Babies Thrive Off Routine. Here’s Why.
As Mothers, we want to give our babies everything, including a safe environment for them to develop their confidence. Activities to help them develop their fine motor skills and become actively involved in day-to-day life. And a well-balanced, healthy meal at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Developing a routine can be tricky, especially when you're working off zero sleep and haven't had a decent meal yourself for several days. The last thing you feel like doing is upsetting your baby into starting a new routine. But sister, we're telling you that developing a structured routine for your baby in the early days will save you so many tears, battles, and dramas in the future.
Setting babies up with a structured routine will not only give you guidance on how to manage your new role as 'mum.' It will also give your baby the confidence to know what order things happen in the evening and let them know when it's time to start winding down.
There are many ways to incorporate a good routine into your life and a few tools that can help you along the way. Our biggest recommendation is to implement a rock-solid nighttime routine. Of course, the occasional slip in the routine is fine, but giving your baby guidelines on how to settle down and get ready for bed is one of the best things you can do for them. Think about how adults function with little and broken sleep. Infants are no different. Everyone benefits from a whole night of rest, and even though the first few weeks might be tricky, it will be worth it in the long run.
Not sure where to start? We got you!
Keep on reading to find out how you can incorporate a nighttime routine that will benefit everyone involved… eventually.
AN EXAMPLE NIGHT TIME ROUTINE
A proper evening routine creates a sense of comfort and calmness for your babies, preparing them for a long, restful, and deep sleep.
You may start with this simple night routine to develop your babies sleeping habits:
- 4-5 pm wind downtime
- 5 pm dinner
- 5:30 pm bath time
- 6 pm books
- Put to bed between 6:30-7 pm
Of course, every family is different, and the above is just an example. As you develop your routine for your family, try your best to stick to it, and your baby will start to recognise the prompts that it is almost time for sleep.
There are a few things you can introduce to this routine to help comfort your baby and set you up for the best results you could hope for with the tiny human who has turned your world upside down.
Comforters are a perfect option to include in not only your nighttime routine but to use at nap time as well. It is like a baby's best friend who signals them that it is time for bed. Comforters also offer babies a sense of familiarity and can be a fantastic tool for helping babies re-settle during the night instead of crying for Mum and Dad.
Sleep is essential for a happy, healthy, and thriving baby (and mama). So, a good and soft comforter always comes in handy.
Putting on white noise at bedtime allows your baby to associate that noise with sleep. White noise can be various sounds of equal intensities with no stops or pauses that may cause your baby to stir. Popular white noise for babies includes a hairdryer, rain, or the shushing sound.
Reading aloud books to your babies can help them increase their vocabulary, boost their creativity and develop their language skills. Reading books before bedtime is also a great way to settle your baby down and prepare for bed. Reading as opposed to watching television before bed will reduce their stimulation levels and give them the best chance to get off to sleep peacefully.
We heard you. Getting a baby to sleep is not easy and can be a time-consuming process. The last thing you want to do at 1 in the morning is turn on the lights and cause your baby to think that it's time to get up and start their day. Adding a night light to your nursery would give you enough light to be able to re-settle your baby without the disruptive bright lights overhead.
KNOW YOUR BABY'S AWAKE WINDOW, & PLAY BABY, PLAY
Knowing your baby's awake window is one of the most effective ways to implement a positive daily routine for your little one. Knowing how long a baby should be awake at their age will allow you to easily recognise their tired signs and prevent them from becoming overtired and cranky.
It will also let you know when to schedule self-care and meals for yourself throughout the day. Taking care of yourself is essential, mama, so make sure you're refilling your cup whenever you can.
The thing to remember is that every baby is different. We don't want your hair turning grey with the stress and pressure of introducing an entirely new routine all at once. So please take what you think might work with your little one and adapt it to your current routine.
P.S. If you're wondering what a specific bath time routine looks like, we've written another post you can read here.P.P.S Feel free to follow along on Facebook or Instagram for more helpful tips and tricks.