Getting into a groove, a regular, daily routine with baby, is essential to your productivity and sanity.
Baby will likely have a daily routine of his or her own, but giving it some structure to fit your needs as well can make life easier for you both.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Remember that your baby is an individual.
- Don’t get too structured. Think “routine” and not “schedule.”
- Give it time (a 2-week-old is not going to get on your schedule).
- Try to go with baby’s natural tendencies.
Baby Routine Basics
Most pediatricians suggest that babies are ready for a regular routine around 4 months of age.
The benefits of a daily routine:
- You get a more predictable pattern to your days.
- Baby knows what to expect – this can help baby feel more calm and secure.
There are multiple ways to create an infant routine. Let’s explore some.
You, as the parent, set the daily agenda. This type of routine is more like a set schedule with specific times for your baby to eat, play, and sleep. This is the choice of parents who thrive on precision. Advocates of this type of schedule believe that it helps baby fall into a regular pattern more easily and sleep through the night earlier on. Experts recommend not being too rigid, however.
These routines are much looser than parent-led schedules. This may seem more erratic, but babies still tend to fall into predictable patterns with this type. Advocates say that this type of scheduling puts the emphasis on baby and what he or she is communicating. This style will require you to pay closer attention to your baby’s cues and require you to rely on your own intuition, but this can also result in a happier, more content baby.
This type of schedule takes components from both parent-led and baby-led routines, combining the two. With this approach, a timetable is set and generally adheres to this routine daily. However, you leave more room for flexibility. This provides some consistency without having to be so rigid.
How do you structure your day with baby?