Routine: Good or bad?

Joanna - posted on 04/07/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I started off parenting life with the view that I had decided to have a baby and so should work my life around him rather than work him into my life, so decided to give routines a brush off, and let him sleep when he wanted......demand fed him, and he was a happy chappy untill he was about 12 weeks so I started to try and put him into a routine and planned feed, but I find it really hard to do anything in my days now as I think I have to completely stick to my routine or else all my hard work will go to waste. Has anyone else experienced good or bad experiences with routine?

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Kelly - posted on 04/09/2010

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Routine is good, but one that allows flexibility. I follow the E.A.S.Y. method from Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. Stands for Eat, Activity, Sleep, You time and it has worked really well. You feed them on waking, not as a fall to sleep method because then over time they feel they need to eat to fall asleep or get double whammy'd with a hungry and sleepy baby which equals much crying. Same thing with holding or rocking until they're asleep then trying to lay them down. I rock Ethan while we read his bedtime stories and then lay him down with my hand on his chest and sing our song. Then I turn on his mobile and leave the room. If he cries I go back in and put my hand on his chest and keep playing the mobile. I DO NOT pick him up and would not let him "cry it out" as he still needs to know I will respond to his distress even though I do not engage him by talking or eye contact. During daytime naps I just shut the curtains to dim the room and sing our song then the mobile. He usually falls asleep within 5 minutes and is out for 12 hours every night. I sometimes have to go in to re-swaddle him cause he knock out his paci or just bats at his face too much, but that is it and even then I don't engage him. This isn't to say he never falls asleep in my arms - it is a treat for us now. And he does sometimes get hungry again right before bed and falls asleep eating, but I just make sure he wakes up a little when I burp him and skip the rocking/stories and lay him right down. For the Activity time I begin by having him play in his bouncy chair, Exersaucer or something else he can do solo to foster independence from me. After he gets bored with that (15 min-25 min) we have time to play together, tummy time or just talking and such. The book teaches you to interpret cries and physical signals of when it is time to change activities or lie down to sleep. Baby will fall into a natural rhythm of naps and such and it helps you to plan time to do stuff for you during the day as well. I recommend the book highly - there all are sorts of great tips in it. Good luck!

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Nancy - posted on 04/15/2010

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I'm like that too.....when we don't stick with the routine it seems like everything is thrown off, like if she doesn't get her usual nap she is cranky.....but I figure if you stick to your routine 100% all the time then I think basically we wouldn't leave the house and it is good for not only me but the baby to get out of the house.....I try to stick to our routine as much as possible but if it's thrown off here or there we try not to sweat it but I hear you it is difficult.....

Rachelle - posted on 04/15/2010

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i never even tried to put her on a routine she go to bed different time eachh night anywheres from 8 to 10 depending on what her naps during the day were like... and she is always up at 8 no matter what time she goes to bed... she eats when ever shes hungery some days its every5 hours other days its every 2hrs for her its worked well this way but every baby is different so for her routines are bad...

Cindy May - posted on 04/14/2010

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I have just started trying to get 3 1/2 month Jasmine into a daytime feeding routine so i can go back to work. She wakes up anytime between 4 and 6 am for a feed. Then I feed her at 7.30am - she then sleeps and wakes up hungry - I have been trying to distract her untill 10.30 or 11 - sometimes i can and sometimes i can't in which case i feed her early, then she naps and again 3 hours later at 2pm i feed her, she then takes a long time to go down for a nap and then i feed at 5pm, bath at 6pm, top up feed at 6.30 and in bed alseep any time between 7 and 9pm. I can't bear the thought of her being hungry so although i plan for the routine - i do feed her when she screams.

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We didn't "plan" on having Ben...but we knew that if we wanted him to be raised OUR way, we'd have to "work our lives around him". I quit my job so I could raise him, rather than a nursery or *gasp* grandparents. I'm so thankful for this experience! Because I'm home, I've noticed that Ben has made his own schedule. (depending on his growth spurts) His schedule is always on time and since it suits him, I'm not changing it. At 4 months he goes into his DEEP sleep around 10pm. He wakes at exactly 4:02am and then again around 7:02. Sometimes if he's in a growth spurt, or not feeling well (inoculations) he will wake up at 2:02am. The whole family gets up around 7am so he'll waller around in the bed with us for a while, then he'll eat around 9am or 10 and sleep again around 11am or 12pm and be pretty much active the rest of the day with little cat naps here and there.) Our doctor said he is perfect in his growth and development...so I'm not worrying about trying to tie him down to my preconceived notion of a good routine.

