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LITTLE WAYS TO GET YOUR BABY INTO A ROUTINE

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If you have or are struggling to get your baby into a routine or just want to make life with a new born a little easier, then you have come to the right place. Why don't you go and stick the kettle on, stay a while because I am going to share all my secrets in how I got my daughter into a routine at six weeks old.

 
After what seemed like forever we were finally holding our daughter and immediately fell in love, we were so happy that we had become a family of three. Those first few days as new parents was so overwhelming. The emotions that you go through in those early days are tough, feeling sheer exhaustion one minute to feeling total elation the next. Our daughter came into the world and turned our life upside down and right side up again, we didn't mind of course, but this little person will depend on us. I do feel as a first time parent it can take some time to adjust to your new life, but I think one thing that many new parents forget is that your baby is probably experiencing the same feelings as you. But I can assure you that this does eventually change, all the adjustments you make soon become normality.
 
But in the midst of normality there is one thing that I am afraid for some, doesn't become easier. And that's sleep. Some of us will be lucky and get a great little sleeper who sleeps through before they can walk, whilst others get an night owl who is awake for the best part of two years! I'm afraid it does happen. Now if you are one of those parents who have a little night owl, I feel for you, I really do. But I am also very sorry to say, not in a smug way, but my little one started to sleep through at six weeks old. But I'm not here to tell you that we were fortunate enough to have her sleeping through straight away. It was hard graft, that's for sure. I can wholeheartedly say that both my husband and I worked so hard with our daughter and believe that establishing a routine as soon as you can helped her sleep through.
 
Being the good person I am I want to share all my secrets with you. I have written a complete guide for you to use in order to establish a routine with your little one, and one that actually works. So if you want to sleep again, then please read on...
 
Why should you get your baby into a routine?

Before I share all my secrets with you, there's one thing that we should all consider. Why should you get your baby into a routine? Apart from the most obvious - to get sleep. There are actually so many benefits in getting your baby into a routine as soon as possible. Let's just sit here and think what we are like when an alarm doesn't go off, if you're like me, you will feel completely off sync all day. I know that if my alarm doesn't go off, I feel cheated by that blasted alarm. It's not my fault that I am late to a meeting, or an appointment or to a very important coffee date with a friend. By getting your baby into a routine as soon as you are able to will give your baby a sense of security and even give your baby some comfort. When you've established the routine they know what to expect.

 
It will also come in handy when it comes to leaving your precious bundle of joy with your family or friends, they are able to help soothe the baby with the help of the established routine. They will know the difference from night and day and providing the don't get too excited before bedtime will sleep through the night and be refreshed through the day.  Even when it comes to traveling or holidays try and keep the routine in place, as some babies are unable to cope with different places and different people outside the comfort of their own home. With my daughter, she wouldn't take to travel cots or different rooms too well. But I do have to say that with the help of the routine she began to feel at ease when we were away, unless separation anxiety rears it's ugly head, but that's a whole different post.
  
When should you start introducing your routine?

Like with most things, time is all you need. The early days of parenthood can be tough and you are just getting to know on another. You are trying to figure out what works best for you and trying to establish a routine on day two will just create an extra pressure that no new parent needs. It will not work. The early days is a time to figure out what it's like to be a parent, being in complete awe of them and trying to catch up on sleep. Sleep deprivation is awful.  For us we started to think about a routine in between 3 and 6 weeks old, anytime before that could be too much for the both of you.
 
What you need to do next!
 
Teaching your little one the difference between night and day...
 
With this one you can try and start this straight away. When your baby wakes up change their clothes. keep their feeds and nappy changes lively and fun. During the night, try and make all nappy changes and feeds quiet, feed with just a nightlight and give no eye contact WHATSOEVER, even though it will be hard to not want to stare at those beautiful blue eyes. Resist the temptation, you will understand why soon enough. It would also be an idea to purchase some black out curtains so when it comes to their night time, no light comes through. I do have to say that this is one purchase for my new born that wasn't a waste.
 
Introduce a bedtime routine...
 
A good bedtime routine is the perfect end to the day for both you and your new born. We all know how it feels to wind down, have a hot bubble bath, a cup of tea and read a book. So it will be the perfect end to the day for your baby. You could start introducing this in between 3 to 6 weeks old. This is the routine that we live by today and it's never failed us, yet. Try introducing a bed time routine by using the four B's

Understanding your baby’s cues...

