Ever since Freddie arrived like a whirlwind into our lives it has been a constant struggle to keep up. Without ever intentionally deciding to, I have followed his lead from the very beginning. He slept when he wanted to sleep, breastfed on demand and we worked around him.
Having a baby-led ‘routine’ was especially helpful as a first time mum with no real understanding of what my baby should be doing and when- or in indeed if he should be doing anything at a particular time at all. That being said, we naturally fell into a bedtime routine when Freddie was around seven/eight weeks old. He would no longer to settle to sleep in the evening downstairs with us and we felt he was probably wanting a quieter, darker environment. So gradually over the next few weeks we transitioned from him sleeping upstairs on his Daddy in the evenings to a proper bath/bedtime routine and being put down in his co-sleeper with his Dad or I in the room with him. To, at around five and a half months, going to sleep upstairs with the monitor on.
This worked really well for us and by around ten/eleven weeks Freddie started to fuss and get upset if he was not upstairs for his bedtime routine at the usual time. Daytimes were a different story though, apart from aiming to get him to nap after an hour of awake time (in the carrier or on me of course… this baby did not want to sleep on his own!) we had no routine to our days at all. I had a few failed attempts at around three/four months trying to implement the E.A.S.Y routine (it wasn’t at all easy in case you were wondering!) and then gave up. It surprised me how much this really didn’t both me considering I have always been a creature of habit and very much like a routine to most of my days.
However, at about five and a half months a routine started to emerge on it’s own. Partly because we had to wean early due to Silent Reflux and partly because I had noticed that he seemed to want to nap at a similar time each day. Before long. Freddie was having breakfast and lunch and this needed to slot into our day. At around the same time, the baby carrier stopped working for naps and I just sensed that both Freddie and I would benefit from a bit more structure. I should add that Freddie still feeds on demand, he is very much a snacker and scheduling breast feeds just wouldn’t work for us. But I anticipate that as his food intake increases his milk feeds will probably decrease a bit too… or at least my boobs hope so!
Daily Routine at 6 Months
6:30/45: Freddie wakes up and Daddy takes over.
7:30: Breakfast Time- Usually Organix Porridge with a small amount of fruit puree.
7:45: Play time in his highchair/Go Jetters (while Mama grabs a much needed coffee…)
8:15/30: Start Nap Routine- Nappy, nap song, feed, white noise (this is still usually on me but he will now be put down sometimes for short periods).
9:30/45: Wake up from nap.
10:00: Get dressed in outfit for the day and play time.
11:15/30: Second nap.
12:30/45: Wake up from nap.
1:00: Lunch time- Freddie has finger food and then a puree (at the moment we are introducing some dairy and pulses/beans).
1:15: Play Time (whilst I have my lunch- although Freddie is becoming more observant and often spies me and wants some too…).
2:15: Third Nap.
3:15: Wake up from Nap.
3:30: Play Time.
4:30/45: Dog Walk- Freddie goes in the baby carrier on my back for this and will usually take a nap like this. If we are at home we do this nap upstairs like all of the others.
5:00/15: Play time.
6:00: Bed time routine- bath, massage, story, feed, white noise, and co-sleeper.
7:00/30: Asleep (unless we are having a tricky night in which case it may be nearer 8).
So that’s it, our routine at nearly seven months! Of course, with a baby not every day works out like this and sometimes Freddie will refuse his naps or the timings will be different but it is working out really well for us so far. During the week I try and plan going out around these timings but at the weekend if we are out as a family he will nap on his Daddy in the baby carrier or on the boob with me!
I hope this helps if you are wondering about starting a routine with your little one. Let me know what your thoughts are on routines in the comments below! I have experienced both sides having spent almost six months without one but now really enjoying having one so I would love to hear what you think,
Thanks for reading,