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How to get your baby in a routine || The Cuddle Blog

As a new Mum one of the things that will help you to have some order in your life and some sanity is a routine. It's bad enough that you don't have anytime for yourself and now your life is dictated by a little human and most especially if you are a stay at home mum, its easy to stay in the bubble and soon enough you start feeling bitter and possibly depressed because of this.

Why is a routine important?

Different people have various opinions about why a routine is important but I think it all boils down to sanity. When you become a mother so many things are calling for your attention and you have to find a way to balance the need of your baby, with your husband, older kids, work and every other thing. Having a routine with your baby - which will translate to when they are older - can bring a level of order into the chaos that is motherhood and babyhood.

Routine creating styles

Parent-led routines: This is where the parent decides what and when of the babys day. It is sort of very strict as you define what will happen through out the day. I think this might work for older children and not realistic for babies.

Child-led routines: This is you form a routine around what your child decides to do based on the signs given to you. This doesn't mean your day will be unpredictable because over time, you will notice the pattern and know what to expect when. For babies this is more realistic.

A combination of both: This is a flexible combination of both the parent-led and baby-led styles. You will be willing to adjust based on what signs your baby gives you per-day under the basic structure Feed, Sleep, Play. This I have found to be the most realistic and recommended for babies between 5-12 months old.

How can you get a non-routined baby into a routine? Glad you asked.

- Track EVERYTHING: When I had my baby, I drew a table in my journal. Tracked his feeding time, when he woke up, when he pooped, how many wet diapers a day he had till I found an app "Feed Baby" . I did the tracking for the first few months and it really helped me understand his pattern. I knew exactly what to expect and when.

- Create one that works for you & Baby: In the initial 3 months, based on the data I had, I knew what to expect and I could schedule myself based on that. Also, don't rely totally on the data. Observe your baby as well. I noticed that Cuddles is so calm and happier right before 3pm and get's really cranky - on most days - after 5 pm based on that knowledge, I can leave him to play on his own before 3 pm and moved up our evening routine to 5pm from 7pm. Observe and adjust.

Consistency is key: Whatever you decide to start based on this data gathered - Be consistent. It won't be a routine if it keeps changing and the idea is to get your baby's body clock adjusted to it. Do the work now so you can have fairly predictable days when your child is older.

NOTHING IS SET IN STONE: Keep in mind the 80-20 rule. Your child will follow the routine 80% of the time and use you to play yo-yo the other 20% - Yes! I totally just made that up but you get the point. There is also the part of them growing up and how you would have to adjust this routine based on their current needs. A newborn baby won't need so much time allotted to play but a crawling baby would. Just be sure to observe as they grow older, rinse and repeat.

Everyday will be different be sure to enjoy it. 
Keep rocking motherhood.


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