Wednesday: Mid Week Ramblings—The Ups and Downs of Having Your Children on a Routine

Every Monday night I record John & Kate plus Eight and look forward to the time that I can sit down and watch it. It is the only TV program that my daughter will watch with me because I tell her, “It’s the KID show!”
John & Kate Plus Eight

There was one episode where they were taking the two older girls to the American Girl store in NYC. The girls were both a little grumpy due to messed up schedules which led Kate and John to talk about routines. Kate was talking about her frustration of when they try to do something special, mess up the kid’s routines, and that was the time when having a routine backfires. John shared his disappointment with his children’s behavior when they got thrown off of their routine, that he knows they behave much better when not thrown of their normal daily schedule.

I feel the same way, I love and sometimes hate my children’s routines. For every day life having them on a routine makes my and their life much more calm and happy. But any time we have someone special that stops by or a special outing to go to, for part of the time they are extremely grumpy.

And the guilt…who knew this guilt came with being a mother. I feel guilty when people comment on how early my children go to bed….I feel guilty when I hear other kids playing outside when my child has been asleep for an hour… I feel guilty that my kids are grumpy and exhausted and we are trying to entertain late at night. Then I feel guilty and selfish when I get stressed out over it! But this is what I have to tell myself, that a routine is healthy for your children. It is sometimes hard and I do have to sacrifice things sometimes to keep my kids on routine but it is worth it.

  • Routines give structure to your child’s day and helps to reduce temper tantrums and crankiness that result from irregular sleeping and eating schedules.
  • Bedtime routines and eating routines give your child a sense of stability
  • It will help them to develop good sleeping patterns for when they are older. When establishing a routine, think of when you will want your children to go to bed when enrolled in school.
  • The proper amount of sleep is critical to the overall health and well being of your child

(The time listed below is what I have found on most websites and also is what my child’s pediatrician recommends)

Infant 14-16 hours total per day (including naps)

Toddler 12-14 hours total per day (including 1-2 naps)

Preschool 12 hours total per day (maybe including one nap)

Elementary 11 hours per night

Middle School 10 hours per night

High School no less than 8 hours per night

Here is an example of a routine (this is my daughter Abby’s routine, she is 2 years 2 months old)

6:30/7am Wake Up (every other day take bath)

7:30 Eat Breakfast

8:00 Clean Room, Get Dressed, Brush Teeth, Do Hair

8:30 Watch her Daily TV Show (so I can get ready!)

9:00 Learning time with Mom (while her little sister sleeps)

10:00 Snack Time

10:00-12:00 Play Time

Noon Lunch Time

12:30/1:00-3:00 Nap

3:00 Snack Time

3:30-5:00 Play Time

5:00 Dinner

5:30-6:30 Play Time

6:30 Read Books and Glass of Milk

7:00 Bed Time

Another example routine (This is the routine for my 7 month old daughter Cameron)

6:30 Wake Up and Nurse (every other day take bath)

7:30 Eat Breakfast

8:00 Clean Room, Get Dressed, Brush Teeth, Do Hair

8:30-9:30/10:00 Nap, wake up and Nurse

10:00 Snack Time

10:00-12:00 Play Time

Noon Lunch Time, Nurse

1:00-2:00/2:30 Nap Time

2:00 Alone Time with Mommy, Nurse

3:00 Snack Time

3:30-5:00 Play Time, Nurse

5:00 Dinner

5:30-6:30 Play Time

6:30 Read Books and Nurse

7:00 Bed Time

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.