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AIBU not to have a schedule for my precious offspring?

(31 Posts)
Madmum24 Sun 03-Mar-13 15:29:25

Was just reading the pfb thread about SIL wanting to serve lunch 30 mins later than childrens usual time. I am rather shocked that many people have an exact time for meals/snacks, and deviations within those leave children flummoxed and parents "feeling guilty".

In our house we have a rhythm to the day, but no routine as such "we wake at 7am, have breakfast at 7.15am, lunch at 1pm, dinner at 5 and a snack at x, y and z".

My babies fed on demand and ate lunch when we ate, if anyone is hungry between meals they just get a snack there is no way I could manage to go for a few hours between meals and they all manage fine.

I am feeling now as if I am depriving my darlings of some ritualistic pleasures in life, so AIBU? Anyone else out there who does not live by the clock and the pfb's still survived?

Tailtwister Sun 03-Mar-13 15:33:11

YANBU. The only routine we have is to eat our main meals approx 3 times daily with snacks in between. The only thing I'm strict about in bath/bedtime, but I do need my child free evenings or I'd go mad!

AThingInYourLife Sun 03-Mar-13 15:36:35


Do what suits you.

I tend to wake and feel hungry at the same times every day.

It's not that weird.

You aren't brilliant because you don't.

Hopeforever Sun 03-Mar-13 15:39:46

Think it can depend on your personality. When I was SAHM I fed the kids as and when, bedtime varied etc (preschool kids)
DH was a SAHD for 4 years and had a routine that suited home and this kids fitted in. He was happy to be flexible about Sunday lunch especially if someone else cooked it.

lyrasdaemo Sun 03-Mar-13 15:39:50

No routine here either, feed on demand 5 month old dd, work when she sleeps, we always have visitors and work people around so hard to stick to a schedule. So long as we we all get some sleep:-D

ChocolateCoins Sun 03-Mar-13 15:40:39

YANBU. I eat when I'm hungry and so does DD. Although we do have dinner at the same ish time on weekdays because of DP being hungry when he comes in from work.

sarahtigh Sun 03-Mar-13 15:45:47

we do generally eat at same times but 30 minutes either way would not affect anything, though DD does want breakfast as soon as she wakes she would not wait till 9am on a sunday morning but she would wait 20 minutes

at nursery they get lunch at 12 at home 12.30 -1pm, so she gets snack about 3 and dinner depending on whether i am working sometimes as early as 5.30 but mostly 6-6.30 she generally goes to bed around 7pm give or take 15 mins either way

I can understand if you normally have lunch at 12 that 2pm is too late and you would be hungry but i really do not see how even a small child could not wait till 12.15 and slightly older ones to 12.30-1pm if necessary

gordyslovesheep Sun 03-Mar-13 15:46:59

yanbu to do what suits you may be being a bit u judging others for doing what suits them

MajaBiene Sun 03-Mar-13 15:51:56

I have a routine because my life is pretty routine - we all tend to get up, go to bed, go to work/nursery/activities, eat meals etc at the same time each day. If DS had nursery at 8am some days and 11am others, DP worked odd hours then we'd probably have less of a routine.

30 minutes either way makes no difference with meal and sleep times though.

freddiefrog Sun 03-Mar-13 15:54:55

We have a routine, but don't rigidly stick to it.

Lunch is normally 12:30, but if we were invited out for lunch at 1pm, then we'd just go with the flow and bung the kids a couple of biscuits if they were starving. Bed time is set in stone during the week, but we're more flexible weekends and school holidays, etc

We have some friends with a 2 year old who stick to their routine rigidly, with no flexibility. They came to stay with us for a week last summer and it was so limiting - we couldn't go out until after their DC had had his morning nap and lunch, then we couldn't go out for a mooch to the beach and an icecream or something in the evenings as DC had to be in bed by 6:30pm

My kids, especially DD2, like routine, but it's not set-in-stone-never-to-be-deviated-from

MyDarlingClementine Sun 03-Mar-13 15:56:54

i think routine is good - but it must be flexible on occasion, routine i thought was so help make things run smoothly, and make life easier - but if life starts to get in the way and causes stress because there is no room for flexiblilty then it becomes more of a noose and a pain to my mind.

Id love to have some more routine!

FredFredGeorge Sun 03-Mar-13 16:00:26

I thought the idea of "routines" was purely to pretend to have them so you have a ready made excuse to do the things you don't want to do when your friends ask?

