I’m not talking about having a routine for myself, it’s the last bit of irresponsibility I have. Well, my wife might not agree with me on that one. I’m talking about developing a routine for my son. These tips on developing an infant’s routine revolve around one of the most essential human needs, sleep.
Decide on a bedtime
That was one of the early topics my wife and I talked about regarding our son. I will warn you, for the first 3-6 months, your baby will not have a regular sleep schedule. But after that, start taking notice in his sleeping patterns, which will help you develop a routine.
To start, choose a bedtime, the time we agreed on was 9 p.m. This allowed my wife to have adequate quality time with our son after work. Plus, it enabled him to sleep later into the morning, allowing me to prepare for the day.
Once you choose a bedtime that works for your family, start “training” your child for that time. In the beginning, we recognized that around 7 p.m. he fell asleep. So over time, we did things to move that 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Find activities to prepare for bedtime.
A few ideas could be bath time, make playtime a little longer, or rock him in the chair. It doesn’t matter what you do, just make sure it revolves around preparing him for sleep. When your baby gets older, you will need these tools to get him to wind down and relax.
Right now our routine is a bath, change into pajamas, and rock him in the living room chair. Most of the lights are off and the T.V. volume turned down with a non-child program to prevent any visual stimulation. At 8:50 my wife takes our son to his bedroom. There she snuggles him while he drinks a bottle and then lays him in his crib. There are times he will fuss or cry, but within 5 minutes he is asleep.
When to start your day
In the morning, make a note of when your baby wakes. For my son, it’s any time between 7:45 and 8:30 a.m. I try to let him stay in his crib until 8:30. Sometimes he goes back to sleep and other times he entertains himself. To maintain consistency, I try to make 8:30 the start of the day.
Once he’s awake, and it’s 8:30, I have a set routine when I enter his room. The reasoning is that I try to create consistency. It provides the child with a sense of security and stability. Which allows them to feel safe and secure in their environment.
I greet him with a cheerful “good morning” while turning off his night light and white noise machine. After I pick him up out of his crib, I change his diaper and ask him if he’s ready to start the day. Then I give him 6 oz. of 50/50 water and juice and let him crawl around while I prepare breakfast. We eat at 9:00 a.m.
Between breakfast and lunch
From 9:30 to 11:45, I live in what I call the “15 minute day”. It’s any activity you choose, but you only have about 15 minutes until they get bored. I feed him lunch and put him down for his nap around 12:30.
If I am lucky, he sleeps until 2:30. And if I am really lucky until 3:00 or 3:30. During his nap time is when I do the quiet chores around the house. I organize, dust, fold laundry, read, draw, or write. I save the louder chores like dishes, washing laundry, or vacuuming after he awakes.
The day is not done yet
My wife gets home after 4, and I know that she wants to spend as much time as possible with our son. So I prep the food and get everything ready for dinner. You might ask why I don’t cook dinner. Well, my wife is the better cook, and she enjoys making a healthy homemade dinner for her family.
The one thing I always keep in mind is that my wife would rather spend her time with us than be at work. So I do whatever I can to make her happy when she gets home. It’s not being whipped (or whatever negative description you give it), it’s about respect and being part of a team. Team “raising a gentleman”.
I hope this blog provided you with some useful information. If you enjoyed this article, please sign up to receive my newsletter. Thank you. And remember, if you shoot for the stars and come up short you’ll still land in the clouds. But if you shoot for the clouds and come up short, you’ll land in the dirt.