Routine or No Routine?!

We don't really have a routine.. well, we do, but not a proper one. We have the routine of Ethan sleeping through the night and waking around about 7am every morning. Sometimes it'll be earlier and sometimes later, sometimes we go back to sleep and sometimes we don't. He'll also take a bottle around every 3 hours.

So I've been thinking.. Should we have a routine? Should his bottles be on the same time everyday, should I schedule in a nap time? Maybe that's why he gets cranky?.. He seems over-tired but fights sleep, there are just too any distractions.

I will need to start thinking about weaning properly in the months to come.. I brought some baby porridge today so we're going to try that everyday. So should I schedule in a time for that? 

Should Ethan have a bed time in the evening? 

There are just too many questions. And the answer to all of the questions that I'm rhetorically asking, is 'Do what's best for you'.. and I know that. I do. But I feel I need to be slightly more efficient. Getting dressed by 12/1pm isn't really efficient. I need to get more done. 

So, I'm having a 'think'.. and I'm asking you, do you, your partner and baby/s or child/children have a routine? If so, please share what works for you. 

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  1. Archie has had a routine from quite early but mostly as he has a big brother. I have found that once they move onto 3 meals a day that they tend to set their own and Archie now has a short morning nap and a long afternoon one. He goes to bed at 7, but that is something he started doing himself. Do what works for you but once weaning is underway he will probably push for his own litle routine.

  2. I haven't really established a routine as such, I don't really believe in them - or in forcing them anyway! I think the baby will establish a sort of routine that suits them and I'll just follow that.

    Tyne tends to wake up around the same time, has a morning nap, gets hungry around the same times every day so I know to feed him around 9am and 6.30 pm and give a little snack around noon. He usually has a little afternoon nap too. And he settles down to sleep around 10 pm at night.
    That's pretty much as far as our routine goes but if things don't happen in that order I won't stress about it - I go along with whatever happens!

    Sparkles & Stretchmarks - UK Based parenting blog

  3. I agree with Bex that once on three meals a routine will become more apparent. I personally think its a good idea too as it gives the baby structure and prepares them for nursery/childcare too. If you wanted to start making things a little more fixed, why don't you work on an evening routine? Once that's set in place, you can start on parts of the day. Ollie always has his dinner meal at 6.15, a yoghurt for pudding, then goes up for a bath at 6.40. After bath he gets into pjs and we read a book snuggled up before he has his milk. He knows what to expect and it's makes it simple for us. It also means he has a consistent bedtime. Day time routines always need to be a bit more flexible, Ollies morning nap is always 2 hours after he woke, rather than a fixed time, as he can wake at different times. Hope that helps! As you say you need to do what works for you and that's ultimately what matters most xxx

  4. Hi Alex, I don't have any children, but I have lots of friends who do. I am a firm believer that routine is so important in childrens' lives, especially as a large majority of their childhood will be ruled by routine at school. It is so important for you to maintain a balance of time for you and hubby, and time for you both and Ethan. You mentioned in a previous post about realising you hadn't allowed enough time for you to be you, and not just be Ethan's Mummy. It is clear that you both adore your little boy (and quite rightly so), but it is important that you set a routine now and ensure time for you to wind down. My best friend has two little ones, and her son has had a very clear bedtime routine since he was very little. I very rarely heard (or hear) her say she has problems with him going to bed, or going to sleep. I also believe that Mum knows best, so do what you think is right, but if it doesn't work, be prepared to try something else until you find what works for you. Good luck Alex xxx

  5. I think some people are more routiney types and others not so - you have to do what works for you!

    That said both my boys have been in a loose sort of routine as they seem to like to know whats coming and it definitely helps with naps!

    I think when you start weaning especially it would be good to have some sort of plan as it can be quite hard work fitting all the milk and meals if not. My son is 6.5 months and we now do: -

    7am milk
    8sm breakfast
    9am nap
    11am milk
    12pm lunch
    1pm nap
    3pm milk
    4.30 - sometimes has a catnap
    6.30 bath
    7pm milk and bed

    It's not strict at all though if he is hungry or tired i would always react to that first without looking at the clock he just seem to have become a creature of habit :)

  6. William is quite a bit older, but we find a routine helps us a lot. He's whisked to and fro as it is, so some continuity is nice for him. He always wakes and goes to bed around the same time. Give or take half an hour. And we do break routine for special occasions, so we can just have fun and enjoy life and what comes our way. But, having said that, our routine became more solid as William started weaning. :) xx

  7. We find a routine really helps us, and as a result LL sleeps a lot better at nap time than Mads used too, because we stay in a lot more in the afternoons so Mads can sleep. A bed time routine has always helped us but LL doesn't sleep as well as her big sister does. We are definitely more routine led because we have to be because we have her sister to think about, we were more relaxed with Mads. You have to do what works best for you. x

  8. Except for at night time, Oscar doesn't really have a proper routine. I would hate to wake him if he was asleep during the day just so I could feed him 'on time'.

    I have noticed that he tends to like his rusk between 12:30 and 1:00 in the afternoon, but today he didn't seem to want food so I just left him to it and fed him bottles as and when needed.

    As he gets older I will definitely incorporate an afternoon nap, as I found this very helpful when Stacey was a toddler :)

    Louise x

    Confessions of a Secret Shopper

  9. My baby is 10 weeks and the only routine we currently have is bedtime at 9! I think it's really hard in the day when you have things going on plus you never know what time they may wake up to keep an established routine, just go with the flow! Like others have said i'm sure once they are only solids it's a lot easier to get them n a routine! :)

    Louise x

    P.S I have been following your blog for months and have finally plucked up the courage to start my own! it's in the very early stages but would love for you to take a look if you have time. You like me have had a big baby boy! many thanks!


  10. Hi, I've just discovered your fabulous blog and will follow you on Bloglovin'. My little boy is turning 1 this weekend (I can't believe it and am totally excited and emotional all at the same time). I'm not a routine kind of person and so, like you, we didn't really have much of a routine to begin with. But like some of your other readers have said, it will probably happen naturally. I'd say probably for the last 4 or 5 months we've had a routine, albeit, it's not rigid and we don't do things at precisely the same time every day, but its in the general ballpark. You said it yourself, do what's best for you. I just wanted to comment to help reinstate your faith that you are doing the right thing. If you are starting to feel the need for a routine, then my advice would be to introduce one bit by bit, but don't force it, and remain flexible. Maybe start with a regular bedtime, then as he moves onto solids you'll find you soon have regular breakfast, lunch and dinner times and then voila, you have a routine. Good luck!

  11. We have a 'routine' but not a strict routine..its just one that we've kind of fell into. Rio will normally go to sleep about 8.30 (sometimes later if he's done one of his 3 hour naps) and will get up about 8.30.. (sometimes earlier if daddies a noisy bum going to work).