Routine is so important when working on little ones’ sleep and I personally always advise following a routine with set timings for the day rather than going off awake windows from when your baby wakes up. Whether you choose to have a consultation with us or buy a sleep programme, you will have a routine with set timings to follow that is suitable for your baby’s age/age range and here’s why:
Working to a 12 hour day
Starting and finishing the day at the same time each day and working to a 12 hour day is one of the best things you can do to start getting your baby’s days regulated. It also creates a consistent 24 hour routine that establishes their circadian rhythm and regulates the two hormones (Melatonin and Cortisol) that prepare their bodies for being asleep and awake.
Know when they will be up for activities
Having set timings for naps essentially stops you from getting in a muddle. Your an plan your day, plan social outings and baby classes and know that the times when your baby will naturally be getting tired and need winding down. aka, not when a swimming lesson is about to begin!
Sometimes sleepy cues aren't obvious
Lots of parents we speak to in practice find that going by awake windows does not give them the confidence to know when their baby is actually tired and ready for a nap. Some babies just don't give the obvious "cues" which can result in lots of nap battles an unnecessary stress.
Starting to have predictability in your day will give both you and your baby a sense of calmness, as they will start to know exactly what's happening next at each point in their day. Plus, having naps at the same times each day means predictable, much-needed breaks for you. Knowing exactly when to put the kettle on and get that Netflix episode lined up - gold!