It’s the one thing every new parent wants and every newborn needs: a routine. Designed to empower new parents and to create a happy, well rested baby, the EASY routine (Eat, Awake/Activity, Sleep, You) will help give you a sense of order and assist you in learning to read your baby’s cues so you know what your baby is trying to tell you and when. I first read about this routine from Tracy Hogg’s book, “Secrets of the Baby Whisperer.”
This routine starts typically at about three weeks. However, if you have a wakeful, well-fed newborn you can certainly start earlier. Here’s how it works:
Eat – Feed your baby as they are waking up, and feed them thoroughly. If they are sleepy, undress them for the feeding and feed them while they are wearing a diaper only. This helps to keep them awake and alert during the feeding. Burp at least 3 times during the feeding.
Awake/Activity – Hold your baby upright and keep trying for additional burps. Talk to your baby a lot when they are awake. Look into their eyes, and look for their eyes to lock on your face. Try to engage them: touch their lips, stroke them and gently caress their face. This could be their bath time. For most babies, 4 weeks old is not too early for toys, so get rattles that vibrate and play with the rattle. Put it on your baby’s foot, hand, and cheek. Help them to connect. Get out toy arches and hang toys. The Boppy is a great spot to sit your baby in. For example, set them in it under the toy arches. During this activity time, look for additional burps, poopy diapers, etc.
Sleep – Your baby will need your help to get back to sleep before the next feeding. When the activities are not keeping them happy – either they keep falling asleep or are getting fussy – get the swaddle out. Swaddle your baby and turn on white noise. Hold your baby upright and try for one more burp over your shoulder. Also, peek into their diaper one last time for a poopy (a little wet is okay). If your baby is not settling in the swaddle, loosen it. Sway your baby, and gently rock/walk/bounce them. Keep trying to get them to sleep.
Your Time – Now that your baby is sleeping, this is your time off. You should sleep, eat, and shower, and in that order.
Despite the name, the EASY routine is not necessarily easy. However, it is extremely empowering and can be life-changing for new moms and dads learning to parent a newborn!