Is schedule so important to babies? That was a question that really haunted me in the first months after my baby was born. I got full instructions about when and how he should sleep, eat, play…It sounded too overwhelming. Similarly to the author of this article, I was not a schedule person myself. So I waived all the exact-hour breastfeeding and sleeping recommendations and followed my babies cues instead. I am still not sure if this was the right way to rear my child. There are studies linking the lack of routine to obesity in teenage years or later in life. But note, it is about routine, predictability that creates security and prevents anxiety. Not about splitting the second to perform an action at exactly that time. Babies need to get a sufficient amount of sleep, should get enough milk to support their development. But they (and we all) are living beings, not robots, and sometimes the biological clock just needs some space for adjustments. Once your child learns that a bath is followed by a tale, breastfeeding, and sleep, 8:30 or 9:00 pm doesn’t really make a difference. Or at least, I hope so. My baby is now a toddler and, honestly, I find hard times making him go to bed in the evening.
The author of this articles has explained her concerns and conclusions about scheduling in an amazing way. You can dive deeper into her considerations and, maybe, find something for yourself, either.
“Schedule, schedule, schedule,” that’s all I heard during my pregnancy: how important it was to get the baby on a schedule as soon as possible; how they thrive on schedules; that toddlers absolutely craved them; that the trick to seamless parenting was a schedule: consistency, rituals, predictability. It sounded pretty simple.