It might seem a bit prohibitive but establishing a routine for your baby is very important to stabilize your baby’s life in their early development. It doesn’t all have to be a strict timetable of activities however, as there are multiple types of routines which you can explore before deciding which is the best option for you and your baby. There are also different activities which could benefit from routine and you might decide to plan your days around these instead. Before you decide on the best course of action for you and your family, take a look at these options and find out just why routine is important for babies.
Routine with structure
A suggested way to add more routine into you and your baby’s life is to plan it out in 3 hour segments, to help pace your baby through regular cycles during the day. This can be reassuring for new parents who are still adjusting to a baby in their lives, however it’s been criticized for not being very flexible, and a bit unrealistic.
An infant can’t adapt to your schedule, so you need to be flexible and adapt to theirs. They will indicate when they are hungry, when they need changed and when they sleep, and you need to read and interpret these cues. This approach may be more flexible for your baby, but if you have other children in the house it can be hard to manage properly.
Combination of both
This is the best of both routines, as it allows you to respond to your baby’s needs, and yet still have a life. The basic principle here is just to be flexible and try to plan for things happening at the same time everyday around other family commitments. Your baby needs a nap? Why not try to get them into the routine of doing this when the older kids have their homework to do so you can help. Bedtime and bath time can also be planned around the other people in the house to make life a little more manageable. The Babocush comfort cushion is great for this – you can safely strap your baby in and get on with other things, like catching up with other family members or making dinner, and know they are safe and content on their tummy.
No two days are alike when you have a baby – they are constantly developing and growing, with teething and bouts of illness or growth spurts so it’s hard to plan for everything. The best way to approach it is just to stay flexible.
3 key areas for establishing a routine
- Sleeping: This is a key one that not only helps your baby and their growth and development, but makes for a generally happier household too. If you’re tired and you have other kids to look after, it can be a very challenging period to do everything expected of you as a parent whilst exhausted. Routines to try for encouraging your baby to be a consistent sleeper include bath time, gentle baby massage, dim lights and a bed time story.
- Eating: Feeding on demand during the first few weeks of your baby being born is more important than sticking to a timeframe. It’s also important to remember that it’s a routine, not a schedule so look for the signs your baby is hungry and then respond accordingly so that they come to relax more around feeding as they know to expect it.
- Bath time: Be prepared to test the right time for bath time for your baby. Some find it relaxing (so best to have it at night before bed) and other babies find baths stimulating so it’s a great way for them to wake up in the morning.