For all first time parents, setting baby’s routine is a Herculean task. With sleepless nights and foggy minds everything is jumbled up in our heads and we don’t know what to do? Where to start from? My baby naps in the morning, when do I give her breakfast? Should we bathe baby in the morning or at night? When should we do baby’s massage? What time should be baby’s dinner? When should baby wake up and sleep? We have tons of questions but not enough energy to actually workout the plan. So, here are easy 5 steps which I took.
Step 1: Analyse your own routine
First step is to look inwards and see what’s your routine ? Post baby we often want to change our lifestyles overnight and just do what is right for the baby. I tried it and boy what a bad idea it was, mainly for two reasons.
1 Your routine depends on your job and other responsibilities. You might not be able to sustain the “new post baby routine” for long if it doesn’t comply with your responsibilities.
2 Baby will be more comfortable if you are comfortable. Period. If you will change your routine way too much it will end up frustrating everyone.
Step 2: Make sure you have a routine and NOT a schedule
If you will ask your parents or grandparents they will tell you they never had a set schedule. You have to take it easy and realize there is a difference between routine and schedule. Routine is bathing your little one everyday. Schedule is trying to bathe baby everyday at 11am. Don’t be too fussy about the schedule, when you start baby routine it has to be on baby’s clock. With newness that comes along with baby you don’t want more stress of over complicated schedule in your life. Take cues from your baby and follow your routine.
Step 3: Make a TO-DO List
Write down all the activities/tasks you want to incorporate in your baby’s routine. No matter how small or big it is, everything should be written in a flow chart of when you want to do it. Think of it as your To-Do list for little one. Then write down your routine. Just writing it all down will bring a lot of clarity. You can now compare and prioritize what tasks you can do with your baby and what you can do while the baby is resting. Key about making baby’s routine is to balance and merge it with your own routine, so that it’s super smooth for everyone.
Most importantly, while writing down routine, make sure you take out at least one hour of ME time for yourself. It can be for anything that you like doing but mommy ME time is non negotiable.
Step 4: Dry Run
Then comes the first day when you try and execute the routine you have created for your baby. Even though it is a dry run (to see how things go) it is important that you go with the flow and not get hasseled if things are not working out as per you planned. Note down the deviations and habits of your baby, which led to deviations in routine or something you discovered that made tasks simpler. Add those to the next day’s routine. Keep working on it and keep improvising.
A small tip: instead of keeping a specific time, set start and end time for the said activity eg. Breakfast between 7am to 9am. I can tell you with my personal experience it doesn’t work in one day and one day it will work miraculously. Besides, routine can be entirely disrupted during growth periods. Therefore, being flexible and open minded is the best way to keep your sanity while setting a routine for your baby.
Step 5: Slow and steady wins the race
This can’t be truer, when talking about baby’s routine. Once you know what all you want to do during the day, all the activities are on paper, you know in which direction your day is flowing. There is a set path and no confusion, so it becomes easier to stick to the routine. Consistency and perseverance will get you to your desired routine. Gradually, you will notice even your baby knows what to expect in the day. They start looking forward to their play ground time or play dates. Which means more your baby gets comfortable with routine more relaxed your life becomes.
For first 6 months the routine I had was feed, burp, diaper, sleep, play and repeat. My effort to make a routine for my started after he turned seven months. That’s when I religiously started giving him solids and I wanted to incorporate concept of breakfast, lunch and dinner for my baby. I was so confused when I started it. My baby was still napping three to four times a day and he was breastfeeding as well. So, it actually took some time for me to figure out how to do it. Therefore, I decided to write down these steps to set baby’s routine. I hope these are equally helpful for you as well.
Next week I will be talking to my village aka my mommy friends and come up with some sample routines and share with you guys
Until Next Tuesday