How much of a routine do you have? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: How strict is your "routine"?
We adhere by strict routines in our household 0 0%
We have a routine but have no qualms being flexible about it 49 73.13%
The child/ren pretty much make our schedule! 18 26.87%
Voters: 67. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 20 Old 07-07-2002, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi, everyone. I just wanted to know how many of you had routines for your children, and how strict they were. I didn't have much of a routine with #1, because I felt there was really no need for one. She was very colicky, and just being able to put her down at ANY time of the day or night was quite an accomplishment for us! But now, with #2 here, I feel like we need a bit of a routine so I can keep my sanity and to allow my husband and I to have a little bit of time together at the end of the day.
So what routines do you follow? And how strictly do you follow it?
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#2 of 20 Old 07-07-2002, 04:33 PM
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Our 11 mo dd pretty much determines our schedule, based upon her needs.

She wakes about the same time everyday (6:15 - 7 am), is ready to nap most every day around 10 am and is ready for bed around 7:30 - 8 pm.

If she isn't ready to go to bed until later or naps aren't happening, I just kind of go with the flow.

We try to stay pretty close to this schedule but, of course, life doesn't always allow it. Friends or family stop by, we go out to eat on occassion, etc.
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#3 of 20 Old 07-07-2002, 05:06 PM
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We have a bedtime routine, and we homeschool so that is pur morning routine, but we also have a sort of ebb and flow throughout the day and gauge activities according to the childrens needs.
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#4 of 20 Old 07-07-2002, 11:29 PM
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We have the same routine every single day. BUT, we can shift it an hour or two depending on our schedule that day I"ve found that ds' body needs his routine, plus he anticipates what's coming next;ie. after nap, he runs to the frig. and gets out a yogurt.
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#5 of 20 Old 07-07-2002, 11:33 PM
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Routine is a good word because I couldn't call our's a schedule. DS's sleep patterns have really varied throughout the last 18 months so we kind of base things around that. Depending on when he wakes up (anywhere from 6:30-8:30), we have a nap about 5 hours later--sleep a couple of hours and then down for the night about 5-6 hours from the wake up time from the nap.
Most days it's up about 7, down for nap about 12:30-1 and down for the night at around 8. Most days...")

DS does pretty well when we shake up the schedule as long as we don't do it too often. He can take a busy weekend (we live a couple hours from family so this happens once and again) and can take the occasional late night or skipped nap. To all, he's very adaptable which is great. I attribute it to keeping the "routine" on most days.

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
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#6 of 20 Old 07-08-2002, 01:09 AM
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I would have voted strict routine a couple of weeks ago, but school's out now!! During the school year we have to be on a pretty strict routine (5 kids), but during the holidays, as long as naps happen, then things are more relaxed - even bedtimes, which people who know me find strange : . I must admit, by August, we are all ready for the stricter routine to come back.
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#7 of 20 Old 07-08-2002, 01:31 AM
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I chose the third, "child pretty much makes our schedule," but that's not really true. I would have said "We, the whole family, determine the schedule/routine/calendar of events on a daily and weekly basis"

Our day tends to be based around what activities are planned, and if we want to do said planned activity when the time comes, and are there any library books due? and is dh home with us today? and when did mommy get up and does she have a headache? and does mommy have a dr. appt.? and are we out of peanut butter? and what moods are everyone in?

We may at some point soon "fall into" a routine. Dd, 4.5 y.o., just stopped preschool and I just quit to be home with her and attend to my health. So right now, I rest a lot, and we're both "de-schooling", figuring out what we want to do with our lives!

So far, it's talking, cuddling, dancing, and 3-4 or more hours of playdough every day! It didn't really take her long to get tired of the tv. When she first left school, all of 11 days ago, she spent ridiculous amounts of time in front of the boob tube. I let her, figuring she might just need to get it out of her system. Not only that, but it is awfully nice to sleep in . Now it seems that playdough and cuisenaire rods (math manipulatives) are a much better deterent to keep her from waking me earlier than I'm ready.

We eat when we get hungry. The only meal that has a set time frame is dinner. We try to get that in between 6:00, after Dh comes home, and 8:00, when dd goes to bed (theoretically).

