throwing out the routine...anyone else?

Amanda - posted on 03/24/2010 ( 22 moms have responded )




Is there anyone else out there who just goes with the flow? I still follow somewhat of a routine but totally open to changes. Feed, play, sleep. sometimes its feed play sleep play feed. I don't know what to do when you follow a strict routine and then you go out or your baby doesn't want to play along.


Bethany - posted on 03/24/2010




depends on the kid. Some need a reliable routine to not go mad, others can cruise along.
I have a very cruisy kid, but since birth I've had her on Tracy Hogg's Eat, Activity Sleep routine. She sorts out the timing, but it is the same order most of the time. It's just easier for me, to know that where ever we are, when she wakes, she eats, then she plays or whatever, then I only have to look for tired signs, not hungry signs aswell.

She's 14 mths now, so sometimes it's a feed (first thing), sometimes it's a meal and a drink (after AM nap) and sometimes it's a snack and a drink (after PM nap).

The only time I watch the clock is from 5pm, as she seems to need to be eating dinner by 5.30, then bath then quiet play/read then feed then bed by about 7.30. She tends to get very crotchety if I don't stick to that.

Routine isn't hard to stick to, schedule is. I think it's best to have a predictable order of events, than have rigid timing.

[deleted account]

I'm with you :) I sort of follow a routine--We have certain things we do everyday, but I don't always to them at the same time everyday. So our day has a lot of structure, but it's flexible too.

We have at least one "out of house" activity each day (taekwondo, story time, baseball, music, swim, or a museum class--they are all at different times each day, so obviously, our "at home" activities have to be done at different times each day. At home, we always do a few minutes of Math, Reading, practice taekwondo, eat 3 meals, bathe and dress for the day & night. Our bedtime routine is pretty strict right now, but that's really the only one.

I also do 3-6 chores each day. I keep a list of chores for the whole week and just do the ones I feel like and have time for on each given day (crossing them off as I do them, so I don't do the same ones every day). By the end of the week I've done all of them and put up a new list.


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Natasha - posted on 04/02/2010




I mostly like to go with the flow and thought it would be best for my son too.however found out that my son acctually put himself on a routine so I keep a notebook so that I can see any changes and it helps for me to prepare for what he wants. observe them. your baby will tell you what routine they like, like mine likes up at 7am food,play, nap at 9am up at 11am food, play, nap at 12pm up at 4pm, snack, play, supper at 6pm, bath, in bed by 7pm. it will change from time to time cuz of teething and such but that is what the notebook is for. my son has been so happy since I started following the routine that he likes.

Natalie - posted on 04/02/2010




We have a routine that works pretty well and my kids adjust well to changes. We get up at 8am, eat at 9 or so, at 12:30 it's lunch time, then nap time at 1pm until 3pm. 6:30 dinner, then bath and to bed at 8pm
That how it usually goes. BUT we also spend full days at Sea World or the zoo and my kids have no issues adjusting. My daughter will sleep in her stroller and we eat when we're hungry.
Or if we go out in the evening, like to a bbq or something and our kids don't go to bed until 10 pm that's fine too
The next day we're back to our schedule. It works great for us

Christina - posted on 04/02/2010




I have three girls, ages 4, 2 1/2, and 6 months. We totally just go with the flow, a routine/schedule just doesn't work for us!

Alicia - posted on 04/02/2010




we dont have a routine at all. the only thing i do is she eats solids when i eat so then i remember when. and shes in bed around 8 or 9. the rest is played by ear. i dont care honestly if she would like to play right thru her nap because shes excited :)

Emma - posted on 04/02/2010




I have no set routine, the only thing that's anything close to it i would say is feeding them and the bath as they get really dirty in the day playing in the garden ect.
I did try to have one but both my hubby and myself are natural defiant so it was doomed to fail in our house
Sometimes i do wish we had one like when they are up and full of life at 9pm still ( they normally drop on there own around 7.30pm )
I suppose when my oldest starts pre school we will have to make more of a routine but untill then there kids and we tend to do what we feel like at the time, if we want to read a story we do if we feel like making mud pies we do ect ect.
I feel a little sorry for little kids that have so many scheduled activities at a young age i know people that have filled there kids days with monkey nasties computer lessons dance classes ect and they are not even at pre school. There kids don't seem to cope very well when they are given free time where they must amuse them self s.

