Parenting

The importance of scheduling

My baby wasn’t eating fantastically well…until I really got into a routine.

Previously, I had been working “full-time” as a teacher (15 hours of classroom time and infinite hours of prep and grading), so every weekday I would drop off my baby at the sitter between 12:00 and 12:20 and pick him up after 4:00.  The morning was spent getting ready, grading papers, prepping for class, running errands, etc., so there wasn’t really a routine that I settled into.  He didn’t always nap at the sitter, so sometimes he would pass out in the car.  Or sometimes I would need to run to the store and we couldn’t go straight home.  It was erratic, to put it mildly.

When I was vacationing at my parents’ home a couple weeks ago, I found myself without outside influences on my time or mind. I was able to wake up with the baby, feed him breakfast, play with him or take a walk, come back and have a little snack, play some more, eat lunch, take a nap, wake up, eat a snack, play or take a walk, have dinner, take a bath, read some books, go to sleep.  Every day.  It was great.

Before, he would eat like a bird and I would rush him through whatever scant food he was eating.  Now I was able to properly observe him and his eating habits, to pick up his cues when he was finished with something, or when he wasn’t interested in a food.  It was like I was feeding him for the first time.  Neat!  It’s made a tremendous difference.

Routines are important for toddlers, especially with quickly developing language, social, and motor skills, which can get kind of overwhelming.  “Your child needs some consistency to her day, a predictable sequence that lets her explore the world without worry,” says Victoria Manion Fleming, PhD, a child and family therapist in Northbrook, Illinois (www.parents.com).

It has also been particularly helpful when planning errands, playdates, etc.  Since our schedule has been regular, I can better predict when a trip to the store is going to be fun or frantic.  I can gauge whether or not I can make that extra errand, or if it’s better saved for later.  This makes for both a happier baby and mommy.  And at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want?

 

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4 thoughts on “The importance of scheduling

  1. Pciture is adorable. so true about the structure. Somedays is so hard to stick with one when you have so many things going on. I had 3 teachers.. (my 3 older kids) now with Aviva its much more relaxing when dealing with things and structure. It is all trial by error and learning . :) you will be amazed at how much you learn when you look back on it. before you know it you will be a pro at everything .. A+ for mommyhood

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