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Thread: Routines/ daily patterns

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    Default Routines/ daily patterns

    Hi ladies,
    more research for my book - would any of you like to comment on your baby's daily patterns/ how this works into your day -not necessarily a schedule but how does your day 'pan out'?

    Do you work outside the home? At home?

    Do you encourage a daily rhythm for your baby or toddler? How / what?

    Do you have any specific routines - ie mealtime/ bath time/ bedtime rituals that are special to your family? Helpful to encourage transitions.



    If you would like to share these and give me permission to print, I would love to hear them.


    Your comments dont have to cover all questions - just snippets/anecdotes/ will be enough -I know you are all busy mums so I truly appreciate your time.
    Thanks in anticipation,
    Pinky

  2. #2

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    No worries Pinky & you can use mine if they help

    Do you work outside the home? At home? I work part-time. I work Sat & Mondays outside the home as well as Wed nights. So Monday's Matilda goes to family day care. I do some work from home during naptime, as well as doing moderating for BellyBelly. Matilda goes to family day care twice a week. Mondays are longer days and Wed are short ones. When she is there, the basic rhythm of the day is the same as home. And because there are only 4 children there it can be done to suit what is happening with each child.

    Do you encourage a daily rhythm for your baby or toddler? How / what? I do encourage it, once Matilda hit 4 months I realised I needed a rhythm more for myself and so Matilda knew what was happening next. So before she was walking our general rhythm was feed/play/sleep but it was very flexible depending on the day and how she was going or I was going. As she started getting bigger they were more defined. So once she started walking she went to 2 sleeps a day and once she did that I started giving her signs that it was sleep time, I would turn everything off in the house & sit down with her and read a story have a cuddle and then wander into her room just getting her prepared for sleep as she wasn't a keen sleeper. I also would know the general time, and work around that. So if we were going out & about I would try to do it inbetween naps. Because Matilda fought sleep so much, I didn't even try to get her to sleep away from home, & if she did sleep it was always an added bonus (the 2 times it did happen) If I had something I wanted to do, and it didn't work with sleep times I didn't worry too much because I guess I decided early on that there were times in life when everything doesn't work according to plan

    Do you have any specific routines - ie mealtime/ bath time/ bedtime rituals that are special to your family? Helpful to encourage transitions. This we have always done. We have had a saying for ages in our house its dinner/bath/bottle/bed.... basically its all the dinner going ons, then a bath with daddy (always with daddy), then she's handed to me for a massage & getting dressed for bed. Next, Matilda comes out for family time. The TV's off, I stop cooking dinner and we all play or just sit on the floor & watch Matilda play, we then have a cool off time in her room where we start her sleep cd and read a book, bottle in the room with lights off & then to bed. Everynight is the same but 1-2 if we are at friends houses, but even if we go to friends houses we do up to family playtime and then have a play there & still do the quiet time & bottle/bed wherever she is going to sleep. This way she knows whats happening next & generally gets to sleep much easier. If we leave something out, we hear about it

  3. #3

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    Well Kynan's only 4 months old so I don't know if this will be of much help but feel free to use any bits!

    Do you work outside the home? At home? No, I'm a SAHM.

    Do you encourage a daily rhythm for your baby or toddler? How / what? Generally we do a feed, play, sleep routine although we found that it didn't really work before about 3 months. We don't do anything to specific times so it's really flexible and we're happy to let Kynan take the lead. When we go out during the day Kynan happily sleeps in the sling and just fits in with whatever we happen to be doing.

    Do you have any specific routines - ie mealtime/ bath time/ bedtime rituals that are special to your family? Helpful to encourage transitions. Since Kynan was about 10 weeks old we've been following the same bedtime routine and I think it's really helped his sleeping as he knows what to expect. He has a feed, some nappy free time, and then a bath in the early evening. Most nights I give him a massage after his bath, and then he has a top-up (he's breastfed) whilst DH reads him a story before he goes to bed. We're quite reluctant to disturb his bedtime routine by going out at night as when we have it's really thrown him and he's tried to have his big sleep in the middle of the day!

