Posted: January 17, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Catching up from the weekend? Check out the posts below:
10 Things Pregnancy Taught Me / Homemade Tomato Soup Recipe / Eating Well

I also decided to revisit Self-Love Reflections topics once/week on the blog. Topic 1 = Confidence. Check it out; share your thoughts; be confident this week!


Things are still going smoothly around here. I haven’t gone a night without at least 6 hours of sleep and during the day we have slowly been getting into a groove. Getting into a routine is so important to me. I believe children thrive on routine…and I know I do too. Knowing (somewhat) what to expect during a day helps tremendously.


When I was pregnant with Makenzie, I read a book called Babywise. The book discusses helping infants get into a routine and it quickly became controversial. I took what I wanted from the book and adjusted it to fit us well. I will never rigidly place my own routines over baby B, but I can do things to help him fall into one on his own.

I focus on keeping him awake to take a full feeding each time he eats. It is beneficial to his health because he gets more of my quality, heavier milk. It also helps him go longer stretches between feedings. This helps him fall into a natural eating schedule of every 2-3 hours. I still feed him when hungry, but I can also tell around what time he will get hungry based on when he last ate. So important!

For sleep, I try to keep him awake briefly after each feeding. This is so when he naps, which is a LOT as a newborn, he isn’t used to being held, rocked, etc in order to fall asleep. I hold and rock and cuddle him plenty, but when he tries to sleep…he gets to fall asleep on his own. Which he does easily.


I used these ideas with Makenzie and very rarely did we have issues with them. I believe it helped her feel more secure to know what to expect in her little world. It helped me more easily go about life and be able to take her places. You certainly have to be prepared to go with the flow as a parent, because the unexpected always waits around the corner. However, you can still have some order with a little practice, patience, and persistence.

Please note: These are my personal beliefs on what works best for me and my family. Every mother knows her child and her own needs best. I never judge anyone for doing/believing differently. I hope the same courtesy can be extended to me as I know, from past experience, that these topics can sometimes get heated.

Question of the Day – Do you thrive on routine or does it stifle you?

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69 Comments to “Routines”
  1. Mandy says:

    I definitely THRIVE on routine! In fact, I can be quite stingy about changing it-which has gotten me in trouble! I can tell reading your blog you will have helpful tips on when, someday, I get pregnant!

  2. Glad to see things are great! You have an amazing little family 🙂 Your thoughts on parenting are inspiring. Great Mommy!

  3. I also thrive on routine! I instilled routines with DD when she was born also. Like you, I also read Babywise when I was pregnant and adapted it to my own. The adaptions went rather well and does help both Mother and Baby. I am so glad everything is going so well for you. You’re a great Mommy!

  4. He’s such a doll!!!! Love the picture of M with him. I’m definitely one for a routine. Though, I am trying to learn to go with the flow. Sometimes good things happen when I do 😉

  5. Michelle says:

    I am a firm believe that kids need routine…with a little flexibility.

  6. Becca says:

    I LOVE that picture of B & M! They’re so adorable! And great family photo, too! 🙂

    Routine is probably a good thing for me. At least school-wise! College is a little funky, with class and work schedules, but I do think that a routine is important for me. Otherwise I have no motivation! …And even when I do have a routine, I don’t always have any motivation, but still! Routine is good. 🙂

  7. i am VERY into routines. i love them. without having a set routine, i’m 10x less likely to workout, eat right, etc. it’s much easier if it’s a pattern for me.

  8. I LOVE routines and I think my children like them, too. I, like you, would also keep my little ones awake after feedings because I didn’t want them to get used to being rocked to sleep or held, and because of that I have some GREAT sleepers which is amazing!!

    So glad to hear that things are going well and that you are getting some sleep!!!

  9. What an adorable family photo!!

    I tend to do much better with routines personally. I like knowing what’s coming and making my schedule according to what I have planned for the week, plugging in workouts, nights out, etc.

  10. He looks just like your hubby!!! Adorable!

  11. I must must must have a routine! If I don’t, I go crazy!

  12. Children definitely crave routine!!! And I somewhat do too…even though it is tougher as a working mom since there are different routines at daycare then there are at home but we still try our best to feed the kids and put them down for naps at the same time daycare does. And my little girl naps better when she naps at the same time every day. I read babywise!! Some of it really helped me when it came down to sleep training my little girl. I was bad and let her go to sleep nursing and she also slept in the swing the first 6 months so she depended on someone or something to put her to sleep. So good for you for starting this off at the beginning. It def will make your life easier! 🙂

  13. I go back and forth between settling into pretty strict routines (usually during the school year) and not being in a set routine at all (usually during the summer). My sister has a 9 month old, and I know she worked really hard to get her settled into a routine pretty quickly– I think it paid off!