Jamie - posted on 03/26/2010




I go with the flow too. Johnathan never stuck with a certain works for us just to be open minded. He isn't pressured to do anything he doesn't want to do...and if I don't want to do something...we don't do it...we just chill together.

Bethany - posted on 03/26/2010




I think as long as one acknowledges the difference between "schedule" and "routine" it will be fine. One drives you and your kid insane, the other keeps you sane.

Kristin - posted on 03/26/2010




There is routine and there is schedule. A routine is an order of events that occur consistently without a clock being involved, think pre-bedtime. A schedule is a timed order of events that can vary from day to day. Each can be beneficial in their own way. Aside from vaccinations and even this can be somewhat flexible, kids do not need a rigid schedule early on. Dinner and bedtime are good, but can wait until baby is having solids and has a good sleep pattern. The rest of the time going with the flow is just fine as they are natural explorers who go where their interests take them. Good routines to have are washing hands following a diaper change and before eating, as well as at nap and bedtimes. They are able to shift gears into what's coming next a little easier.

As your kids age, a schedule will become more beneficial. Do not over-schedule though, that just causes too much stress all around.

Ultimately, do what works for you and your kids where everyone is pretty happy with what's going on. Good luck.

[deleted account]

Monica, My baby never slept on a routine either. We tried SO hard with the sleep schedule!! He had insomnia, so we had to feed him and him down for naps at the same times every day. Tummy time, play time, and outside time had to be done at exactly the same time, exactly the same way everyday. We even had minutes carved out for cuddle & bonding time! UGH It was SO hard. I was constantly having to drop everything because he would fall asleep at the wrong times, and b/c of the severity of the insomnia (avg 7hrs over 24) we were told never to wake him if he falls asleep. But that threw off feeding, we weren't supposed to feed him until the next feeding time, so sometimes he would be hungry and I couldn't feed him. The whole thing was stupid,and I finally dropped it and let him go with his own flow and he started to average nearly 2 hours more sleep for every 24 hours!!

Jaime - posted on 03/26/2010




I've never been a routine person when it comes to my babies ... if I want to go out, I go. Most days, we are in and out, shopping, meeting up with friends, me working, baby at childcare etc etc ... I guess the only routine type thing I do is put him to bed for the night around 8:30pm ... we are home most nights at that time anyways.

Erica - posted on 03/25/2010




schedules suck but routines are awesome! Sophia is almost 8 months and we do the same stuff every day just not always at the same time. As long as she's feed, has a clean diaper, and is happy then so am I. I just don't want to deal with the stress af making her do things at a set time cause she does not roll like that.

[deleted account]

Quoting Bethany!

Routine isn't hard to stick to, schedule is. I think it's best to have a predictable order of events, than have rigid timing.

I totally agree! Routines are amazing for mum and bub but getting too hung up on times will only stress a person out! I usually have a rough idea of how my day SHOULD go but sometimes " shit happens " and you have to adjust accordingly! I'm more concerned with the outcomes at the end of the day! Did my baby get enuff sleep? Did she eat all her meals? Where is she lacking? Can I supplement or insert something missed somewhere else? For us the only routine I insist on each day is her bedtime routine.......I don't care where we are or what we're doing, it's extremely important to execute her bedtime routine properly or I find it throws her entire next day off if she doesn't sleep properly! Do what works best for you!

Good luck!

Monica - posted on 03/25/2010




My son has never been on a schedule. Call me a bad mom if you want but he just refuses to be on any schedule. We have tried. I woke him up at 7 every day for 3 weeks so he would go down for a nap at 10 and then go to bed at 8 pm most nights he wont go to sleep until 1. I have even been to a sleep therapist...did what they said and he still refuses any routine....i think some babies just do what they do and thats all there is to it.

Reanda - posted on 03/25/2010




Routine is good, it gives kids stability and it makes it easier for them to cope everyday cause they know what to expect. I don't believe in a strict routine because like you said, it makes it difficult to go out with your baby because his routine gets disrupted, it's a recipe for disaster. I also have somewhat of a routine, I try to keep bath and feeding times regular, but the rest of it is go with the flow, within reason of coarse, can't have baby go to bed at 10pm, lol! Put it this way, some routine is better than no routine at all, for both you and baby.

