Daily Dish: Routine

20:10

Routine. 

The new word in my household. Probably the most important word I've ever uttered!

When I fell pregnant, it was the one thing that was always mentioned. My Nan and my Mum always reminded me that consistency allows your bubba to feel content and comfortable. They know what's coming next and what to expect each day! Not only that but personally, it satisfies my OCD tendencies along with allowing me to keep some sort of order. I feel like I’ve started a new life with Theo, but if I know what to expect, it means that I have time to myself too. Or can at least fit some in!

I always tried to imagine what would it would be like with no routine. Most of us get up for work every day around the same time, get ready, shower, eat breakfast. But once the weekend comes, we may have a lay-in. I don’t know about you, but sometimes if I sleep too late I end up feeling a lot worse for it. We, as adults, need routine!

So it’s pretty much the same for your baby. Imagine one day they're asleep at 10am, then woke up at 20 past, clothes removed, bath time. Then the next day it's 9 at night and they're being thrown in for a swim. They’ve just been brought into the world; that would be super confusing to us, never mind them!

From 2 weeks old I started to incorporate a routine for Theo. I tried to make the difference between day and night as apparent as I could and, although I was breast feeding, tried to keep his feeding times the same (or at least allow the same time gap between them). I chose not to demand feed him; I just made sure that I invested a good 45 minutes to an hour at every feed! It can be quite easy to let them nibble here and there, which can also teach them to comfort feed. Obviously, for your sake, it's something you want to avoid! Theo gained weight amazingly, and never cried. He was, and is, a happy and content little chap!

Our day time feeds are all about bonding and communication, whereas our time at night is quiet and dark. Theo always wakes for a feed then has play time and this is because I have tried to disassociate bottle with sleep. I want to make sure that he uses minimal props to soothe himself, so that if he wakes during the night, he knows how to drift back off to the land of nod!

I’ve bathed him every night from 10 days old, he has his final bottle (before the dream feed at 11pm) and then goes to bed. To make sure he is getting enough sleep, I have slowly moved his bath and bedtime forward every few weeks, and shortened nap times during the day.

At 13 weeks old, my son sleeps through the night. And when I say sleeps through, not midnight until 5am (although he used to sleep 11-5 at 7 weeks old! Good ey?) He sleeps from 8pm on the dot, until 7/7:30! And so you can see why my choice of parenting is, and always will be, all about routine. 

Each person has their own individual way of raising their child and, in my eyes, there is no right or wrong. Some choose to parent through attachment, some through demand, but for me I would like for my son to be as independent as possible. Along with being happy and healthy, of course!

It’s all about sharing what works for you, because if I can help in one way or another my writing becomes purposeful. And if others choose to share, I may be able to incorporate something new that makes Theo’s life easier.

It’s about making sure that we support each other as mothers because it’s a full time job (and a hard one at that). It isn’t about whose baby started talking first, walking first, sitting up etc! No one needs competition when it comes to your most precious!

But to get back to it - my choice of parenting is and always will be, around routine. 

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