These are samples of a 6 week old’s daily routine / schedule to give you an idea of what other babies might be doing at the 6 week mark.

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6 Week Old Routine Overview

The most important thing to remember is routines are very rare at this age! Unless you are by a clock-based routine and don’t mind long periods of crying and being unsettled (I’m talking about baby, but mom might also experience this if trying to get a newborn onto a routine) your baby probably won’t have a routine, and it will be difficult to ‘put baby on a routine’.

Also remember, that 6 weeks is usually the peak in newborn crying and being unsettled, so if you’re here trying to find out what on earth your 6 week old’s day should look like and wondering why you dont’ have a routine yet, you’re not alone!

Most babies settle into a predictable pattern by the 3 to 4-month mark, some earlier, some later.

At this age every day will still be different, you may start to see a pattern emerge, but lots of babies still have very unorganized days.

More important than the exact time that baby sleeps and wakes is that they are having regular feeds (important for growth) and relatively short awake times of only an hour (important to prevent overstimulation and over tiredness). Scroll to the bottom for why this is important, and for tips on how to get your baby onto a routine.

The samples below are just that, samples. They are a general guide and will probably vary day by day.

Sample Schedule / Routine for a 6 Week Old

  • 7:00 Feed
  • 8:00 Sleep
  • 9:45 Awake
  • 10:00 Feed
  • 11:00 Sleep
  • 12:45 Awake
  • 1:00 Feed
  • 2:00 Sleep
  • 3:30 Awake
  • 4:00 Feed
  • 5:00 Sleep

    This sleep will eventually become a 45 minute late afternoon catnap for most babies as they head towards the 4 month mark

  • 5:45 Awake
  • 6:00 Bath and bedtime ritual
  • 6:30 Feed
  • 7:00 Sleep
  • 10:30 Dreamfeed
  • 1:30 – 3:00 Feed

    Sometime around 2-3am will be another feed, this time may vary and this feed will eventually disappear

Another sample routine for a 6 week old

  • 7:00 Feed
  • 8:15 Nap
  • 10:00 Awake and feed
  • 11:15 Nap
  • 1:00 Awake and feed
  • 2:15 Nap
  • 4:00 Awake and feed
  • 5:15 Nap

    This sleep will eventually become a 45 minute late afternoon catnap for most babies as they head towards the 4 month mark

  • 6:00 Awake and feed
  • 7:00 Bath and bedtime routine
  • 7:30 Bed
  • 8:00-8:30 Cluster feed and straight back to bed
  • 11:00 Dreamfeed
  • 2:00 – 3:00 Feed

    Sometime around 2-3am will be another feed, this time may vary and this feed will eventually disappear

Tips for Getting on a Routine

Regular feeds. A feeding pattern is consolidated before a sleeping pattern, so establishing regular feeds will help with organising the rest of the day, and night. With that in mind, babies have lots of growth spurts and wonder weeks so if they are hungry, feed them. If you prefer very regular and on demand feeding, that’s fine too. If you are more structured in your approach, aiming for 3 hourly feeds will be your goal, with cluster feeds of an early evening to try and stretch out those night feedings.

Awake time. The other important point is having consistent awake times. Inconsistent or long awake times is the number one reason for over-tired and cranky babies! See baby awake times for this age which will help you if you are wanting to gently easy your baby into regular patterns of sleeping and feeding. As a guide, a 6 week old can only stay awake for an hour before needing to drift back off to sleep. This will extend to about an hour and a half by the time they are 3 months old. Keeping your baby up too long before their next nap will lead to over-tiredness and make it harder for them to fall naturally into a restful sleep.

Overstimulation. Play mats, bright lights, lots of noise and toys hanging in their face will lead a 6 week old straight down the path to desitination overstimulation. If they are not focussing on something infront of them and turning their head from something in their line of sight, it means they have had enough stimulation and want it to go away. They are not bored and do not need new toys waved in their face or to be placed on a play mat with things hanging over them. Infact, I do not recommend this type of play space until after 2 months of age: it is too stimulating for a newborn. Up until a few months of age, babies do not need toys, your face and the sound of your voice is enough for them. An overstimulated baby will not be able to wind down and drift off to sleep, they may jerk alot as they transition between sleep stages and potentially wake themseft up and the sleep they do have will be usually be short and of poor quality. If anyone asks for advice about an unsettled baby, the first place I usually look is for overstimulation.

Start as you mean to go on. One of the most important points at this age, if you are wanting to create a routine eventually, is to focus on what you would eventually like your day and night to look like and start heading towards that. Come up with a bedtime routine (bath, story, feed, music, cuddles etc), choose a bedtime (most experts will agree that between 6:30 and 7:30 is perfect) and try to keep the actual bedtime within half an hour of your chosen time, every night. Of course this won’t always happen, and don’t worry if it doesn’t, but having a goal and aiming for it is a start!

Tips for Helping a 6 Week Old Sleep

Keep in mind that the 6 week mark is the peak time for being unsettled and crying. Especially if you have a sensitive baby, they will likely be fairly unsettled and cranky and will stay this way for a week or two before they start to settle down. (One reason for this is the 5 week wonder week).

With that said, below are my top tips for helping a 6 week old get to (and stay) asleep.

Keeping awake times short (see above).

Removing anything that is too stimulating (see above).

Making sure baby isn’t going to sleep hungry, a top up feed before a sleep is fine if they haven’t fed for a while and it means a nice long sleep rather than a short fitful sleep.

Making sure baby is clean and dry before they go down.

White noise. A white noise machine or cry activated white noise device will be your best friend!

Swaddling. Say no more! Check out my favourite swaddle below, the Embe swaddle (this is an Amazon link). It is never too late to start swaddling and a secure swaddle will work wonders for getting to and staying asleep.

Need more help?

I highly recommend taking a look at the book The Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg, it goes through getting onto a routine, sleep issues, feeding and cluster feeding and will help you with your routine / schedule and give you so much peace of mind!

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Photo by Raphael Goetter, used under Creative Commons license and edited by