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A Perfect Routine for Your Baby

What every baby needs is different, and what every mum needs is different too. There is a lot of debate on the issue of routines with babies with ‘experts’ on both sides telling mum’s what they should (or shouldn't!) do.

Here at Tots Play though we believe strongly that mum knows what is best for her family. Sometimes we lose confidence because we hear so many contradicting information but if we just stop and listen to our instincts then we often find the right path for ourselves.

If you do want to get your baby into a routine then we do have some tips to help you gently ease them into it, so feel free to use or adapt the ones that resonate with you.

Burn all the baby books!

Ok this is a bit extreme. We are not suggesting you actually burn anything, but we would definitely urge you to be very wary of which books you religiously follow, if you chose to follow any at all.

There are certainly some excellent books out there but the problem is that your baby won’t have read any of them! Many of the books we have come across advocate for one particular method but this doesn’t take into account the complexity and unique features of your baby and your family.

The only method that works is one that feels right to you, what-ever that may be.

Be consistent

If setting a routine is something you have decided to focus on then consistency is key. This doesn’t mean you have to be strict or restricted, consistency is simpler than that.

All you have to do is create a pattern and repeat it every day. The times are not as relevant as the tasks you do and the order you do them in. The idea is that through consistency you teach your baby to expect what is to come next.

For example, a recommended bedtime routine could include a warm bath, a gentle massage, a feed, a good burp, a story and then bed with a familiar song sung to them.

In just a few days of repeating this pattern your baby will learn what to expect next. In some cases, this can even help reduce anxiety for a baby because they feel secure. If baby feels calm they are more likely to settle more quickly.

Be flexible

We know we just said that you need to be consistent, but you also need to be flexible and yes, you can do both!

It is important to remember that your baby is changing every day, they grow as such a fast pace at this age both physically, emotionally. Regardless of what routine you put in place, at some point they will defy it.

This does not mean you are failing. Nor does it mean you have to go back to square one. Babies have growth spurts or teething issues or simply become unwell; all these problems can unsettle them and make them stray from their routine.

If you experience this with your baby, don’t worry. Once they are back on track they should be able to easily slip back into the routine that they know well. If on the other hand they resist the familiar it might be that they have actually out grown it and then it is time to reassess the routine you have in place and adjust it slightly to make it more appropriate for your little one, their age and their personality.

Learn to read your baby’s cues

Your baby is always communicating with you from the moment they are born. They may not have the language to tell you what they need but they certainly have their own way. Even their cries can differ in sound depending on their different needs and the more focused time you spend with your little one, observing and paying attention to these cues, the more in tune you become with them.

When you are able to read your baby, you will have a better chance of creating a routine that actually does suit them as an individual person and takes into account changes as they grow older.

How Can Tots Play Help?

Attending a regular class, such as Tots Play, with your baby gives you a fabulous opportunity to get to know each other as you enjoy focused time together. With a range of developmental activities to explore together each week, and the opportunity to pick up tips and skills such as baby massage, yoga, sign language and more you will have all the tools you need to set up a perfect and yet flexible routine for you both.

Tots Play is a multi-activity developmental play programme for babies and toddlers with regular classes and courses running across the UK. You can learn more about our classes HERE.

You can find details of classes near you HERE, so why not pop along and experience them for yourself?

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