Why is it important to have a routine for my baby?
"With multiple children, homework, sport games, and a new baby, it's really difficult to keep the same routine every day."
Parents are busy people. And if the idea of setting a routine feels out of reach at first, you are not alone. But it may help to know that, with some effort, routines can help you and your baby in lots of ways. For example, what do eating and sleeping routines have in common? They can both help your baby stay at a healthy weight as he grows up!
So even though it can be a challenge, starting a routine can help you and your baby stay healthy and happy. Routines help you prepare for mealtime and help your baby be a better sleeper — which helps the whole family!
Quick tips: Setting routines
- At first, you’ll feed your baby on demand. But as she gets older, she’ll fall into a routine of eating and napping. Use her natural schedule as a start for your routine.
- Try to keep the same schedule every day. As your baby starts eating solid foods, feed him at the same time that the grown-ups eat.
- When your baby gets older, try to wake him up at about the same time every day for feeding and playing. Giving up your Saturday morning sleep-in may be hard. But it’ll pay off by saving you time and hassle down the road.
Babies need plenty of sleep to grow up healthy.
Did you know that babies who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight or obese as children?
- Newborns need about 17 hours of sleep a day.
- At 1 year, babies still need about 14 hours of sleep a day.
Most babies settle into a routine of 2 to 3 naps per day.
Parent 2 Parent
"Every night, we turn down the lights in our baby’s room and put on some soft music. My husband and I take turns rocking her, and then we put her down in her crib right before she falls asleep. We look forward to this quiet time together at the end of the day."
Remember: Just like everything else, routines don’t have to be perfect. But babies and young kids — just like grown-ups — do better when they know what to expect.
Talk to your child’s doctor about your successes, questions, and concerns about parenting at each well-child visit. You and your child’s pediatrician are partners in helping your child develop healthy habits.
Being prepared for well-child visits can help make the most of your time together. Write down a list of questions for the doctor and take it with you — leave space to write down the doctor’s answers.
Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions. If you have a question, chances are another parent has asked that same question before!