  14. I am so in love with your little family. I want to be you when I grow up!

    (Even though I think I’m older than you… )

  15. I definitely thrive off of a routine but it is nice to have a more flexible routine on the weekend. I have a routine with the kids I nanny for and I really think it helps them know what to expect from me as their nanny instead of being frightened by some unexpected idea!

  16. Stephanie says:

    What adorable little muffins!! I love routines. I also love spontenaeity every once in awhile, but when it comes to the kids, I agree that having a routine definitely keeps the kids structured. They act out rarely and I think its partly because they know what to expect! 🙂

  17. Jolene says:

    Wow, you have such a great routine going on already! I LOVE it. (can’t say it enough! totally impressed!) I am a creature of routine. I love it. Absolutely adore it. It’s hard for me to break from it, but I know sometimes it’s good to do, with certain things. I’m learning, and it seems you are adapting just so well!

  18. I have mixed feelings about routines. I find them both comforting and stifling – it’s all about finding the right proportion of routine and variety for what I need at that moment. My needs change over time and so does my commitment to my routines.

    • Tina says:

      Definitely agree with this. You can’t let a routine control your life, but it does help in an overall big picture way too. Like most things in life, have to find that balance.

  19. I definitely thrive on a routine. Saturdays and Sundays are for spontaneity, but when I have a lot to get done during the week I stick to a routine in order to accomplish things!

    Hang in there with baby B- newborns can be so stressful, but it sounds like you’re getting the hang of it!!

  20. Angela says:

    Oooh I am HUUUGE on routine!! I like the structure and security it brings, but like you said, sometimes you’ve got to be willing to be flexible and accommodate for things you don’t anticipate. The right balance is key! You sound like you’ve got things totally under control with Baby B.. maybe I’ll be consulting YOU for baby advice one day! 🙂

  21. I 100% thrive on routine! It helps me tremendously. I have a tendency to stress out over silly things, so routine helps keep me sane! 🙂 I’m so glad things are going well with you and baby B!

  22. I pretty much thrive on routine. But they actually say you should do the opposite for dogs, in particular weims. Right now, I have a weim pup (I know, different from a baby), and apparently, you should not get into a schedule b/c the freak out if you break it! Crazy, huh?

    Anyway, congratulations again. I’m so happy for you! I can’t wait to use these tips for when I’m with child in addition to being with dog! 🙂

  23. YES, I need routine! I need structure. Obviously some days throw unexpected surprises, so I’m always ready for that and you need to be flexible. But for the most part, routine is great. My parents kept us in a good routine when I grew up and I think it makes a difference. We always had dinner as a family around 5, always prayed together in the evenings, and even had a set schedule for what week days we would have cereal for breakfast (wednesday and friday) and what days would be oatmeal (mon,tue,thurs). Weekends was the good stuff like egg, pancakes, and french toast 😉 Maybe it sounds crazy, but it worked, all through those years and even through high school. You have some great advice and are such a good momma!! Love it

  24. I just wrote about this today! I need our routine back. With school only being back in for 4 days before that storm hit, things are all out of whack here. I think you are absolutely right and I am so glad things are going in the right direction for you guys!

  25. I agree with you on the routine thing! It was so important for me to have one with M. Like you, I read the book Babywise and loved it. I basically did what you did and took what I wanted from the book and catered it to fit our life. I’m so happy its working for baby B 🙂

  26. Kristina says:

    Love these fam pics! I am all about routine-I get so out of wacked if something random gets thrown in! Even if someone wants to go out to eat (which should be exciting) i’m like…butttttt that messes up my whole weeks dinners! <–yes borderline nutcase over here!

  27. Melie says:

    You are such a beautiful family! 🙂 I love routines! And schedules! I cannot function otherwise. If things get out of hand I tend to lose momentum and forget important stuff (eg my half marathon last week). But I think that equally important is to allow room for surprises and be flexible to change as you said. I kind of collapse when things change unexpectedly. Let’s hope I can fix it somehow! 🙂

  28. Dorry says:

    Precious family photo! I thrive on routine during the week and leave the weekends and travels for spontaneity. My husband and I rub off on each other in that department to keep things exciting, but make sure we have some routine…you know, so we have groceries and clean laundry. 😉

  29. Mandy says:

    Yup you know I am huge on routine too! Sometimes I think its hard and I don’t force it but do prefer knowing whats coming up next 🙂

    • Tina says:

      I’m here chilling with Laura right now. 😀 Some cute stuff going on. I can’t wait for you to come here and visit. 2 weeks!!

