So within the past couple of weeks I’ve had countless emails in regards to routine. Most of the questions revolved around “I have trouble putting one in place”. So here it goes, will give you a little insight into how my routine began to how it is this very day (:
Month One, Two & Three
There was no routine what so ever, you could pretty much say I was in over my head.. I practiced every preach I received from bathing him at 9am to forcing him to wake up from his naps ( Gina Ford’s famous method ). But it’s true what they say ” Find what works for you ” And so I did
Month 4, 5 & 6
No routine in regards to nap times during the day, pretty much whenever he was tired I rocked him to sleep. Rocking him to sleep was so exhausting for me physically and mentally. Regardless of the time of his last nap 7pm was time for his bath, lucky me he enjoyed the water.. So it tired him out, giving him a head start to a long night. LO was bottle fed so I’d place his bottle on a rolled cloth and he would fall asleep – waking twice during the night for a feed 12am then 5am.
Month 7 – 14
At 7 months I decided enough was enough.. Not every mother will agree with the decisions I made so please remember each to their own, I am just sharing.
I stopped rocking him to bed, I spent three days at home and decided it was time he put himself to sleep. I began in the morning so at least by night time his crying time would have decreased by about 10 minutes ( hubby wouldn’t be able to handle it otherwise ). I hit two birds with one stone and did it by removing his dummy aswell, three days later and done ! It wouldn’t matter where I was I’d place him down and he’d turn away to sleep. I also let him self settle during his two wakes at night. It may sound harsh, but he was on solids at this point, and would have his dinner at 6, and a full bottle at 7.30 (bed time) so there was no reason for him to wake up from “hunger” which I knew was just a “habit”.
It was difficult, but I was consistent, no matter what I had on I’d make sure his bath and bed time was on time, everything else could wait. I wouldn’t skip a day, he deserves to have a warm bath and have the chance to wind down every night.
Now his day is as follows
I am up at 6am – firstly because I wake with hubby and get his lunch ready for work, but also because I like to get the basic chores done e.g.,placing a load in the washer, dressing our bed etc.. Before my LO wakes.
7.30am wake – breakfast is served: anything from cereal to cheese toast
7.45am – pyjamas off day clothes on
8.00am – I place LO in his room to play while I take an hour to vacuum, hang the washing and do the dishes. ( I don’t find LO attached to me in the morning as he is during the day. He’s excited and more than happy to play with his toys for an hour )
9.00am – I join my LO. Read him some books.. Chase him around the house ( on all fours might I add 😊 )
10.00am – He goes down for a nap. He has no dummy, so I just pop him in his cot and say “goodnight” as he turns his face to settle himself.
In this time I like to have my coffee and breakfast. It’s my time to go through any uni work or catch up on recorded tv shows.
11am – Wake.. I try not to leave the house before his first nap.. So up we get.. Luckily enough my inlaws and parents are only a 10 minute drive away from me so we go for visits at least 3 times a week. So pretty much from 11am till 2.00 pm LO is either snacking on a sandwich with grandma or playing Dora the explorer on the grass in the backyard.
2.00pm – Down for another nap.. No matter where we are, he starts to get restless and then begins the ” tired cry “. I prepare his bottle ( has milk twice a day ) and place him on a bed (he knows how to get down ).. As per normal turns away and drinks his milk to sleep.
3.30pm – Wakes , very attached to me at this point. I realise the closer we get to bedtime the more close to me he becomes ( I love it ).
4.00pm – Dinner time. Again does not matter where we are he begins to cry and whinge till proper solid food enters his mouth ( will not settle for snacks ).
6.00pm – Desert – whether it’s yoghurt, a muesli bar or piece of cake. I encourage desert.. As I found he would wake up during the night if he were just on dinner. However with desert, his tummy is fuller for longer enabling him to sleep through the night.
7.00pm – I’m home. Regardless of plans, meets, anything or anyone I’m home at this time. He crawls to the bathroom and sits infront of the shower door.I prepare his bottle first and foremost then start his bath and he soaks in it for at least 10 mins playing with his rubber toys. I bath him every day.. As I believe consistency is key.. And also because he enjoys it so very much.. It’s his “wind down” from the day he’s had.
7.15 – 7.30pm – LO is very restless the second I take him out of his bath. The crying goes on forever.. My new tactic that’s worked for me is; I dress his upper body first e.g. Singlet, skivvy, pyjama top. I then give LO his bottle as he lays back, I don’t have him wriggling and crying which makes dressing his nappy and pyjama pants so much easier ! I tuck him in bed and “goodnight” he turns away to finish off half of the bottle that’s left.. His night lamp is on, I shut the main light and close the door.
Not a peep from LO till 7.30am – however keep in mind the above routine is like this most days – but I do get those couple of days where his nap is cut short by a loud noise, disruption etc.. This just pushes his bath and bed time a little earlier but I still try to stretch it out as late as possible.
This is what worked for me, it’s also why I’m so eager to have a bigger family.. You make having a child as easy or as hard as you want it to be.. Yes in the end ” Do what works for you ” , but also remember ” Do what’s best for them ” ..