Scheduling your child

Heather - posted on 11/24/2008 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I was just wondering how many people out there think that putting their children on a schedule/routine is a good idea and how many are against it. What are the pros/cons for *your* families? What kind of a schedule is appropriate (if any) for what age? What effect (if any) do you think the regular events (napping, playtime, meals) have on whether or not your child gets an unbroken night of rest?

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Meagan - posted on 11/24/2008

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I have been quite consistant with keeping a schedule with my 16 month old, but I also follow his cues. I have always been hard about bedtime, because we travel, I want this to be a normal part of his day. Bedtime is at 8pm, no excuses (sometimes it slips on the weekends like it should) but because we travel and stay at other peoples homes, I feel that it is fair to the child to have some form of sanity to his day. it also gets him used to self soothing while we are away from home. About nurseing, .. I just finished nursing at 14 months which was his decision, like you I never thought that he would want to stop, I thought that I would be nursing until he was five. But I noticed that he was not as interested in sitting for too long, so I tested it one night and sure enough he no longer needed it. After he was done nursing our schedule changed with him, we had have more time to play and cuddle then nursing. i do feel that routine is important for the child but also being flexible to his growing and changing needs is important to help build there problem solving and adaptation skills.

Jamie - posted on 11/24/2008

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I agree with the routine part, but the scheduling part, sometimes comes naturally, until they get older. Kids thrive on routine! Especially toddlers and preschoolers! As for the time of the events, I go with the flow sometimes and my kids seem to know when it is time for meals, naps etc. If they are hungry at 11:00 instead of lunch time at 11:30- who cares, I feed them at 11:00! And, like clockwork, my kids start their crabby time by 7-7:30 pm during the week if they are not already in bed so that is their bed time. We get up around 5-6 am every weekday morning,so they need all the rest they can get. If we sleep in, they sometimes won't nap, but will then be crabby by 5 pm so I try to keep a routine of getting up early, but I don't keep to any sort of strict schecule. With young children it can sometimes be futile!

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first of all how often are you hungry or sleepy at the same time of day every day?

how often do you have fears or get hungry during the night.

i dont believe every moment of a childs life should be shceduled,at all.

a shcedule in the sence of having a bed time, bath time, and main meal time are good to establish for oder and consistency (and other things),in your childs life but dont let them be hungry b/c its not time to feed them and dont stress over something that breaks the schedule.

the best way to establish a routine is watch your child,learn when they usualy want certian things and be ready for it when it comes tme.dont force a made up schedule.my son established his own nap time and even always was ready for bed at 8.on his own.kids arent robots there not jobs but are only human.i thik there can be a could mix of oder and the just living life.not to far to the left not to far to the right on the scheduling.

Maureen - posted on 11/24/2008

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i have three kids (4, 3 and 8months) we have a certain routine for most days. as far as a schedule...well we are all about "ish" like at 7ish they are waking up. two goto preschool different times. so we base our day around that schedule. bedtime routine is the same, but the time is "ish" most nights everyone is sound asleep by 8pm. this works for me bc some days you may have different things you want to get done and the kids are more flexible. and then i am not stuck at home because of a schedule. gotta luv the ISH!!

Heather - posted on 11/24/2008

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I agree with Christine, routine is comforting for the children, they usually know what to expect and what comes next but for our family doing it at the exact same time everyday is too difficult for us. Some days we have swim lessons and some days we don't so it would be impossible to go down for a nap at the same time with activities we are involved in through out the week. We travel a lot and so if we aren't at home I want them to be able to sleep wherever we might be as oppose to only being able to sleep at a certain time or in a certain place. Hope this helps I know each child is so different that something might not work for everyone.

Christine - posted on 11/24/2008

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Routines yes - schedule -no

My kids do best with the "rituals" of goin out of the house or going down for bed. Keeping everyone to a set time is just an exercise in frustration for me.

Jennifer - posted on 11/24/2008

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first of all congrats on still nursing! that is great! i would say that a schedule is not a bad thing, but with my two we just have round about times, both my kids are pretty flexiable i would say. we just have a routine before bed, with my five year old he gets a bath reads a book with daddy, while i give our ten month old a bath and nurse her till she goes to sleep. we start this any time between 8 and 9 and usually done by 9;30 and they both sleep till 8 or 9 in the am.

i think being flexiable is good because you never know when you will have to change whats going on in your life. and they need to be adaptable

why do you want to wean by 18 months? just curious.

Jessica - posted on 11/24/2008

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I try to put my daughter on a schedule, but we travel a lot and it doesn't always work. She does have a consistent bedtime and sleeps from 8P to 7:30 am. we try for a 12:30 naptime but she is thankfully flexible and can go up to an hour later if I'm unable to put her down on time without having a bad time.

Heather - posted on 11/24/2008

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Since I posed the question, it's probably fair that I post the first reply.

My son is a wonderful and sweet 16 month old who still nurses 2-3 times a day. He's an excellent sleeper (naps between 2 - 2 1/2 hours a day and sleeps from 8pm until 6am most nights) and he's an okay eater. He's not too choosy about what he eats but he isn't one I'd say is in any danger of being a glutton. ;) Sometimes he eats more than others.

I believe that most of these things work so well for us is because of a consistent sense of order. We've almost always had some kind of a schedule and it has worked pretty well for us. That's not to say that the schedule we've kept has always been the best for him. . . We've tried lots of different ideas to help him eat/sleep/feel better, but it's taken a lot of trial and error to get where we are now.

I'd like him to be fully weaned by 18 months. It's an arbitrary time, but really, what time isn't? I've done a little gentle manipulation of our daily routine, but that'll only get us so far. Eventually I'll have to cut him off because he doesn't want to stop nursing and because as important as a consistent routine has been to us, not everything can be fixed by a simple change in scheduling.

(unless you say removing an activity or replacing it with another is a simple change) LOL I guess I'll wait to see what you all say on the subject. :)

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