Tag Archives: baby routine

Baby Routine? No Thank you!

passportIn an effort to provide an array of views, moomboo corner draws on the expertise of its multicultural NCT group. Following our post on the advantages of putting your baby on a schedule courtesy of Mrs. V, we thought we would share our dear friend Janie’s views on how allowing their little one to find her own schedule, worked for their uber mobile lifestyle.

“Before my daughter, my partner and I had never really been much of a routine-led kind of a couple..In fact I’d go so far as to say we’d actively avoid the r word…

Not that it’s a bad thing, it just never suited us. As a writer (of both songs and books) I found inspiration would rear it’s head at any time of the night or day and I got used to welcoming it at the oddest of hours, often working when most of the rest of the world slept, finally resting while the majority of London dealt with the morning rush-hour mayhem.

While I was pregnant I read, like most first time mums, an enormous amount of  literature, some of it useful, some it fairly pointless and in retrospect some of it was really quite unhelpful.. I weighed up the pro’s and con’s of  water births (what if he can’t swim? /do they come with a baywatch certified lifeguard?), breast feeding or bottle, (any NCT teacher will tell you it is your moral duty to breast feed until your baby reaches 18  years of age), which buggy (it is a seat, with four wheels, why oh why are there so many to choose from?), and what really are the essential accessories? (I wish there had been moomboo when I had my baby girl).

turquoise vespaI also read a lot on the subject of whether to put your child into a routine or not.  Given my previous lifestyle and my partner and I’s need to travel  frequently (having bases in both the UK and Italy), we decided to opt for a more, let’s see what the baby wants to do, if we’re easy with her, maybe she’ll be flexible when travel plans mean we can’t given her 2 hours in a nursery in silence with the blinds shut to have a nice sleep…kind of approach.. Somehow, incredibly it’s worked for us.

Our little girl has developed her own routine which is not dissimilar to the babies I know who areroutine led.  She gets the sleep she needs but when it suits her and on the plus side she is not overly grumpy if she misses her usual nap, she just takes it later….

lucky baby

Here is how a “typical day” could look for us:

  • Approx. 8am the baby intercom broadcasts a string of incomprehensible babble (which my partner has fondly likened to something from the film “Mars Attacks”.)
  • Milk and biscuits are duly dispensed to our beautiful wild haired little alien followed by a nappy change, general clearing of goo and preparation for the day…
  • Play ensues until mid morning snack of hipp fruit pot or fresh banana and water around 10:30/11.  Nap for 30 mins-1hr can happen around now depending how her night’s sleep was…
  • Lunch is consumed/thrown/smeared at 1pm followed by a walk (for Mum)/ chauffeur driven buggy experience (for Charlotte) then a 1/2 hour nap around 2:30/3..
  • Afternoon tea of fruit or biscuit is requested by Miss Charlotte around 4pm followed by furious play and exploration of every possible dangerous area of the house until dinner at 7pm.
  • Light play (reading together) bath and ready for bed all happens before 9pm then it’s time for beauty sleep, often this suggestion is met with some resistance but the addition of warm milk, patience and a few songs normally works by 9:30pm…just in time for Mum’s take away delivery:)

And that’s the great thing about babies, your one will be the right one for your approach whichever you choose, so my advice would be don’t listen to the books, listen to yourselves. If you love routine your baby probably will too…if not, going with the flow can really work too!”

By Janie Price mum to Charlotte age 10 months

Do you have a similar experience to Janie’s? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you!

Baby Routine? Yes Please!

If you are an avid reader of our blog, you may have gathered that we pull on the collective knowledge of our NCT group of mommies. (For those living outside the UK, NCT is a maternity preparation course that brings together parents-to-be with similar due dates living in the same area). Our group is very close yet highly multicultural in that we have British, American, German, Spanish, Greek, Italian, Korean, Irish and South East Asian mommies and daddies in it. This means we have the advantage of witnessing a variety approaches to child rearing, and while we have all benefited from sharing experiences, we’ve each found our own way.

We thought, that by sharing our group’s experiences we could help other parents find their own way too. So we will kick off a new series to tackle the issue of routine vs. no routine. This blog post, written by our very own Mrs V, will focus on her experiences following a schedule with her very happy baby. (In case you were wondering, she happens to be British, but don’t be fooled- the Greeks and Spaniards in the group did the same!)

Happy daddy happy baby

“As a Mum-to-be I found I was faced with numerous decisions to make about how best to look after my baby and was bombarded with so much conflicting advice. One of the biggest decisions was whether to follow a routine or not, with some professionals/experienced mum’s/grannies/complete strangers advocating that a routine is the only way to go and just as many advising against it (and some even going so far as to suggest it could be detrimental to your baby’s happiness). After doing my research and speaking to a number of friends who had recently had a baby, I decided to try and follow a routine after my baby was born. I have not looked back and thought I would share my top 3 reasons for this:

1. You have peace of mind that your baby is getting enough food and sleep in the day. 

photo (11) - Version 2We all will admit that one of our biggest goals in the first few months after our baby is born is to get them to sleep through the night as soon as possible! With structured feeding and sleeping times, I found I was able to try and make sure my baby was getting enough milk and not too much sleep in the daytime, so that he gradually started to sleep for longer and longer at night the bigger he got. After 8 weeks, if he woke in the night I felt comfortable in the knowledge that he probably wasn’t hungry and giving him a cuddle, and maybe a sip of warm water, would be enough before trying to put him back to bed.

2. Your baby is relaxed and secure in the knowledge that food and sleep will be on its way.

pouting babyI honestly believe that one of the biggest reasons I have a happy baby is that he knows when naps and food are coming. I think it is a general misconception that you have to push babies into a routine and that some books/professionals even advocate this. I can hand-on-heart say that I have never ever left my baby to cry. Of course you sometimes have to be flexible – your baby may be going through a growth spurt or not feeling very well so may need his bottle earlier or a bit more sleep than usual. You know your baby best.

3. It gives you flexibility to get on with life.

lucky babyIf you follow a routine you know when the next feed is due, which means you can get out and about/have some you time/do some chores. Once the routine was established, it was such a relief to be able to meet friends for lunch or do some shopping without worrying about whether you might have to duck into a loo somewhere to breastfeed, or whether you’d be lucky enough to make it home before the next feed.

Of course, there are times when something happens to ensure the routine goes out the window. I suggest you take a deep breath and just start again the next day”!

For those of you who are keen on following a routine, we’ve found Gina Ford’sContended Baby” to be very comprehensive, prescriptive (although sometimes too much) and generally helpful. After all, a lot of the maternity nurses base themselves on a variation of her approach. Don’t be fooled- establishing the routine can be a challenge at first – but as you hear from Mrs V its benefits are rewarding. If you decide to go for this, we wish you the very best of luck, and encourage you to share your experiences with us/and or reach out to us for any support/advice you may need throughout the period. It’s a ride but well worth the effort!!! Don’t forget that the moomboo can be a great companion during this process as it will allow you and your baby to adhere to a sleep routine no matter where in the world you are.  Moomboo will provide the continuity needed in spite of changing environments. To learn more about moomboo take a look at our first post.

Watch this space for a post extolling the advantages of NOT setting a schedule. . .and please do let us know your thoughts and experiences!