  30. Andrea says:

    Your feeding/sleeping strategy makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing. I’ll have to remember that when my baby is born.

    That’s such a sweet photo of baby B admiring his big sis.

  31. YES routine is the best! Especially for kids! When I taught, our school’s philosophy was, essentially, that we be so routine that, if ever we were absent, the students could teach themselves. We were never absent, but strictly structuring our subjects, grading, tests, bathroom pass, classroom jobs, etc. made teaching much more efficient.

  32. I think structure is SO important, especially for children. They don’t like the unknown anymore than we do!

    I’m big on keeping one to the extent that I can – epscially with sleep. When I have a weekend that really throws my sleep off, I can feel if throughout the entire week!

  33. I work best when my routine is going smoothly! And I just wanted to tell you I finally figured out that you remind of me of a very dear friend of mine… you guys look strikingly similar, and I think that is why I’ve been so drawn to you… not to mention you are just a neat woman! 🙂

  34. I love these tips and they make perfect sense to me. I think you’re right in that every mom should do shad right for her family, but for those of us without kiddos yet it’s great to see what works for others!

  35. Jen says:

    Such a beautiful family!!!
    We thrive on routine in our house. Everyone knows that at 1pm every day, Aiden and I are going to be at home so he can nap. People used to criticize me that it was so scheduled, but the boy needs his nap and it helps to keep it around the same time every day 🙂


  36. Cynthia says:

    Great tips! I thrive on routine so I know when I have my first child, I will want to get in one as soon as possible.

  37. Emily says:

    Sounds like you are already doing so well with Baby B and that your second go at having a newborn has made you a pretty seasoned vet 🙂 I am definitely a creature of habit, being out of a routine definitely messes with me for sure!

  38. Yes, yes, yes! I totally thrive on routine and from my teaching days I know kids do, too. I read and loosely followed Babywise, too. Very helpful book.

    Your two children are beautiful! Does it sound weird that you have 2 now?!! 🙂

  39. I read the Babywise book and sort of followed it..tweeking it to my needs. I thrive on routines also. I am a mess without them!

  40. I can’t survive without routine. Any change it in totally rocks my world in a bad way. I know that’s why I am having such a hard time right now.

    I am so glad you are reviewing your self-love series. I have browsed through a lot of them but I started really following your blog right after that. They are all so awesome to read again either way! 🙂

  41. Holly says:

    Yes, I DEFINITELY thrive on routine! Sometimes, I wish I were more go with the flow than I am. I think this is partly why I didn’t do well in college. I struggled with depression on/off and basically just stopped trying academically because I *needed* a set schedule every day. Option to skip a class? I’m there! 😉

  42. As much as I wish to be a little more spontaneous, I am definitely a creature of habit and prefer routines/schedules. Otherwise, I find myself in a tizzy!

  43. Melissa says:

    I don’t have kids but I have friends with similar thoughts on routines as you and they just seem more happier, as do their kids, compared to others I have seen who have no stucture. So yes I believe when I have kids I will definitely set up a routine.

    Love that picture of the fam!!

  44. Katie says:

    Routine is a MUST for me, and when I travel and get off it, I am so happy to be back to it when home, and I believe like you do, having children on a routine is very important!

    The pic of you and the family is soooooo cute!

    p.s. hope you got sushi!

  45. You’re such a good mom, lady!

    I thrive on routine for sure, but am not afraid to mix it up. I will say that i’m pretty inflexible – but am working on it!

  46. I am not a mother, but I know that from my previous experiences in working with children, the routines are a must. They sleep better, eat better and are generally happier for having a routine. Some children cannot handle when a routine is broken.

    He’s such a handsome little man!

  47. Love the family pic:)
    I totally thrive on routine! IT keeps me sane. However, a little spontaneity keeps me sane, too 😉

  48. Love the family picture! I need a routine … sadly I haven’t really established one. A day at a time. I think everyone needs a routine! Off to make the tomato soup you made!

  49. I love routines! But now and again, shaking things up is good for me too! 🙂

    The family photo is SO sweet! 😀

  50. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tina Reale, Tina Reale. Tina Reale said: Routines: Catching up from the weekend? Check out the posts below: 10 Things Pregnancy Taught Me / Homemade T… […]

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