From the early newborn stages, right up to having two children under 2 – I have always believed that a good routine is key to not getting too overwhelmed when having children. Throughout this article, I will talk you through the importance of routine and how we went about achieving it.
From the first midwife visit after returning home from the hospital after giving birth to Amelia (you can read about my pregnancy and birth story here), I was always being asked about Amelia’s routine – how often she fed and how often we changed her too. This led to me writing it all down. Brain fog is a huge thing with a newborn, I could barely remember what I did a few minutes ago, let alone when my baby was last fed!
After I first started writing everything down, it then became a habit – to track everything our baby was doing. Feeding, changing, napping – everything.
Months passed and we let Amelia stay with her grandparents for a night – they asked to know her routine and because we’d written it down, we could easily pass the information on to them!
Why is Routine Important, Though?
Knowing when your little one is due their next feed or how long they might nap for, not only means that you know roughly how much time you may have to do housework or shower etc – but you’ll also be able to see regular patterns in their routine too. This means you can also keep track of anything that may become irregular in their “usual” routine. Maybe your little one is coming down with a cold or is showing signs of teething – you’ll soon see this being reflected in their routine, by them not napping for long, not feeding as much or generally being fussier than usual.
Keeping a Routine With a Second Child
When Lilly came along (you can read about my pregnancy and birth story with Lilly here) 13 months after Amelia, it wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. Lilly was very much the opposite in personalities to Amelia – and she still is. Lilly was a much fussier baby and had a completely different newborn/baby routine too.
We very much knew that Amelia would have her routine, and Lilly’s routine would be different, for at least a year or so – we weren’t too concerned with getting their routines the same from the get-go. Eventually, Lilly did settle into a similar routine to Amelia, which was great!
Keeping a routine with a second child meant writing everything down again. We wrote down Lilly’s routine, to learn what she wanted and when – despite the girls being born 13 months apart, having a newborn felt very new and scary again! When we were settled and in a good place with Lilly’s routine, Amelia was actually becoming more independent with feeding and didn’t need changing as much – so that was a big help, but we still wrote Amelia’s routine down – mainly for the days we’d barely slept, haha.
What’s your routine?
In the earlier days (around 6months+) the girls’ routines were roughly as follows:
- 6 – 7am: Wake up
- 7am: Bottle
- 9 – 10am: 1/2 Jar food
- 10-11 am: Nap, around 2 hours
Bottle after a nap, the amount depended on how long they slept for
- 2:30 – 3pm: “Danger” nap (a nap that may lead to them not settling well for bedtime
- 4 – 5pm: 1/2 Jar food
- 6 – 7pm: Bath, bottle, bed
Now the girls are 3 and 4, their routine has been the same for at least a year or so now and it’s something like this:
- 6 – 7 am: Wake up
- By 8 am: Breakfast
- 12 pm: Amelia – nursery
- 12:30pm: Lilly – Lunch
- 3pm: Amelia – pick up from nursery
- 5 pm: Dinner
- 6pm: Bath, teeth & jammies on
- 6:30pm: Lilly – Bed
We then help Amelia read her nursery reading book before she goes to bed around 7pm – sometimes we let her stay up a little later though.
Soon enough, Lilly will be in the exact routine as Amelia as she starts nursery again in January. I think we will always have some sort of routine – if not for the girls, but to keep us sane! That being said, with daily activities such as nursery/school and mealtimes, we all have a routine anyway, don’t we? We’ve just implemented ours from an early age for the girls – or more like tailored our routine to work around theirs!