Routines for babies are essential to create a sense of comfort and safety. Predictability for playtime, naptime, feeding time helps your baby anticipate what comes next.
We do not suggest to control and plan every minute of the day. Leaving some flexibility in your schedule and that of your baby is healthy.
Yet, consistent routines for babies help them bond with you and connect with the world.
How is it done?
What Do Routines Do for Babies?
All our lives, we learn patterns, and it started during infancy.
Babies are exposed to social interaction. First, with mommy and daddy, siblings and then friends, and caregiver.
Say “Hi” and waving to someone, smiling, sharing a toy, waving “Good-bye,” are ways to bond and connect with people in our environment.
Through exposure, repetition, and consistency, social interactions can become routines.
Establishing routines early in a baby’s life can help with transitions, especially if you plan to integrate a caregiver into your family life.
Reducing anxiety, building self-confidence, improving self-control, and enforcing socially acceptable behaviors are all the fruits of daily routine activities that will accompany your child for their entire life.
Can you control tantrums through routines?
If you cannot eliminate them, you can reduce their occurrences or the time they last.
And it goes the same for hitting and bitting.
In other words, routines offer opportunities to learn and integrate concepts by using ordinary moments and turning them into teachable moments.
So, ultimately they influence the cognitive development of your child.
That’s for the learning part.
Now, routines for babies can also do more than that.
How About Cuddles and Love?
Cuddles, expressing feelings, demonstrating love for a family member can be part of a routine. It reinforces a sense of security and helps strengthen a connection.
Ritualizing a connection through a cuddle will not transform your child into a weak individual.
It does quite the opposite.
A cuddle can go a long way in your baby’s brain chemistry. If you do not believe us, try to think last time you got a big bear hug from a loved one.
How did it make you feel?
It helps relax, communicates affection, and strengthens the feeling of safety.
If your words are important, so do your actions.
Therefore, forget the old ways of letting a baby cry to teach them that they have self-control. If your baby has a hard time, pull them close to you. You will observe the almost instant calming effect of touch.
Anxiety appears because of a lack of security. Ritualizing cuddles help to enforce a sense of security.
Your child will understand that they belong to your circle.
So, when they wake up, say “Good morning” or “Hello” and give a little cuddle.
Hold their tiny hands when you read them a story.
In other words, multiply the demonstration of small gestures of affection. If they consistently happen during the day, they will go a long way.
Routines for Babies Are an Opportunity
Routines create a rich context for learning skills. They help make the ground for social skills, self-confidence, and self-control.
We do not realize the importance of the little things. We often also diminish the value of the “daily routine” verbally.
Yet, these ordinary moments are a source of learning for babies and young children and a way to bond for adults.
So, embrace the ordinary moments with your baby because they are actively learning from them.
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Willowdale Children's Academy is a child care agency located in Chester County, PA, specialized in early learning with schools in Chadds Ford, Kennett Square, Avondale, and West Chester, PA. We offer programs for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, after school care, and summer camps.