When I was pregnant with E, I got so many differing opinions about having a routine, when to put it in place, what to do, what not to do that it honestly all got a bit much.
I always knew that I wanted our baby in a routine, and a routine that suited us, I just didn’t have a clue how I was going to do it. So I did what I normally do when unsure, I winged it (with a bit of assistance from my wonderful husband and Mum) and somehow we got a positive outcome.
E has always had a routine, from the moment she arrived home!
In those very early days it was as simple as she had her nappy changed before she had a bottle, she slept then she played and repeat. She went to bed when we went to bed and came downstairs when we did in the morning.
As she grew, the routine grew with her. Subtle changes here and there but something that has always stuck is bedtime. Yes, we may have missed out on some social events, but we needed to have a structured bedtime so that we could have some adult time in the evening. Simply to do things like eat a hot meal, sit quietly and talk about our day, do a few jobs and watch some telly.
Since E was around about 4 months old, she has always had the same bedtime routine:
> dinner around 5pm
> upstairs for bath time.
> get dry, have cuddles & jama’s on
> story by one of us
> milk by the other one
We have always put her to bed together (and have only missed a handful of nights since she came home) however the last week or so has been getting difficult. She is getting far too excited at story time, constantly looking for the one reading the story, not settling, jumping in her cot – it’s been taking not far off an hour or more to settle her.
So we decided last night that things needed to change. So tonight, we went as follows:
> dinner as per usual
> bath as per usual
> got dried, had cuddles & jama’s
> then we said goodnight to Daddy
> I took her into bed, popped her in her cot & she was asleep within 10 minutes having had milk and a special mummy story (good old made up job).
And so far, so good! She is still sound asleep. There was no tantrum, no tears and no shouting for Yiayia (my Mum – E shouts for her whenever all else fails).
I’d always recommend a routine for anybody who has a baby. Your baby knows where they are, you know where you are and even on the worst days, you know when there will be some quiet time you so desperately need.
Yes there will be times you need to say no to things.
Yes there will be times when your friends think your grumpy cos you’re missing out as you’ve got to get home to put the baby down.
Yes there will be moments when you would quite happily cave.
Routine is hard. Getting a decent sleep routine is harder but bloody hell it is worth it and I can safely say, I shall be doing it all over again with Baby Flash v2.0