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Routines for a baby?

Looking after a baby was harder than working on a multi-million pound project.



After the birth of my first baby, I bumbled along having no idea how I was going to look after a baby and do everything I needed to do around the house.  My husband came home from work most evenings to find me an exhausted wreck.

Looking after a baby was harder than working on a multi-million pound project. We decided to try adding a little structure into the day for my son and I. We started by reading a few books and decided to try our own version of the Gina Ford approach.

Before children, I had never had to account for every minute of my day so we felt that a really rigid routine wouldn't work for us. So, we started every day at the same time -regardless of how the night had been - and every day ended at the same time, and in the same way. Slowly I had time to myself during the day as we sorted out a feeding and sleeping pattern - this also meant the basic household chores could be done. We had time every day to get some fresh air and to meet up with my new NCT buddies for a coffee and cake once a week, it was bliss.

I know a routine scares some people - but most of us follow a routine every day without realising it. Our alarm clock goes off at the same time every day, so we can catch the same train to work.  We work the same number of hours each week, so even if things change - there is usually a semblance of a routine in our working day - so why should things change when you have a baby? I am a firm believer that having some structure and consistency in your day is a good thing, and will help you and baby thrive.

When a baby is born they have no idea about day and night, so it's up to you to teach them to make this distinction. It is recommended that you introduce them to daily habits initially, such as exposing them to sunlight during the day and keeping their room dark at night.  Once the baby is a few weeks old, Dr Karp suggests that  it is time to lay a foundation so that over time, your baby will associate these cues with sleep, these cues may be bath time, milk and then being put to bed in a dimmed room.

At a few months, you will know when your baby wants to feed, nap times will be established so you can start to plan what to do with the rest of your day. Maybe a walk in the park, shopping or even an afternoon snooze!

Routines are important as they give structure to the day for you and your baby. Creating your own daily routine is up to you but to help there is material online or you can employ a maternity nurse who will work with you to establish a routine that works for everyone.

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