Why Babies Love a Routine.
For children a predictable routine is a wonderful way to help your child to feel safe and secure in a loving environment.
The benefits of having a routine mean that….
- Your little ones learn to understand what comes next in their day. Just as we read the clock to know what comes next, a routine provides a secure setting where their needs are met. Because their needs are met and they are not hungry or overtired they then feel confident to explore their environment and any new skills that they are developing.
- With a routine your baby’s body clock starts to synchronise so that naps and bedtimes become easier, forming healthy sleeping patterns.
- Your child’s appetites will also fall into a pattern and you now know if they are hungry or if it is something else and they grow into sharing these mealtimes with the family.
- It reduces stress in the family and provides a calm environment. It also allows time for parents and carers to address their own needs and wants. Providing times to get things done or to give attention to the other siblings or a much-needed time for relaxation!
- It gives your child a chance to get excited about what may happen in the day, such as bath time or special play time.
These are just some of the benefits for having a daily routine, but there are so many other reasons too.
In the beginning establishing a routine may take a bit of time, usually around two weeks. Often the hardest part is working out when and how to start your baby’s routine. It can also take a bit of sacrificing in the beginning , it may mean that for a week or two you can’t go to visit your friend at certain times etc.
So, what age is a good time to start a bedtime routine. ……….
You can start setting up good sleep habits right from birth. This involves establishing bedtime routines, putting your baby down drowsy but awake, and other simple techniques which can lay the foundation for a good sleep pattern. Generally, from four months to five months on wards is a good time to start putting a gentle sleep pattern into place.
Here are a few steps to getting your baby’s routine started
1.Teach them the difference between night and day.
You can help your baby to recognise the difference by getting them dressed when they wake up. Make sure that the house is bright in the day and that they get plenty of morning light. In the evenings close to bedtimes dim the lights as you get him ready for bed.
2. Start to introduce a bedtime routine early. Keep this consistent;
- sleep suit
- short simple story
- offer the bottle or breastfeed
- place him down whilst he is drowsy but not sleepy and say goodnight.
Do not let this process go over 30 minutes as baby will get too stimulated and he will become very hard to settle.
3. Put your baby’s routine first;
Keep the routine as consistent as possible especially in the first weeks of establishing it, this is to prevent confusion.
4. Adjust your baby’s routine to suit their age.
As baby gets older, they will need fewer daytime naps and more play time and stimulation.
5.Remember that life can change from day to day so don’t expect the routine to be perfect every day.
Some days your routine will not run like clockwork, but that’s ok. Try to relax and your baby will relax. Babies love consistency but its alright to have a day or two where the routine does not fall into place, just get back to it as soon as you can.
The first year of your baby’s life can seem hard sometimes but by falling in love with a routine and following it through can help to take the stress out of these early years.
Happy Parent’s = Happy Baby.