Life is full of unplanned and unexpected disruptions that can send your baby’s routine into a tailspin. Rather than calling it a day and sinking into the couch until it all blows over, you can expertly manage inconsistencies in your routines. At first, the task will seem like a tall order as you have likely relied on a strict regimen to keep everything together. After a while and a few messy trial and error sessions, you will be able to manage the situation efficiently for you and your baby when changes are out of your control.
Inconsistency Is Consistent
All it takes is one hiccup in your plans to send everything off the rails. You can count on consistent interruptions and changes for the rest of their and your life. Being well-prepared and adaptive to change will help you make the most of stressful situations and help build resilience in your child.
Routine Is Essential
Consistency is the foundation for stability, not just for children but for you as a parent. Even though inconsistency reigns king, creating a reliable routine is best for your baby. Keeping a handle on what you can manage makes it easier to accommodate changes and disruptions. Entering into a scheduling freefall can feel impossible to control.
Many young parents feel like a routine is out of reach. However, the benefits of implementing a consistent schedule outweigh the pains of sticking to it. If you are frustrated that everything seems to revolve around the baby, include scheduling for adult activities. If you do not feel comfortable leaving your child with a babysitter, choose adult activities that accommodate your baby and their schedule.
You can consider including a date night every Thursday where everyone goes out to eat. Self-care Sunday can include the baby, too; a bath, a sheet mask, and whole-body moisturizer are easily done with the baby in tow. Starting a movie night tradition on Fridays doesn’t have to wait until they’re in grade school; if you begin now, you can tweak your own process or routine along the way.
Disruption Is Inevitable
You will have many opportunities to set an example for your child, starting at a very young age. Sticking to the schedule and routine you have created for your baby and, later, your growing child will be paramount for secure development. However, fostering resiliency will also be essential for adapting to change and healthy acclimation tactics.
Hosting visitors at an ideal time is under your parental control, but it is also necessary to provide flexibility for people who can’t meet your scheduling parameters. People from out of town, busy family members, and people with other children can be challenging to schedule at ideal times. While you might not want to make it a regular occurrence, shorting a nap one way or another might make for joyous memories rather than declining.
Socialization is critical for development, particularly if your baby is an only child or there is a large gap between ages. If you have the occasional opportunity for your baby to socialize with other babies for language, social, and emotional skills, you should take the chance to do so. An early bedtime will help negate the sleepy effects of a displaced nap.
Adults and babies alike are disrupted by vacations. Yet, holidays are some of the best memory makers that families are privy to over time. Take advantage of all the vacation opportunities, but try to plan around your baby’s routine the best you can. Planning an itinerary before you go will help mitigate any FOMO you might have along the way.
Creating and sticking to a baby’s routine well into childhood is ideal for a safe and secure upbringing; it is also suitable for parents who sometimes need to hit autopilot and let the routine do the rest. The way you adapt to interruptions in your regularly scheduled regimen sets the foundation for resiliency in your child.