts sleeping through the night, like around 8-12 hours. Most babies do not start sleeping through the night until 4-6 months old. However, every baby is different. Some may start sleeping longer stretches around 2-3 months, while others may not sleep through until 9-12 months. Make sure your baby is gaining weight well and discuss goals with your pediatrician. When your baby is ready, night weaning techniques can encourage longer sleep.
When will my baby be less fussy during the day?
Fussiness during the day often peaks around 6-8 weeks old as babies go through major growth and developmental changes. Their sleep cycles are also maturing, so they have a harder time napping. Finding ways to recreate the womb environment with motion, white noise, and swaddling can help calm fussy babies during the day. As your baby gets older and establishes a better routine, the fussiness should improve. Distraction techniques like toys, mobiles, and reading also help redirect older babies when they get fussy.
When will I start feeling more confident as a parent?
Many new parents feel overwhelmed and unsure of themselves, wondering if they are doing a good job. Give yourself time. The newborn period is all about survival mode. As you learn your baby’s cues and what techniques help calm and soothe them, you will gain confidence. This often starts happening around 4-6 weeks when you establish more of a routine. But it takes time, so be patient with yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask friends, family, and pediatricians for help.
When will it get easier to breastfeed?
Breastfeeding can be extremely challenging at first, especially if your baby has trouble latching or you face pain. It can take several weeks for you and baby to get into a groove and feeding to become easier. The first 2-6 weeks are often the hardest until your milk supply regulates. Feeding on demand rather than a schedule and ensuring proper latch are key. If it remains very painful or stressful, see a lactation consultant. Things often click around 6-8 weeks, but give yourself grace on the timeline.
When will I feel bonded with my baby?
That rush of love when you first meet your baby is incredible. But the crazy newborn period can be so tiring that sometimes moms do not feel that immediate attachment. Rest assured that a deep bond will form over time as you get to know your baby’s special personality. It often happens somewhere around 4-8 weeks as babies become more interactive. Do skin-to-skin time and make eye contact. If you still feel distant after a couple months, talk to your doctor about possible postpartum depression.
When will my baby start cooing and smiling?
Happy baby coos and smiles make all the hard work so rewarding. Most babies begin cooing around 6-8 weeks old. Coos may initially happen in the baby’s sleep as practice. Around 6-8 weeks they also start consciously smiling in response to your face and voice. But social smiles can emerge even earlier. Talking and reading to your baby helps encourage these milestones. The more they smile and coo, the more you will smile right back.
When does it get easier to go out to eat with a newborn?
Heading out to a restaurant with a newborn can seem impossible or stressful. It gets easier around 3-4 months when babies have a better routine, can entertain themselves a bit looking around, and may even sleep through the meal. In the early months, choose restaurants conveniently near home so you can feed or escape quickly if needed. Go at off times so you don’t have to worry about disturbing other diners with a crying baby. Or opt for takeout or outdoor seating where it’s less of an issue.
When will my baby be able to hold their head up?
A major physical milestone that makes many activities easier is when your baby can hold their head up. In the early weeks, babies have very little head and neck control. But head control starts developing around 2 months. Most babies can hold their head steady when supported at 3 months, and hold their head up unassisted around 3-6 months. Tummy time helps build these neck muscles. Once your baby has head control, activities like feeding, playing, and stroller rides get more enjoyable.
When will my baby start having a regular bath routine?
Giving your slippery newborn a bath can be frightening at first. Most pediatricians recommend only sponge baths until the umbilical cord falls off around 1-4 weeks old. After that, you can transition to baths in an infant tub. Getting into a consistent bathing routine often happens between 2-3 months old. Babies this age can hold their head up better and tend to enjoy baths more. A nice warm bath before bed helps create an enjoyable routine.
When will my baby be less gassy and uncomfortable?
It’s no fun when your little one is constantly fighting gas pain and discomfort. Trapped gas is common in newborns, often peaking around 6-8 weeks old as their digestive systems mature. Smaller, more frequent feedings can help reduce gas issues. Massaging their tummy in a clockwise bicycle motion also provides relief. Most babies’ digestive systems and gastrointestinal health improve around 3-4 months old. If gas problems persist, discuss formula options or eliminating problem foods with your pediatrician.
When will my baby start sleeping in the crib?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends room-sharing with your baby for the first 6-12 months, but not bed-sharing due to SIDS risks. Many parents choose to have baby sleep in a bassinet or pack and play next to their bed at first for easy nighttime care. Around 3-6 months old, when babies are sleeping for longer stretches, you can try transitioning them to the crib in their nursery. Make the move gradual and use familiar sheets or a worn t-shirt so it smells like mom.
When does a daily routine fall into place?
The constant ups and downs with a newborn’s schedule can make you feel like you will never have a predictable routine. But as your baby matures, their biological clock starts to naturally align with the day/night cycle. This helps them fall into a pattern. A daily routine often emerges somewhere around 6-12 weeks old, with consistent timing for naps, feedings, playtime, and bedtime. Don’t be afraid to gently guide your baby toward a routine that works for your family.
When does my baby start sleeping longer at night?
Those early weeks of getting up every 2-3 hours to feed around the clock are exhausting! Many parents eagerly await their baby sleeping for longer stretches at night. The timing varies widely by baby. Some start stretching to 4-5 hour periods as early as 6-8 weeks old, while others don’t until closer to 6 months. If your baby is gaining weight well, let them sleep as long as they want at night. Between 4-6 months, you can also try gently weaning night feedings.
When will I stop worrying about every little thing?
New parents often feel overwhelmed trying to figure out what every little cry, facial expression, or skin change means. Rest assured this constant worrying starts to subside once you get more familiar with what is normal for your unique baby around 6-12 weeks old. Tracking baby’s patterns helps identify any irregularities. And don’t be afraid to call the doctor about any concerns. Over time you will gain confidence in your parenting skills.
The newborn period is a major adjustment for all parents. But as babies get older and you establish a rhythm together, it does get easier. Try to be patient with yourself and your baby. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Before you know it, that tiny newborn will be holding their head up, cooing, and smiling back at you! Treasure the precious moments along the way.
|Frequent feeding every 2-3 hours
|Sleeping stretches of 4-5 hours
|More social smiling and eye contact
|Fussiness and crying peaks
|Holds head up without support
|Sleeping through the night