[deleted account]

Btw, if you make a list, you can have it printed in a little tablet online so you can cross things off as you do them without having to rewrite the list every week--I think it was like $8 for 200 pages on a magnetic tablet that hangs on your fridge :)

Or you can write it in permanent marker on a dry erase board and cross things off w/ the dry erase marker. That way you can clean it off at the end of the week and the list will still be there. I could never stick with this plan if I had to write that list every week!

[deleted account]

Hey Bethany! I LOVE what you said about Routine v/s schedule! The things we do, get done exactly the same way every time, but the actual time they get done moves a bit & that works for us. It is a good balance between predictable, but not pulling my hair out if something comes up :)

I came up with the chores list because I kept having these short little blocks of time to do stuff, but by the time I figured out what I needed to do, my little block of time had passed. So now, if I have, say 15 minutes, I can glance at my list and pick a quick chore. If I have a whole afternoon, I can tackle the more time consuming ones, rather than wasting it on quick ones I can do anytime :)

Here's my list--Some stuff I do everyday, but it's on there b/c I'd forget to if it weren't....

Sweep & Vacuum (I try to do these together, but sometimes I just vacuum)


Laundry (sort)

Laundry (wash/dry)

Laundry (fold) (If I don't get to fold right after I dry the clothes, I run the dryer for about 10 minutes with a new dryer sheet before I take them out, and it gets most of the wrinkles out)

Plan dinners / make grocery list

My bathroom

Boy bathroom

Mop (I admit, I don't do this one as much as I should--I HATE mopping!!)

Dust (I get my son to do this a lot)

Base boards (son does that too, but just with spray bottle of water & cloth--if you do it about once a month, you don't have to actually use cleaner)

Empty small trashcans

Dishwasher (Empty)

Kitchen counters


Clear clutter: Dinning table, Buffet, Desk (this one is broken down to surfaces that my husband piles stuff on lol)

Make beds

Pick up shoes / clothes on floor

Windex (sometimes I just grab a cloth and go through my whole house with windex--picture frame glass, mirrors, etc.)

Furniture polish (I use the spray & wipe kind, and this one is a rarity too :)

Obviously, it's rare to get it ALL done every week, but I can sort of keep a mental log of the ones that get left undone the most and when I did them last. Like windows & baseboards, I don't need to wash them every week, they don't get that dirty, but if I didn't have them on the list, I would NEVER remember to do them lol!

Bethany - posted on 03/24/2010




Kelly, what chores are on your list? That's really interesting. I pretty much just wash up after breakfast, iron on Fridays (Husband's free dress day at work) and wash when the basket is full. cleaning just gets done when it's no longer tolerable not to.

I like the idea of making a menu plan and shopping for it each week (did it for 2 weeks last year some time but couldn't stick to it), and this jobs list sounds good too.

Brandi - posted on 03/24/2010




I have found that following a VERY strict routine keeps my kids well-behaved and their mother sane lol. When we go out somewhere, I am mindful of their routine and try to plan things as closely to that as possible. IF we are planning to attend an event in the late afternoon that will be serving food, I will tend to switch their snack with their lunch, so that when we get to the event, they are not starving, but also not too full. If we are going somewhere over naptime, I try to give them a nap a little early or bring the stuff they will need to nap along with us. It is sometimes a little harder to plan the days when we go away, but if we try to keep with our routine as best as possible, the kids generally tend to follow suit happily. Good luck.

Amy - posted on 03/24/2010




the only routine I have with my son, who is 10 months, is bed time. it starts at the same time everynight and we do the same thing everynight. Other then that, during the day I go with the flow, but that is what works for us. I know many families that a strict schedual is the only way they can function.

Kylie - posted on 03/24/2010




haha the only routine i do is a bath at 6pm my sons just over 3 months sometimes he wants to play after bath sometimes he just wants to eat and sleep ive tryed doing the feed play sleep but if he dosent want to its abit hard when im trying to play with his and his crying cos he want to sleep so i just let him do what he wants his got his own patten going.. as long as i get some sleep i dont mind while his this age..

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