Early introduction of good habits can help your child lead a well-disciplined life. As babies, they do not know how to do things on their own. Hence it is up to the parents to create a well planned schedule each for eating, sleeping, bathing, playing, socializing etc. Doing so will make the life easier for both the parents and the child.
Where to Begin
Creating a regular sleeping routine at night will by default create a good daytime routine. It is the most important consideration to make while making a schedule for the baby. If you get your child to sleep at a particular time every day, you can get him to wake up at the same time every morning. This will make way to create a healthy eating and sleeping pattern for the day. Developing a night routine can begin as early as two months. By the time a baby is two months old, he might learn to sleep through the night or sleep for long hours at a stretch before crying for a feed.
Setting a routine for the night
A few things can instigate sleep in babies; a warm bath, a gentle bedtime massage, comfortable clothes, a good feed and a soothing environment. At times, your baby might sleep off while nursing. It is fine as long as the habit is not carried forward as he grows. Singing a lullaby or playing soothing music can be pleasing to some babies. While you sit beside him, he will lull himself to sleep.
One thing that you must take care of while making your baby to adopt schedules is to teach him the difference between day and night. Keep the house bright and well lit during the day. At night, keep the house quiet and dim. While feeding the baby, do not encourage him to play or do not talk much. Your baby will soon realize that nighttime is to sleep and daytime is to eat, play and socialize.
Listening to the Baby’s Cues
A schedule that works for one baby might not work for another. Normally, the schedules can be planned and prepared after getting some cues from your baby. He will express it through indicating when he is hungry, when he is sleepy and when he is bored. A good night sleeper will wake up early the next morning. It becomes easier for the mom to get him to nurse and play for sometime before offering him his breakfast. Babies older than six months require solid food too apart from the feeds. Maintaining a routine will help you balance the nursing and feeding sessions, in addition to the daytime naps he takes.
Missing the Schedules
If you have the habit of going out frequently, try to stick to the baby’s developed schedules. Go out only when he is generally awake and active. Do not postpone his feed or bath just because you are going out. You could even nurse or feed your baby while being out. However, your baby might not yet be prepared for the change. If he is used to a schedule, do not force him to juggle between schedules. This is when babies turn a lot fussy.
You can expect changes in the schedule as your baby is growing. Tweak around the schedules and make the appropriate changes. When the babies grow older, they sleep lesser, so take them out to a park in the evening or a walk to tire them out so that they can sleep after an early dinner. It is a good habit to let them to sleep early and get up early!