Whether it’s a bedtime routine or a predictable schedule during the day, babies often benefit from a routine. Remember when your baby was a newborn? She was a blank slate and did not know the difference between day and night. Life may have been a bit unpredictable. But developing a routine may have helped you both find your groove.
If the thought of a routine sounds too confining or rigid, it does not have to be. Remember, you’re not in boot camp. A routine does not have to mean doing everything like clockwork without any flexibility. Think of it more as doing things in a similar sequence at approximate times of the day. Read your baby’s cue and change things as you see fit.
Why Routines are Beneficial
Keep in mind, a flexible routine can benefit your baby in several ways. For example, a routine at bedtime can help your baby understand that it’s time to wind down and go to sleep. A predictable schedule also helps your baby feel secure and learn rules.
As your baby gets close to his first birthday, a routine helps him understand sequencing. For example, he will start to understand that after eating, comes cleaning up and after getting his shoes on comes going outside. Understanding sequencing will help him when he reaches preschool and beyond.
But a routine is not just beneficial for your baby. It can make life easier on you. A routine allows you to incorporate things into your day when your baby is sleeping, such as work, chores or even a much-needed nap.
Developing a Routine
What activities you incorporate into your routine is not as important as having a pattern your little one becomes accustomed to. For example, maybe you have a daily schedule, which starts with nursing, playtime, eating solids and a nap. In the afternoon, you might repeat a similar pattern of eating, playing, and sleeping. A bath, reading and cuddle time might round out your day.
The funny thing about babies and routines is just when you have a schedule, you may have to change it up. Routines need to change as your baby grows. For instance, eventually your baby will stop his morning nap or he may give up nursing as often. Eliminating certain parts of a routine and adding new things is to be expected.
Keep in mind, while consistency is important, a little flexibility does not hurt. There may be times your routine gets messed up. Life happens. Whether it is due to illness or a vacation, changes in your little one’s routine from time to time can teach your baby how to adapt and go with the flow.
Written by MaryAnn DePietro @writerlady34
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.