Routine is such an important thing for babies & children. Since Emilia was only a few days old, we have stuck (as strictly as possible) to a good routine - starting off with her bedtime routine, following onto different aspects of the day.
But there are all sorts of things that can disrupt routines - and, for Emilia, that can also disrupt her behaviour, sleep patterns, eating habits... everything!
So recently, I have been working hard to get her back into a good, solid routine - and, my goodness, have I seen the benefits! She's started eating much better, having less tantrums & enjoying the activities more too!
So I thought I'd share a little insight into our routine - not hour by hour, but sections of the day.
** Morning **
Emilia wakes up around 7-7:30am - after a quick cuddle in her bed, she gets up, goes to the potty, brushes her teeth and has a bit of independent play time. This gives me a chance to make the beds, get clothes ready and prepare for the day too.
For breakfast, we sit at the table - whilst Emilia eats (usually something simple like fruit, cereal, toast...) I read her a story. I've found this keeps her attention on what she should be doing (eating). Once she's finished eating, it's usually time to leave the house. We have an activity every morning of the week, whether it's Toddler Group, Ballet or Nursery (she has a snack at each one, except Ballet - take one with us).
** Afternoon **
Emilia can be a little monkey when it comes to eating lunch, but she is getting better! This is when she gets to have a bit of TV/iPad time so she'll sit and eat. This is either at the table or in the lounge. Lunch is a lot more laid back for us.
We don't have activities in the afternoons as often as we do in the mornings, so this is Mummy-Daughter fun time! It can range from imaginative play, arts & crafts or learning time (that's if she hasn't convinced WahWah to take her out to Marks & Spencers for lunch and a nose in the shops!!) (WahWah is her name for her Grandma).
Emilia has an INCREDIBLE imagination - which has helped her language to develop SO quickly! Today, we have been jumping through a magic hole to visit the beach & have a picnic... she's high maintenance, ha! She loves to learn too - we have been working on counting, in order or objects. Our upcoming task is working on her pencil grip - something I agreed to work on with the Nursery Staff (they're working on her friendships within nursery too... she's destined to be a loner... like her daddy ;) ha!)
** Evenings **
Our evening routine is my favourite! Not because it's nearly bedtime, but because it's the time of the day when the whole family are together, having fun!
I'm usually in charge of cooking dinner, whilst Phil walks Milo. Emilia loves to help with dinner prep' and asks a LOT of questions about what I am doing and why. I do let her help - I think it's good for her to know how to do things safely, like chopping veg or stirring pasta (or whatever is in the pan on the hob!).
We eat dinner together at the table, talking about our days. (Admittedly, Emilia would occasionally be allowed to have the iPad at the dinner table, but we cut that out because it was more of a hindrance! She much prefers to talk to Mummy & Daddy).
After dinner, Emilia will help to clear the table and put the dishes in the dishwasher. She will tidy up her toys whilst Mummy or Daddy runs a bath. She LOVES bath time! And of course, her favourite part is splashing us! In the bath, she has foam letters and numbers - I tend to choose 2 or 3 of them per week to work on learning. She's getting their slowly!
Once she is bathed, she loves to be wrapped in a towel and play 'Baby Lila' (I wrap her like I did when she was tiny!). We do the normal things like dry her, dry her hair, put her cream on, dress her and climb into bed.
Story time is her favourite too! She loves books! We have a different story every evening.
Once story is finished, we let Milo jump onto her bed and they have a little snuggle whilst we sing 'Twinkle Twinkle' and say our prayers (we have a set prayer & we say 'Thank you Jesus for...' and Emilia chooses what she'd like to say Thank You for - it almost always includes Milo!).
Emilia does still have milk going to bed (and yes, the health visitor has told me off a few times :P ) but it helps her to self soothe, along with the lullabies we play until she's asleep - thought she can sleep without them, I just think the lullabies are a nice way to end the day. And there she'll stay until I go into her at 7-7:30am the following morning.
** Goodnight Emilia **
So there's a little insight to our daily routine. Pretty simple, but it works for us! And that's how I like it!