  4. #4

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    Hi - something we've done since the beginning that other mums don't seem to - we get all the books, kisses and especially talking about what we're going to do the next day and what not done before going into the bedroom, so that when I do put Cait to bed (now almost four years old) there's no mucking around in the room, it's straight in and out.


    We aim for 7.30 bed time ... but it does not always work out that way.

    Barb.

  5. #5

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    Hi Pinky

    Do you work outside the home? At home?
    Im studying to be a primary school teacher by distance education, but deferred this current semester to have hendrix (he is 13 weeks old).

    Do you encourage a daily rhythm for your baby or toddler? How/ What?
    Yes we do to a certain extent and have done so since he was a couple of weeks old. He sleeps in his room in his cot through the night but after 7am he comes into our bed for a nap. He then has one good nap in his cot during the day, but otherwise we will be out and about and he sleeps in his pram or baby carrier (he absolutely loves this and we try to carry him for 3 hours a day in it as i definately find it makes him feel secure). He is more comfortable in it than in his pram. Then at night at around 5pm i give him a feed then he is up for around 1.5-2hours and this consists of play with me and my husband, a bath with his dad (a special ritual we really love) and a massage by me before he has another feed in his darkened room. He then goes sleep and we generally dont hear from him then till 6am when he calls out for a feed.

    Specific routines
    mentioned above! I try to do the eat play sleep routine generally but really follow hendy's lead as sometimes he likes to eat and have a sleep then wake and play and we are really happy with that!

  6. #6

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    May 2003
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    Do you work outside the home? At home? I work from home.

    Do you encourage a daily rhythm for your baby or toddler? How / what? We have a great groove going. Luckily Charlie is a very easy placid baby boy, and he fits in beautifully with Olivia's routine......she is 19 months, and gets really tetchy if her routine is broken, so we tend to go with her routine and Charlie at 9 weeks slots in with her.......

    Both Olivia and Charlie follow a feed, play, sleep routine.

    Olivia has brekky, plays, and has a big nap after lunch from 12 till about 3. She then has afternoon tea, followed by play, with dinner at 5.30pm, books and quiet play and family time till 6.30 bathtime. By 7pm she is asking to go to bed!

    Charlie is on 3 sleeps a day. He has, quite beautifully, fallen into a 4 hourly pattern.....wakes at 7am for a feed, then plays, then sleeps, to wake again at 11am. Same deal takes us to 3pm. Same deal till 6pm. He has bath, boob and bed from 7pm, so he is down & alseep for the night generally by 7.30pm. (He then generally wakes for a feed again at about 3 or 4am?) Charlie has self settled from birth (thank goodness) so we spend a lot of his awake/play time cuddling and smooching, because I don't get the chance to cuddle/rock/pat him to sleep, as he just drifts off by himself quite happily in his hammock.

    Do you have any specific routines - ie mealtime/ bath time/ bedtime rituals that are special to your family? Helpful to encourage transitions. The main one is the same one as everyone else.......feed, play, sleep. And most certainly the bedtime routine for both our lids is lovely.......bath, boob, bed. They know what is coming next and so sleep well.

    Edited to add: both Olivia and Charlie have a special CD that they both sleep to.......Peacebaby. Olivia has had this played to her from birth, as has Charlie. It works wonders!!

    I am not a clockwatcher or really strict about timings (apart from bedtime). We kind of go with the flow, and I feel lucky to have babies that seem to get into their own groove quite happily. I can make appointments/set dates/arrange our social life quite well, knowing approximately what time they will be up/down/asleep/cranky etc. It all works well for us.

  7. #7
    Melinda Guest

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    Do you work outside the home? At home?

    I am a SAHM

    Do you encourage a daily rhythm for your baby or toddler? How / what?

