Following certain behaviors will set a routine that will strengthen your baby’s personality.
Having a newborn at home involves a series of substantial changes in the family. You will quickly want to impose certain routines so that your baby begins to know the rhythm of life outside of the mother’s belly. And then you wonder when should I start with daily routines?
When my first daughter was born, I hadn’t given much thought to routines. Some just happened, but I was also seeing that others had to structure and apply them.
Meal times, naps, bedtime at night, bath time, etc., are routines that babies learn over time and help make daily life easier, both for the baby , as for mom.
The importance of routines
If you are a mother, or are about to be one, you will have already heard a lot about this. But it is not bad to remember it. Routines in babies give them confidence, security and self-control.
An investigation published in Bio Medical Centralstates that a sleep routine, for example, significantly improves a child’s overall well-being. This is reflected in their health, their performance and their mental development.
Also, routines make the baby or child build their personality and have emotional balance. Repeating a habit every day shapes children for the future, no matter how small that habit may be.
Routines as personality shapers
Rudolf dreikurs was an American psychiatrist and educator who posited in his book “Children: the challenge”, The idea of the importance of routines in babies and children.
“Routine is to a child what walls are to a house. It gives limits and dimensions to your life. No child is comfortable in a situation where they don’t know exactly what to expect. The routine gives a sense of security. An established routine also provides a sense of order from which freedom grows ”explains the author.
For the professional, routines can be applied to children from a very young age, with the benefit of motivating and accentuating their own abilities without requiring maximum effort. For example, if you teach your baby to brush his teeth since he is 1 year old, you will not need to run him around the house and force him to do it when he is 5 years old.
Habit as parental responsibility
We adults are the ones who must instill the daily habits and routines in our children. Thus, when we decide to introduce routines, we do so in pursuit of a present and future benefit, and making an effort to sustain it over time, so that it becomes a true habit.
The habits and routines that we instill in our children will shape their daily attitudes towards different aspects of life, making them adapt in a responsible way to social and family life.
When to start?
Babies adapt easily to routines if we repeat them daily. Sleep, meals, bathing, are routines that we ourselves as parents are accommodating based on comfort and how our baby is.
The pediatric Marc weissbluth, author of the book “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Children”, explains that it is only after 3 or 4 months of age that it is easier to establish a sleep routine in babies. Before that, it is not impossible, but perhaps mothers can feel that routines are not working.
However, you will soon see that little by little the routine with your baby will begin to settle on its own. Little by little your baby will understand the rhythm of the day to day and with this, you will be able to incorporate new habits as he grows.
Starting with the routines
Certain routines and habits can be applied from the first weeks, so that your baby can get used to the rhythm of life at home.
As a mother of two, in my opinion, a newborn’s daily routine basically consists of four moments: eating, sleeping, playing, and bathing. And some of the following tips are the ones I put into practice with my kids, and they’re also often recommended by experts.
1 Noise and lights only diminish at night
When my first daughter was a newborn I used to shut everyone up so she wouldn’t wake up from her morning naps. My mother advised me to let everyday noises happen naturally, so that my daughter would differentiate day from night.
Thus, my baby, as the days went by, learned that when the house was quiet and dark, it was time to sleep. And this advice served me and continues to this day to maintain the habit of sleep in my children.
2 Associate a pattern with bedtime
I had a rocking chair where I sat to nurse my daughter who was a few weeks old. She dimmed the lights and left the house quiet. Breastfeeding in this context let my daughter know that it was time to sleep.
It is essential to observe the baby and identify the signs that indicate that he is about to fall asleep, to start the routine. Each mom will establish her own. Soft music, an attachment doll, foot massages, putting on pajamas, etc. Bath time is also often the time to go to sleep for many babies.
3 Set a breastfeeding rhythm
Although during the first months breastfeeding should be on demand, it is also beneficial for babies to maintain a sustainable rhythm. For example, you can breastfeed or give your baby a bottle when you wake up and then in the middle of the morning, until you regulate the space between feeding and feeding.
When they are very babies, it is not advisable to mark the rhythm of breastfeeding by the schedule itself, but to associate it with certain factors such as a certain position, or a specific place in the house.
4 The signs before the bath
Already the fact of the sound of the water filling the bathtub, the sweet voice of her mother as she takes off her baby’s clothes, indicate to him that bath time is approaching.
Repeating this every day at a certain time will mark a habit that the baby will soon get used to. Later, this routine will predispose the baby in a positive way when it comes to grooming.
5 Game time
Choose the times of the day when your baby feels calmer, awake, and in good spirits. Sing some songs to her, stimulate her vision with some mobile toys, or start doing stimulation exercises suggested by your pediatrician.
The game routine is ideal for the baby to begin to recognize the world around him and can be the prelude to another of the daily routines.
Applying routines and habits in your baby’s life will help him grow up confident and secure, while opening the door to the next most important daily routines as he grows.
A child who grows up with the limitations and stability provided by routines will be a happy and confident child.