I know lots of parents are big fans of strict routines and it's entirely up to them if they want to follow something like Gina Ford's book The Contented Little Baby. But, when I was pregnant with Oliver, I got a shortened version of her book in a baby magazine... I read it and it scared the shit out of me!!
Personally, I can't understand why you would try to force a baby into sleeping, waking and feeding at times prescribed in a book. Babies aren't robots, they are all different and I think it stops you from really listening to what your baby needs. And what are you supposed to do if your tiny baby is crying with hunger but it's not 'time' yet!
So I've had two very different babies but I still never had a strict routine. I just went with what they wanted to do and after a few weeks they both settled into their own routine of feeding, sleeping and awake time. I was also breastfeeding on demand so it would have been impossible to impose any kind of routine on them without potentially jeopardising my supply.
|Oliver 5 days old|
|Lydia 6 days old|
When Oliver was born I did read the Baby Whisperer by Tracey Hogg and Melinda Blau and thought it sounded sensible and flexible. So I very loosely followed their E.A.S.Y. routine. This stands for Eat, Activity, Sleep, You time - you just do them in that order. Now when I say I loosely followed it, I mean that I fed them when they woke up... that's all!
The only routine I've been happy with was a bedtime routine. From around 4 weeks old with Oliver and from birth with Lydia, we had a bedtime routine of bath, feed, bed. This has obviously evolved slightly over the last 3 years but it now goes something like this:
6.10 // Upstairs to get bath ready and kids undressed
6.20 // Kids in bath!
6.35 // Lydia out of bath (Oliver stays in supervised by hubby). I get Lydia dried and dressed in our bedroom
6.45 // Oliver out of bath to get dried and dressed. Lydia has her milk
7.00 // Lydia in bed, Oliver in bed for his story
7.15 // Oliver asleep!
7.16 // RELAX!!!
I'm not here to offend anyone who likes strict routines as we're all have different parenting styles. This is just my opinion and what has worked for my family. What do you think of routines for babies? Love or loathe them?!