I love a good schedule read, so I’m sharing Stella’s “schedule” and my perspective on it being 2.5 years in.
Not really sure why I call this a schedule because actually it’s quite the opposite. Truth is we never followed much of a schedule with Stella beyond a consistent bedtime. You might think I’m crazy (which is ok, because I often think I am) but being a precise planner myself, some part of me wanted freedom when Stella was born. I didn’t want her to be so scheduled that we’d have to miss out on play dates, parties, or get togethers with friends because she had to nap or eat. I wanted her to be flexible. Some may call this selfish, but I really see it as gaining an important strength for life. Life is all about flexibility, adapting to surroundings and others, it definitely doesn’t revolve around one person, and in my opinion it’s never to early to start. Anyway if you have a baby, if you are having a baby, or know someone who is, just know that it’s totally ok to be flexible. Some may say it’s not and some might thrive and love schedules, but if that’s not you, I’m here to tell you that it truly ends up ok.
Morning- I usually let Stella wake up on her own time. I’m going to have to start setting a wake up time and routine this summer since she starts AM preschool this fall, but for now it’s working. I’ve done this since she was born and her times have fluctuated a bit, but it seems to work. I always get her ready and dressed first thing before she leaves her room, unless we happen to be hanging at home then we do “pajama day”. I want her to learn the routine of being ready for the day.
Naps ended a few weeks before I had Camreigh which at the time was a real treat (NOT🤦🏼♀️). I didn’t force her back in to them, I can tell she is tired some days, and sometimes she will lay down and nap or rest in the afternoon (especially in the car) but at this point I don’t force it. During the day we really vary our schedule. We do playtime, play dates, errands, fun days out, cleaning, etc. I always have both kids so I’ve always tried to get done what I need to with them, so they learn to behave and adjust to whatever or wherever we’re going.
A very important part of her schedule at this point is sitting down to eat dinner as a family. We always try and make her sit with us through the entire meal whether she is still eating or not. I feel like this helps her learn patience and when we are out I don’t let her get out of her seat before we are done. Having her sit the entire time at home has given her that consistency so she isn’t antsy when we are out.
The one part of her schedule we try not to be flexible on is bedtime unless we have plans and know we’ll be late, if it’s the weekend or a special event. This might be in part because by the end of the day I just need a break lol, but it also prevents breakdowns. We tell her a half hour before that it’s almost bedtime, and she seems to be ok with it by the time we go to her room. We always do pajamas right before bed. We tuck her in, do kisses and hugs, then leave. We have always done this and now she is always ok, but there were times she would whine a little and we’d let her get through that herself so she wouldn’t rely on us being in there for extended periods at bedtime. Recently we’ve allowed her to watch her tablet. We had some really bad episodes after seeing Santa this winter that led to this. I’m not super ok with it, but it’s working. We set it on a timer so she watches a show and it shuts down🤷🏼♀️. Again it’s all about flexibility right?
I wrote this to let you know not to be scared by the books, and stories of precisely timed schedules. When I was pregnant I had the whole mom thing down, I was like the best mom to ever live, then I had the baby and it’s been downhill, at least from the perspective of the books I read. Again, if you love a schedule and it works that’s amazing I’m not saying they aren’t great for some people, I’m just saying if it’s not for you, please don’t let the world make you feel like a failure. Always remember there are SO many different ways to parent and that’s totally ok. Your doing great mama!