I’ve been wanting to do a “current schedule” type of post for a while, but between the disruptions of the holidays and a quickly growing baby, it feels like we haven’t been on stable ground in some time as far as our routine is concerned! And to be perfectly honest, it’s all on the verge of changing again. Check this out:
Right now we’re “practicing” solids, if you will, and it’s a little earlier than I intended to start, but I felt like she might be ready, so I prayed about it and thought it over, and we’re starting slowly… but that’s a whole other post (that may or may not get written).
I write out our routine and post it on the fridge, because it helps me. And I also play semantics by calling it a “routine” in my head instead of a “schedule” because that helps me let go when needed. I can’t speak for everyone, but I would venture to say that us Babywisers, we’re rule followers. We like checklists and calendars and some of us might even adore spreadsheets. I would also say that we don’t need to be reminded that a “consistent routine is best” because most of us already believe in the virtues of routine. I would venture to say that more than that, we need to be reminded that the point of parenting is not to maintain a perfect schedule. I know I have to remind myself every now and then. All that being said, here’s our
This routine (which we started after Christmas) has been working rather well for us! We’ll definitely keep it until she grows out of it. As you can see, Cora still eats quite a bit. And actually, she’s eating more frequently than she was a month or so ago (a big reason we’re starting to test the waters with cereal).
6:30am is our goal wake up time. It’s early, but that’s because next week I go back to work. I wanted us both to be prepared. If she wakes up earlier than that, we adjust (you can see the previous link if you’re interested in more info on that). After she eats, I usually have her do independent playtime in her play gym. This first cycle of the day, she usually only stays up about an hour before she’s ready to sleep again, and this is also usually the best nap of the day. It’s almost like a little “encore” to the night.
The activities listed on the routine are more suggestions than anything. They are all things I like to hit during the day, but I wrote them out mainly for those times that I stop in my tracks and go, “Welp… now what should we do?” (Funny story — Song Time started recently after one of my friends mentioned doing it with her daughter. We had a good laugh that as a music teacher, I had never thought to do that as one of Cora’s daily activities!)
Except for the late afternoon/early evening, Cora usually stays up only about an hour and a half before getting tired for a nap again. Sometimes when I push her past that, I regret it because she gets too fussy and has a hard time going to sleep.
After her 6:00pm-ish feeding, Cora has some extended playtime. By then, she’s ready to stay up and play for a while. It’s also nice because that means my husband gets some good, quality time with her after work. We “tank up” a bit in the evening, because I feed her just two hours later at 8:00pm, right before she goes down to sleep. When she stays up longer, she’s definitely ready to eat sooner, and I think it also helps her wind down before bedtime. After that, she usually stays asleep and I wake her around 11:00pm or so for a last feeding before I go to sleep. Most nights she sleeps about 5 hours in a row after that, but we’ve seen some longer times since we started this routine.
She still needs four naps a day, but I think that’s because we start so early. If we started closer to 7:30 or 8:00am, I would guess that she wouldn’t need a fourth nap. I guess the difference is that if she wakes at 5:30am or so, we usually just start the day, but if our wake-up time was closer to 8:00am, I’d put her back to bed and not consider it a “nap.” Semantics again, I suppose.
Anyway, I know I get a kick out of looking at different routines for Baby on other blogs, so hope you got a kick out of it, too! In a few days, check out “A Day in the Life: In Action”, and you’ll be able to see how it all plays out… or doesn’t.