I just found this post I drafted on July 5, 2012. Clearly, I was feeling bitter about routines that day! I’ve included it below, along with a present-day update.
One unrealistic, totally-stupid piece of advice books give to new moms is “establish a bedtime routine” for your newborn baby. Here’s a sample of this ridiculousness:
The sooner you establish a bedtime routine, the better. When your baby is as young as 6 or 8 weeks old, start following a set pattern every night; she’ll quickly come to appreciate the consistency and predictability. And remember that a bedtime ritual is often good for parents, too. It’s a special time set aside for you to spend with your baby, something you can plan on.
Six weeks old?! For the first three months of Suzianne’s life, our bedtime routine consisted of:
-keep baby alive;
-feed her when she’s hungry;
-attempt to make her sleep by any means possible; and
-pray she sleeps more than 48 minutes.
It wasn’t until Week 15 that Team Newman finally figured out a bedtime routine. I didn’t have the self-confidence or energy to “establish” anything before that. For the first three months, Suzianne did just fine without a book-approved routine. Your baby will, too.
Around month six, we nailed down this routine, that we still stick to today:
-Between 5:30 or 6 p.m., dinner;
-Around 6 p.m., bathtime;
-6:15 to 7 p.m., playtime;
-7 p.m. bedtime!
-7:05 p.m. adult beverages.
This schedule remains VERY flexible, depending on how sleepy Suzianne actually is. So, please don’t do what I did and feel guilty and stress over your lack of routine in those first few months.
Ask yourself: is my baby alive? Is my baby relatively happy? Was I able to brush my teeth and/or bathe today? If you answer “yes” to two or more of these questions, you’re a rockstar.