After having my son, one of the biggest things I struggled with was establishing a routine. Because if we’re being honest, it’s difficult at times to keep to a relatively stable routine with a baby. This is especially true when they are newborns!
Babies require so much of our time and energy. In their first year of life, they grow so fast and change so much that keeping to a steadfast, single routine is nearly impossible. The reality is that as moms, we have to learn to adapt and adjust our routines and schedules as our baby grows and develops.
When my son was a newborn, he pretty much ate, pooped, stared at me for a few minutes, and then went back to sleep for a few hours. However, that didn’t last long. Pretty soon he was staying awake for longer periods, and I had to start developing some sort of routine with him.
It’s taken a long time, but at ten months old I finally felt like we had established a good routine that worked for both me and him (and my husband!). Plus, it allows me the time to take care of myself, and regain a sense of my own identity outside of being a mom.
My SAHM Routine with a Baby
Our day typically starts sometimes between 7 and 7:30, whenever my son wakes up. While I’m a big fan of the idea of getting up before your kids, it’s just not working for me at this point in time. I’m one of those people who need a lot of sleep in order to function, so it’s better for us to all sleep until the little guy wakes up. When that does happen, I’ll get him out of his crib and let him nurse and change his diaper.
After he’s nursed and been changed, we head out to the kitchen/dining area for breakfast. My husband leaves for work at 8, while my son and I take our time eating our cheerios. Once we’re done eating, we get dressed for the day.
If it’s a nice day out, we usually go for a walk. We live in Texas, so if we have any hope of getting outside before it gets hot it pretty much has to be first thing in the morning, at least until winter hits. This is a great time for me to squeeze in some exercise and gets us both out of the house for a bit. The fresh air does us both good!
If it’s rainy or cold, we’ll skip the walk and just play inside together.
We’re usually back from our walk by 9:30, if not before. At this point we cool off, get a drink of water, and then start getting ready for nap time. My son will either nurse or take a bottle before heading down for his morning nap (he’s usually down by 10). On a typical day, he’ll nap an hour and a half to two hours (if we went for our walk it’ll usually be two hours). While he’s napping, I’ll take a shower and then spend the rest of the time working on my blog.
Right now my son nurses again after he wakes up from his nap. Then he and I play until my husband comes home for lunch. Then it’s lunch time! I try to give my baby finger food for lunch so that he can feed himself. This works best for us so that we can all eat at the same time, without anyone having to spoon feed the baby. But of course, sometimes this doesn’t work out. But, the best routine with a baby is one that can be easily adjusted as needed!
After lunch, I’ll play with my son until about 1:30. At this point, we start his nap time routine. Both his morning and afternoon nap time routines are the same. He gets to nurse or drink a bottle, then a quick diaper change before laying down.
In the afternoon, he usually sleeps from 2:00 to 4:00. While he’s sleeping, I work on the blog or take some time for myself. I might read or play a game. Some days I catch up on housework or bills. Occasionally I take a nap if I’m extra tired for whatever reason.
My son nurses again when he wakes up from his nap. After that, he usual has some independent play time while I make dinner and wash up dishes. Independent play time is important for kids, and he is usually content to play by himself for a bit as long as I’ve spent time with him earlier in the day. We have a small apartment, and I’m able to keep an eye on him from the kitchen while he plays in the living room.
My husband usually gets home from work around five. I also aim to have dinner ready at about five, or just a little after. Once dinner is ready, we eat together. Again, I try to give my son finger food if possible. If dinner contains anything that he can easily chew, I give him pieces of it. Since we are working on transitioning to solids and will start weaning in a few months, I give him anything he can easily chew and feed himself.
After we are all done eating, we let the baby out of his highchair to play. This is usually the time when my husband will play with the baby. Sometimes I join in, and sometimes I just relax.
At seven, we start getting the baby ready for bed. He gets a bottle and a fresh diaper. Then we put on his pajamas and brush his teeth. A lot of nights he and my husband continue their playing through this process, tickling and messing around. By 7:30 he’s all ready for bed. After kisses and hugs he goes to bed. Then my husband and I have the rest of the evening to relax before we go to bed.
And that’s my daily routine with a baby! Having a routine with a baby can certainly be challenging, and doesn’t always go as planned. But having a routine establishes a sense of security and stability for both you and your baby. What about you? Do you have a go to routine with a baby? Let me know in the comments below!