"yeah alright, I'll give a go but why is it so important??"
But now, having a 2 year old, I can see why routines are so important!
I just want to stop here and say that if your little one doesn't have a routine then that's cool...this is just my opinion and what I have done with my child. Doesn't mean it's right, doesn't mean it's wrong. It's just what works for us. :)
Having pickle in a routine works for us and I know that it doesn't work for everyone. He is in bed by a certain time each night so we know that hubby and I get sometime to ourselves. He sleeps in his own bed, he naps at generally the same time each day...it works for us as it means we know what time we can do what. However, there are times when it really DOES NOT work! Many of our friends and family are bale to take their toddlers out to parties with them or our for the evening but that does not work with bubba. It either gets to about 8.30pm and we have to leave as he is done and can't cope anymore and/or we have a horrific day the next day as late to bed does not mean late to wake for our pickle. So we may not be able to take pickle out very often but at least we know that each evening we will get some time to ourselves. That was why we were so adamant to get bubs into a routine.
I remember very clearly that when pickle was about 8 weeks old we started to try to differentiate between night and day. When it was day time and he went for a nap we kept all the curtains open and TV/washing machine on to show him that in the day time there is noise and light. Then when it got to night time we made sure that we kept lights low, TV's off until he was sleeping and the mood calm and relaxed. This was to show him that, unlike day time, night time was dark and quite. This worked pretty well for us and by the time pickle was 5 months old he started to fall asleep really easily of a night time and started to sleep through the night only waking up for a bottle 2 or 3 times. As he got older we started to introduce evening bath times and stories to create a routine so that he knew that bed time was approaching. Or routine now is bath time, snuggles on the sofa, story and milk in bed then lights out and he reacts really well to that and generally goes to sleep each night without any issues. I strongly beleive that this is because of the leg work we put in when he was small.
It was the same with other parts of his routine...we just embedded them early on. Bubba has hardly ever slept in our bed. When he was a baby we never co slept mainly because I was petrified that I'd squish him or something and hubby felt the same so it was right for us to keep him in his mosses basket and then transition into his cot. It has only been in the past few months that pickle has started to sneak into our bed but now he is older I don't mind so much as he knows that he goes to bed in his bed and 80% of the time he sleeps through in his own bed.
Maybe we are a bit strict with his routine and I can see that as he is getting older we are starting to lacx it a little at times but the way I see it is that we are at home most evenings so why would we not sort a routine that gives me and hubs some child free time? Yes, we may have to get a babysitter when we want to go out but luckily we have lots of nannies and brothers on hand to help with this one :)
So what side are you on? Are you a routine kind of mumma or a easy going mum? Let me know in the comments.