Why Bother With A Routine?

Having a routine for children doesn’t just benefit them, but the whole family. There are many people without children who just can’t understand the reason for a routine, some also have children. ‘We won’t bother’ some people have said, or even asked why we bother. I live in the hope that their children will help them realise, why. Although I hear of them, I’m yet to meet a parent who is against routines, but that’s clearly what works for them. For the rest of us parents, routine is something that we structure our day around.

Some believe routines are ridiculous and interrupts too much of your daily life, ‘it’s much easier to go with the flow’. Having children in general disrupts your life it’s what you sign up for. There’s nothing like being in a shop when your toddler declares ”he needs a poo IT’S COMING OUT”. Unfortunately routine can’t odds that.

Having a routine as a guideline helps you gage when your children will become hungry or when they’ll need a nap, this also helps know when is a good time to put them to bed in the evening. I enjoy the comfort of knowing, come 7pm, the kids are in bed and I will be diving in to a bag of Maltesers while watching I’m a Celebrity, (all providing the little buggers actually go to sleep).

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You can predict that around lunchtime, any whingeing will be down to hunger and early afternoon will be because they’re tired, if you have a toddler. Babies work on a regular hourly routine, from experience, they thrive in this. Eat, sleep, rave, repeat. Here’s are examples of a babys’ routine and a toddlers’ routine. These routines weren’t set in stone, we still had outings and on occasions we threw caution to the wind and just went with the flow. But having routines gave us, and still does give us, all a much needed structure to the day, a guideline of when lunch and dinner needs to be prepared, planning car journeys or days out so the children can get in a nap. Hell hath no fury, like an overtired child.

That said, being able to predict your toddlers routine and knowing what they need, when they need it, means when you do go shopping and your toddler decides to have a meltdown, once someone says ”he must be tired”, you’ll know, and you’ll confidently reply ”no, he’s just being an asshole”. Because you wouldn’t have gone shopping if it coincided with nap or meal times.

Although children don’t clockwatch and think ”ah, it’s half past 12, lunch shortly”, they understand and recognise cues to what is happening. Such as dinner leads to tidy up time, stories, bathtime, milk and then bed. Unless one is ill or teething, this routine helps them predict what’s to come and be at peace with it, instead of just being put to bed at any time, causing tears and tantrums, from all involved. I strongly believe this gives them a sense of security.

Routines need to be adapted regularly in their first year because of their growing and changing needs, having a routine established early on helps you alter it slightly as each month passes. When our daughter had been sleeping through from very early on, I completely messed it up by adjusting her routine so drastically and suddenly at 4 months. I won’t admit it was my fault to Mr Firstooth, since she’s never slept well since, but if I had eased her into a little more awake time day by day, our nights now could be much different to our nightly stomp to and from her room.

There are so many different types of routine to follow as a guideline, but generally you will get to know your child and you’ll end up forming your own routine that works well for your family. We did follow routines from books and online, some worked, some didn’t. Once you are in a routine, it’s like gold (especially naptime).

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34 Comments

  1. chloelifeunexpected
    November 22, 2015 / 10:44 am

    I so agree with this. Routines are so worth it. They know the cues and you really can tell the difference between them being hungry or tired and them being an ‘asshole’ haha. Evie’s routine has been thrown in the last couple of weeks because I’ve been working more sporadically and we’ve been on holiday. I’ve noticed a massive difference in her behaviour. She’s so awful at the moment and I think it is lack of attention and confusion about routine. Luckily this week things are going to go back to normal, so hopefully she’ll calm down. xx #sundaystars

    • LizzieG
      November 22, 2015 / 11:18 am

      Oh poor Evie (and poor you) messed up routines and big changes has such a huge affect on their mood, I definitely feel you there! I hope you had a lovely holiday anyway, it’s a 3 day rule with mine, once things are back to normal after 3 days, then so is their behaviour (which isn’t always perfect)! Xx