Amy - posted on 04/14/2010

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I agree with the routine! I've had my little girl on a routine since birth. Now during the day, its different, thats her time to be "boss" lol, she knows when she is hungry and sleepy and I let her do her thing, but after 7pm it seems the roles reverse and she knows the routine. Catnap at 7 to 7:30ish, then playtime, at 8:30pm warm bath, then a bottle with rice cereal and breast milk and then she is off to bed by 9-9:15pm. It really works out well for us. Good lucK!

Erica - posted on 04/13/2010

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Michael is 16 weeks and has put himself on his own routine. He wakes up around 9:00 eats a 8 oz bottle, than is up till 12 goes down till 1:00 than is up and eats at 1:30 some fruit and a bottle than goes down for three hours usually and when he is up he plays gets fed again fruit and a bottle and is up till 9:30-10 and is down for the night

Hannah - posted on 04/13/2010

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My little boy was in a routine from day 1 and i work around him if i have something to do i go out after breakfast then stop somewere for his lunch his naps are harder to control being that he never wants to have one and he goes to bed at 6:30 every night routines are deffinately what a baby needs it gives them stability no matter how tedious it is for us lol it takes time to work around them but its deffinately worth it just think of the hassle you will save yourself as he grows older x

Joanna - posted on 04/10/2010

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Brilliant, thanks, that's really helpfull. Yes routine has worked for him, it's just I find it really hard to fit anything into my day other than naps. However he missed his afternoon ones today and it's just taken me an hour and 45 mins of overtired screaming to get him to sleep..........so definately going to stick to it.

Stevie - posted on 04/09/2010

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I'm a routine, flexible. It hasn't been easy with Rowan's needs but when she is healthy we go back to routine. Where we get up eat, take a bath, play, eat, nap, wake up eat, play, nap.....until bed time then she sleeps anywhere from 10-14 hours with a couple of feedings during that time. Good Luck!!!

Jessica - posted on 04/09/2010

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I set up a routine with my little man he is 14 weeks and follows it to a t. Every nite he is asleep by 830 with a bottle to top him up and he sleeps till3am then eats 4 oz and sleeps till 8am. Every second nite we fit a bath in his nite time schedule too. I find he eats every 3 to 4 hours during the day with he first nap starting 2 hours after he gets up.

Cavell - posted on 04/09/2010

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We never really bothered with a routine other than story and bath time at night. At 14 weeks, my little girl has begun her own schedule...we go with it. She feeds whenever she wants through the day, but it's working out to about every 3 hours. After we eat dinner at 5, she feeds at 6, 7:30 and 8:30 (she's a clusterfeeder), and is usually down for the night (we fit story time and bath time in between the clusters..lol) by 9 or 9:30. She sleeps until around 6-7am. The only time in the last little while she has deviated from it was when she had croup a month ago.

Lainie - posted on 04/09/2010

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I have never had a routine for my little one. She is bottle fed and i demand feed her, she does tend to get hungry and tired about the same time most days but i let her guide me. If you do want to have a routine i would suggest allowing a bit of flexibility, dont beat yourself up if things dont go to plan.

User - posted on 04/09/2010

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I am a firm believer in routines. I work as a nanny 4 days a week and have a very solid (yet flexible) schedule there. I am able to bring my kids to work with me. Thay always have much better days when we are there and they know what to expect. We don't have as great a routine on fridays and the weekend and I always find the kids more out of sorts. Did a routine work for him? You could try a routine that gives you the time you need, as well as the 'structure' he needs. It's very important to have some you-time, otherwise a schedule is worthless because you're stressed!

Kellie - posted on 04/07/2010

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i have my son in a routine think its the best way to go about it. then you can plan your day around sleep times and feeds. now harry has a bath at 6 bottle at half past and in bed for around 7 in his own room without a fuss. he sleep all night until around half 7-8 wakes up for bottle then goes back to bed until 11. this way i know that around 12 i can go out with one happy harry.

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