Importance Of A Routine For Baby
When you first bring your newborn home from the hospital, any semblance of a routine that once existed is far-gone. Your new baby probably sleeps all day and cries all night. So how in the world are you supposed to introduce a routine to this tiny being? And why is a routine so important?
Your newborn baby's needs aren't super complicated—yet. Eat, sleep and love. That’s about it for now, but as she grows so will her needs. Most parents find that building a routine as early as possible helps tremendously in the long run.
Routine vs. Schedule
When you hear the word “routine” you may relate it to a schedule—but don’t think specific timetables when it comes to developing a routine for your little one. A good rule of thumb is that schedules are typically parent-led where routines are led by baby.
For example, a schedule may mean that you plan what exact time your little one will eat, how much she will eat, when she will sleep, for how long, etc. Advocates of schedules often commit down to the minute. While this may work for some families, we suggest learning your baby’s needs and following her cues.
After the first couple of weeks at home, you’ll begin to notice patterns in your little one’s needs. You can build a routine by recognizing these patterns and building on them. Try to feed on-demand (whether by bottle or by breast) and be flexible with your baby’s needs.
The Bedtime Routine
At first it can seem like your baby has everything backwards—spending most of her day sleeping and then waking frequently throughout the night. Be patient with her but also understand that she needs your help learning the difference between day and night.
Within the first month, try to create a bedtime routine for both of you. Find activities to do leading up to bedtime—reading a book, taking a bath, rubbing her with lotion and saying your prayers are a few suggestions. Whatever your routine is, do it in the same order each evening around the same time. Then take your baby into a dark room (preferably her crib in your room for at least the first few months), feed her and lay her down for sleep.
She will still wake up many times through the night at first, but try not to turn on any lights. Then, during the day try to avoid facilitating a nighttime-like environment—dark, quiet, etc. Instead, during the day leave lights on and make noise as you usually would. This will help your little one learn the difference between day and night.
Sticking To The Routine
It can be difficult during growth spurts and fussy periods to stick to your routine, but stay committed. Your routine will change over time, but don’t let it go. Maintaining a routine will actually help your baby work through the stages of development as she finds comfort in knowing what she can expect.
If you have questions or concerns about your little one’s development, we strongly suggest speaking to her pediatrician. Even so, we are here to be of support to you. Please contact us anytime Care@theollieworld.com.