Importance of the routine for little children

21/08/2020

 The child came into the world and became part of our daily lives. Were we all ready for that arrival of the child?

The answers to that question can be all sorts ... some were certainly ready - they had an egg car seat, a nest, a fence, a swing, a sterilizer ... etc. etc. (You found yourself?) But ... does that means that you were ready for everything else that comes with the child?

Giving up coffee-time, not having free time, not sleeping, tempo, tempo, tempo ...?!?

Some are convinced that they are (were) ready for that, some think they are ready, and some don't even think about it ...

We are all different, so we prepare for the arrival of the child in our own way.

We will distinguish here which PREPARATIONS 

would be needed for a small baby?

⁃ BABY EQUIPMENT - YES, but without exaggeration (some already know, and some will only find out how many unnecessary things are bought in advance, which we do not need later or use only once ...)

sometimes the arrival of a baby in our brain makes only feelings prevail, so we can't rationally decide if we really need something, because it's just too sweet ... try to find some middle dose in that part :)

⁃ HELP OF FAMILY/FRIENDS IN THE MOST SENSITIVE PERIOD - YES, we need to admit that we can't do everything alone, and sometimes we need just to clear our minds a bit and go, for example, to ride a bike, to the library, for coffee with friends ...

whoever has such help knows (or will only find out) how much it is worth

⁃ ADJUSTING THE DAILY PACE to a new member - oooo YES - our current daily routine and perhaps skipping it, is now overcome by the needs of our child. Sometimes we would eat breakfast and drink coffee, but the baby is crying right at that moment and needs a diaper change. Of course we will put the needs of the child first. The child just fell asleep, we managed to pee, poured coffee (albeit cold, but better than nothing :)) and sat down in front of the TV to stretch our legs a little ... it's been just 20 minutes since the baby fell asleep and you suddenly start hearing weeeep weeep ... Those are the charms of parenthood! We are always ready and prepared! We are always there for the baby!

So, now we are talking about establishing a routine for the child.

What should be followed in routine decisions:

your personal needs, daily habits and pace of life?

or

requirements and needs of the newborn baby?

or

finding balance between the two above?

Every parent has probably weighed and tried all three options many times in countless situations ... There are those who tear up wanting and trying to meet all the baby's needs in the shortest period of time (read: sometimes me), there are those who adjust the child's needs to themselves and when it's not exactly the best for a child (if I want to go on a speedboat that's crowded and hard wind blows all the time and everything is very loud, why wouldn't a child be and sleep in the carrier all day even though we were already yesterday and saw that it bothered the child and that every now and then he woke up and was nervous ?!).

So, these extreme examples indicate that a PARENTAL ASSESSMENT is needed! The parent knows the child from birth and keeps track of him ... the child expresses his personality from birth and no matter how small they are, they communicate with us from the first moment, we as parents have these mechanisms that reads their messages.

It is known that parents int he initial days watch their child all the time and enjoy the view, they could spend hours like that ... in this way the parent unconsciously collects information about the child, GETS TO KNOW HIM/HER ... and this of course then serves for adjusting daily tasks and routines for the child.

Why is ROUTINE important for little children?

Babies are just getting to know the world they came to and are irregular both in sleeping and feeding and in everything they do. The baby would sometimes sleep 4 hours in a row, and sometimes only 20 minutes. Sometimes he/she would be awake all day, except for sleeping from 12-3 pm, even though he/she is only a week old ... The baby's body is getting use to the outside world, and the outside world is represented and created by their parents in the first place. When a baby is given a routine in everyday events, it means safety, familiar, comfortable for the baby, and then the baby gradually adapts to it.

In what situations is the routine important for little children?

⁃ In the beginning it is not possible to have a routine with daytime sleep ... but, it is possible to do an evening bath and prepare for a night's SLEEP at about the same time - so we will signal the baby to sleep through the night (all night, not awake as during the day for a couple of hours in a row :) and we will give the baby a chance to get enough sleep by morning, which is necessary for optimal development.

  • It is also possible to have a routine with falling asleep, reading before bed, playing light music or something you have already chosen as your shared routine - all these small repetitive steps will calm the baby more and let him/her know what to expect (since everything is new and unknown for him/her and he/she is just learning about everything)
  • Imagine, if evening sleep took place at 7pm one day, at 9pm on the second day, and at 10pm on the third day, the baby would or would not be sleepy at 7pm, or he/she would be too nervous at 10pm and heavily fall asleep again because he/she is already exhausted.
  • Of course, there are always exceptional situations and not everything has to be completely strict, but some approximate time will give a sense of calm to both parties - children and parents. The child will know that it is time to calm down and rest, and the parent will know that it is time to stretch legs on the couch and take some time for him/herself

⁃ Initially, it is also difficult to have a meal routine, but the older the child, the easier it is to split meals throughout the day. Whether it's 5, 7 or any other number of meals, it will depend on your child individually, but if he/she eats at about the same time each day, so will hunger form. It is clear that if we wait too long the child will be hungry, and if we give him/her every now and than something to eat, he/she will not be hungry or will not be able to eat, for example, the main meal.

⁃ Routine can also be introduced in some SITUATIONS that you notice the child does not accept the best - e.g. every time you put the child in a stroller to go for a walk, the child protests and cries, or every time you put the child next to you and not in your arms, he/she also starts crying. This is where you try to prevent such a situation - do something that will be fun or new for the child and capture his/her attention. E.g. every time before you put it in the stroller start singing some fun song and do the playfully tapping with your fingers so when you put it in the stroller and the baby tries with his old reaction, continue that song and do it on a funny way. Try a few times, be persistent and the third day will already be easier! Of course, it will not "work" for every child, you as a parent will know what could better "work" for your child (something that he/she loves very much and that otherwise captures his/her attention).

⁃ Routines can be a morning cuddling, a morning walk, an afternoon visit to grandparents ... all the small situations that you create for yourself, and which are pleasant for both the child and you.

What if the child doesn't like the routine?

Based on what did we concluded that the child does not like routine? I think it is necessary to re-examine what the routine is and whether there are too many or too little routines in the day, or whether the routine is adapted to the actual needs of the child. If a child needs to go to bed every day at 7pm and he doesn't feel sleepy, of course he will protest (so we might conclude that he doesn't like the routine).

Children while so young (ages 0-3) need just that sense of security and comfort provided by routine and parental love for a healthy upbringing.

I want to emphasize that the biggest "routine", which is not a routine at all, is LOVE. A parent loves their child immensely and it is the only "routine" that is sure that the parent will be able to do every day :)

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