When Ryan was merely few weeks old, I asked one of my friends (mum of two girls by that stage) to give me any tips on establishing the feed, play, sleep routine.
‘Mina, its way too early to establish anything! Just go with the flow. Routine works itself out later.’
And did I listen? Of course not. Instead I glued myself to the tresillian routine magnet I had on my fridge. It stated 0-6 months. So from zero I shall start! Of course I should’ve listened to my friend…but just like everything else newborn related, I chose to turn a blind eye on every ‘all babies are different’ disclaimer.
So raise your hand if by the time your newborn was 3 months old, you tried to do all of the following:
– Stick to a feeding schedule
– Play with your newborn after you’ve fed them (even though most times milk/formula would knock them out)
– Bathe your newborn at the same time – every day
– Failed at every single mentioned thing
NO ONE IS ABLE TO DO IT. Cause all newborns are different and I guess no newborn cares about a routine. But by the time Ryan was about 2.5-3 months old, routine really did start to work itself out. So with Ben I didn’t even try. I fed him when he seemed hungry, I let him be awake when he wanted to be awake and I let him sleep when he was tired. We are at the 2.5 months mark now and he’s slipping into the feed, play, sleep routine naturally. So our job is just to jump on board.
Look, I get it. Setting a routine early on certainly does sound magical. And I think we, as first time parents, were eager for routine to kick in cause we wanted to sleep longer at night. And routine promised to provide longer sleep at night! But we should’ve just accepted that for the first 2-3 months, baby is in charge. We come later.
One of the hardest things for me – even when Ryan did establish some form of a routine – was making plans. Those dreaded moments when you plan to get out and just really need the baby to eat at a certain time cause it would be so good if he’s asleep during the outing but baby decides he will have the longest nap ever…so you wake him up, you feed him, you pack everything but the kitchen sink, and you are just about to step outside – and the smell hits you. I’m convinced it was Ryan’s way of saying: ‘That one’s for waking me up!’. Needless to say, waking the sleeping angel required some serious reasons in our house.
So I was always late. To everything. For someone who considered tardiness one of their top pet peeves, I hated what I turned into. I am a lot more chilled this time around. I also tell people in advance that unless all the stars align, there is a fairly high chance I will be late.
Straight away – pressure’s off. And straight away, I can breathe a bit easier.