Since having Cate, I’ve come to realize the importance of having a schedule, and in our house, we have a definite one. Things were up in the air a bit after Meg was born, but I’ve come to realize that a schedule has developed again within the last few months.
You always hear the advice that you should get your baby on a schedule right away. For our family, I found that was a load of bull. Breastfeeding and irregular sleep do not lend themselves well to a schedule in the beginning. Instead, what we found was that we developed a sort of routine, whether it started at 5:00 am or 8:00 am. We would wake, eat, nap, play, etc. in generally the same order every day. Later, Cate became more consistent in her sleep and appetite; then when she started solids, I found that a schedule developed according to a clock.
When Meg arrived, I tried my best to stick to the schedule for Cate’s sake, but it was often difficult, and I was having to do some things whenever the opportunity presented itself, not at the designated time. Having gotten so used to having a schedule over the last 2 years or so, I found it difficult. Thankfully, as babies do, Meg grew up and became more predictable, and so I was able to meld her needs with ours and fit everyone into a schedule again.
Here’s how our day goes:
6:00 – Wake up
Chris is awake already, as he has to be at work at 7:00. If the girls wake up before 6:00, we make them stay in their rooms until 6:00 (though, truthfully, if they wake up much earlier, we’ll get them up before them because we can’t stand to hear them cry for too long.)
During this time before breakfast, Meg nurses and we spend a little time with Chris before he goes to work.
7:00 – Breakfast
We sit down to eat between 7:00 and 7:30, depending on what’s for breakfast. Pancakes take a little longer to make than toast and fruit.
After breakfast I generally let the girls watch a show while I catch up on the computer.
8:30 – Meg goes down for nap
After Meg is in bed, Cate and I have developed a habit of playing a game together. Usually it’s Snail’s Pace Race.
9:00 – Shower time for me
Cate either jumps on our bed (I know, I know) or gets into the shower with me (this is usually what she chooses.)
9:30 – Snack for Cate
10:00-10:30 – Meg wakes up
She rarely wakes up any later than 10:30. After Meg nurses, we run errands if we have any.
11:30 – Lunch
After lunch is play time. I’m working on getting myself to get them outside for a little bit during this time, but it’s so darn hot!
1:00 – Nap
I put Cate in her room, then Meg goes down. Cate doesn’t often sleep, but this is supposed to be some downtime for her to read or play quietly.
I try to get some chores done (though never enough) while they’re sleeping. If I’m feeling tired, I might lay down for a bit myself.
2:30-3:00 – Wake up & snack
Cate gets a snack while Meg nurses.
If we’re going to play outside, or if we have additional errands, this is the time to do it.
4:45 – Start dinner
The girls are cranky during this time, so they get to watch a show while I try my best to get dinner started in peace.
5:30 – Dinner
Chris gets off work at 5:00, so he arrives just in time for dinner. (How retro housewife of me, huh?)
6:00 – Bath for Cate & Meg
One person does the bathing, and the other does the dressing.
After bath, Meg nurses one last time.
6:30 – Meg’s bedtime
Chris has been putting Meg to bed the last few months. While I would like to do it sometimes, too, I get to do it twice during the day, and as long as he’s willing to help, I’m not going to argue!
7:00-7:30 – Cate’s bedtime
The time varies depending on how tired she seems, and whether she’s napped or not. We brush teeth, use the bathroom, read, then lights out. This is the same routine we follow with Meg. (Well, except the “use the bathroom” part.)
7:30-? – FREEDOM!
Chris and I get to spend some time together. I must say that this is my favorite part of having an early bedtime. Not only do we have rested children, but I get some child-free time to do whatever I please.
Do you have a schedule? What’s your favorite part?