For those of you who don't have a "routine".

And by that I mean a routine as prescribed by some baby "expert" like Gina Ford or Tracey Hogg.

They really get you where it hurts, just when you are at your most vulnerable. I have spent hours worrying that I will break my baby because she won't fit into the Hoggster's three hourly plan - she doesn't do EASY, more sort of AEASY, or EAEASY or even EEEAEESY. For ages I fretted that this would have the knock on effect of making her a fretful aggitated baby, and would spend days looking at the clock and worrying that we weren't doing what we "should" be at that point.

Then I realised that we DO have a "routine" - it's a bespoke routine that I have fashioned myself based on MY baby's needs. Just because I haven't written a number of best selling books extolling the virtues of my routine over everybody else's doesn't mean its not a valid routine!

So I would love to hear about your "routines" - I might nick them and turn them into a book to torment other first time mums with! image


  • We never tried to get a routine, just sort of noticed that we bath her around the same time every night then she has a feed, snoozes for 2 hours has another feed then bed. She usually wakes up around 8am when Daddy leaves for work and feeds 2 hourly during the day unless she's in her pram and the rest we take as it comes. We 'fell into' our routine at around 5months. I don't call it a routine TBH. I just have a consistent baby :lol: I think we just did what suited the 3 of us and now its habit x
  • I have never had a routine for either of my girls- 30 and 8 months. We have a rough "guide" to the day but we just go with the flow. When Daddy is at work we all get up to have breakfast with him about 6am (normally both Lily and Mia wake up at this time but it can be as late as 7.30am) we have breakfast and then depending on what we are doing in the day we might go back to bed and watch TV or we might stay downstairs and play then get dressed. Mia naps when she feels like it- normally a big nap in the morning and then one in the afternoon after her lunch which is anytime from 11.30-1.30. We do a lot of activities in the week so afternoons are either spent out and about or with friends over for play dates. Dinner time is from 4-6.30pm depending again what we are doing and if its later Mia will have an extra milk at about 3.30-4pm to keep her going. If Daddy is at work he normally doesn't get home until 6.30-7pm so I bath them both get jammies on and then Mia has her milk sometimes a little break in between where she plays if she isn't quite tired enough but she is normally in bed by 7.30pm. Lily has a cup of milk and a biscuit and watches Peppa Pig before going to bed by 8.30pm. I like it no day is the same as we just do what we please. Works for us!x
  • Brilliant!

    BethBeanie I know just what you mean - we just sort of fell into our own pattern despite me constantly trying to get us to fit into someone else's routine. Silly me.

    ILOVEMYGEEK your day sounds lovely can I come to your house for tea? As my mum rightly pointed out to me one day - a too rigid routine means you can't go with the flow - I think it's nice to be able to say to your kiddie "So, what do you fancy doing today?"
  • Thank god for this post as i have been told today by my MIL that I must have a book! I don't want a bloody book!

    I did say I want to meet my baby and work out a routine that is best for them and not what someone else thinks is right for my baby.

    I think I have a uphill struggle on my hands! xx
  • In my experience all babies thrive on routine - but I think it's up to them to find it for themselves, with a little bit of help from mum. We're in a sort of a routine now (LO is 18 weeks)but it has happened fairly organically based on the routine I already had with his big brother and based on my baby's needs. It's flexible and it keeps my boys happy, and it's constantly changing as they are constantly changing.

    No way would I be dictated to by a random who had met my baby, I'm certainly not going to follow instructions from someone who has never even met my son!
  • Routine Schmoutine. Has your baby read the books? No. Can she therefore be expected to know what Tracey Hogg or Gina Ford thinks she should be doing? No.

    I'm going to write the shortest book on baby routine ever, one of these days. It's going to go like this.

    Chapter one - feeding.

    Feed your baby when it is hungry. Let it eat as much as it wants. Don't stress over how much your baby is eating, if itis having frequent wet and dirty nappies it is eating enough. Some babies need to eat through the night. Despite the efforts of lauded parenting philosophers, you should not view this as aberrant. Feed your baby when it wants fed.

    Chapter two - sleeping.

    Let your baby sleep when it wants. Some babies sleep more than others. Observe your baby's preferred sleeping patterns, the pattern your baby prefers is what is 'normal.

    Ignore anyone who smugly says their baby slept through from birth. Their next child will probably be up three times a night until it's four.

