Montessori Mondays: Routines

No sooner do you become a parent, than you're hearing right, left and center the importance of routines. If you are a Montessori teacher becoming a parent, you already know this, and you think to yourself, that's right, nothing is more important to children and babies than a reliable and consistent routine. But setting routines is way more difficult than I ever imagined it would be. Sigh! We did find a really amazing groove when Coco was about 4 weeks old and I read Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. I didn't read it until she was already 4 weeks, but I would recommend getting this book while you're still pregnant and reading it during those last weeks when all you want to do is sit with your feet up anyway. :) The baby whisperer covers everything from coming home from the hospital to bathing to feeding and sleeping, and makes it all easy as can be. Honestly. We enjoyed that period so much. But then, at around six months, Coco grew out of the newborn phase and the tips and tricks in the baby whisperer weren't working anymore. 

While daytime has always been fine, things progressively became more complicated in the evening. Coco started eating solid food, needing a dedicated dinner time, which conflicted with our dinner time. Then she started moving around, which meant that putting her to sleep for the night by herself in our bed was suddenly hazardous! The evening period between 5 and 7:30 became my most dreaded time of day and I'm still trying to figure it all out. I've read The No-Cry Sleep Solution, Dr. Sears' The Sleep Book and now I'm reading The Sleepeasy Solution. It's not all that easy. On the one hand, I'm questioning the choice to co-sleep. But then again, it wasn't really a choice as Coco wouldn't sleep at all unless we were touching! I'm sort of shocked and upset with myself that so much time has passed (she is already one year old!) and that we haven't managed to sort out a better nighttime routine. But, that is silly too, I guess, because you can only move forward when you and your baby are both ready. 

As of now, I'm determined to get our ducks in a row and develop a good nighttime routine - before Coco can walk and talk! I know she is old enough and ready. And finally, I am ready. I did a full year of very much baby-lead routines and parenting and now it's time to come up with something more sustainable. We all need good sleep, J needs to be rested for work, I need to wake up without a kink in my neck! And what if I go back to work at some point? And what about when we have the next baby in a couple of years? And what about when Coco starts Montessori pre-school? Having a good nighttime routine is necessary for all of these scenarios to function well. Plus, having a routine is kind of great, don't you think? What is your routine like during that dreaded evening period? How do you fit it all in peacefully and still have time for your spouse and yourself? 


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