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#8 of 20 Old 07-08-2002, 12:03 PM
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We have a loose routine and it's pretty much baby dictated. During the day, my activities are structured by when she naps. I wouldn't mind having a little more structure but right now it's more or less go with the flow. I like the sense of stability routines provide, so I try to adhere to doing things in the same order everyday, regardless of what time these tasks actually get accomplished by, KWIM?
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#9 of 20 Old 07-08-2002, 01:55 PM
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We have an evolving routine, based mostly on DS's sleep times. He seems to fall into a routine for a few months, then transition for about a month, then settle on a new routine. I have found that having separate morning, lunch, afternoon, and bedtime routines give him a real sense of comfort, this is something we really got into when he was around 12 months old. And it doesn't matter what time he wakes or naps, the mini-routines let him know where he is in the day. It's nothing complicated or formal, just a natural flow of activities that give rhythm to his day.
We have a simple evening/bedtime routine that usually lets us have an hour alone at the end of the day. One of us plays outside with DS while the other fixes dinner. Then there's a little run around time while we bring dishes back to the kitchen. We feed the animals together, then one person takes a bath with DS while the other cleans the kitchen. We usually focus on playing together with DS after his bath until he's sleepy. I nurse him to sleep and usually come back from the bedroom for an hour or so with DH. Unless of course I fall asleep while nursing DS The best thing we've found is to give up on the idea of getting them to sleep so that you can have time for yourself, it makes the whole evening frustrating, and makes it hard to enjoy being with the whole family.
This is with only 1 child, though. Not sure how the routine would hold up with #2 in the picture - good luck.
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#10 of 20 Old 07-08-2002, 02:11 PM
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We have a routine in the morning (including a nap in the sling while I putter around here!). And a routine at bedtime. The rest of the day can vary some. But, I have a kind of high-needs little guy for whom transitions are tough, and I really need to stick to the routines we have or he is an unhappy little man. Which can sometimes be a drag, especially for the nighttime rituals - most nights he is in bed between 7:30 and 8:00, and our bedtime rituals begin at about 6:00. So, we can't go to anyone's house for dinner unless it's a pretty early one. But, I figure when he's older (not sure how much older) he may be more stable and be able to handle an occasional divergence from routine. Right now, if we, say, get home at 7:30 and then try to get him slowed down for bed, it's a battle. And he'll sleep lousy and still be dealing with it the next day.
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#11 of 20 Old 07-09-2002, 12:22 PM
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We pretty much let dd find her own schedule. By 2-3 weeks of age she was consistent with it and very predictable. She's changed that shedule as she's gotten older (now 18 mos) but it's always been her telling us when she needs to sleep and eat, not the other way around.

One thing I did though, was respect her schedule while still getting on with my life. I will never wake her up if she's sleeping, but if we need to go somewhere during her naptime and she's not asleep yet, I'll let her sleep in the car, sling and (now that she's bigger) stroller. As a result she's been very easy-going and can adapt to most situations, as long as she has her mommy around.


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#12 of 20 Old 07-09-2002, 01:20 PM
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I selected flexible routine but it is really child decided. Mostly it is flexible around sleeping schedules. We have bedtime routine, and a general bedtime...we have "attept a nap" time which sometimes works, sometimes doesn't.

I am just remembering my own baby book from when I was a about routine, they had me going down for naps 4x a day at VERY specific times (like 11:15-12:45 or something). Well they were into CIO and sleep training so I guess I shouldnt be surprised, but jeesh, talk about rigid.
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#13 of 20 Old 07-09-2002, 02:17 PM
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i voted that Evelyn is the schedule maker, although I guess we do have a routine...she made it

She sleeps 10-12 hours at night (with nurses mixed in...but I am past the point of waking fully so I don't know how often ) then we play and have b-fst...put the dogs out and feed them....check our email...then Evy falls asleep around noon/1 ish....
Sleeps anywhere from 15 minute (queen of catnaps) to 2 hours...depending on her night...
She sometimes has another nap in the evening or before daddy gets home, but not always.

In the last month or so we started her in her highchair with bites from our dinner and she knows when it's supper time...about 1/2 before she'll ask to nurse, but doesn't nurse for more than a minute, cause she really wants supper....

It's amazing how quick they pick up on things!!!!

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#14 of 20 Old 07-09-2002, 03:26 PM
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We don't have any sort of routine, but I so need one. I think the kids do too!! I just started working and have two kids and one on the way, boy do I need a routine!!

