Whether you are the most anal, overly organized person or someone who can often be caught running out of the house with half of your hair straightened and the other half in a ponytail, developing a set schedule is incredibly beneficial. But not only is it important to make a schedule, it Is equally - if not more - important to stick to it and continuously follow through.
As parents we often let previously important things fall to the wayside. It is legitimately and understandably more difficult to stick to a schedule once baby arrives. And yes, even those strict and organized people fall victim to this. But then again, it is almost expected of us once a new baby is born.
But now, more than ever, it is important to develop a set schedule for the both of you. Having a schedule will help you ease back into normalcy and help cultivate a steady routine for little one. And both are important to strive for. Whether this is your first or your fifth baby, there is always some semblance of a curve in getting back into the swing of things.
Believe it or not, getting on a schedule can benefit you and baby in pretty much every aspect of your lives. From potty training to sleep training, it keeps you organized and is a daily reminder of all that needs to get done. With physical schedules to follow, there are none of those forehead slapping, "Oh shoot!" moments to worry about. Or use as excuses, thank you very much!
7 It Helps You To Develop A Routine
Create entire calendars to take up a large wall space and center around that as you work on your family's schedule. Or, opt for little schedules like chore charts or room-specific lists. Either way, it will keep you organized and on your toes. Even using a magnetic board on your fridge to jot down baby's daily feedings and naps is a great way to keep you both organized. If nothing else, it is certainly a great start!
Make and follow a schedule for the entire family even and reap the benefits of bringing order into your home and getting into a comfortable and organized flow. Though there is even more to making a set schedule, so here are seven reasons why doing so will absolutely benefit both you and baby. And pretty much anyone else in your home.
This may go without saying because, well, schedules and routines sort of go hand in hand. But babies and kids alike thrive on routines. Make it a priority to add important routines to your schedule and everyone can sleep easier. No really, they literally can.
Keeping to that schedule and routine is important for your baby's development, yes, but also for the well-being of everyone in your home who enjoys sleep.
Many parents find that going by a rule of three for a bedtime routine is what gets babies on the right path. Instead of simply rocking the baby to sleep and laying him or her in their crib, develop a system of sorts for bedtime. Add in maybe a bedtime feeding and story, followed by the rocking, and you give your baby a routine to look forward to and remember that is signals bedtime.
But a schedule is also important for baby's feeding times. Keeping to a certain schedule will keep feedings on track and just keep you all around more organized when it comes to those ounces and time frames and measurements that can all get jumbled around in your brain.
Getting a bedtime routine down is obviously a necessity, but schedules also help feeding times become more planned - as much as they can be anyway - meaning that it will be easier to know when feeding times and sleeping times are possible.
6 It Helps You To Not Be So Forgetful
Writing down things alone typically helps us remember things more easily. It is like a second stamp in your memory of whatever information you're recording. So in a way, as you write out schedules, you're storing the information in your brain an additional time. Not to mention the fact that visual schedules and lists are an almost effortless way to leave no room for forgetfulness.
Making mental lists can help, sure, but having something in front of you at the ready makes it so you have no excuse as to why you forgot to grab that gallon of milk from the grocery store. Which brings us to the fact that lists serve you well in the grocery store, so it would only make sense to be that organized in other aspects of your life.
You're not able to focus when you haven't had proper sleep
You wouldn’t normally go shopping for groceries with just a mental image of your necessities - hopefully - and this should be applied to setting and keeping schedules in life.
Because, apparently, mamas are totally more likely to be forgetful. Call it "mom brain", if you will, but you're thinking for two now.
5 It Brings Order Back To Your Home
Laundry piling up in the corner of your bedroom? Check. That supply of paper plates - because who has time for dishes these days - dangerously low? Double check. But with a schedule in place, you can get your life back, so to speak. It is no secret that babies totally change our lives, and all for the better, but it is always an adjustment regardless.
