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Babies 0-12 Months | Personal Experiences With Babies

Baby + Routine = A Happy Baby

By Elzet Pedersen

I’m definitely not the best mother around, I get impatient, I scream now and then and yes, sometimes I say naughty words under my breath. But both my kids are happy and secure – mainly because of the sound routine we followed. There were days when the grandparents made my life miserable with arguments and questions against routine and discipline. I really believed in what I was doing, and this made it easy for me to stick to it in spite of their resistance. Even now I constantly have to try and make them stick to the rules and say “no, you can’t give them sweets for breakfast” or “no, she can’t have three snacks just before her lunch and then miss her afternoon nap to go to the beach”. I’m happy that I persevered! The proof is in the pudding, and boy, the pudding she is tasty!

happy-baby

We have family and friends with children that aren’t following any routine, and everything about their day and night is so chaotic! By 7pm both our kids, aged six months and three years, are in bed. The rest of the night is bliss! Besides the fact that routine creates sanity within the family, children need boundaries to make them feel safe – it teaches them what’s to come and that makes them feel secure.

Choose a routine that suits your family and its needs. In the first few weeks of a baby’s life, a routine should be quite strict in order for the baby to get into it. Once the baby is a bit older, the routine can be more flexible. It’s important to bounce back to the original routine as soon as you possibly can, though.

The routine should include his or her feeding time, play time, sleep time and bath time. Try to keep it in the following order: feed → awake time → sleep. Because if put your baby down to sleep straight after feeding, it encourages him or her to rely on food to fall asleep.

If you want to save yourself a lot of trouble, don’t rock your little one to sleep. It will eventually snowball, and when you look again the little monster won’t go to sleep without being rocked. Worst of all, your baby will want to be rocked throughout his sleep, which means he will wake up every time you put him down. You’ll have to do some serious damage control and sleep training to reverse this, which can be rather traumatic for both of you.

Herewith a sample baby routine for a five-month old baby, based on advice from the Baby Clinic I attended:

05:00 – 180ml bottle
Put down to sleep.

07:30 – 9 heaped spoons of baby cereal
Awake time. Short nap.

10:30 - 150ml bottle
Awake time. Longer nap.

12:30 - 4 spoons of butternut, sweet potato, carrots and baby marrow pureed
No nap if possible. If your baby is very tired, however; short nap.

14:30 - 180ml bottle
Awake time. Important nap!

16:30 - 9 heaped spoons of baby cereal

17:00 - Bath
If your baby is very tired I put, him down for a short nap.

18:30 - 150ml bottle
Sleep through the night.

You cannot give your baby or child the freedom to eat, sleep and please as he wants. You set up the rules, you draw the line, you set the boundaries. Although babies will most definitely fight routine, rest assured knowing that they will eventually welcome it.

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