There’s no denying it—we love routine around here. One of my former roommates used to tease me and say that I’m “so regimented.” That may be true, and I love routine and knowing what comes next. I like order to my day.
When Asher was born, we chose to follow a book our sister-in-law sent us called Babywise. It set us up with a routine that helped us survive the first few months when Asher was a newborn, and it’s taught him how to sleep well and (later) play independently for short periods of time. It even helped Asher get over jet lag faster when we went to the US (miracle of miracles… some of that is just because Asher has always been naturally a good sleeper).
I know there’s some controversy over Babywise, and I realise that not everyone agrees with it or follows it. Particularly in Asher’s early days, the health profession was all about demand feeding and the like. Which is fine, but I didn’t feel very comfortable with never being able to distinguish between when Asher would be hungry or sleepy. Routine is more my thing. As we progressed with implementing our routine, I learned that it’s more of a flexible routine, than it is scheduling.
It’s taken me a long time to get to the point where I can be flexible in my routine with Asher. Honestly I’ll probably be forever growing in that! Following any parenting method such as the “-wise Series” is good, but I learned that looking at it through a black-and-white lens didn’t always help. I had to make it fit to my family, not make my family fit. It also takes a lot of wisdom from God to know what is best for my family.
And thankfully, God gives us wisdom when we ask for it! (James 1:5)
So for us, a routine doesn’t necessarily mean we’re doing one thing at 9:00, something else at 9:30, another activity at 10… But it does give us some guidance throughout the day so that we (Asher included) know what to expect throughout the day. We do have certain times where we do certain activities like get up for the day, eat, nap and bedtime. But we don’t over-schedule our day. Our routine has made all the difference for us, and we’ve got a really good sleeper out of the deal, too!