The Importance of Routines
Imagine you're a baby: everyday is different and packed full of new, exciting, but unfamiliar situations, people, experiences, and objects. Routine provides babies with something familiar amongst the unfamiliar. Having the certainty of various routines in their lives makes babies and children more confident, as they feel they understand their world better. They draw comfort from knowing, for example, that Mummy always reads a story before bedtime.
As well as having a set bedtime routine (See our article on Creating A Good Bedtime Routine), there are other rituals you can incorporate into your baby's day. From 3 months onwards, your baby's eating and sleeping habits become more regular. Keep a diary of when your baby has his feeds and naps, and then build a routine around these.
Having certain routines for your baby makes life easier for parents and caregivers. Having a bedtime routine usually makes it easier for your baby to get to sleep, and generally happier about going to bed. Having nap and feeding routines means you can plan your day around these times.
How much routine you have in your life is up to you and your baby. Some parents like to have very regimented regimes, while others adopt a more relaxed attitude. It also depends upon the temperament of your baby. While all babies benefit from a certain amount of routine, others thrive on strict routine and others get on better when they can guide their parents as to when they are hungry, tired etc.