Welcome to Anna’s Guide To Content Babies…
Every time I see my clients, whether it is an interview for night work or a sleep consultation I get asked the same question: What do I think about routines?
And no matter how many times I’ve been asked, there is always a short silence (which feels like a lifetime!) before I start to explain my position. I know from the experience that my answer will prompt even more questions, or some mums might even not agree with me.
So I take a deep breath and say: I love routines and how they help babies. And then it’s hard to stop me, simply because I know how a good routine can change the experience of parenthood for new mums.
Who Else Likes To Know When Dinner Is?
I like to eat at certain times of the day, and I like to sleep at roughly the same time each night. I don’t even notice I have a routine until it is disrupted. And then all hell breaks loose. I own t-shirt that says: “I am sorry for what I said when I was hungry.” I am sure you know now what I mean.
Imagine you wake up one morning and you have no idea if you will get breakfast, lunch or any food, you don’t know what time you can finish your work and go to bed, or if you can go to bed at all. Surely this uncertainty will leave you feeling irritated and on the edge. Without a solid routine, this is what daily life is like for mum and baby.
Babies love routines and respond to them because it gives them a sense of security, and they will quickly learn that they needs will be fulfilled, and they will be taken care of.
Three Simple Steps To Creating A Predictable Routine
And I don’t mean strict ‘on the dot’ routine because every baby is different. I’m not going to tell you what time to do each part of the routine. I’m going to help you work out a routine that will work for your baby.
Step 1: Look for your baby’s cues for sleep and hunger, make a note of the time of day it happened and what their need was.
Step 2: After keeping this record for two days, look for a pattern – this is your baby’s natural routine.
Step 3: Now you can start to plan and manage your day around your baby’s schedule, so you can meet their needs at the usual time. In no time, your baby will be less fussy, calmer and more content.
You can start gently guiding your baby through a routine even from 3rd or 4th week of your baby’s life, no matter what your choice of feeding method.
Adding a bedtime routine will also help baby settle down for the night, as they like the predictability of the same thing happening every night. I also see many babies who have a good bedtime routine turn into very good sleepers.
Routine is a winning solution for everyone, which is why I am so passionate about it.
I’ve seen many quiet and calm houses where a routine is established, and it is especially important in families with multiples. The families each adopt a slightly different routine as every baby is different, but the results are the same.
Need more help creating your baby’s first routine? Get guidance and inspiration from my free sample routine. Download it from here.
Writing down your baby’s activities was never easier. baby diary here.