Following healthy routines can be helpful to both you—and your baby. From creating a more relaxing home to helping your baby be more receptive to learning—here are five benefits you and your baby can derive from following a daily routine.
- Growth and development
- Parenting help
- Finding balance
- Understanding time
- Life lessons
1. Stimulating growth and development
Your baby needs to feel secure in order to learn and grow. Providing consistency helps your baby learn what to expect day after day, and who the important people in her life are. Security is, ultimately, the foundation for bonding and learning.
2. Promoting happier parenting
It takes time for your baby to learn to associate her bed with sleep, tell night from day, and pick up on other sleep cues that help her get organized (and sleep through the night!). Repetition will help you both adjust. Plus, having a routine gives you a plan; even if your day doesn’t go as expected, maintaining a routine gives you a sense of purpose and keeps you organized, even if you’re feeling sleep-deprived and frazzled.
3. Learning about flexibility
A daily routine gives your child a blueprint of what to expect. This helps her be less resistant to going to sleep and less frantic about when she’ll get to eat next. But, understand that a daily routine should strike a balance between schedules and flexibility. If your child is engaged in a positive activity, it may be a good time to delay lunch for just a bit.
4. Teaching about time
Long before your child can tell time, she understands the pacing of a day. This knowledge boosts her self-confidence, because she learns about what’s expected from her at certain times. For example, she’ll learn that brushing her teeth comes before bedtime. As she grows, this makes it easier to transition to new routines and experiences, too.
5. Reinforcing social skills, safety, and nutrition
Embedded in routines are life lessons about how we proceed in our day-to-day lives. They reveal the most basic social graces (like “hello” and “please”), outline safety rules (such as buckling up before driving), reinforce what’s healthy to eat, and teach when to wash hands.