Single mama to Alex(13), Maddy(12), Sam(8), Violet(6), and Ruby(3). fly-by-nursing1.gif
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#15 of 20 Old 07-10-2002, 02:13 AM
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I voted we have a routine but do make changes. Not too often, but if we need to we can. Our kids are big time car sleepers which helps when we need to go somewhere during nap time. Bedtime is sacred though. We are home by 6 so I can get the baby down.
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#16 of 20 Old 07-11-2002, 01:59 AM
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I 'm a SAHM and had a routine w/#1, w/#1&2 and plan to have one w/#1,2,3 come November.

That said, my kids natural patterns set the routine. When we first got #2 (she was colicky), I tried to keep #1 on her pre-baby routine (which you say you don't have so that doesn't help I guess).

Then #2 set her own routine around 4 months, wake up around 6-8am, nap around 10-12noon, nap again around 3-4pm (each nap 1 hour) and to sleep for the night at 7-8pm. With #1 up at the same time, but down for a 2 hour nap around 1pm and to bed at around 8pm for the night, I was pretty much w/just one kid during the bulk of the day except for meals, but it made it darn hard to go out and do anything w/#2 napping 10-12, lunch, #1 napping 1-3pm, #2 napping 3-4pm, dinner and then bed at 8pm.

Around 9 months, I worked to get #2 on the one-nap schedule w/#1 and it only started happening on a regular basis at about 11-12 months, it has been *HEAVENLY* since then. They're both up b/t 6-8am (but I can get #1 to sleep w/me until #2 wakes up if she sleeps later) - we have lunch b/t 11-12 - they both go down for a nap anywhere b/t 1-3pm and #1 sleeps for 1 hour and #2 sleeps for 2-3 hours. We have dinner b/t 5-6pm and then bath around 7-8pm and bedtime at 8-9pm, #2 down first and then #1 (we don't co-sleep and the girls have their own rooms).

This way we can go out and about after breakfast and even have lunch out if the mood strikes us, I can get back to the house anytime b/t 1-3pm and they still get a decent nap (closer to 1pm is better!) and then if we eat an early dinner and take a late bath (nice in the summer w/the extra daylight), we've got 3 hours after naptime/snack/dinner to take a walk, go out and about, have someone over, whatever.

I would not survive w/out our routine. Though I let their internal clocks guide the times, life is so much better for all of us when we stick to "the schedule" - especially w/2. I know it is what will keep me sane when #3 arrives!

A girl in my playgroup has two kids the same age as mine (3 and 1 1/2) and she has yet to sleep through the night herself (she does NOT nurse mind you!), much less her kids and she never knows when/if they will take a nap, their meals are erratic and I just don't know how she does it! I feel so bad for all of them b/c the chaos has obviously taken it's toll on mom, dad and kids. I can't imagine myself never getting a full night's sleep in 3+ years. Ugh.

Hope this is helpful!

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#17 of 20 Old 07-11-2002, 02:38 AM
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I'm totally disorganized, no schedule at all.

My kids, however, like some consistency, so I try and be disorganized consistently.

That's our routine.


It works for me ...

- Amy
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#18 of 20 Old 07-13-2002, 08:12 PM
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mamamoo -I grew up in Spokane! I wasn't sure there was anybody here from my hometown.

I'm terribly disorganized, but have recently begun having a regular routine with the help of It has helped me tremendously in ways that go far beyond a clean house and meals on time. It has improved my sense of self-worth. I've always felt bad about myself because of the chaos in my home, but now I'm learning to fight the tendency toward chaos (can't have anybody over syndrome). I now feel proud of my home and myself. I definitely recommend Flylady to anyone who has problems with disorganization. -And yes the system is very adaptable to life with kids.
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#19 of 20 Old 07-13-2002, 09:03 PM
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Our new baby is three weeks old, and we're still pretty free flowing here, esp. since my husband's been home from work, family has visited, etc.

I will try to get myself, 2 1/2 year old son, and new daughter on a routine ASAP for this simple reason: in the absence of a plan, somehow the TV gets turned on. Yuck.
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#20 of 20 Old 07-14-2002, 04:55 AM
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Before DD came along, I allowed DS to make our schedule. He slept when he wanted to and that worked great for him.

However, when DD was born, things changed, because she seemed to thrive better on routines. I wouldn't say I was strict about them, but they were infact routines that made bedtime and everything, in general, easier.

Now that she is older, we have fallen into a routine, but it was mostly her setting it. She generally wakes between 8 and 9am. Naps sometime in the mid afternoon, whenever she starts getting cranky. She and DS go to bed for the night between 8 and 9.

Our days have pretty much fallen suit as well. I prefer it this way now, because it makes things go more smoothly.
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