Routines for Babies - Yay or Nay?

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Routines for Babies - Yay or Nay?

Post  Hushy on Tue May 19, 2009 6:26 pm

As the title asks, are you a believer of routines for babies? If so, how soon should a routine be in place? What type of routine worked for you?

Do you think babies are too young to be expected to 'slot in' with the family and that their needs come first for the first while? If so, how long would you happily remain without a routine?

Do you think routines need to be strict or relaxed? Is there ever a happy medium? Do you think some people take it too far?

Would you ever follow a book for *routine* advice? If so, would you want to be sure the author was a parent, before following their ideas? Wouldn't it matter if they had kids or not? Or do you think no parenting can ever be done from a book?

WYO?

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Re: Routines for Babies - Yay or Nay?

Post  Henri on Tue May 19, 2009 10:55 pm

Nay nay nay. Personally I hate routines. I have a body which refuses to get into a routine no matter how long I've been doing the same thing. I am just not a routine-y person.
If baby naturally falls into a routine of course I'll follow her natural routine, but I would never try to force her into one. I think routines are responsible for a lot of mis-communication between parents and babies. I'm all about just letting her tell me when she's hungry or sleepy or whatever.

I read something by Tracey Hogg because I'd heard she had a very 'relaxed' routine, and even she was a bit much for me. The words 'Gina Ford' are enough to bring me out in a cold sweat.
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Re: Routines for Babies - Yay or Nay?

Post  Jeliwobble on Wed May 20, 2009 4:54 am

Definitely more a Tracey Hogg acolyte here.

I believe in routine as far as it goes. Babies fit with what you do most regularly. I'm a pretty regular girl (LMFAO!) so my babies have tended to just fit in. I have to say bfing the last twice was SO much easier than the expressing/making up formula. Though, when Imogen was born, formula cartons were a relatively new, very expensive thing. So much easier just to whap the boobie out wherever we were, whenever baby needed it, rather than hoik huge bags of made up bottles round with me. When they were very small, I could go out with a normal handbag with a vest, sposie and small packet of wipes in it!

I think so long as you don't go too far out of what you do regularly, there's no reason that baby shouldn't just slot right in.

The one thing I did instigate as 'routine' was bath time. I read a piece of research when Imogen was small that fathers that bathed their children generally had less stress related diseases as well as better relationships with their children than fathers that didn't. So my babies have always had bath time with daddy every night from when they were very, very wee. There are few, very few, nights when he doesn't bath them. Even just recently when he's been getting later and later, I've shifted bath time on half an hour, so if he doesn't get here for the start of it, he usually manages to get here for the end.

Other than that, routine is just what we do on a daily basis. Most of the time G goes down for a nap at 12:30 but most weekends that doesn't happen. By Monday, he knows that he goes down for a nap after lunch, regardless, and if he's missed one on the weekend, like he did this weekend, he's usually more than happy to! Sometimes he takes an hour, sometimes two, depends what he needs. There's no 'routine' bar the actual act of putting him down for the nap!

When Imogen was small, we just took her along with us like she was some kind of accessory...that sounds awful but I meant it as that we didn't change what we did much! Other than the first six months where I was tied to the house and my electric pump other than the time I was at work, anyway! It's a bit different with more than one, though. Suddenly, it becomes much more about what THEY want and need, rather than what WE want and need!

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Re: Routines for Babies - Yay or Nay?

Post  sarabone on Wed May 20, 2009 2:25 pm

I really really like the idea of having a routine for my baby but me and my husband never had one before and after 3 months it's still quite hard to get into one. Part of the problem is that i still haven't been able to adjust my sleeping patterns to normal hours. My husband works nights and i find it hard to get to sleep without him so i always used to just wait up for him to get in. Since Kitty was born i've tried to adjust my sleeping patterns and just go to bed at the same time every day but it hasn't happened yet. Add into that the very irregular nature of university lectures and exams and it's just all a bit mad round here still. I'm hoping that after my last exam on Friday Ill be able to get into a slightly more regular routine but it could take a really long time. The one thing i have noticed though, since Kitty has started sleeping through most of the night she goes to sleep at the same time every day and wakes up around the same points through the night and in the morning irrespective of what we're doing. So maybe she'll get me into a routine.

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Re: Routines for Babies - Yay or Nay?

Post  Zog on Thu May 21, 2009 1:36 pm

I think when babies are tiny it's best to let them find their own routine. Especially with feeding I think you need to feed them when they are hungry and not according to the clock. A lot of damage has been done by the idea that babies "should" be able to go x number of hours between feeds, because it has led to mothers believing wrongly that they are not making enough milk or their milk is not satisfying their baby because he is hungry again after "only" an hour.

There are gentle things you can do to teach a baby to recognise the difference between day and night, and to encourage him to sleep more in the night and less in the day, but I wouldn't want to impose a rigid routine on a small baby because all babies are different. You have to wait and find out if your baby needs a lot of sleep in the day or not.

When a child is older you can have more of a routine, for example a regular bedtime and a routine of bath, story etc before bed, and mealtimes at more or less the same time, but I wouldn't want anything more rigid than that.
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Re: Routines for Babies - Yay or Nay?

Post  EeeGee on Fri May 22, 2009 9:24 pm

Yes. I 100% believe in them. But I also believe that they should find them themselves and not be stuck to TOO rigidly otherwise any deviation can be a problem.
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Re: Routines for Babies - Yay or Nay?

Post  beadyeye on Sun May 24, 2009 9:35 pm

My babies have always seemed to have settled into a nice wee routine that suited them, I would have like one that suited me.
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