How do I start a routine and stick to it?

Nichole - posted on 04/10/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )




My daughter is now 6 months old and I want to get her into a routine. How should I incorperate one into our day?


Kristin - posted on 04/10/2010




Does she maybe have a bit of a daily routine right now as is? That would be something to look at, maybe over the course of a few days. If she's close, just tweak the nap and feeding times to work with what you would like for her daily routine. Bedtime routines absolutely help with everything. It enables you to ensure she's getting enough rest and then start dropping those exhausting night feedings. The other ladies have given you the basics for a bedtime routine. The only suggestion I have there would be to include a quick clean up of mouth/teeth following the evening snack/feed. Get in the habit now and there will be lots less drama in the future.

As for stuff to incorporate, there is the obvious meal/snack times and naps. Then to fill in you can go for walks, run errands, play time, story time, meet up with other moms. I'm not saying you need to run errands or meet up with other people everyday, that's just too much for most. But, you could do the social or errand type stuff when she's in a good mood as it makes for easier for you. Then, when she's less inclined to cooperate do the one on one thing with her. I know, sounds a little nuts, but that's a great time to sit and read a story, play finger games, sing to her, and just play quietly. May result in an excellent pre-nap routine.

One thing to be aware of though, any routine tends to go out the window when baby is ill or teething. In that case, stick to your sleep routines and be super flexible about everything else.

Hope this has given you some ideas to try.

Rebecca - posted on 04/10/2010




I find starting with a night time one worked best for us. Do supper at the same time, bath(not necessarily EVERY night) bed time snack and then story. Once you start doing this you child will fall in to place with waking up at a regular time every day going for naps at the same times and even eating at the same times. My daughter was thrown in to our sons routine when she was 3 months and she did great. To this day(she is 9 months now) she wakes up at 9am eats breakfast and a bottle, has a nap at 11 until noon eats lunch and bottle naps at 3 until 4:30 east supper at 5, bed time cereal and bottle at 6:30-7 and is in bed sleeping by 7:10 and she doesn't wake until 9 the next morning. She is so good on her schedule that she knows when she is due to eat and if she's not in her seat to eat she'll fuss until she's in it lol.

Good luck!


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Nichole - posted on 04/11/2010




Thanks to everyone so far ecspecially Kristen!!! You were extremly helpful...she does kind of have a routine right now but it doesn't seem like one as much and I don't lay her down for a nap she eventually just falls asleep close to the same time. Anyways thanks!!

Kelley - posted on 04/10/2010




I loved the book The Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. It encourages an eat, activity, sleep, & you-time routine (E.A.S.Y). You just do everything in that order all the time. That way your child always knows what to expect and you'll still have the flexibility needed to live life. It also talks about different ways to develop bedtime routines. Only you'll know what'll work best for you and your baby, so just follow your instincts.
Good luck :)

Tricia - posted on 04/10/2010




I agree with Rebecca. Start a nighttime routine. It's the best way to get a solid schedule in place. It worked so well with my son. We'd all have dinner, then bath, story, then nurse (or snack), and bedtime! With nap, it's all about putting them down for nap at the same time, everyday. It can be difficult, especially when you have things to do, or a playdate is planned. But it's worth it to keep the schedule. You'll like it much better, and children thrive on routine.

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