When Do I Start a Routine?

Routine for baby

You will come across many different opinions when talking about ‘routines’ for a baby, but I have to say, we implemented one very early on and whether it is a total utter fluke or not, it has definitely worked for us, and we have a 7-7 sleeper as a result (most of the time…).

Now I can’t take full credit for this, it was the steely determination and dedication of the other half who was adamant we stick at it, even when at times it felt like a lost cause. But, we worked together, were consistent about it, and slowly but surely a steady routine became very apparent.

Some say that strict, by the numbers scheduling work for them, while others are a little more flexible. Your style will be dictated largely by your own personalities, including baby, and how you have and continue to live your own lives.

1 to 6 months – Day & Night

Even though the early days are pretty much a blur for any new parent with days seemingly blending into each other, you can still start to get the ball rolling by trying to establish the difference between daytime and night time.

During the day keep it light and bright with lots of hustling and bustle. Just getting on with your daily routine so she can get used to things happening around her is a great start for this, and it also helps you cope with your daily live as you knew it, and the new one that incorporates your baby. Encourage interaction with lots of talking, reading and fun when she is awake to keep her engaged.

Try to get out and about with your NCT buddies too for example. This will give you a chance to share stories, learn a little and just have others you can converse with at an adult level to keep your sanity in check.

Once you get to the evening, start to get things cosy, dim the lights, keep things nice and quiet and only talk in hushed voices. It might sound obvious, but sticking to this simple pattern will help the baby to learn that daytime is for fun and games, and night time is for being quiet and hopefully sleeping. Fingers crossed…

A way to alleviate this strain is to bottle breastmilk so that mum can get a rest, dad feels involved and also gets a chance to bond with baby at this stage

1 to 6 months – Feeding

Now this aspect is subject to many variables. You may have decided to (or not to) breastfeed. There may be reasons as to why you cannot breastfeed, but this is by no means the only nourishment for providing your baby with a fabulous start in life. Breastfeeding in itself is a very debated subject and to be clear, we are not entering that forum within this article.

However, regardless of how or with what, routine can be beneficial for both baby and the parents. Feeding is a constant demand on mum, and if breastfeeding (skating close to the aforementioned forum…) is your method, then dad can feel like a non-participant until later on when different types of nourishment is used. A way to alleviate this strain is to bottle breastmilk so that mum can get a rest, dad feels involved and also gets a chance to bond with baby at this stage.

Baby’s Own Room

When you decide to put your baby in your own room is entirely up to you, don’t let anyone else pressure you as there are several different opinions on what is the best thing to do, but this is our own personal experience, we aren’t suggesting that this is what you should do, just sharing our story with you.

Ultimately, it’s you who is in control. Well, to a point. Junior will most definitely be integral to any routine based on her fast-developing body and mind, but you set the rules and it’s up to you and your partner to define these and decide how much leniency you are willing to go with.

Some say that strict, by the numbers scheduling work for them, while others are a little more flexible. Your style will be dictated largely by your own personalities, including baby, and how you have and continue to live your own lives.

Whatever you decide, an ‘easy ride’ is far from guaranteed. Seconds seem to last for a lifetime when baby is screaming her lungs out while you stare at your watch sweating with desperation as you slowly approach 5 minutes. ‘Should I go in, should I wait it out…?’ Only you can decide this, but try being strict with yourself and you could well benefit in the long run.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes. We’d be very interested to hear your stories.

Big Daddy

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