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.
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!