This something that comes with time. So try and watch out for certain behaviours that will help you understand your baby and when they are tired, hungry or wet before they become too upset. At first it was so hard to understand my daughter's different cries, but it did get easier. You could also set cues for your daily activities s your baby can learn and understand what to expect. So, for instance, putting a bib or muslin on will show then that it's now mealtime. As I mentioned earlier behaviours such a dimming the lighting in the room, or getting your baby in their pyjamas will let them know that it's bedtime and soon enough it will come naturally.
 
Growth spurts changes the routine...

I hate growth spurts with a passion just when I thought I was actually getting somewhere with a routine, dare I say, nailing it she would have a bloody growth spurt and we would have to start again. But this is not the case for every baby you may be lucky parents and if you're are consistent and you may slip back into the routine with growth spurts. With my daughter during her growth spurts we would always try several changes but to stay within the margins that we set out in her routine.
 
Your baby will not always understand what you want them to do...
 
Remember they do not know what you want them to do but they will sense your mood straight away. So if you are becoming stressed your baby will too. So take a breath, relax and take a minute. Each baby is different and it won't always run smoothly and there will be a few bumps along the way...but I think it makes it fun, right? Okay not so fun when you don't sleep but the extra cuddles and kisses at night will make up for it. You will soon miss them when they are a little older! I know I do. 

So there you have it everyone, my complete guide in getting your baby into a routine. It's going to be hard work, lots of late nights and you will have no form of social life for some time, but soon enough your baby will sink into a routine that fits both you, your baby and your lifestyle.
13 comments on "LITTLE WAYS TO GET YOUR BABY INTO A ROUTINE"
  1. I love your mantra! I was all for a routine from 6 weeks. Very similar to what you suggest. I wanted my daughter to self settle very early on so she could just do it and we did it! Just took some patience and routine!! Great post and so glad it worked for you. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst and see you soon!!

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    1. It was hard for the first few weeks, but it paid off, which is great for the husband and I. I just think its quite important to try and introduce a routine early on just so they don't get into habits. Thank you for your comments and see you next week! :) x

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  2. It's always interesting to read about how other parents deal with routines. I remember being a lot more focused on it with our first - Little Miss A - than I have been this time around with Master J. Fortunately he seems to know pretty well when it's night-time, although he appears to be a morning person and it's impossible to ignore his smiles and giggles at 5am, no matter how tired I am!

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    1. I can never resist Mimi smiles in the morning despite being grumpy when I first wake. As soon as I see those blue eyes and cheeky smiles - the grumps just go. Thank you for you comments x

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  3. Good advice. A routine is so important for baby's develop and for mum and dad's sanity too! #bestandworst
    Debbie

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    1. Oh my days...so much so. I have seen some of my friends still struggle to get their routines mastered. It can be difficult to begin with but I found if you keep at it - the little ones soon realise. My Mimi is like clockwork now. She knows when its nap time and bedtime. I just hope the growth spurts and clock changes don't mess us around too much! :) Thank you for you comments x

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  4. I´m checking out all the sleep routine posts I can now that number two is on the way. I had a hellish time with my first who had his clocks the wrong way around and suffered from growing pains even as a small baby that kept him crying all night. I´m hoping baby number two will be easier and I know now that the routine needs to start as soon as possible rather than once they´re not sleeping well. Great post! #bestandworst
    www.rockingmummysworld.wordpress.com

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    1. When baby #2 comes along you will be an expert especially if you read lots and lots on sleep routines. Even though those first few week are pretty much hell - it will all be worth it when they sleep through. I know each baby is different but you can help them in the right direction! Thank you for your comments and good luck with baby #2! :)

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  5. We had some amazing advice from the midwives at the hospital when the twins were born and, as a result, they were in a good routine from 4 days old! I don't think it's a coincidence that they've been amazing sleepers and are really good boys — I think the routine has really helped — probably because we all know where we're at!! Thanks so much for linking up with us on #TwinklyTuesday

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    1. Four days old...WOW...how great are your babies. I would have loved to have got them into a routine at that age. I take my hat off to you lovely. Routines are just so important for both babies and parents! Thank you for your comments and thank you for hosting!!! :) x

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  6. This a really great, detailed post! we established a routine with our daughter literally since birth and most (like bedtime) we still implement now nearly 2 1/2 yrs on! Its been one of the most important things we have done since having a baby and I don't know how we would have survived without our routines! :)

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    1. The only thing I wished I had done was introduced a routine earlier. Maybe those first few weeks wouldn't have been too hard on us. I do think that its so important to mastered as soon as for a happier baby and a happier, well rested parents. Thank you for your comments x

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