    Initially, we were happy to be lead by Jacob and to just go with whatever he needed - this worked well for us. Although it did take a lot for me to adjust to that, since I am a bit of a control freak! When Jacob started to develop some sleeping problems around 6.5 months of age, we started to introduce a flexible routine to try and give his day a bit more structure and he responded well to it - he seems to like knowing what comes next. Basically we have a sleep/feed/play routine. Currently, at 13.5 months of age, Jacob wakes around 6 am (never later than 7 am and sometimes earlier than 6 am), has a bottle and breakfast, morning tea at around 10 am, plays until around 11am (it varies depending on the day!) and then has a long sleep of anywhere between 1.5 - 3 hours. He has lunch when he wakes and then afternoon tea between 3 - 4 pm, with dinner at 5.30 pm and bed between 7 - 7.30 pm. Since Jacob has been walking, we always try to ensure that he has some outside play time each day where possible and weather permitting.

    Do you have any specific routines - ie mealtime/ bath time/ bedtime rituals that are special to your family? Helpful to encourage transitions.

    As mentioned above, basically we follow a sleep/feed/play routine but we are flexible about sleep times as we appreciate that each day is different to the one before! The only time where our routine becomes 'strict' is of an evening. Dinner is always at 5.30 pm, bathtime at 6.30 pm (where either myself or my husband will have the bath with him and the other dresses him for bed), bottle at 7pm, which is done in Jacob's room with the lights off (just the light from his monitor is left on) and then into bed. He is usually totally down for the count at this point.

    With regard to sleep, we always give Jacob a 'sleep message' - we basically try and give him a trigger so that he knows what to expect. So for both his day and night time sleep, one of us will go into his room cuddling him, close the blinds and curtains, sit in the chair by his cot and have quiet cuddles and kisses for around 5 minutes, before we pop him into his sleeping bag and into the cot. We then say to him "time for sleep, love you", put the side of the cot up and leave. We found this really helped Jacob to identify what was expected of him - sleep!

  8. #8

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    Do you work outside the home? At home? I work part time (3 days a week) outside of the home.

    Do you encourage a daily rhythm for your baby or toddler? How / what? We have always gone with what Asha wants but gone about our daily buisness too. Asha has 2 older siblings (Emma 9 and Jack 7) and they had to be taken to school and picked up at certain times and with no family close by I had to do it all. So from the day she came home we did everything as normal so if she was tired she slept where ever she was (car seat, pram, cot). She is now very much a "go with the flow" child.

    Do you have any specific routines - ie mealtime/ bath time/ bedtime rituals that are special to your family? Helpful to encourage transitions. Night times are hectic in our house with 3 kids to organise and things to prepare for the next day. I try to do much of the preparation once everyone is in bed ... too hard otherwise. Asha has a fairly strict routine and to be truthful they all do. Asha has dinner at 5.30, then her bath, then put her pyjama's on (we decided early on that Asha would only wear all in ones when she was sleeping, never during the day so that she would know it was almost bed time when we put it on). After that we play some more then we have bottle time while the other two are showering and getting ready for bed. Then when she is getting tired we have cuddle time and Asha falls asleep in our arms. We are about to work on self settling but I am worried this will mess it all up!

    Cheers

  9. #9

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    Thanks for this post, it has just made me feel a lot better about things!! I was beginning to feel like this whole routine thing just was never going to happen for us, but i am comforted by some of the posts that have indicated it's taken a few months to establish.

    Evan has slept fantastically at night from the time he was born. I have never had one sleepless night (quick touch wood!!!). But the days are a different story. He's an easy baby to settle, except every time i've tried to get him to have a proper sleep during the day it's just ended up with both of us getting soooo frustrated with each other (me because he wont sleep when i want him to, and he because he doesn't want to sleep!!). The first few weeks were fine though when all he did was feed and sleep.

    Now i don't want to get too excited, but the past 4 days Evan has had a 45 min sleep in his cot from about 9 or 9.30am (he's been asleep for half an hour and counting right now). He just did that without me really trying. He still won't go down in his cot in the afternoons, but maybe (and i'm slightly more optomistic about this now) he might just start doing this one day too. At the moment he'll nap on me or in the car/pram. When he was lighter, he had practically all his day naps in the carrier.

