There is no right or wrong way to do motherhood – everyone has different preferences and lifestyles. This post is to share the way I prefer for my personal and family’s lifestyle, which is to follow rather strict routines when we welcome a new baby into our family and continue to maintain loose routines as they grow up. My main reasons for wanting to do so are:
- I believe babies (and adults!) thrive better if they know what to expect.
- I like structure and planning and so it is important for my sanity that I am able to plan ahead and stick to the plans.
- Routines help me guide baby towards sleeping longer stretches at night without needing to drink milk, or drinking minimal milk, during the night.
- Routines help me pump on schedule and build a freezer stash.
- I want to have free time in the evenings to spend with my husband and/or work.
I learnt everything I know about routines from a ex-maternity nurse from the UK named Gina Ford. Her methods are widely acclaimed and also hated, but they do work if you understand and stick firmly to the key principles. I have used them for all my 3 babies, and also helped some other new parents use them very successfully. In her book, “The New Contented Little Baby Book”, she suggests 10 different routines for a baby to follow through the first 12 months, closely following the natural sleep and feeding needs of all normal, healthy babies as they grow through their first year. You can begin anytime you and your family is ready to. Personally, I find it is easiest to begin right from the minute the baby is born, as long as there are no health complications for both mother and baby. As I do not yet have Gina Ford’s permission, I shall not reproduce any of her methods here on this blog. However, I’ll be happy to work with you through the key principles and the changes which her methods allow for, in order to suit your baby and your preferred lifestyle.