There is no feeling more beautiful than that of when you have your baby. After nine months of love and care, you finally get to hold your bundle of joy in your hands only to realize that you might love this baby even more now. The only thing you want to do is ensure that they are comfortable and peaceful, and you can surely do that with a healthy routine with your baby.
While you must take a few weeks as a mandatory time to rest up, the moment this finishes, it is advised to immediately work towards building a healthy routine along with the advice of your doctor for your baby and you.
Some of the reasons why building a healthy routine matter are:
1) To ensure that you are functioning at the best of your abilities.
2) To, get a good amount of sleep and moderate exercise so you can be in sync with your baby.
3) According to retuers.com, research conducted with over 8500 children studies showed that children with routines and rituals were linked to a 47% increase in the odds that they would have higher social-emotional health (SEH), which in the long run indicates great social and emotional skills. And what could be a better time to get into the practice of a healthy routine than now?
For a baby, all they know is that they need to get their mother's attention when they feel sleepy, hungry, have a poopy diaper, or are in pain. While pain is something no one can anticipate, you can predict and be ready for your baby when it comes to other factors such as hunger and sleep. But the only way to do so is to get into a healthy routine with your baby.
How long after delivery can I get into a routine?
Since every baby is different, there is no fixed time after which you can get into a routine. Your doctor would be the best person to answer this since they have one on one contact with your baby and can therefore give better advice.
However, on average, getting into a healthy routine with your baby can take place anywhere after two to six months, depending on your child’s comfort and doctor’s permission. But in about 2-3 months, you will be able to predict and have a good understanding of how your baby’s eating and sleeping patterns are.
Through this information, you can begin preparing mentally and jotting down plans of a basic schedule that could be implemented. Then it is just a matter of time after which you can begin implementing the plan of a healthy routine fully. Remember, while it takes a minimum of 2 months for a baby to get ready to get into a schedule, what takes additional time is planning.
Figuring out logistics, timings, and fixing a proper plan takes time. Once your baby arrives, you will not even realize when time flies and before you know it two months will have gone by. So, ensure your plan of action is ready in advance and that it is a doctor-approved baby routine.
When my baby is ready, how do I get into a routine?
Just like how we take time to adjust and eventually get into a healthy routine, similarly with babies it takes trial and error to fully understand what kind of a routine works.
It will take several tries to get it right, but once you do, it will result in both you and your baby being in sync along with ensuring that you also get your share of sleep and time which is crucial for you to be at your best for your baby. By using these simple steps you can help build a great routine for your child:
Plan A? Have a Plan B too.
There are no fixed formulas of healthy routines that you can choose from a catalog and go about for your baby. You need to take time to sit and think through how well both you and your baby can fulfill a routine and start implementing it. It is crucial to have not one, but at least two backup plans of routine ideas so you do not get overwhelmed if it does not work right away.
Observe and note
While this might seem like a very college type of tip, but it is very helpful to keep notes on your baby’s behavioral patterns. Making notes on what times they feel sleepy and hungry can help a great deal when you go about trying to create a routine that both you and your child can follow.
You can do this by getting a notebook only for notes on the baby routine which can further be bookmarked into how you divide your baby’s day. Once you have made notes for about a week, try practicing your routine predictions on how your baby might react. This will help you understand how your baby’s thinking works.
Day times taught right.
For babies, the whole construct of time does not exist. They simply want a full belly and great sleep, and this is most certainly is the cutest thing to witness.
One of the ways to begin healthy routines is to help them understand the difference between times of the day. Usually, a baby's day is divided into four times. Morning, Naptime, Bedtime, and Midnight.
Using certain activities as stimuli can help your baby slowly distinguish between these times. An example could be changing their baby clothes.
Choosing to do this the moment they wake, and just before they sleep, will be a sign for your baby to associate this activity with a certain time of day. There are several such activities you can indulge in just like in this picture.
You can create pointers just like this and stick them in places where you will come across them several times a day. This will help you keep track or perhaps even add more pointers that come to mind. You will also need to rely on visual and object stimulations too to help them understand this further.
Ensuring the place is lit up and noisy should be the stimulus to show that it is daytime. While a dimmed room with absolute silence could be used as a stimulus for explaining how nights work.
Prepare for change.
You will feel great when you finally find a perfectly healthy routine that fits both you and your baby’s needs and as you implement it, you will feel extremely accomplished. But sorry to burst your bubble, things change, and they change soon. A baby goes through so many changes in his or her first year that keeping up sometimes can be tough.
In fact, in the first month itself, most newborns gain weight at the rate of about 1 ounce per day! They also go through periods of rapid growth when they are 10 days old and again when they hit 3 to 6 weeks old. As months pass by, your baby will be up a lot more and will want playtime.
Further on, they may want to eat more or indulge in other activities and with their growing size, you might even have to shop for baby clothes again. Mentally preparing yourself and anticipating such changes will help you stay prepared so you can keep on adapting.
Patience for perfection.
Despite doing your best you may suddenly find your baby wanting to nap a little more than usual which might disrupt the entire routine. Do not lose hope. Once a routine is established, even if there is a situation like this, you and your baby will be able to bounce back to normal in a couple of days.
It is important to ensure you do not push your child to not sleep or wait a little longer for any other activity from your routine just because the routine is broken. By doing this you might risk your baby falling ill as they are very sensitive.
What you need to know, is that such instances will happen, but with time the amount will reduce. It will eventually reach a point where you and your baby are completely in sync and you will get the perfection you are looking for.
Babys are a lot cleverer than we give them credit for. Teaching them healthy routines from early on helps give them a sense of security and stability. It is through this that they will have their first memories of how the world looks like and how day-to-day activities work.
Through this, they will start taking little actions from their end to be a part of all daily happenings. Just like how a mom starts predicting her baby's actions, your baby will start predicting actions and reactions of the environment solely based on what you have taught them through routines.
It is through routines that you give your baby a chance to work on their developmental skills such as self-confidence, curiosity, patience, social skills, communication, and a lot more.
While you start planning a great routine for your baby, ensure that you have all the basics! Especially the baby clothes! Check it out here.
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