Part One | Part Two in a Three-Part Series | Part Three
In Part 1 of this series, we talked about the “why” and how to start developing a routine and building structure for children. This post will delve a little deeper into building a solid routine foundation for children from 0 to 12+ months.
NEWBORNS + YOUNG BABIES
So many child sleep experts recommend a nap time and bedtime routine as one of the "first" routines you may start implementing with your baby.
A short, repetitive routine before it’s time to rest helps your baby wind down and realize that it’s time to prepare themselves for sleep. It might look like this: diaper change, read a book, sing and snuggle for a few minutes and put down. Young babies often only need a few minute routine like this, but consistency is key and you can build on it as your baby grows. I love what Cara Dumaplin has to say, the neonatal nurse and sleep pro from Taking Cara Babies, "Flexible routines, not rigid schedules". Routines don't have to be boring and so rigid you stress about them. I can't say that I didn't have an expectation for a more rigid schedule with our first (adding more unnecessary stress to new mom life).
Once your baby graduates from the "newborn" stage at 3 months, it's time to start adding to the routine (especially if you have older babies and children!). Things you can do to help make this transition a bit easier during months two and three include:
Toddlers’ (12+ months) developing brains and bodies seriously benefit from routine. If you have a newborn or a younger baby and toddlers / young kids, know that your routine with the youngest will be flexible, but it can and should be more rigid with your toddler.
A more “rigid” daily routine for a toddler may look like:
MAKE IT FUN
Routines can be fun, and they don’t have to mean "rigid and boring". While it's great to establish predictability, strive for a “percentage” - if you stick with a routine most of the time (80%) and still make a point to introduce your kids to new and different activities and events (20%), your kids will adjust and may surprise you with their ability to be flexible - my two definitely have.
There isn’t a mom I know (and many more I don’t, I’m sure!) who doesn’t stress about their kid’s in so many ways. Routines don’t have to be one of them.
Need help establishing a loose routine for your new babe? Check out the 0 to 3 Month Routine Printable, below! You get 4 pages - blank and three example routines for ages 6 weeks to three months - a great jumping-off point to help you figure out what works for your family!
Leave a Reply.