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Routine difficulty anyone?

(4 Posts)
Becciilouisex3 Sun 01-Jan-17 20:50:59

Routine - the word is driving me slightly totally insane at the moment!

DS1 is 11 weeks today and has a solid bedtime/wake-up routine and is starting to have a more predictable feeding routine, but that's about it!

I keep hearing from mom's I know about how their baby's have set nap times through the day, set trips planned to get baby into nap time routines and they basically have their whole day down to a tee with their routine.

DS has naps but basically whenever he wants! No particular times, no predictability, if we go out for a walk it's never planned and he tends to go to sleep with the pram motion. So I was just wondering how many of you have a solid day routine and am I stressing too much about him napping at certain times already? Should I be attempting to get him into set nap times? (Or have fun trying at least) grin

ElphabaTheGreen Sun 01-Jan-17 21:06:46

'Routine' is a load of bullshit and the road to parental guilt from day one.

I think we've all been conditioned to believe that the 'best' mothers are the ones who 'get their babies into a routine' from early on and it is a damaging, awful misconception that really needs to die a permanent and lasting death.

Babies do not understand clocks. They do not understand time. They barely have a concept of day and night. Ergo they do not and cannot 'thrive on routine' as many parenting books would dupe you into believing. The babies that follow the routines laid out in the top-selling parenting guides would naturally follow those patterns anyway - it's nothing their parents (usually mothers) did or did not do.

The only thing your baby understands is you. You being close and responding to their cues, not clocks or schedules or routines, and supporting them to get to sleep and stay asleep, even if that means sleeping on you for all naps. At 11 weeks the only 'routine' thing worth knowing about is that maximum awake time is about one hour - if you don't get your baby to sleep after this time, once they start showing sleepy cues of eye rubbing, yawning, glazed eyes, you'll have a screaming mess on your hands and it will affect other naps and night sleep. But that's all.

The easiest way to think about how to manage a newborn and a baby is 'what would a cavewoman have done'? because our babies are no further along now in terms of human development,and millennia of prehistoric baby-management is what they are programmed to thrive on, not this concept of 'routine' which is only a century or so old at best. Babies were carried constantly in carriers by nomadic people so carried, held and rocked to sleep for all naps and would have naturally followed the awake length of time described above because of this. They were breastfed on demand as screaming to 'stretch out time between feeds' would have brought down predators. They slept on or with their mothers, or other lactating care giver, at night for the same reason.

Follow your instincts and your baby's cues, not a clock.

Becciilouisex3 Sun 01-Jan-17 22:05:13

Thank you Elphaba!

To be honest I've been avoiding pressuring myself with the whole "routine" thing since day one when people were already going on about it after labour!

He's having no difficult without a set nap routine and it's happy, smiling and developing, sleeping and feeding well.

I think it's a combination of being a first time mother and not completely trusting myself yet & the constant seeing of those who, on the outside, seem like perfect mothers with it all worked out!

Thank you for reassuring me that I needn't stress myself about this!! flowers

MiniMaxi Sun 01-Jan-17 22:24:00

Just a word of support to say we are in the same boat! Our son is only a couple of weeks older than your LO so I can't give any advice really, but do what makes you and your baby happy! If you've not read the Baby Whisperer book, it's worth a look - she advocates a 3 hour feed/wake/sleep cycle which works pretty well and means you can plan your day a bit if you want to.

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