    We have a good evening routine thing going too. I feed Evan at about 5pm, then bath him (or he'll go in the shower with daddy if he is working - night shift), DH and i have dinner at 6.30pm (daddy time from 6pm while i'm cooking) with Evan in the swing at the table (attempt to establish some kind of 'family dinnertime'!), then I'll wash up with with Evan still in swing, then I'll get my pjs on and Evan will fall asleep on my chest while we're lying on the couch watching tv(DH goes to work). I'll wake him at 9pm, feed him with low lights and low tv, then put him to bed by 9.30pm and he'll sleep usually through to 7 - 7.30am. I'll feed him and then DH is home.

  10. #10

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    Do you work outside the home? At home?
    No, I am a SAHM

    Do you encourage a daily rhythm for your baby or toddler? How / what? When Aidyn was a baby we never put any 'set' routines into place, although he did fall into a general pattern of sleep/feed/play.
    At the moment an average weekday consists of him waking up having a bottle, playing for an hour, having breakfast, getting dressed, going to the playroom/creche for an hour whilst I am at the gym, once home he will have a snack and then his only nap for the day. After that it is lunch, then playtime, and the rest of the afternoon is usually fairly unstructured until we start the evening/bedtime routine.

    Do you have any specific routines - ie mealtime/ bath time/ bedtime rituals that are special to your family? Helpful to encourage transitions.
    Since Aidyn was about 10 months we have had an evening routine which consists of dinner/ bathtime/ storytime/ bottle and bed.

    *Feel free to use any of this if you want to!.

  11. #11

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    Do you work outside the home? At home?

    I'm a stay at home mum.

    Do you encourage a daily rhythm for your baby or toddler? How / what?

    Mackenzie didn't really have a sleep rountine until she was 9 months old, before this I just cuddled her when she was showing tired signs and then popped her into her cot. She would sleep about 40mins 4-5 times a day even if we were out. When she hit 9 months everything changed. She only wanted 2 sleeps and sleeps anywhere between 1-2.5 hours. I now say, 'time for bed' and give her her dummy and she waits at the bottom of the stairs for me to take her up. Being a first time mum it took me a while to pick up that 3 hours of wake time just about pulls her up and her mood changes so I know it's time for a sleep! If we go out we try and work around the sleep pattern otherwise I put Mackenzie down a little earlier so she is awake when we need to leave the house. Everything is the same each day just maybe at different times depending on how long she sleeps for - wake, breakfast, play, sleep, wake, lunch, play, sleep, wake, play, bath, dinner, play sleep.

    Do you have any specific routines - ie mealtime/ bath time/ bedtime rituals that are special to your family? During the day I just put Mackenzie in her cot and she rolls over and goes to sleep. At night my Husband will change her nappy, put her in her sleeping bag, give her a cuddle in the chair in her room and as she starts to dose pops her in her cot. All lights are off when this is done and she even pushes me away as this is her time with her dad! We feel this is important as it gives both Dad and Mackenzie bonding time.

  12. #12

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    Do you work outside the home? At home?
    I work outside home on Friday & Saturday morning. On Friday Zander drives with me to work then goes home with my mum & on Saturday he stays at home with his dad.

    Do you encourage a daily rhythm for your baby or toddler? How / what?
    I didn't, but Zander has developed his own routine at how things go now. We do the sleep eat play routine, but he worked out the times & unless we're out it's pretty well stuck to.
    At the moment Zander gets up & has a bottle, plays for 2hrs has his solids then sleeps for about an hour. He then has another bottle, plays for about 2hrs then sleeps for 2hrs. Up again, another bottle, plays for about 3hrs, bottle then bed.

    Do you have any specific routines - ie mealtime/ bath time/ bedtime rituals that are special to your family?
    The above mentioned is the basic routine we have, but of an evening we try to keep the lights dim & the noise minimal so Zander knows it's nighttime & nearly time for bed. Lately he has been having his cot aquarium turned on of a night when he goes to sleep.

