I have a confession to make. The only part of our day that’s always the same is Aidan’s bedtime routine. Around 6pm every night we begin our solid foods – bath – nurse – story – sleep plan, and he’s down by 7pm. He knows what to expect, and he goes down easy.
Having such a smooth nightly routine made me want to try to make his entire day like that, but it just doesn’t work that way for us. Here’s why:
- Our day doesn’t start at the same time each morning.
- Our day isn’t the same every day.
- Aidan isn’t hungry and sleepy at the same intervals each day.
For awhile, I felt frustrated and thought we should have it all figured out, but then I considered the following:
- He’s happy, healthy and thriving.
- He’s flexible. He can eat/play/nap in my arms, at the beach, in the car, in a restaurant, etc.
- He isn’t fussy.
- He’s in such a busy, developmental time in life that the minute we think we have a schedule going, it changes again.
I’ve decided , since I’m home with him, we can just go with the flow for now. If someone else needs to know what to expect, I tell them he needs to eat every 3-4 hours, he eats solids 3x a day – around normal meal times, and he rubs his eyes when he’s tired – typically after he’s been up 2-3 hours. So, I guess we have a loose routine, but I don’t know the exact times until that day, or, occasionally, until it’s happening. I figure, I’m not hungry and sleepy at the exact time each day, and I’d be frustrated if I was hungry but told I wasn’t allowed to eat for another hour because of my schedule.
Funny, I must’ve raised my dog the same way. He goes out when I let him out, and he’s free-fed, so he doesn’t have a schedule either. Although, when he boards or stays with friends, he learns to eat when food is offered, and go to the bathroom when the opportunity is presented. I guess I hope my son turns out as well as my dog has!
Overall, I’m a fan of schedules, lists, and all other manner of planning. (Read: control freak!) As Aidan gets older, I will continue to look for patterns until one sticks, but, for now, I’m going to focus on the fact that he’s happy and healthy, and take a break from trying so hard to get on a schedule. We have our things we need to work on, such as sleeping through the night and not associating nursing with sleep, but I know we’ll get there…in baby steps.