Establish a routine
Establishing a daily schedule is a lifesaver for mom and baby. Baby finds comfort in knowing what to expect, such as playtime, when to eat, sleep, and so forth. Mom can keep her sanity by creating a basic structure in her day.
Your routine will ground you, such as set times for meals, nap time, playtime, and bedtime. Everything else can be flexible. Here is a general outline of our day. If you’re unsure where to start, pick one to three activities you strictly adhere to, such as lunch, nap, or bedtime.
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what time should we wake up?
It doesn’t really matter as long as it’s the same time every day. It doesn’t have to be the exact minute every morning, but it helps if it’s within the same 15-minute window. The key is consistency.
Depending on the season, rise when the sun rises. This is easier in the summertime than in the cold, dark winter months. If you’re a morning person and like to be up early to be productive before the rest of the household, I highly recommend waking up one hour before baby so that you can have some cherished “me” time.
Plan your day, get organized, have a cup of coffee, exercise, practice yoga, meditate, journal, have breakfast, and get dressed. You are carving out precious space for you to be successful and satisfied. By the time baby wakes up, or you wake up baby, they see you already dressed and organized. You are demonstrating calm and happiness, instead of stress, not having enough time.
what time should we have breakfast?
The answer is always, “It depends.” In our experience, Baby has two breakfasts. When she wakes up, she has milk, banana, cheerios, yogurt, or a Nutri-grain bar. Ideally, this would be around 7 am. Lately, this is has been between 7:30 – 7:45 am.
At school, breakfast is served at 8:30 am, where she eats whatever they provide plus more milk. I like that she has her second breakfast with her peers. She learns to sit at the table, use utensils, and she gets to be social.
what are the best foods for baby?
The doctor always asks us if Baby is getting a good mix of fruits, veggies, and protein, so we try to do for each meal. It doesn’t always work out this way. We try to offer her nutrient-dense foods that taste good to Baby.
A few easy foods to try are avocado, banana, sweet potato, pears, applesauce, or yogurt. Smoothies are an easy way to add veggies if baby doesn’t seem to enjoy them independently. Try making a stew! If you have a crockpot, you can throw your meat of choice (if you eat meat), carrots, celery, onion, tomatoes into the crockpot.
Let it cook for 4 – 8 hours during the day. Everything is soft enough for Baby to eat, or sometimes they like to taste the broth with is loaded with vitamins and nutrients from all of the healthy ingredients.
If your baby doesn’t like to eat veggies, try the pouches! They’re great to take with you on the road.
best baby smoothie recipe
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 cup milk of choice
- 1/2 banana
Put the ingredients into a blender and blend until you reach your desired consistency. Add more milk if you want a thinner smoothie. Add more ripe banana if you need more sweetness.
best baby soup
- frozen sweet peas
- bone broth
- pinch cayenne pepper
- sour cream
Sweet pea soup has been a lifesaver in our family. The peas are a great green veggie and protein source. Toss them in the microwave and blend them with the broth of your choice. We use chicken broth or veggie broth plus a little bit of sour cream to add flavor and texture. Add the amount of each ingredient to your liking to get the desired texture and thickness.
how many ounces of milk can baby drink per day?
This is based on baby’s age, weight, breastfeeding, and how much food your baby eats. By the time baby is one, our doctor suggested 12 to 24 ounces of milk per day. If they drink too much milk, then they won’t derive enough calories from their food.
Our doctor has told us that too much milk can cause constipation. We always have a sippy-cup of water available to baby in case she’s thirsty. If you live in a hot and humid climate like Houston, this helps keep baby properly hydrated.
40 activities to do with baby
more activities to do with baby
If you’re looking for more ideas, here is a list of 100 things you can do for free or find on amazon in all price ranges.
how often do i need to change baby's diaper?
Every 2 hours or as needed according to every child care center that I have visited. This keeps Baby comfortable, happy, and healthy. I think of it the way I would treat myself. I know that I would be uncomfortable sitting in my own mess, so I tend to change Baby as soon as I see that she’s wet.
A helpful tactic is telling Baby, “Good job!” every time they soil a diaper to encourage her to go potty. Otherwise, if Baby receives negative attention when she goes to the bathroom, which is a healthy natural process, they can try to hold it in and develop real health conditions. “A pleasant attitude while changing a child’s diaper, even if a child has had a loose stool, helps to develop a child’s positive sense of self” (1).
how long should i let baby nap?
2 – 3 hours. When I asked Baby’s doctor this very question, her only suggestion was not to allow Baby to sleep past 5 pm. At first, I didn’t adhere to this, but now I do with a few exceptions.
If Baby is sick, then I let her sleep as much as she can regardless of the time. If Baby is super stimulated and exhausted, I’ll let her sleep until 6 pm but not much later; otherwise, she will be wide awake until 10 pm.
I spoke with a dad of three a couple of years ago, and he said that each kid is different. He said one of his daughters sleeps 10 – 14 hours easily. His second daughter did not need much sleep. She was good with 6 to 8 hours.
And Daughter number three slept an average of 8 hours. So if your baby sleeps a lot or doesn’t sleep as much as you would like, remember that each baby is their own person, and they get the sleep they need in most cases.
should i put baby down to nap at the same time every day?
Yes, as often as you can. Baby responds well to routine. Even if they are not tired, their little bodies learn to become tired and take rest when offered. Eventually, Baby will take one nap a day.
One of the most helpful tips in successfully putting Baby down for a nap was to treat nap time the same way you treat bedtime. This was eye-opening. Of course! Why hadn’t I thought of this before? For some reason, I had created two different routines, even though the objective was the same.
Once we started incorporating the same practices at nap time that we do at bedtime, Baby was much more comfortable with nap time. For example, in her sleep sack at nap time, I started putting Baby in her sleep time, making the room as dark as I could during the day and playing the same bedtime playlist.
This is not always in your control but do your best. All we can do is try.
how to make bath time fun
Make a bath time playlist. I use Amazon music, but you can use any free music app or youtube. My thought was that before Baby and I could communicate, if I were to play the same songs when we started an activity, then she would understand what was happening.
It has worked beautifully thus far. This is also beneficial to share with grandparents or babysitters. When my mom was watching Baby for us, she said that baby calmed down as soon as she started playing the bedtime song list. It’s comforting and familiar to Baby.
what if baby doesn't like to read?
Read to Baby anyway. Even if they aren’t able to sit still or show interest, it’s good for them to see you reading. Find fun board books with colors, sounds, flaps, moveable parts, a mirror, anything that grabs their attention. Here are a few of my favorites.
do what works for you
Most importantly, do what works for your life. This is just what has helped me in my journey so far. I’ve had a lot of helpful advice the way. Every baby is different.
Every mother is different, and every family is different. There is no one right way to raise a happy, healthy child. Creating a schedule that I can follow has been helpful beyond measure.
I hope that you’re able to find something helpful in your life as well. Please share any tips or mom hacks that you have found. We love hearing from you!