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A daily routine can be really beneficial to children and help make life simpler and happier all round. It can provide a sense of safety and security to children which is especially important for early development.
Having a routine simply means trying to do the same things at the same time each day. Some people like to have a strict routine in place that covers most of their activities whereas other may choose to only implement small areas of routine, for example morning or bedtime activities.
There may be times when sticking to a routine just really doesn’t work and that’s fine too – it’s not the be all and end all – when my baby was a newborn she refused to fall into any sort of pattern of eating and sleeping at all, and for that time it just seemed best to go with the flow! I have found now though, that having a simple bedtime routine has seemed to help my children with going to bed and sleeping better.
Overall, especially as your baby grows up, having some sense of routine, however small, can be really helpful in the long run.
The Benefits of Routine for Children
As children grow, having a routine can help their understanding of time, and time management. It can help them learn important daily habits, such as brushing teeth and washing. It can also help to ensure good sleep patterns.
Good routines to try
regular morning routines
Following the same patterns of breakfast, getting washed and dressed, brushing teeth etc.
Keeping meal times to roughly the same schedule each day, following similar patterns of washing hands, sitting at the table and so on.
A predictable daily routine will help signal it is time for sleep. A bedtime routine could include getting into pyjamas, brushing teeth, and reading story books to help your child wind down.
Keep the bedroom for sleep, with distracting toys and games out of sight. Make sure the bedding is comfortable and the room at the right temperature. If the late night light of summer means your child struggles to fall asleep at their regular time, some blackout curtains might help.
Keep Up the Routine Every Day
It’s easy for us to fall away from routine when we get busy or go away on holiday. It’s okay to relax it a bit once in a while, you don’t want to be a slave to a routine and some flexibility is a good thing! In general though, trying to stick to the same or similar routine every day, even weekends and on holidays if possible, can help your child to feel more comfortable and secure in their environment.