We have always had a strict routine, for everything including feeding and bedtime as I had 2 boys 17 months apart, and we all needed structure in our lives to survive! For us, it has paid huge dividends as the boys are now starting school and are used to following a routine and respond to expectations well (for the most part!). The boys have always gone to bed at 6pm, the eldest now goes at 6.45pm after an early dinner and bathing. On weekends, they know if they have a day sleep, they can stay up til 7.30 so they can watch Funniest Home Videos or an early movie. I have found over the years that if we set a routine, they will respond. it works for us, but I understand it is not for everyone
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24-03-2012 11:33 #31Senior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2012
- Sydney NSW
24-03-2012 11:48 #32
I tried the whole baby-led thing from the start, presisted with it for much longer than I should have really as it just was not the thing for me or her.
She is now nearly two and we have a very predictable routine. It is so much easier for both of us, she sleeps better and is happier as a result, and I am better rested and able to get things done as I know what is going to happen in the day.
Our routine didn't come from a book, it was made by me and her together, I figured out what worked best for her and then replicated it and changed bits gradually so it worked for me too. She now goes to bed at 8pm, sleeps till about 7-8am, she wakes sometimes at night wanting a drink of water which I am happy to give. She naps at 12 each day, and eats at the same times. We have a bedtime routine, I put her in bed and leave the room, she doesn't cry to sleep and never has.
We have another on the way due late this year and I will be doing more routine things from the start to try to achieve better sleep as early as I can.
I parent very much with attachment in mind, I just happen to think there is no set formula to achieve a well-adjusted child
24-03-2012 12:00 #33
I have always demand fed, but a bit more strict with sleep routines. Not for small babies, but once they are down to one nap, I do not compromise and I organise my day around this. My children sleep better and longer in their bed as opposed to a pram or the car. I like having time to do washing, clean, pay bills online etc. when my son is asleep.
Some of my friends think I'm a bit silly, but if I'm out and my child is tired, I will leave. My son would be grumpy for the rest of the day if he only slept for an hour in the pram or car, and it's not fair on him. I do occasionally break the routine, but not often. I'm a bit more relaxed about bedtime, but I do do dinner, bath, story, milk routine every night. Bedtime is not the same time every night, but it generally is about 6:30/7 for my son and 7/7:30 for my daughter. I'm not going to force my children to go to bed at a set time every day just because if they're not tired, but my children still wake at the same time anyway, so to me, it's better for them to get as much sleep as possible.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner varies. It depends on when they're hungry.
Last edited by BigRedV; 24-03-2012 at 20:51.
24-03-2012 19:07 #34
Thank you all so much for the replies. Very interesting to hear all the different POVs and variations and how different things work for different families
24-03-2012 19:36 #35
I am child led by a child who thrives on routine I couldn't care less either way, but DS was always far happier with things happening at set times. He's like a little clock, bless his heart. If he skips a nap or goes to bed late, or dinner's not on the table at 6pm sharp, or it's 9am and we haven't left the house yet, I start hearing about it. We even wake him in the morning if he sleeps much longer than 7.30, as that is when he's usually eating breakfast and he has a meltdown if he's slept in and gets it later as he's starving.
I get the tiniest peeved when "go with the flow" parents assume that "routine" parenting= "parent imposed routine"
24-03-2012 21:37 #36
We have a routine here but its more based on a pattern of events rather than timing. So if we have a late night due to a family function or a party - then its obvious that we are all up late the next day but a shorter afternoon nap is had so that bedtime can happen roughly at the regular time. Evenings are dinner/yoghurt/milk/bath/booby/bed but can happen between 5-7 or 9-11pm depending on what the day/activities have been.
This though was only applicable after DD went to 2 sleeps a day at 6/7mths. Till then it was baby-led in regards to feeding/sleeping.
I am not a big fan of minute/minute routines as we did try it and I only found that I kept missing out on family dinners and catch ups cos it was her food/bed time. But I respect that families will do what suits them best.
In my own life, I just sometimes wish that parents with strict routines would occasionally bend theirs so that playdates can happen without my DD being the kid that gets stuffed around every time. Our mothers group withered down as we could only meet when one bub was in their 'awake' time but the rest of ours were due for naps. There was no give and take with that parent and that made it hard for the rest of us. I ended up not going for a few months just cos I was over every week my kid being the exhausted one cause she would not amend her day. Then I was the one dealing with an overtired kid all the time.
Now i check with parents - if they or their kids are on strict routines I tend to avoid them - or socialise with them less cos my experience dealing with such families has not been good.
24-03-2012 22:12 #37
I am a 24/7, go with the flow parent, it's hard! But I remind myself it won't last and it kind of makes it easier... I continually get comments from strangers on how well behaved my girls are, how adaptable and intelligent... I think it's because we're so relaxed, we love exploring their personalities..
Lucy Alys (July '06)
Minnie Audrey (July '09)
Pippi Violet (oct '11)
25-03-2012 09:58 #38
25-03-2012 14:02 #39
I just did whatever.
When she was a newborn, I just fed her when she wanted it. When she moved onto bottles, I started to figure out her own natural routine that she'd set for herself, so I could start to tell how many bottles a day she'd have, how much milk per bottle, and when she'd want them. So I scheduled naps and bottles, and it worked out fine, because I'd just taken note of her own schedule and worked with it.
Now she's 6 and in school. I set the routine. Life dictates that it can't really be any other way - school tells her when she can eat. The hours she's home tells her when she can eat. I tell her when she must go to bed because school's starting time dictates what time we must get up... and thus she kind of needs it all figured out for her.
Of course, I don't say, "you must eat afternoon tea at 3pm!" or whatever... if she's hungry when she gets home, I'll give her something... if not, then meh... but yeah, it's pretty much just a set routine now because it has to be.
25-03-2012 14:13 #40
My parenting was baby-led, then toddler-led with some influence and gidance, then we worked off each other fairly equally, now it is parent-led, but with a child focus.
In saying that, she is a routine type person. Through the day she had no real naps, 10 minutes of shut-eye a few times a day was the most she would do, but she liked bath and meals to be at set times and went to bed/woke for the day at set times. I'm a co-sleeper so night wake ups would not have bothered me and I still did the mifnight nappy change in bed so a feed would not have mattered if she woke up. She simply didn't. That is her personality though. Not something I have done, and in fact it was a major adjustment for me because I am not a routine person.
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