  2. November 22, 2015 / 1:49 pm

    I personally am not a massive fan of routines until they start weaning. I breastfed both of mine and just found when they’re hungry, they’re hungry. I know a few people that have taken the Gina Ford approach and they just seemed stressed out as their baby ‘shouldn’t’ be hungry or tired, but sometimes they just are. When they’re having their three meals a day around 6 months, I found it easier to implement #KCACOLS

    • LizzieG
      November 22, 2015 / 2:27 pm

      Yes definitely sometimes on demand works well, especially when breastfeeding. I think Gina ford is very ott and too regimented in her routines – didn’t work for us

  3. November 22, 2015 / 2:02 pm

    I’m a big believer in routines, sometimes a bit too much. My brother has twins and follows the theory that they will eat or sleep when they need to. Guess who gets more sleep at night?

    • LizzieG
      November 22, 2015 / 2:30 pm

      I’m hoping you do?!

  4. November 22, 2015 / 5:17 pm

    I absolutely agree. Routine’s are vital, especially around bed time. As my son has gotten older I don’t have to worry about naps anymore and we don’t stick to such rigid times for meals but we still find the lead up to bedtime to be a really important routine.

    During the first few months I suffered from PND and I found routines even helped me, as well as my son. I even blogged about it too!

    Thanks for sharing. #sundaystars

    • LizzieG
      November 22, 2015 / 5:34 pm

      The bedtime routine is the only one we are fairly rigid with, it makes such a difference. Yes, as they get older they’re a bit easier to be lax about nap times and lunch etc as long as they’re fed, they’re good! X

  5. November 23, 2015 / 8:53 am

    YES! We love our routine. Unfortunately for the last months our tot has been in the process of dropping one of his naps which has seen us lose our golden, glorious routine. Now we’ve also thrown nursery into the mix. Hopefully that helps things settle down but might do the opposite in the short term.
    Thanks for linking up to #fartglitter x

    • LizzieG
      November 23, 2015 / 8:56 am

      Our toddler dropped his nap just before he turned two, it was certainly a shock and I’m almost convinced he still needs a snooze. You’ll have a lovely new routine he will have so much fun there and will be exhausted once he’s home!! X

      • November 23, 2015 / 9:00 am

        That’s the theory and the hope ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. moderatemum
    November 23, 2015 / 10:40 am

    I have no idea if having a routine helped my son but boy oh boy did it help me! It’s so nice to know how I’m doing the the day and it kept me moving when sleep deprivation kicked in. #MarvMondays

    • LizzieG
      November 23, 2015 / 10:43 am

      It’s something comforting for us mums and the children, routines never help them sleep through the night but it’s so nice to have a rough structure to your day

  7. mommyslittleprincesses
    November 23, 2015 / 11:02 am

    I agree routines are a vital part of our children’s lives and most adults too. With out them our lives would be chaotic *ours anyway *.xx #KCACOLS

    • LizzieG
      November 23, 2015 / 11:23 am

      Ours would too! xx

  8. November 23, 2015 / 11:12 am

    I agree 100%! Having a routine is so important, it helps them feel settled and know to follow signs for what is to come which them makes them happier. I probably am super routine to be honest, and it does throw me if something goes wrong throughout the day. I do try occasionally to go out during a nap time and get him to sleep in his pram just so he doesn’t get so dependent on everything being the same all the time. And bedtime by 7pm means Mummy can also sit with maltesters and watch the soaps and catch up on blogging ๐Ÿ™‚ #fartglitter

    • LizzieG
      November 23, 2015 / 8:16 pm

      We try having naps out or in the car but it seems to make our baby really restless at night, so where I can I will make sure she’s in her bed (she prefers it and we certainly have a peaceful night). Cheers to 7pm Maltesers!

