Baby’s schedule and basic daily routine
Setting an everyday routine is great for both the parents and the baby. But it’s great to make your own schedule. Babies can easily get used to the routine you set them on and your everyday life will become much easier. It is also very comforting for the child and keeps you sane in the first two years when you don’t really know how to deal with everything with the newborn.
But this schedule is not like the military schedule at all. Don’t mix them up. You can’t rely on the fact that the baby will wake up every day at 07:00 or fall asleep every night at 20:00. It all depends on the other routines during the day, like a vicious cycle. There are times of the day when the baby will be hungry, will be sleepy for a nap. But it is important to keep up to a certain pattern or sequence of activities. For example: wake up, eat, play, eat, nap, eat, play, bath, eat, sleep, or whatever your baby and you feel most comfortable doing. When you keep up to the pattern that is best for both of you, now that is a baby schedule.
Consider baby’s age
Babies at different age have different needs. If your baby is 2 weeks only, there is no way you get him used to a schedule. But is it good to start doing this at the age of 3 months so that the baby will start getting used to pattern, even though it will not be able to keep up, but it will be ready to emerge at the age of 9 months.
Know baby’s needs
Some children find it very hard to get used to a schedule and some have no problem at all. And yet, there are some in between, that can get used to some things, but can’t to others. Prolonging the time for feeding in order to keep up the schedule you have in mind will only make the baby starve. Starving the baby will lead to exhaustion and stress for him, and before you know it, there can’t be any schedule at all. It will make things even worse. That is why we need to always have in mind the needs of the baby first, and then, according to those needs, try to come up with some sort of pattern, if the baby is even accepting any kind of pattern.
Don’t keep the baby up for two long – until the baby is 6 months old, it will need to fall sleep almost every 2 hours. Watch the baby’s reactions and follow their lead, when they need to sleep, they better sleep, or they’ll be cranky when awake and not wanting to do anything, not even eat or play, which prolongs everything.
Don’t go opposite of their natural rhythm – babies can’t fall asleep if they’re hungry. It is natural for them to be fed and then fall asleep. You must keep up to this rhythm.Don’t make big differences in change of the pattern – a big change in the pattern will only make a cranky child. The routine is messed up, the baby is stressed and irritable and you can’t do anything to help it.
Just when you think that you have set the ideal pattern and the baby is completely used to it, it changes. Yes, it changes. When growing up, babies have different needs. They sleep for at least 12 hours at night in the first few months and take at least 3 naps, but as they grow, they need fewer naps during the day and fewer hours of sleep in the night. There is no need to make big changes in the routine, just consider the difference in their behavior. Again, their needs are the most important. So, as they grow, they’ll need less time for naps, but more time for play. So, plenty of fun times ahead.
Don’t overreact and stress
There is no chance in the world to set up an ideal schedule and keep up with it. A lot of parents have tried it, but no one succeeds. Just when you think you have it all together, something changes. It is normal. The baby grows and develops. Don’t stress about it. You knew your world will evolve around the baby even before you had it. It is tiring, but in the end, all we do is for their sake. So, if you feel you’re going insane over the changing schedule, talk to the pediatrician. It is normal to look for help and it is best for you and the baby. The pediatrician will come up with the best solution for both of you.