Sample Morning Routine for a Breastfeeding Mom
When you’re a breastfeeding mom it can be hard to have a morning routine. You’re most likely very sleep deprived depending on how old your kid is, you have a lot of tasks on your already busy plate and the last thing you might be thinking about is having a routine that works for your mom life.
But trust me when I say, having some sort of routine can be a lifesaver when breastfeeding!
I remember what it’s like when you’re breastfeeding your newborn, you use the timers on your phone, track which side the nursing session finished on, and want to make sure that your baby is eating enough. And while so much of your time is focused on growing that little baby, at some point, you can start to get back to a routine that helps your self care as well.
When I talk about routine for new moms or breastfeeding moms, I’m not talking about an hourly schedule. There is so much that is unpredictable when you have a baby and trying to keep to a structured schedule is setting both you and baby up for failure.
This is the time when you are allowed massive amounts of grace. If you’re like me, the transition from being super Type A to having to be more ‘go with the flow’ is tough. I wanted to be in control of everything. If I was supposed to track nursing sessions down to the second I would. I was going to make sure I had control as much as possible. I quickly learned that it’s impossible when you’re a new mom.
But what’s not impossible is having a flow and routine to your day. Having this semi-structure, allows you and the kids to know what to expect and start to get back to a ‘new normal’.
Below, I am going to list some ideas for a sample morning routine that could work for a breastfeeding mom. In this example, let’s imagine the baby is past the newborn stage and not cluster feeding. Mom and baby aren’t sleeping through the night and feedings are happening every 3-4 hours.
Again, this is a sample. There are going to be days when you want to just curl back into bed — that’s okay. There are going to be days when you feel like crying — that’s okay. And there are going to be days where you are on top of the world — that’s okay.
Use this as a guideline to help you start to get your feet under you as a new mom, start to get back to whatever ‘normal’ is going to look like and allow you to focus on breastfeeding your baby and taking care of you!
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What to do if your baby doesn’t sleep through the night?
For many breastfeeding babies, nighttime feedings are a norm. They like the comfort, depending on their age they might still require the nutrients for their little stomachs, and their circadian rhythm is still backwards where they think day is night and night is day.
That means for mom, you probably aren’t sleeping through the night either. That can make thinking in the morning hard, it makes decisions tough, and it makes you feel like a zombie. By planning out a small morning routine in advance, you’ll find that you will start to go on autopilot with your daily tasks. This allows you to slowly get back habits you need to run your home and take care of you.
I suggest starting with just 1-3 tasks for a few weeks while you are still trying to figure out how to live life with little sleep. Don’t create a massive to do list each morning – your main goal is to keep the tiny human alive.
By choosing a few tasks to complete, your sleep deprived mind can figure out what is most important and what needs to get done. If your baby isn’t sleeping through the night, I recommend a snooze feed to start your morning.
A snooze button feed is essentially one that happens around 4-6am and helps them go back down for hopefully another hour. It’s up to you whether you pull your baby into bed with you or nurse them in a chair. I tried my best to not have my baby in bed with us but I found with my second, I was more willing to do so. Safe sleep practice are key when co sleeping at all (even if just for an hour) so please research them first!
Starting your morning with a snooze feed lets your baby get a little more rest and you to either sleep with them or slowly begin your day with quiet time. Many of the times my kids would go back to bed after a laying down nursing session, I would try to close my eyes with them but sometimes, I just couldn’t sleep!
Instead of just mindlessly scrolling social media, staring at the ceiling or online shopping, I did my best to use that time to start my day for me!
Need help getting you baby to sleep through the night? Check out the tips on my friend Jilly’s site by clicking the banner below!
Reading and Prayer Times for Moms
I truly don’t know what moms did while breastfeeding without smartphones! Our phones as such a great tool while we’re nursing or trapped in a chair with a sleeping baby!
While there is nothing wrong with spending time on Facebook or checking emails, I suggest you add some reading and prayer time in your morning routine. When you’re breastfeeding, you can use reading apps to start your day right.
My favorite apps include Kindle Unlimited (get a free trial here!), Scribd, or Hoopla. Many of these give free trials or are free (Hoopla attaches to your library card!). If your baby has fallen asleep, reading a book is great time for mom!
As much as I love fiction (and I’m a huge reader!) I try to use times when I’m trapped under my kids as self development times. This is when I read books that fuel my soul and mind! This allows me to be a little less crabby, feel more intentional when it is time to wake up and less annoyed at my little sleep.
You can also use this time to do a prayer or devotional. All of these apps I mentioned have great devotional downloads or you can use the YouVersion or First Five app to get free bible plans! I found the time when I was breastfeeding my kids to be a great time for my bible reading and prayer because it was quiet, I could be super reflective as I stared at their little faces, and really got closer with God.
Breastfeeding Schedule for Infants
Once your baby wakes up, it’s time to start the day!
Don’t feel the need to jump out of bed, enjoy a slow start with your little one! So often we just rush the day but it’s okay to take some time for you and them to charge up!
If you were already awake and did some reading, I bet that you’re in a good place to jump out of bed. If you slept with them, allow yourself a minute to stretch and gear up for the day.
