Ever since I was a child my Mum has banged on about getting a baby into a good routine. She was like a dog with a bone when ever we talked about me having children in the future. I humoured her. I listened but I never really truly got it until I had children.
Why is a Routine so Important?
I know we all parent differently. We would be boring if we were all the same eh? However, routine is one thing I firmly believe in with babies. I started to establish the bedtime routine in both my girls from about 6-8 weeks old and I think this has contributed to them both self settling as babies and being reasonably good sleepers.
Routine is safe and secure. It is comforting. Babies know what is coming next and there are not any nasty surprises. If they feel like this it helps with getting them settled at night or keeping them happy during the daytime. Of course I would never strive to push the same routine on a very unhappy, distressed baby who needs comfort or in the very early newborn days but the time comes when they are ready.
Our Morning Routine
I use the same principle at bedtime for the morning and we have a very similar routine in our household each day. We need it or I would never get out of the house!!
My little Piglet is in her own room now. She is 1 year old and sleeps well at night. She tends to wake between 6-7am and just chills on her own, only sounding a little unhappy when she want us to come and get her. I think this time for her to be alone is important. She learns she can be content by herself for a bit but I will always come if she gets upset. Your baby may be still in your room but you can apply the same principle.
The first thing we do is change little Piglet’s nappy
By the morning she has had her nappy on for 12 hours, so it is always full and heavy. As it has been on for such a long time I am keen to protect against the causes of nappy rash and often apply a protective barrier to the skin at bedtime and first thing in the morning. Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment is perfect for this; it is easy to apply and breathable and perfect for delicate skin, as it is free from fragrance, preservatives, colourants and antiseptics. It forms a protective , transparent barrier to stop irritants and rubbing on your baby’s skin. The works due tot the water in oil formulation, which helps with hydrating the skin.
After we have ensured her bottom is clean and protected, food is on the agenda
In the early days Piglet would have a feed and come down for a later breakfast but now it’s breakfast immediately. She is always hungry and devours blueberries, Weetabix and banana and then her big sister’s crust remains; poor thing!
I’m lucky in my household that hubby works from home and doesn’t start until after 8.30am. I can sometimes nip to the gym or get a few jobs done before he starts work.
We NEVER aim to be out before 10am unless an appointment we have to attend
Why put pressure on yourself? Maternity leave only comes a handful of times, if that, so definitely use it to be a bit lazy and not worry about that time.
We are normally heading upstairs to get dressed around 9am
Little Piglet is happy to play and hang around with her sister. I find mixing up entertaining her and leaving her to her own devices work, so she learns to entertain herself.
I can shower quickly with the girls playing safely in my eldest’s room
I usually check that there isn’t anything little Piglet can eat first and get ready. Once I’m out they tend to come and join me as I get my make-up on and hair done. My eldest can dress herself but needs help with her teeth and hair.
My little baby girl gets dressed last!
She used to be first prior to weaning but the mess she makes is insane, so definitely waiting is best. I may change her nappy again now and reapply some Benpathen ointment.We are then ready to go!
By this point little Piglet is often ready for her first nap and we will either leave to go out in the car or buggy and she will sleep
If we are having a day in, I put her down in the cot and will fall asleep by herself. This has taken her a bit of getting used but if you look for the sleepy cues, rubbing eyes or ears and yawning, you can get them to sleep before the yelling begins!
We are then all ready to enjoy our day.
Routine can seem a bit tedious sometimes and one of the negatives is breaking it! You will pay with a tired, confused, cranky child when you let it go for a few days BUT overall it is worth persevering with and achieving one that works for you and your baby.
I truly believe it results in a happy, secure child who is comforted by knowing what is coming next and what is expected of them. This makes life much easier for everyone!
My Routine Top Tips
– Be consistent. I can feel a bit like banging your head against a brick wall but do the same thing each morning and eventually your baby will recognise what is happening and be ready for the next thing.
– Don’t put too much pressure on yourself if it doesn’t work out one day. There is no pressure to be anywhere and you can always start again the next day.
– Try and stay as relaxed and chilled as you can (with a small baby!). I’m sure they do pick up on it. My second has been a lot more relaxed and easy. Could be her nature or could be how I have been with her.
I hope this post has been an insight into my daily routine with my girls and is helpful for you too!
Disclosure – this is a collaborative post with Benpathen which I have been compensated for. All thoughts and opinions are my own.