Bedtime routines, bonding and settling

Creating a bedtime routine

Your newborn is still sleeping a lot but setting up a predictable bedtime routine will help you and bub to establish a regular evening practice. At night, give her a bath and dim the lights for night feeds. Keep night-time feeds quiet and low-key with not much eye contact or stimulation. Put her to bed in the same place and at the same time each night.

Bond with your baby

Touch is your baby's first language and holding and cuddling your bub will help you both bond. Another idea is baby massage. There's no right or wrong way to massage, but aim for gentle strokes and lots of skin-to-skin contact.
You can use organic, cold-pressed vegetable oil such as sunflower or olive oil, warmed between your palms, but avoid petroleum-based baby oils, as they're not well absorbed by the skin. And scented oils are not advised as they can irritate your baby's skin.

To find a qualified baby massage instructor in your area, try the International Association of Infant Massage.

Using a sling or carrier is great for bonding and settling as she'll be comforted by your warmth, smell and heartbeat.

Your three week old is sleeping a lot. (Image: Getty Images)

Soothing and settling

Crying is your newborn baby's main means of attracting your attention. Soon you'll be able to distinguish a hungry cry from a lonely, bored or tired cry but there will be times when you're unable to comfort your baby. This can be frustrating, especially when you're exhausted and nothing you do seems to help.

It's important to remember that crying is perfectly natural for every baby. With patience, you'll learn to adjust and, after about six months, the crying becomes more occasional and far less dramatic. Alternatively, you may be lucky enough to have a chilled out bub who settles easily.