    That's it. What do you think? Will I sell gazillions?
  • lol maenad, when is your book available to buy cos I want to buy it??

    we dont have a routine in any way shape or form, we just go with the flow and so far (touch wood) its working great!!

    we are lucky at the moment to get 7 hours at night (although my mum got 9 last time he stayed over.....!!) but my mil keeps telling me we should be getting 12 hours and he should be in a routine by now....aaaargh she drives me nuts, there is only so many times you can agree with her to keep the peace, can see me snapping at her one of these days lol.
  • In our house, the only routine we have is that when the boys wake, hubby gets up with them, I am not a lark and therefore take longer to shift!!

    (I have 2 boys, 22 months and 16 weeks.)

    Then I have a quick shower and get dressed. In this time, hubs feeds the boys breakfast.

    Then hubby goes to work and routine ends!! image

    From this point, we watch some TV, do some colouring, maybe one or both boys take a snooze.

    Lunch is around 11:30am to 1:30pm... depends where we are, who we're with and what we are doing!

    Then more play - maybe go out... walks, friend's house to play, friends come here... whatever.

    Maybe a sleep if ds1 didn't in the morning he will after lunch and ds2 has his afternoon nap.

    When hubby gets home we have our tea (about 5:30pm)

    The boys have their baths at 6:30pm-7pm and then bed. Dreamfeed ds2 if he needs it.

    The days work for us, we have fun and the boys sleep, eat and play well so I have given up tormenting myself over the books that insist I have a routine. My boys are different... they don't want to sleep at the same time. Or eat at the same time. And I have accepted it and got on with it image xx
  • I am going to buy that book Maenad!

    I read the Baby Whisperer and Gina Ford, and whilst I picked up a few bits of advice here and there, they made me feel like a bad Mummy. Hannah was certainly not an EASY baby, eating made her sleep, and activity made her eat. And as for the You part, pfffft! Gina Ford was far too rigid for me. Waking the baby at 7am image I have never woken Hannah in all her life, when she is asleep, I get to rest/do ironing/eat sweets in peace.

    So I just let her eat when she wanted, and sleep when she wanted. I found quickly that she had a pattern, and would follow that and her cues as my routine. Plus, babies change every few weeks, and I would get stressed if things changed from the "routine".
  • We have a wonderful routine... it goes something like this:

    Sometime in the morning (before it's light usually!) Erin will wake up and shout at me to come and get her, so I stumble out of bed and bring her into bed with me where she'll have a feed and then drift off to sleep again, sometime later she'll wake up and I then spend about ten mins trying to do my best to ignore her in the vain hope she might go off to sleep again. After she's whacked me round the head a couple of times, pulled my hair and tried to latch onto my forehead I eventually concede and our day starts... we then do all sorts of fun crap until she goes to bed that evening, during the day she eats when she's hungry and sleeps when she's tired... and it works beautifully for us... Gina Ford would probably have a fit if she came to our house!

    I did however, read both CLB and BW when I was pregnant and thought that each had some sensible ideas but when Erin came along I just did what felt right and haven't picked up either book since!
  • Maenad, your book is spot on. I've always followed what Sophie wants to do with the exception of starting a bed time wind down routine at about 5 weeks, because that helped. Other than that she's fallen into her own pattern, but generally does things at the same or similar times every day - gets up between 7 and 8, breakfast about 30 minutes after that, a nap in the morning, lunch between 12 and 1, nap in the afternoon and tea between 4 and 5. I never even bothered to read BW or Gina Ford, what do they think people used to do before these books existed?
  • we never had a routine until ds was over 6 months old I never read any of the gina ford books etc, I did buy bw at about 5 months as byt his stage he was having no and I mean not a wink of sleep during the day which I dont think is at all healthy for babies either (also getting up about 5 times a night so well under sleep needed for his age), when he was around 6 months I started to take him for a walk after breakfast and lunch as he would go down at these times but only for 10 mins whereas when in the pram or car he would sleep for longer, eventually I moved from the pram to the cot and now he works around us, up breakfast leave ds to school then back nap for ds2 up fro an hour and half lunch then down for another hour and a half then up to get ds1 and then either out to park etc etc or home or to meet some one or to visit.

    I am a great believer of routine for older babies but think it is a load of faff for newborns, feed them when they are hungry hug them when they want as they are only tiny for a wee while. Our routine works for us and our wee family whereas ohter mummy friends have different ones that work for them, I think every one when they look at it does have some sort of loose routine but it has to fit around you and your family not a woman in a book xx

    edited to say loving my non use of punctuation enjoy reading!
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