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The Baby Whisperer: Establishing a routine

Routine why so many parents today ask for guidance and a routine for their babies

It is a common question asked, Routine or no routine for your baby?  There are many points of view and valid points from each; routine is great for some while detrimental for others. 

Our society and way we live today however has created more of a need for routine I believe, we have busier daily life, we often live alone and some parents returning back to work within the first year, the hardest time and most important time for sleep!

Routines in the past have given 'routine' a bad name for some as they were very strict and it was more of a 'one style fits all' policy which occasionally resulted in poor milk production and low weight gain in the early weeks of a baby's life.

Now that we are more educated when it comes to feeding and sleeping, there are safe routines that can be used, routines that cater for age groups and different babies, that change and adapt as your baby develops.

In working in the problem solving field, I see that routine today (when right for the individual family) is empowering and often gives parents confidence in knowing what to do and how to cope with their babies needs.

The right routine will offer suggestions to parents who have had no contact or involvement with babies before, suggestions with sleeping, feeding and interactive play times in a day.

Without the village or extended family around to help for most of us we are missing passing vital knowledge and education for the parents, the handed down knowledge from our elders or relatives.

Not only does routine give guidance for mothers and fathers, it gives them a chance to cope with being parents alone, often not having enough support from the community or family due to the lifestyles we choose to live in today.

Babies thrive of consistency and simplicity, they can easily be unsettled when every day we are doing something different, we are out and about a lot more than previous generations and over stimulated due to the business of our lives.

Parents who choose to put a routine in place will then be able to know how best to take their babies out, understanding when their baby will be sleeping and when they are awake and happy to be in our stimulating environment.

There are some babies (often known as a Dream babies) who are happy to just nap here and there, that do not get effected as much by too much stimulation and parents too who would find it hard to be living a life that starts off quite structured when introducing a routine to a newborn's life.

There is no right or wrong, just what gives babies and parents the chance to be the healthiest and happiest they can be in a day!

The Baby Whisperer's tips:

When introducing a routine it is important to know that the routine you have chosen is right for you baby, that the suggestions are safe for your individual baby and their development.

- There are routines that are stricter than others and routines that are designed for the 'dream' baby, these you have to be careful with, they may leave you feeling a little like a failure if it doesnt work for you and your baby doesnt sleep and wake at the times suggested.

- The wrong routine can mean that you are expecting too much from your baby, they might be hungrier and wanting milk before the suggested time, resulting in some low weight gain if you are not advised correctly.  Equally a baby that is unsettled can be on a routine where they are suggested to feed too often, resulting in fussy feeding and shorter sleep cycles.

- Look into routines that allow you and your baby a little flexibility and guidance when days are not going to plan, a routine that truly supports you and your baby.

- Talk with a health care or child care professional if you have any questions regarding implementing a routine.

Where to go for further info
Little Miracles Postnatal Care Ltd
Sharlene Poole