Dedicate a chalkboard or dry erase board to your schedule to keep you on track with the things that need to get done at home that have been falling to the wayside in recent weeks. Although that little cooing, pink-cheeked bundle is totally worth the disarray of the house, there is nothing quite like feeling normal again.
You enjoy the benefits of a schedule
You know that feeling of finally coming home from the hospital to your welcoming homey home? Do yourself one better and get that feeling again once you can get used to a schedule and stick to it.
4 Babies Love Them!
That's right - your crazy, pooping, adorable monster thrives on a set schedule and eventually looks forward to it. Babies are naturally creatures of habit, enjoying the stability of schedules throughout their daily lives. Their schedules don't have to be rigidly strict and precise each day, but keeping a close eye on your schedule can mean that you are getting in everything you need to be doing for and with baby.
Older kids, and yes maybe even your spouse, may have complaints when it comes to maintaining schedules as opposed to just winging it most of the time, but what's good for the goose (or in this case, baby) is good for everyone else.
Your baby knows what to expect and when
While it is true that sometimes schedules can make things almost too organized of predictable for you and therefore come to seem like more of a chore of sorts, it is still important to get used to setting schedules for yourself and your family, because the alternative is just what it sounds like - a certain chaos.
3 They Make Your Baby Smarter - Kind of
Okay, maybe you won't have a genius on your hands simply from following schedules in your household, but it can't be too much of a bad thing, right? Having a schedule engages your baby's brain in helping them to remember routines and look forward to the next task or activity that is typically on the schedule. And having some semblance of organization keeps baby from becoming too confused or frazzles when and if things change.
Having and maintaining schedules also helps babies to begin learning the differences between the times of day. Will your newborn be squeaking out a "Night night, Mommy," but they will soon begin to realize that sleep is associated with nighttime and daytime is for eating, playing and tummy time.
Schedules set a pattern and patterns are part of learning
That is not to say that creating and sticking to schedules is going to be the miracle move to get him sleeping through the night and switching to feedings with more than two hours between them, but again, what does it hurt to give your little one structure and start now? Not to mention your own need for organization and regularity.
2 They're Good For Potty Training Too!
Yes, schedules are a great way to start this parenting adventure and likely set the stage for developing your baby from newborn status to crawling, on the move, not so frail status. But don't stop there! Potty training charts are just another form of schedules, in a way. They hold you and your little one accountable for getting them to go potty and it is another visual representation to keep you mindful.
But while it may seem like yet another thing to squeeze into your family schedule, actually keeping track of doing it is the best move you can make. Too often, parents let potty training go lax after just a few days of effort because, well, it's hard!
Potty training can be the battle of the wills
Getting your little one to sit still is hard enough, let alone keeping them there to complete their peeing. Which, as we all know, often leads to something like you chasing them around with their mini potty as they leave droplets everywhere they go. Fun, right?
Schedules can help to keep you both on track and remind you of your progress together while also reminding you that yes, today is yet another day of training. Hey, it could be worse. You could be toilet training your cat. Because, apparently that's a thing.
1 It Gives You A Better Look At Your Priorities
Things may seem under control enough for you without any sort of schedule or daily dry erase board with your notes to self and jotted down activities. But it may also take seeing it all in front of you to realize that you are lacking some serious you-time.
Just as it is important to have a schedule for baby, it is necessary for you to include yourself in that routine. Make time for yourself so that you're able to go shopping or to lunch with friends or even just to lounge in bed for an hour with a good book. Yes, we know, you use baby's nap time to try and catch up on chores. But that pile of unfolded socks isn’t fooling anyone.
You're in a better situation to see what's important to your day and time
And even if you aren’t lacking free time for yourself, getting a look at your schedule could make you realize that you may be giving more attention than necessary to one thing, while accidentally leaving things out too. You know, like baby's bath time. Whoops! Schedules are there to keep us organized yes, but something as simple as the visual aide that they provide is almost enough of a reward on its own.