  13. #13

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    Thanks ladies ,
    your examples are a lovely illustration of how individual families work around babies, older children and family needs such as work.

    Thanks for these,
    Pinky

  14. #14
    *Rachel* Guest

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    If you're still looking Pinky - here's mine.....


    Do you work outside the home? At home? Stay at home mum.

    Do you encourage a daily rhythm for your baby or toddler? How / what? When my baby was first born, I used a 'method' from an English woman's book, but it was too strict and upset us both more than it helped. I stopped and just followed the feed, play sleep routine and my baby's own patterns and signals. Now we try to keep things 'regular' and I just follow his cues.

    Do you have any specific routines family dinner all together (without TV!) in the dining room, then bath, books, cuddles (used to be boob, but sadly he weaned himself) then bed.

    Every morning after breakfast, either my husband or I change our baby's 'Daily calendar' with him (it has the weekday, date, month and year as well as the weather...) and talk about what we're doing that day and what the weather is like etc.

  15. #15

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    Pinky - I'll add mine too in case you'd like to use it

    Do you work outside the home? At home?

    My husband and I both work part-time, I work 5 days a fortnight, so when I am at work, hubby is at home and when he is at work, I am at home looking after Matthew.

    Do you encourage a daily rhythm for your baby or toddler? How / what?

    From birth we have let Matthew guide us, we have been lucky as he has been mainly a good sleeper (every now and then things are a bit hairy). We always do the feed/play/sleep routine during the day as well, although very loosely.

    Do you have any specific routines - ie mealtime/ bath time/ bedtime rituals that are special to your family?

    At bed time, it is always solids/bath/breastfeed/book/cuddles/bed. This seems to work well and have no troubles usually getting him down for the night. We quieten the house down , dim the lights, no telly, classical cd, just to calm him down as he is so excited usually from bath and reading.

    Hope this helps.

  16. #16
    Debbie Lee Guest

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    I'm probably waaaaayyy too late but, uno me, gotta add my 2 cents


    Do you work outside the home? At home?
    For the moment I am a SAHM so I am with Gabby pretty much all the time. I am hoping to go back to work doing some emergency Primary Teaching next year - just one day a week to start off.


    Do you encourage a daily rhythm for your baby or toddler? How / what?
    I generally follow the feed/play/sleep routine - though, Gabby kind of worked this out on her own. She will wake in the morning, have a bottle and a play. She'll then have some breakfast and some more play. I wait for tired signs (rubbing eyes, grizzling and -my favourite - trying to suck my face, LOL). Sometimes she will be up for 2 hours, other mornings she'll be tired much sooner. She'll sleep for around 1-2 hours, then have a bottle, a play and a snack. I am finding that she is stretching out her waking hours a lot more now that she is 7 months so I am trying to really tune into her behaviours and cues to know just how long I can keep her up before bed. At the moment, it's between 2.5-3 hours before she's ready for bed again. She generally has 2 naps a day and sleeps between 8-10 hours a night.

    Do you have any specific routines - ie mealtime/ bath time/ bedtime rituals that are special to your family?
    As I said before, we generally follow the feed, play, sleep routine. When feeding solids, I try to put Gabby in the high chair so that she has a cue that it's time to eat.
    She has a bath every second night just before her last bottle of the day.
    During the day, her bedtime ritual is being wrapped, dummy and listening to "Music for Dreaming". Sometimes I will need to pop the dummy back in her mouth a couple of times but she generally drifts off to sleep on her own without much fuss.
    Her bed time ritual at night is: a bottle, then a short story (if she hasn't zonked out from the bottle), wrapped and put into the cot without a dummy. I have a small fan going in her room for the constant sound. Most nights she drifts off to sleep with the light off without a peep. She knows it is night time because her bedtime routine at night is just slightly different to during the day. Some nights she will wake up at around 3-4am but the dummy is enough to placate her until 6-7am.

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