The younger you can introduce your little one to a routine, the better! Some clients ask me, “But why when they are so little do they need a routine”?
We adults (or so-called) Repeating the same routine day in and day out might seem a little dull. Reading their favourite book the 4th night in a row or singing that same song while doing an activity can get us ready to go slightly insane, believe me I know!
However, for babies and toddlers, this is pure magic!
At this early stage in life, they are very often getting used to the world in which they are in. It can be scary for little peanuts, and the more you can make life a little predictable the more your child will feel calm increases their sense of security! There are many needs children can’t verbally express at younger ages, so creating an environment where they are expectant of the next thing coming the more settled in most cases children will feel!
As our babies are becoming familiar with their little worlds, routines can be a fantastic way to introduce time management!
Children are under the age of five, are most likely are not going to have a complete understanding of time- routines can be a lovely way of learning the difference between night time and daytime!
Perhaps at nighttime, your child could get a little bath and book and then off to sleep! Then during the morning time, they could have breakfast and get dressed! It sounds so simple but having small little structures like these really do work a treat!
As your child gets a little older, you might like to use the power of routines to encourage when we do different activities and chores. Perhaps each night after dinner you remind your child to help clean the table/ washing/ wiping whatever it may be! After some relentless reminding on your part, eventually, children won’t think twice about this as it has been part of their routine for so long.
Night and Day routines!
Here are a few amazing tricks tried and tested by myself and parents!
Dun dun dunnn! For many families the idea of a settled bedtime has us reaching for a bottle of wine and a straw, so here are a few ways to create a smoother bedtime routine.
In most cases, children cannot be expected to fall asleep at the drop of a hat after an exciting activity or tv program. Giving your child a little time to wind down works beautifully. Try simple things like a bath and book each night, maybe followed by a cuddle and warm milk!
2- Calm environment
This may sound incredibly simple but it works like a charm. Creating a soft, light (it doesn’t always have to be pitch dark if your little one prefers nightlights) Having your child’s crib or bed warm cosy! Perhaps filled with favourite soft toys or leave an item of your clothing with them for extra comfort.
More often than not, if a child doesn’t have their nap dosage during the day, parents say to me “Ohh he should sleep well tonight right”? In fact, when it comes to settling them down for the night there is a very high chance this will be incredibly hard! Have you ever been so wired up late at night you lay like broccoli staring at the ceiling? No matter how we’d toss and turn it’s nearly impossible to fall asleep!! Well, it’s much like this for children, if they don’t nap during the day they are very likely to become exhausted and overworked, thus ending in falling asleep very difficult! More often than not, you’ll find it much easier for your child to sleep at night after naps during the day!
Starting routine chores early is awesome! This does take time to get into effect but is so great in the long run! There’s no reason why children as young as 3/4 can’t help out! Teaching them to contribute to a household plus enunciating valued life skills is really something wonderful! If your child is particularly against chores, using charts, sticking to your guns and simply disallowing treats until chores are done throughout the house builds up a positive routine with chores!
2- Getting dressed
Each morning getting ready doesn’t have to be a struggle. Many children will naturally grow up becoming more and more aware of the things that happen each morning! However for this routine to stick, try and make it fun! Give your child a choice.
For example “Would you like to put on your trousers or your top first”? Works much better than, “Hurry up! Get your top on! Come on!!”
Children are much more likely to respond positively to tasks in which they have a say. If you were to say the first example, a child is much more likely to back out from the task and they only have one option. If you were to say the second example you have given your child a choice, while you are still under control!
I can’t say enough how magically fun works for routine! You can incorporate fun and games into anything! In my own experience, I have noticed when there is timing on a task, children are much more likely to enthusiastically run about wild to win the game! You might like to use a clock, watch, timer anything and watch the fun begin!