Developing a routine

Why I will never be Gina Ford

When the twins were around 13 weeks, I started getting into a panic that they weren’t in a “routine” like so many other new mums around me were talk about. Was I a failure? Why am I such a bad mother? Will my children be running riot when they are five years old while others sit and play quietly? My poor babies!

Then I stopped and realised: they are babies. Babies have no concept of time or routine or what what you want. How anyone does the Gina Ford technique is absolutely beyond me. It is complete nonsense.

The twins naturally fell into a “routine” (if you can even call it that) around 4 months. I say that, I still feed them as and when they want. Because I eat and and when I want and I think it’s only fair they get the same luxury. But it is more or less every four or five hours. We do breakfast around 8/8:30, lunch at 12ish, then teatime at 4:45, ready for bed at 7. That is about as specific I get. Naps are roughly around the same time but some days they’ll nap for 20 minutes, other days they will be down for an hour and a half. I am NOT waking my babies up to suit my routine.

I am also quite anti-fancy bedtime routines. I don’t think they should have set things to do at set times because I think it makes it really hard for anyone else looking after your children.

When I was originally getting into a panic, the twins weren’t settling in bed until 10pm, and I was in a constant state of worry that they would never have a proper time to go to bed. Low and behold, the girls naturally brought their bedtime earlier and earlier and now we have settled at 7pm, which suits them fine. They’ll wake up around 6am.

Our “bedtime routine” is literally: nappy change, put on pyjamas, bit of a bottle if they want it, pop them in a sleeping bag, in their cots, mobile on, say goodnight, asleep. We don’t sing them songs or read a book every night (we do read books but I like to do it in the day so they know they can enjoy them all day long, not just at bedtime) or have a bath at a specific time with specific songs and specific sponges.

I think so much is put on you by other mums about having a routine. So what if you don’t have a set routine? Babies are relatively flexible for the first few months anyway.

If I was to write a Gina Ford-esque book on routines, it would be really short. Pamphlet size maybe. Essentially, babies develop a routine naturally. Don’t force it.



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