If there’s one thing that babies want to know, is what follows next in their daily schedule. However, this does not mean that a strict regime should be kept, because as good as that regime could be for your baby, it could also eventually do more harm than good. That is why the right approach would be one that will be flexible enough, as well as adaptable to your baby’s needs.
Your baby’s daily requirements are not very complicated. All it needs for them to be satisfied is food, a good sleep, some playtime and of course, unconditional love. However, as simple as it sounds, it’s not always easy to exactly determine what, when and how much of it your baby needs, not to mention the trouble of matching your baby’s needs with the needs of your partner, yourself, any older siblings, as well as the remaining members of the family. Most parents believe that creating a routine for their baby makes their lives so much easier. When you have a baby it is always great to be able to predict the situation, that way you will know what to expect from your baby and your baby will also learn what to expect, like for example, that after the afternoon nap, what follows is a banana and then a walk.
Babies like regularity.
Most people are creatures of habit that love their daily routines. We wake up, shower, have coffee, read a paper and eat a bagel quietly. And, if the day doesn’t start in that familiar way, it may look like we got up on the wrong foot. Our children are also creatures of habit which feel the same way about their routines.
Experts claim that babies like to know that a certain things are going to happen in a certain part of the day. They also say that babies are most capable of embracing a routine between the third and the fourth month, the majority of infants being able to adopt a more or less regular daily rhythm by the third month. And even though there are some babies who have difficulties keeping a routine even after the third month despite the majority of infants being able to retain their own unique schedule, experts still say that a routine can make life much easier, however, certain advice should be taken into consideration :
- Beware of the strict regime
For starters, relax. It’s hard to adjust your baby on a rigid schedule right away, and is mostly impossible up until the second month. For an infant is normal to fall asleep while you feed him or to sleep more during the day than in the nights. This is due to the fact that babies are still adjusting on the world around them. Furthermore, a very strict routine may also be dangerous, especially if you attempt to feed your kid according to an outlined schedule as opposed to when it’s hungry, which can lead to weight increase suspension and slow down your baby’s brains development. That is why it is advised to try and regulate your baby’s biological rhythm around the third or fourth month.
- Listen to your child
You have decided to prepare your dinner at 18:30 and it’s only 17:00 when you realize that your kid is hungry. What should you do? Feed him. And, as soon as you realize that your kid is fed, stop the feeding and don’t force him to eat any more. Also, put the kid to sleep when first signs of tiredness appear. A four month year old baby, for example, sleeps two to three times a day, while a baby of six months sleeps twice a day, in the morning and in the afternoon. Thus, if your baby feels tired, let him rest.
- Be flexible
There is no existing evidence that a noon lunch is better than a 13:00 lunch, or that going to bed at 20:00 instead of 21:30 is better for the baby. If you have decided to go to bed a little bit later because you are visiting someone or taking a walk you should do that. Just make sure that in the next days you go to bed at nearly the same time and follow the usual before bed routine (bath, dressing up, milk, sleep).
- Teach your baby the difference between day and night
A lot of babies mix their nighttime with daytime and vice versa. The first step towards routine is to teach the baby how to make a difference between the two. During the daily nap don’t darken your room, turn off the phone or walk tip-toe. During the night sleep, calm the noises, darken the room and don’t entertain him with stories or games.
- Know when to skip or end the routine
Be ready for changes because even though you may have gotten used to a certain routine and the baby’s schedule, your baby may be ready to move on. For example, your seven month child refuses to sleep at 10AM although he usually does that every day and he continuously cries. Think about this situation. With smaller children (less than 9 months) is strictly a biological matter. If your baby gets sleepy during bath time or it becomes nervous, it may be time to start putting him to bed earlier than usual. Many experts say that it’s perfectly all right to mix things sometimes. Some unpredicted situations from time to time may teach your kid flexibility, tolerance and adjustment. However, this does not mean that it’s unimportant to maintain the routine, because your kid needs routine to get a sense of security and stability.