There tends to be far more focus on what to do in preparation for having a child that what to do once it arrives, you're at home, and it won't stop crying. The period after giving birth can be one of the most stressful a woman ever has to go though and spending some time working out just how to go about making a schedule to live by, that caters for all your child's needs, while allowing you time to sleep and unwind once in a while will be crucial if you aim to avoid the baby blues.
There will be a lot of varying opinion about how best to make a baby schedule, the best times to feed a newborn, weather to let a child cry or to always attempt to nurture it. Asking parents, whether they be your own or family friends, can help you gain confidence in how you structure your own plan. One of the most important aspects you will need to ask for advice on will be how much sleep to plan for your child. This will always be up in the air, as the baby will attempt to schedule this itself! But a new born child in its first month can usually have around 8 hours of sleep at night and another inconsistent 8 hours during the day. You will also need to work in time for 1-2 month old child to consume 12 to 24 ounces of formula or breast milk, to play and interacting with you, have baths, and stroller walks. It will be useful to vaguely time how much sleep you think your child is getting – if they always fall asleep in the car or need waking up in the mornings, this can imply they are sleep deprived. This can be the perfect excuse for getting a new watch in your baby shower – getting a pretty timepiece like this - http://www.watches-of-switzerland.co.uk/brands/longines-watches/dolce-vita -might just make you feel a bit better about those early mornings! Which leads me onto an important point… You can't be too stingy on treating yourself.
You will not do your child any favours if you have a breakdown due to being sleep and joy deprived. It is important to remember that it is ok to leave a crying baby for five minutes and just sit one out every once in a while. Leaving a baby to cry for a period isn’t going to damage them. It is important that you feel that the schedule you have built isn’t completely rigid and that you can ask for help from your parents or friends if you need to build in some more personal time.
A good way to work out when to take time off is to keep a chart of when your baby is sleeping during the day and, over time, a pattern will emerge of daytime sleep periods. You can use these as times for you to catch up with rest or to schedule any other appointments you may need to commit to. You can see chart examples here.
If you would like to check out some sample baby schedules from different parents, you can find some on babycentre.com.