Strict Routine or No Routine?

June 20, 2010 4:22pm CST
Some people think that from the moment they are born, babies need a strict routine whilst others simply go along with their baby without any routine at all. Some people are somewhere in the middle. Did you have a set routine with your baby? Did it last? Do you still have a routine if your children are older? What happens if you break the routine? I had a very relaxed routine with my baby when she was first born. I actually tried various routines before settling into one at night time which suited both of us and enabled my daughter to sleep through the night at 7 weeks old. As for day routine the only real thing I kept routine was feeding though even then if it was a little early or late I didnt think it mattered and my daughter certainly did not mind. My daughter is now 2 1/2 and does have certain routines such as bedtime routine though mainly we take each day as it comes. If my daughter is tired in the afternoon which she regularly is then she will have a sleep though this does not effect days out where she may not get a nap. Also breakfast lunch and dinner are around the same sort of times though not always as I think if you keep to an exact time with food then it makes it difficult to go to resturants etc. I know of one person who kept such strict routines that she even turned down going out for a coffee because her daughter had her planned sleep at that time and such like. I couldnt live like that and I feel too strict a routine is not good for mother, father or baby.
3 responses
@oldchem1 (8144)
21 Jun 10
Well I had a routine but not so strict that I couldn't go for coffee!! From the age of about 6 weeks I used to put my children upstairs to bed at around 6.00pm, going up to feed and change them rather than bringing them back downstairs. My children all had a regular bedtime, with the routine of wash, teeth, story and sleep!! I must say that I have had no problem with all five of mine with going to bed, but what irks me is that my eldest daughter (who should have known better!!) allowed her children rather too much freedom as to bedtimes and now she has four kids who she CAN'T get to bed!! I only have a fourteen year old at home now but we still have our set meal times (his cricket permitting at times) and he pops off to his room if he is in around 7.30 on his X Box and is generally asleep by 9-30.
21 Jun 10
I think that bedtime routines are certainly the most important ones to establish. My sister has problems with her two year old as he doesnt have any routine and often doesnt end up falling asleep until very late.
@ktroth (378)
• United States
25 Jun 10
We always had bedtime routines for our kids starting when they were babies. One of my brothers and his wife didn't and their kids were up as late as the parents were every night! They never had any alone time and even let the kids sleep in their bed a lot. They are now divorced. So I really believe in a bedtime routine. However, a daytime routine shouldn't be as strict. Of course little ones need their naptime, but to miss it every now and then should be fine. I never turned down a playdate or social time with friends because my kids absolutely could not miss their naps. Kids ned to learn flexibility too.
@aguas_aj (501)
• Philippines
21 Jun 10
Well, right from the day he was born, I did not set any routines. but as he grows up, we started to have routines that is mostly fitted for what he wants and needs.For example, it is usual in the morning that he'll play freely, and if interested I'll teach him several things, like body parts and numbers, but all depends to his likes. You really can't force a too young child to have a routine. and at noon,he'll eat lunch and then take a bath and hopefully have a nap.. and so on and so forth, but I dont give time schedule as to what is to be done on certain time. It's just the normal activities he would do.. Maybe at the age of 3 and above you can have more strict or identified activities for the child but. Again, I believe that there are lessons we can't teach them. They have to find it on their own exploration, given they have the time and supervision