It is very important to have a routine in place for your child right from the beginning. It instills a lot of positive aspects in your child early on. The child learns a systematic approach towards everything, he learns time management and he becomes a little more confident and independent.
As parents, we need to take it up seriously and inculcate a toddler routine very soon. Here are some ways in which a routine can be set for your child without making it too taxing for you or your kids.
One very important point to keep in mind is to be flexible while setting a routine for your toddler. Everything is new for the child and any unnecessary pressure will only lead to a breakdown in the child. Also, it is advisable to not be very particular about following the routine under every circumstance. If on one particular day, your child feels like differing from the routine then give that flexibility to them without bickering. It is just one odd day on which the child will feel like this.
Ways to inculcate a toddler routine:
1. Set a schedule:
Chart out the important times such as meal times, snack times, naptimes and bedtime as these affect how well your child is able to sleep and eat, so these should be your priority. If you currently have no schedule in place, you must eventually move to a consistent routine. For example, it is first recommended to set up a regular naptime and bedtime. Then, you should be able to add in regular mealtimes and bath times.
2. Give your kid some time:
You need to help your child to practice patience. Setting a routine may be hard for your child so do not get impatient or frustrated if your child takes time to adapt to the routine. With children, trial and error is the key. Sometimes, things may not apply for your child as you expected so, always be open for a possibility of tweaking the schedule here and there.
3. Winding down:
Add winding down elements to each part of the routine. For instance, it is a good idea to add in a regular 10-minute reading and snuggling time with your child before bed. This helps them wind down and be ready for their good night sleep.
4. Don’t be rigid:
Work to achieve consistency and make room for flexibility. In order for a routine to survive the test of time, you’ll need to make sure you keep it as regular and as realistic as possible. However, stay open to flexibility without much fuss especially during holidays, outings and special events, so your child’s mood doesn’t become solely dependent on eating at a specific time and there is some room for change.
5. Flexibility helps:
Lastly, keep some unwinding time or special time aside which you can spend freely without any restriction of a routine. Whether it’s a regular trip to a relative’s house or walking along with the dog, create expectations and routine of family time together.
6. Makes a few tweaks:
Adjust as needed. As the months prolong, you’ll start to see what’s working and not working for the family. A routine is supposed to assist the family, not hinder it. Be sure your routine is healthy and positive for your kid and the family as a whole.
Make the weekends special by taking the child for a fun outing or just give them some free play time once in a while. It will be a welcome change for you and your toddler and he will love the surprise element. It is surely important to set a toddler routine but, not at the cost of making it a stressful experience for all of you in the family.