Your baby should be okay now for at least 2 hours before he or she wants or needs to nurse again so it’s a good time to start the day. (Remember though that every baby’s needs are different so use these as suggestions)
When thinking of a morning routine that you’d like to have as a breastfeeding mom, think of your morning in chunks. Ask yourself, “what do I want to get done before the next feeding”? Instead of trying to plan a whole day or even 4-5 hours, start with creating your 2-3 hours morning routine around nursing sessions.
After you are up and change their diaper and clothes, make sure to take time to take care of you! I don’t mean you have to put on a full face of makeup, curl your hair or wear a dress but get out of your pajamas – even if it’s into your ‘daytime yoga pants’ — oh come on, you know you own them too!
In the beginning it can be self care to just put in contacts, brush your teeth and change your clothes. I find that I am immediately in a better mood if I feel less sloppy and remember that I’m ‘more than mom’.
While you get ready, don’t feel bad about using a crib, pack and play or swing. Between those, bouncers and play mats, we had one in almost every room so that I could put the baby down! If your baby isn’t ready to be put down, give baby wearing a try! It’s super magical to be hands free and have your baby snuggled in close!
Breastfeeding Meal Plans
Now that you’re ready to head out of the bedroom, it’s time to eat! In order to keep your milk supply up, you need to make sure you’re taking in the right amount of calories. And I get it – you’re starving when you’re breastfeeding but make sure you are putting the right types of food in your body too.
Ive been able to lose 50 pounds after having both my kids AND nurse them for 19 months each so it is possible to lose baby weight, keep your milk supply up, and not starve!
If you want to check out any of the meal plans or programs that I did from Beachbody (including 21 day fix, 80 day obsession, 2B Mindset and more) you can check out the links below! I give you a sample meal plan and tips for how to keep your supply up!
One of the biggest tips I can give you thought is you have to drink a LOT of water and you have to eat! Once you head downstairs, go right to the fridge and chug 8 ounces of water! If you need to keep a timer on your phone to go off and remind you to drink water, go for it! Breastfeeding was my habit trigger so, whenever I fed the kids, I chugged water and it helped a ton!
Since you’re probably going to be holding baby a lot, I recommend meal prepping when you can ahead of time. It would work to do this on the weekend when your spouse might be home so that you can get 1 hour to get this done. You can make things like make ahead omelets, overnight oatmeal, or smoothies! This way, when it’s time to eat you can do it fast and easily!
Playtime with Your Infant
Now that you’re up and moving, you probably have another 90 minutes before your baby might want to nurse again. We typically followed the eat-play-sleep routine with all of my kids. This is when after they ate, we would play for a bit and then they’d nap. I liked to do this so that it didn’t create any nursing associations with them and I did my best to make sure that they didn’t fall asleep nursing or need it as a crutch to fall asleep.
Since you’ve both ate, it’s time to play! This is a great time for them to do tummy time, you to read books to them, or play with some noisy toys on a mat. With my first, I literally was glued to her for 6 months. I didn’t give myself permission to do anything when she was awake. I felt like I had to be on top of her or I was a bad mom.
Let me give you some permission right now — you can do other things. Yes, you need to watch, play, read and interact with your baby but you don’t have to freeze life because they are awake. Let them play on a playmat while you grab laundry to get started. Allow them to enjoy time in a swing so you can load the dishes. Pick 1-2 household tasks that you’d like to get done in the morning and do them and get them out of the way. These should take 15-30 minutes which still leaves you at least a full hour before another nursing session to interact and love on your little!
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Finding Time to Workout as a Breastfeeding Mom
I suggest you use this last hour as a good time to interact with your baby! I like to take the baby for walks or maybe stream some yoga to do together. My baby loved getting kisses as I did push ups or getting pushed in the stroller. Remember to ease your body into exercise post baby but still move! I worked out during both my pregnancies until the morning I delivered and I still had to go slowly back into it! Walking and yoga are great starts! Use your morning time to do some sun salutations and kiss the baby on the way down!
When you go for your walk, use this time for self care! Listen to an audio book (get a free audible trial here), use the YouVersion App to read your bible aloud while you walk, or get your mind right with some podcasts!
If you do get sweaty, make sure to take a minute to wipe yourself down! My poor baby has definitely had to nurse after a workout and I’m sure she didn’t love it! You most likely won’t have time to sneak in a shower if you need but baby wipes rock!
By this time, your breastfed baby is ready to probably sleep again (and remember, in the beginning ‘naps’ for infants can be anywhere from 15-60 minutes!) so ease your baby down, see if they’ll fall asleep on your walk, or rock them in the chair.
If you choose to feed them first, do your best to put them down to sleep in their bassinet or AAP approved swing! And if they won’t let you put them down (depending on their age and sleep habits), put them in the baby carrier or hold them! This is another great time to text and connect with a friend, chat with other breastfeeding moms in Facebook groups or get back to that self development on your phone!
And if they do let you put them down… do something for you to close out your morning routine! Take a shower, watch a show, change over the laundry or grab a nap! Pat yourself on the back, you made it through the morning and did a great job!
What sorts of things do you do in your morning routine or while breastfeeding? Post it in the comments!
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