I must admit that I have miserably failed to stick to a routine that will help me and my daughter manage our days without many hitches. As a stay at home mother, I get to have the freedom to do things at my own pace and this works perfectly for me, except for the fact that am really confusing my dear lovely daughter .
My day starts from around 6:30am and I quickly take some time to pray, do some small chores in the house and prepare some breakfast for my daughter who will wake up by 9:00am. When she wakes up, whatever chores I have not managed to complete will be kept on hold till much later in the day when she takes her nap. After taking her cereals and fruits for breakfast, she will be energized to start her day, moving around the house. Trust me, I get busy following her around wherever she goes or just keeping an eye on her since she has perfected the habit of getting into mischief that might cause her to choke or fall at such an early age. The day is spent playing with my daughter, singing, doing some cooking with her, going to the grocery, bathing, eating, talking, laughing, crying and napping. I have never set her to follow any timetable for eating, sleeping or bathing and it is really affecting our family life.
My daughter has different times for her naps and they vary each single day and at times she is still awake past midnight due to her uneven sleeping patterns. This causes my partner and I some bit of trouble as we have to stay awake with her till she falls down in sleep. Apart from sleeping, we also get to deal with the problem of eating patterns. she does not know when is lunch or dinner. She only gets to be ready for breakfast since she knows she gets to eat something after she wakes up, but during the day, I get to feed her any time that I feel is appropriate. This is so wrong.
It is so wrong and unfair since, a baby needs a routine the same way that an adult does. Lacking an effective routine makes my baby to:
- Have some bouts of crying,
- Become fussy and jittery
- Become extremely tired and downcast.
- And the parent and household eventually become disorganized.
In my quest to come up with guidelines that will make me disciplined in following a routine for my baby, I come up with the following:
a) Set specific times for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
b) Fruits and juices should not be served as lunch or dinner; they should be taken as snacks. Lunch and dinner should be composed of well cooked and nutritious baby dishes.
c) A bed time routine should always be followed no matter what the circumstances. This routine may consist of bathing, reading and singing lullabies.
d) Since am still breastfeeding, I should not always breastfeed during the day so as to ensure the baby gets to eat well.
e) Bathing time should be prioritized and an appropriate time for bathing should be set. Most preferably before bedtime.
f) Always set time aside for you and your baby to bond without much interruption.
g) Last but not the least; make sure your baby's daytime nap times are consistent each day.
Am sure that following these points will open the ways to have a happy and brighter baby and my days as a stay at home mother will be more satisfying and enjoyable.