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The key element to starting a routine. Schedule tips to get your baby on a great routine.
Whether you are starting a routine with your child at one day old or one year old, there is one key element you must put into place if you want to see success. This element is no respecter of age, circumstance, weather, experience…nothing. No one is exempt if you really want to see success and the benefits of a routine.
You must dedicate some time to establish the routine.
You must dedicate this time with little to no disruptions from what the routine will be. No nap skipping. No late nights. No vacations. You don’t even want to disrupt your little one for a trip to the grocery store.
Be dedicated to the routine. If you want a routine to stick, stick to the routine.
Does that make you pause? Hesitate? Are you second guessing your desire to have a good sleeper with some sort of predictability in her day?
Don’t panic. I said some time. I didn’t say forever and ever until the end of days. So how long is some time? Ideally you will give two weeks with little to no disruptions. If two weeks is absolutely impossible, you must do at least one. You cannot logically expect a child to get established in a routine if there is never real time given to developing that habit. Your child cannot be predictable if your child can’t even predict what is coming next. The only way to get here is through consistency.
Tips for Establishing a Great Routine
Here are some ideas to help you have success in your two weeks of dedication to establishing a routine (this post contains affiliate links):
- Let friends and family know. Be upfront and let them know you will be staying home for the next two weeks so you can help your little one get on the path to good sleep.
- Host at your house. If you can’t stand the thought of missing things, host events at your house so your baby can still have consistency at home.
- Choose a good window. It probably isn’t best to plan your two week window over Christmas or during a family reunion. Choose a two week window that you can be most successful in.
- Prepare things beforehand. Get as many errands done before your two week window as you can so you can avoid emergency trips to the store. If you have to run errands during the two week window, try to get a babysitter, have your spouse do the trip, or do something like grocery pickup so your trip can be as fast as possible. Services like online shopping (hello Amazon Prime!) can be your best friend during this time period.
- Be patient. This time period will not last forever. In baby time, two weeks can seem like forever, but it is a relatively short time period, and fully worth the time it is taking. You will be able to have a life once your routine is set. If you want to be able to have flexibility, you need to have a starting spot for your child to go back to.
This consistency might sound tedious, but it is a relatively simple step to ensuring your baby or child can get well-established into a routine. You cannot create a routine without setting one up. This is your practice session. That would be like expecting someone to play a piano song memorized just because you mentioned to them the title of the song. You must practice and get that routine in place if you want your baby to follow it.
The ladies of the BFBN are all discussing routines today. Check them out:
- ROUTINES (or how to start off the day on the right side of the bed)
- Bedtime Routines- the 4 core parts you need for success
- Benefits and Types of Routines – And How You Can Use Routines Without Using Schedules
For similar schedule posts on this topic, see:
- Starting Babywise Late Guide
- “Flexible-izing” a Baby
- Managing the Entire Family’s Schedules
- Meeting Needs of Each Child
- Let Your Schedule Serve You, You Don’t Serve Your Schedule
- If You Want a Routine to Stick, Stick to the Routine
- How to Have a Routine for Your Baby and Still Have a Life
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