  9. November 23, 2015 / 1:17 pm

    I’m such a lover of routine but sometimes there are those days where you just need to go with the flow. But you can’t beat the time ticking away towards 7pm and then the smile on your own face when bedtime is upon on. That’s my routine I will never change haha! #KCACOLS

    • LizzieG
      November 23, 2015 / 8:18 pm

      Countdown to 7pm is the best! Weekends tend to be our go with the flow time and I secretly don’t enjoy it, I’m one of those people that likes plans and structure, but I jump on the bandwagon and just go

  10. November 23, 2015 / 5:13 pm

    I live by routines but appreciate others do their own thing as we are all different and we work with what we feel is right. Thanks for sharing X #SundayStars

    • LizzieG
      November 23, 2015 / 8:20 pm

      It doesn’t work for everyone but I think we all have some kind of a routine, even if it’s just tea and toast in the morning x

  11. November 23, 2015 / 6:18 pm

    I’d be lost without a routine. And so would the toddler. That 7pm bedtimes is sacrosanct! #MarvMondays

    • LizzieG
      November 23, 2015 / 8:20 pm

      It certainly is!

  12. November 24, 2015 / 6:51 am

    Im so with you on this… Having a vague routine worked a dream with our first. Baby 2 hasn’t coped well with months of teething… That’s the only thing I can Pin it down to? So we are still getting 7pm malteser but also saying hello to 12pm, 2 am, 4am and our morning tea and toast is often at 5! Having a routine does help me stay sane and focused on what I should be doing… #twinklytuesday

    • LizzieG
      November 24, 2015 / 7:22 am

      This sounds like our baby! Sometimes she’s up FOR THE DAY at midnight, I’ve spent many nights sobbing into my pillow wondering how I will survive the day on no sleep. But routines help me count down the hours until they rest (so I can rest). Lets hope it’s teething!! #

  13. November 24, 2015 / 7:08 pm

    I wanted to start a routine for both of mine, from around 3 months. But both were abysmal daytime sleepers (they cat napped for 20 minutes here and there,) so it was impossible to do a routine, so both times I gave up. But for both of them, at 7 months they just fell into a routine of their own! It made everyone much happier! I just wished they’d slept better during the day earlier, to save everyone a lot of frustration!!
    #fartglitter

    • LizzieG
      November 24, 2015 / 7:54 pm

      Ours were terrible sleepers, we just had a rough timetable for when they’d need a nap, say three hours from when they last worked and we just worked our day around then. The older they get I think the easier the routine falls into place. Thankfully yours are sleeping well for you now!

  14. November 24, 2015 / 8:07 pm

    I agree that routines need to be adapted regularly – flexibility is key! We have a routine, but it is baby led rather than parent/adult led. We observe arthur’s needs and plan his routine around that rather that what may work best for us. This means that we have set meal and sleep times (plus a proper bedtime routine) but we change it when we need to, ( such as if he’s had a bad night and is tired or if he is ready to drop a nap). x #fartglitter

    • LizzieG
      November 24, 2015 / 8:49 pm

      Yes ours is baby led too, for us, letting them take the lead works best, I’m not one to mould them to a set schedule. Baby-led helps parents guage when they need something, rather than us wanting them to do something. The bedtime routine is probably the only part we rarely change x

  15. November 25, 2015 / 10:22 pm

    Whenever I try to be a bit more relaxed with the routine, I find the girls just want to get back to normality. Routines are even needed by the teenagers that I teach.
    Thanks for linking up to #SundayStars

    • LizzieG
      November 26, 2015 / 6:19 am

      They’re their own people and likes us adults, we have routines and rituals even for people who don’t yet have children. I think we all find comfort I’m being creatures of habit

  16. November 26, 2015 / 10:34 pm

    I LOVE routine; it’s so nice now to know when A will take a nap and when he’ll go to bed etc. Though he is 23 months, it took us a while to get there. Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays! Kaye xo

    • LizzieG
      November 27, 2015 / 7:09 am

      It took us a while to settle in to one because their needs change so often, but I cherish it now x

  17. November 28, 2015 / 7:17 am

    I do agree with you, having a routine is really important. It helps you to plan your day specially when you are out and about. We have our 2 girls under a routine and we have always follow it although there have been many times that my girls have been ill, teething or in a middle of a phase and that routine was completely destroyed for a few days or even a week, so then we had to start again and get them back to the routine. Overall having a routine have works wonders for us, so if we do our best to stick to it. Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I’m so happy to have you for the first time. I hope you enjoyed it and that you would like to join me again! ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

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