FarBetterNow Sun 03-Mar-13 16:03:31

Food routines can be good for some, especially if behaviour deteriorates due to low blood sugars - not just DCs either!

MyDarlingClementine Sun 03-Mar-13 16:04:59

Fred grin

good idea!

forevergreek Sun 03-Mar-13 16:08:38

We have a rough routine but no fixed times. Ie lunch then nap. But is lunch is at 11.30 or 1.30 or anything inbetween it doesn't really matter, but they would be getting tired by the latter

enormouse Sun 03-Mar-13 16:14:21

We have a vague sort of routine. Breakfast is between 8 and 9. Lunch between 12 and 2 and dinner at 5.30ish with snacks slotting in between those meals and a nap after lunch if DS wants to. Bedtime at 7.30 but like a previous poster said that's cos I need my child free time! I keep it fairly flexible as my DS isn't one for very strict organisation. It's more so his dad (head in the clouds type)remembers to feed DS!

applepieinthesky Sun 03-Mar-13 16:14:28

YANBU. I don't understand all this "we can't go out at x o'clock because little Timmy has a nap then". It's good to have routine but I think it's important to be flexible with it as well.

HandMini Sun 03-Mar-13 16:15:49

I have a toddler and a baby, and I find that between three meal times, several nap times and many breastfeeds, a routine or schedule of types just develops and its nice to go with that.

Yes, the toddler might nap in the buggy rather than cot because you're out, or a Greggs pasty sandwich out because you're starving for lunch an our earlier than normal...that's the difference between Gina Ford and real life. But I think it's nice to offer children some continuity.

TheChaoGoesMu Sun 03-Mar-13 16:16:59

I don't have a daytime routine, but I wouldn't judge others that do.

BartletForTeamGB Sun 03-Mar-13 16:17:15

I like Gina Ford and I like having a routine, but as mydarlingclementine says, the routine is there to serve me and my family, not be our master. Having a routine makes things easier overall so we can change things when we need or want to.

vamosbebe Sun 03-Mar-13 16:22:43

DS is 15months and we have bugger all routine... he wakes up/goes to sleep about the same time every day but that's been set by him, not enforced. Mealtimes are roughly the sameish time every day by chance, but then we might think 'bugger it's 7.30 he needs feeding before sleep!'
I'm a sahm and DH works trom home, so we're quite flexible.
Are we ruining him for life?

DontmindifIdo Sun 03-Mar-13 16:23:35

Because DS wakes at roughly the same time every day even on the non-nursery days, he has breakfast at roughly the same time (give or take 20 minutes) every day. Because of that, he really needs his lunch at within an hour every day, unless I fill him up with snacks (which I try to avoid), when he then won't eat lunch anyway. Dinner is roughly the same time (again, within about an hour window), so I've got time to get it done before bed.

Nursery have very strict times for meals (I guess if you've got to get hot good food served to that many children, you have to have set times), and I know a lot of friends who had completely flexible timed DCs found once they went back to work, that stopped as nurseries and CMers often do set times, and once you introduce a routine, it's very hard to shift on weekends to flexiblity without meltdowns (unless you have really, really flexible DCs, but that's nothing to do with your parenting IME, more the luck of the draw, rather like sleeping).

CheungFun Sun 03-Mar-13 16:29:57

I can sort of understand the other DS goes crazy if he doesn't have breakfast as soon as he wakes up and he is usually ravenous by 11.30 for lunch and 4.30 for dinner. Morning and afternoon snacks are anytime though as are naps.

AThingInYourLife Sun 03-Mar-13 16:31:06

"DS is 15months and we have bugger all routine... he wakes up/goes to sleep about the same time every day but that's been set by him, not enforced. Mealtimes are roughly the sameish time every day by chance,"

Doing stuff at around the same time every day = routine

Occasionally changing the times because of circumstances = varying the routine

People like to make out that they're some kind of mad free spirits because they don't have a routine, despite clearly having a definite pattern to their daily, weekly, and yearly life.

If you sometimes get up at 7am and sometimes sleep until 4pm, if you eat your lunch at 10am on some days and 5pm on others, if you never do the same thing two days running, if you never plan to eat but just see what food is available when hunger pangs hit, if you just do whatever you feel like at the moment you feel like it, you have no routine.

You're also probably a 19 year old student in the 90s.

If your life follows a predictable pattern, you have a routine.

mummybare Sun 03-Mar-13 16:35:44

YABU to imply that anyone with a routine is 'precious'. We have one because DD thrives on it. So there.

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