Baby, are routines important?
For us, first-time parents, everything is a BIG novelty. There are many tips and everyone has opinions to offer, but the ideal would be that, wrapped up in the placenta, there would also come an instruction manual. As it does not happen, it is the experience of each day along with all the information consumed during the breaks which has helped us come up with some important conclusions.
From the birth of our baby we have practiced the free demand or the famous “open bar”. Without stress (of course!), we always keep the watch on the side to control the hours and at the same time we take notes on some episode that we think is important, for instance: “hasn’t soiled the diaper in 24 hours.”
It was going well during the day, but during the night it was not quite like that … We looked at our register and realized that when our baby did not suck much during the day, during the night she would take revenge and, quite irritated, would greet us with the song of her forefathers. It was urgent to begin to define routines!
To get her to start eating more during the day we increased the daytime stimuli, not letting the house fall into total silence, and increasing the clarity of the rooms. We would not allow more than two and a half hours to go by without sucking. After eight o’clock at night everything was turned upside down and the stimuli ended: the windows were closed, curtains were drawn, only few lights were lit, and as little noise as possible. These little gestures helped the baby to distinguish the day from the night.
To maintain the baby in a good mood, naps throughout the day are also important. The trick was figuring out the ideal time to get the baby to nap. Again, it was the observation and the trial and error that helped: we realized that it was easier to fall asleep if we began to try before the usual sleep signs appeared, such as yawning and running her closed hands through her eyes. When she was already in this phase, she would become irritated by sleep itself, and then she would not go to sleep. Babies sometimes also need an update to fix these programming errors.
But how does one anticipate signs of sleep? The strategy we developed involved simply not letting her be awake much longer than an hour and a half. Result? She started to feel less irritable and crying. It’s curious how we started by trying to avoid those overly-regulated routines, and we ended up creating our own rules and routines. I suppose this is the most natural way of dealing with these new voyages…
Thank you Bruno for sharing.