If you’ve been reading my blog a while, you know that I was, at one point, a huge supporter of the baby schedule. I wrote a whole post about how our schedule had changed our lives and spelled it out minute by minute! And honestly, the schedule was just what we needed for a long time. James and I were new parents of twins and didn’t know a lot about baby care. Having a rigid routine made us feel like we had some semblance of control over our household and like we at least kind of knew what we were doing. So for a while, I kept the twins on a really strict daily schedule, and all was well. Nowadays, though, you should see the looks I get when other moms ask me about the twins’ nap time and my answer is “whenever they fall asleep!”
The schedule started to fade away when James (also a teacher) went back to work after summer vacation and I didn’t. The boys were five months old then, and it was really hard to keep up such a rigid schedule with two babies by myself. Plus, the twins had gotten really sick with bronchiolitis, so I didn’t care about following a schedule at all – all I wanted to do was cuddle them and make them feel better. Even after they got better, I started going crazy – the walls were closing in on us and the schedule was becoming the bane of my existence. So we started going out. We started with Kindermusik classes, then started going to Storytime at the library, then I started going on errands with them in tow. Many of the things we did didn’t align with our schedule at all; we were out and about during nap times, dozing off during “active” times and eating on the go.
Still, it seemed we were all happier. I was feeling less anxious, closed in, and overwhelmed, and they were less fussy and getting more experiences out in the world vs. staying at home most of the day. After a week or so, the right choice for us seemed obvious – ditch the schedule and just go with the flow. Let them tell me when they’re hungry or tired. Nap on the go – they are always good for a car seat or stroller nap. Bring lots of snacks, and have an adventure every day without constantly watching the clock to figure out what we “should” be doing.
Now, the only time we’re really consistent on is bedtime – I try to have them down by 8:30. But if we don’t, does the world crumble? No. Just last week, we went to a birthday party for a friend and everyone brought their kids. It started going late, and our friend that was hosting it came up to me and apologized profusely for going into baby bedtimes. She was surprised when I told her I couldn’t care less. Sure, it was a little bit past their bedtime, but we were enjoying the company of good friends and good food. Why leave before the song and birthday cake?
Our daily schedule was great for us at one time and it’s great for other families! But right now, I’m maintaining my sanity by going with the flow every day. So far, so good!
Moms, are you strict or relaxed when it comes to your baby’s day? Comment below!