Creating a daily routine for infants

Yes, you are right. It is indeed true.

Having a baby is a 24×7 job. The kind that may call you for an emergency naptime accident or midnight hunger pang and you must always answer the call.

However, there is a way out. Not technically a way out actually but just a solution that can help you minimise midnight disturbances and bring some order back into your life.

By creating a daily routine for your kids even when they are just a few months old you can make your life a lot easier.

You can start as early as when they are 2 to 4 months old by noticing the patterns of feeding and sleeping of your baby and trying slowly and gradually to align it with your own.

How can having a daily routine for kids and babies help?

Comfort and familiarity are the primary advantages of establishing a daily routine for your baby. After all, all your baby needs are four simple things – food, love, sleep and play. And if they get that at a fixed time each day, not only do they know when it is all coming but also that it is coming for sure. That can be a source of comfort for them.

That is not all. Even for parents, this schedule can be a source of comfort. It can make it easier for you to devote time to your baby as well as your other children and yourself when you have a fixed routine of what requires your attention when.

The predictability of this pattern has other advantages too. It can make transitioning from your care to that of a sitter much easier for your baby. Since they already have the comfort of familiarity in a routine, babies will find it easier to adjust to this change.

What is the best age to start a routine for babies?

While the first few months can be difficult as babies will have no fixed routine of their own, you can start aiming for a rough schedule when your baby becomes 2 to 4 months old. By this time, they will start showing time-specific preferences for naps and meals, which can be your cue to build a routine upon.

If you find your baby has not developed a predictable pattern at this age you can try and encourage one by sticking to a more or less fixed nap and mealtime routine. Remember to be flexible and ease them into it without trying to force anything.

Here are some tips that can help you establish a schedule.

  1. Create a bedtime routine for your baby
  2. Part of your daily routine time table chart should be a regular nap time ritual for your baby. While it is true that your baby likely will not have a fixed sleep cycle till they turn at least 6 months, you still try creating an early bedtime routine for them which is in sync with their natural sleep patterns.

    To establish this routine, you can indulge in simple activities that let your baby know that it is time for sleep. This includes a warm bath, a change of fresh jammies, a feeding session and maybe a lullaby or a bedtime story as you turn off the lights.

  3. Teach your baby about night and day times
  4. If you want your baby to stick to the daily routine time table chart you have planned for them, try to get them familiar with the concept of night and day so they can understand the difference between them. Before your baby turns 3 to 4 months old, they might not be able to distinguish between the two, thus often behaving nocturnally. However, by establishing a separate night and daytime routine, you can instil in them the difference between different times of day.

  5. Understand your baby’s natural routine
  6. Without you even trying to implement it, your baby may be developing a routine of their own. You need to devote time and patience to understand the routine they are developing and then implement the daily activities for 4 months old kids (and beyond) that you have planned as part of their timetable.

    Keep a logbook of their meals, nap times, play time and more over the course of a month and try to see if there is a preferred pattern. Also, look for changes in the pattern and then adjust the daily activities for your 4-month old accordingly.

  7. Make room for changes in the routine
  8. Babies grow rapidly. Which means there are growth spurts and milestones galore that will come in the way of the routine care of your newborn that you have planned. For example, if your baby learns to crawl, they might want to explore this skill to its potential, which can throw off the schedule you had established for them. Make room for such instances in your schedule. You can still try and keep up the consistency of the routine you have planned but give your baby some time to ease back into it.

  9. Keep evolving the baby routine you have set
  10. As your baby gets older, their meal and nap times will reflect some changes too. For example, a growing baby might need fewer nap times and more playtime. You have to keep modifying your routine to suit their changing needs, even if you feel you have fallen into a set and comfortable pattern.

At the end of it, it is important to not accept a flawless routine for your baby. When you are taking routine care of your newborn, changes and hiccups are inevitable. And it is important to be flexible enough so you do not get deterred by them and can adjust them into the schedule you have planned. However, it is important to be consistent with the baby routine you set.

At EuroKids, we try to instil the kids the value of having a regular routine by teaching them discipline and time management. If you have more questions or would like to know more, drop by at the EuroKids centre that is nearest to you.

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