‘Is he in a routine yet?’
The question I was CONSTANTLY FUCKING ASKED.
‘You should get him into a routine, you know.’
Obviously if you want your baby in a routine then cool, you do you sista, but lots of mums, me included, are more freewheeling.
The way I see it is, I’m not hungry and tired at set intervals, so why on earth do we expect tiny babies to be?
As with most aspects of parenting, there seems to be such a strong societal fixation on routines. Why? I get that from a convenience perspective, they work.
But is our convenience more important than letting a small baby get to grips with this confusing and scary new world on their own terms? Is it not worth maybe living in slight (ok, major…) chaos for a short few months to allow your small baby to grow, learn and gently adapt, thus gradually falling into a routine that can easily be tweaked here and there?
I had it sooooo many times from loved ones. I was told I was doing my son a ‘disservice’ by not putting him down at specific times, not feeding him at specific times (I fed on demand and pace fed, even though we formula fed for medical reasons, it just felt more natural to me), not bathing him at certain times or even every day (eczema doesn’t agree with daily bathing…)
It honestly made my head want to explode.
Yeah, it made going out and doing stuff more difficult in those early months, as I couldn’t always predict his needs – I was a first time mum and learning – but with time, not actually that much time, Max settled into a familiar pattern gradually, a nice routine, all of his own accord, and at around the same time we transitioned him into his own room at 8 months it became very consistent. We had the odd wonky night, but generally the whole thing felt really natural and not forced at all.
Now aged 15 months, he sleeps pretty solidly 7:30pm – 7:30am, with a morning nap and an afternoon nap (which he has started to phase out of his own accord).
All babies are different, absolutely true, and your baby may not do the same, hence why I understand that some parents prefer to set a routine; however, it isn’t for everyone so it can be extremely annoying to be bombarded by strangers, relatives, and friends non-stop!
Routines; they’re not essential, especially for newborns. Please don’t make new parents feel that it is something they MUST establish.
What do YOU feel about routines? Not your cup of tea, or right up your street? Tell us why in the comments!
Love from Katie. Xx
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