Of Schedules And Routines

Routine is a mother’s best friend. A baby digs it. A toddler is more manageable because of it. A kid learns discipline because of it. A teenager is less rebellious.

Of Schedules And Routines

This is a key tip I read in many baby books and mommy blogs. I decided to keep my life sane scheduling will be my best friend. So I created a mini Ram Gopal Bajaj. [of Andaz Apna Apna movie if you’ve seen it) Everything is according to timings for the toddler and even if I forget, she manages to remind me to adhere to it. We surely have a leeway of 30 minutes always. Not that much to the dot yet.

Here’s how her schedule looked at 1 year. Regular eating-sleeping times are fixed but what are funnily also fixed are :

6:30 am – 7:00 am – Wakeup and have a sippy of milk
8:00 am – Breakfast
10:00 am – Taking bath. Isn’t it the most fun thing Eva!
11:00 am – Lunch
11:30 am – Nap time after a sippy of milk.
2:00 pm – 2:30 pm – Going to check for post in the postbox at around. ‘pottpott’ is what is yelled.
3:00 pm – Snack and Juice
4:00 pm – Sippy of milk
5:30 pm – Watering  plants at around ..well first they get watered and then we go in for the kill! Daily one leaf belongs to Vevi :p plant version of PETA please pardon her!
6:30 pm – Park Time
7:00 pm – Dinner
7:30 pm – Play with Daddy
8:00 pm – Its Night time.

And this is mostly followed to the T. I get bored. People around get surprised. But she is the least cranky and absolutely no tantrums if I follow the major timelines of her food and sleep.

I believe routine gives a sense of security to a baby who sees so many new things happening around her constantly. Obviously it isn’t possible some days and those days we deal with. But even on vacations or stay over at grandparents place, she follows her schedule. This way she gets accustomed to the place easily. Her security blanket is the time and not any physical attachment, so she is a very good travel companion.

Obviously scheduling is majorly driven by hunger and sleep. So initial schedules are and should be set around those two factors. Also when I schedule, I also maintain that the schedules are to be majorly governed by the baby. Some days she feels hungry a little early, someday she naps early or little late. So the buffer 30 minutes should be okay. But overall, I insist that the child is in her bed by 8:30 pm maximum even if guests are around.

Then there are periods of sickness, teething, growth spurts and general moodiness which will change the schedule here and there. But then I have always seen that the toddler comes back to her schedule on her own. Sometimes the toddler decides to try out her autonomy and resists nap-time.  I let her play for an extra 20 odd minutes. But I do manipulate the events by playing a little more physical games with her to tire her out. She eventually herself walks into the bedroom for a nap.

This schedule lets me breathe a bit more.  I know when to do what as far as “me time” is concerned. I know I can promise Parentous.com an article and find time to pen down a few words without being worried. Her sleeping so early has also raised many eyebrows. But I believe a child needs to sleep early and her parents need to get some quality time together to catch up.

So currently the toddler naps while I write this and I know I have another 30 minutes or so before she gets up. What I do is that I go snuggle up next to her just a couple of minutes before she is expected to be up and that is my magic time with her and she wakes up a happy baby. Mommy happy, baby happy! 😀

P.S: Happy New Year to all of you reading this. I wish you all a wonderful and safe year.

An erstwhile Quality Analyst, Sirisha Achanta, is now a full-time mommy to an adorable 2-year-old girl and a part-time writer. 🙂  She loves to dance, dream and read a lot! 

  • Fab

    Superb post!!! I agree completely, routines are essential for both Mom and Baby. The earlier kids are set in one, the better for everyone involved! Of course, people raise eyebrows for anything done even slightly differently; kudos for holding your own!

  • i agree with you.. when the schedule is disturbed, everything goes for a toss.. :(..

    • It doesnt na! But that is also inevitable sometimes…

  • Another amazing Post… I for one have seen the changes in Zoe’s behavior when she’s on schedule (which she is on most days).

    • Yes they are such adorable little things when everything is as usual.. a little change and the tantrums come out 😀

  • Totally agree! Schedules and routine comfort the child and let her know what to expect. Predictability is comforting for everyone, even adults! And with younger children, the routine can go a long way in preventing crankiness (not enough sleep or too hungry), minor illnesses (upset tummies because of irregular eating habits), and even tantrums (a lot of things they would otherwise not like to do are done as a matter of routine – think brushing teeth!).
    Kritika Srinivasan

  • So true! I rely on the schedule to maintain my own sanity, too. And yes, as I type this, I am taking advantage of what I hope will be a two hour nap and my only opportunity to write and read! Great post!

  • Roshni

    We definitely follow a strict bedtime routine. Nowadays the boys are allowed one hour more time during the weekends, but I have realized that if they don’t get the requisite hours of sleep, they get cranky! Hell, even I get cranky! 😀

  • Agree to every word of your post….and no 8-8:30 pm is not sleeping early …atleast for a toddler, they need min 12 hours of sleep. My baby earlier wwent to bed at 10 :30 or 11 pm and woke up after 9:30 in the morning….though it was good for my schedule but now when I am planning to put her in day care which starts at 8:30 am it is not working. for last 15 days i have been able to manage pre-poning her sleep time only by an hour 🙁

    So early bed routine is must and also schedules drills discipline.

  • Totally agree!! Routine is what kids thrive on!!
    When my daughter was around 1yr she used to sleep at 7 in the evening!!