A lot of people cringe at the thought of a routine. What? Do I need to be on a schedule even as a stay at home mom? Do I need to do everything at a fixed time? Is there no space for spontaneity? What if there is a change in the day?
In this post I’ll show you why routine matters.
Why routine matters?
I think most of the people see routines as something set in stone; that is so rigid that can’t be bent, but I believe that a good routine is number one thing that helped me stay sane with young children. It helps you to manage your time better so you can meet everyone’s need including your own.
By establishing a healthy routine children can sleep better, be well fed, will be more willing to learn more and will be less prone to meltdowns.
Children love structure; it avoids them becoming overwhelmed and will make them more secure if knowing what is going on in different parts of the day.
I find with my little one that if I rush him, he is more prone to throwing a tantrum. When we have a good system in place I will give him a warning “Five minutes left for screen time, then food is ready.” This way he knows what to expect because he has 20 min of tv every day before lunch and it doesn’t come to him a surprise when I turn it off.
A good routine gives directions and focus. Your child in time will develop self-discipline and will eliminate power battles.
Why is rhythm helpful?
A helpful rhythm is wake up, eat, be active and sleep. Depending on the age of your child this may repeat during the day as needed. When they get older, they might not need the sleep during the day and can stay active for longer, however, is important when creating a schedule to include quiet, resting time too, even if it might not be an actual sleep.
Children eat best when they wake up. With their tummy full they can enjoy the day and play. After a period they get tired, they can have a main meal followed by resting, and the cycle starts again.
By getting into a rhythm, you set your child’s body clock for eating and sleeping, and you create a consistency for play and social time.
The routine is for your child
When my first was born, I knew that I don’t want to put my life on hold and decided that he will need to adjust based on my schedule. If I needed to run a chore I thought to myself, well he can sleep in the pram, or in the car, he enjoys it anyway.
Oh boy oh boy…How wrong I was.
I then shortly realised that my little bundle of joy was becoming a grizzly bear.
He would not go to sleep unless in the car seat or pram, or rocked, or bounced and even so he would sleep at most 25 minutes, wake up, be hungry, scream, scream, scream and in 10 minutes fall back asleep.
That period, I must say, it was rough.
The moment I started implementing structure to our day’s everything changed
He was sleeping good (1:30-2h nap)
Staying awake, tummy time, looking around.
I realised that if I plan his naps and avoid going out in those times, I would have a well-rested, well-fed baby that can stay awake without screaming.
Same applies with toddlers and with children of any age.
When you have kids you shouldn’t put your life on hold by any means but working around your child’s body clock and assuring that he sleeps, eats and is active at appropriate times will make all the difference in the long run.
One more thing!