How I established Sleep Routine for my daughter and Why?
After becoming a new mother, it is always over-whelming on how to manage all the responsibilities that we have as a mother, wife, daughter, daughter-in-law etc.. As with everyone, this fear also caught me in the first few weeks of when Ridhima was born. Living in a nuclear family of us three, it became more difficult for me to juggle all the different roles I had to play everyday. I have had only a week's of help after my delivery, and none during my whole pregnancy. I knew in my sub-conscious mind that, if I have to make my life easier and breatheable for everyday , I had to have some daily routines in place for myself and for Ridhima. And then I started to think and brainstorm of ways I can make my daily living easier and manageable for me. I was also, one of those moms, who felt drained at the end of everyday. I felt like I had been not able to be a good mom , a good wife and a good person. But that's when, you actually are doing a good job, as you're doubting yourself.
So , I literally made a list of everyday tasks I had to do, in terms of my work, house-chores, and also noted Ridhima's sleep and nap-times for a week. I kept everything in front of me, and started to visualise how I can manage all the tasks I had to do for myself , for my Home and for Ridhima. How much time , am I really wasting or have to spend on certain tasks. Then, I also thought of how I can save my time, and give that time for my own Self-care and for my Husband. In that brainstorming session, I came up with a Sleep Routine for Ridhima for every night and day-time nap. And that routine has sticked till now, almost 4 years later.
I want to emphasize on these two things, if you want to establish any kind of routine for yourself or for your children.
- CONSISTENCY - No matter where you are , choosing to follow the daily routine every single day is a courageous work. I followed the same sleeping routine with Ridhima, whenever I travelled to any place, even when I was at my mom's place. I have had seen so many faces turning off when they see my determination to keep up with the routines for my daughter. There have always been some lame comments on what I have chosen for my daughter, be it making her to eat independently when she turned 2 years, or making her sleep at the same time everyday, or choosing Early-Learning Education for her. There always have been tough moments , when I had to defend myself to other's non-sense. But very early I realised, none of this matters. And none of this pulling down comments and non-sense will ever decide for what is good for me and my baby. We as parents are capable enough to decide for our children. Taking suggestions is one thing, but following them blindly is not a good thing.
- SELF CARE - This is for all the Mumma's out there. Yes, Self -Care is very Important. It refreshes you, relaxes you and renergizes you in so many ways, that you become more ready to tackle the world. Self-care is NOT being selfish. Many people around you will make you feel that, but keep determined on your self-care and not give up. And for this to happen, I needed some time off, of my baby. And I repeat it one more time, As much as I love my Baby, It is NOT SELFISH to take some time off and indulge in some Self-Care. If you're feeling its not the right thing to do or my child's needs are more important than mine. Then Mumma, please take a step back and give yourself the PERMISSION to be a good mother by becoming a self-loved and self-cared person first.
Since , I could not ask for help to anyone, as we lived in a nuclear family. I had to figure-it out myself. So, I started to establish an early sleep routine, when my daughter was about 4 weeks old. I started to make her sleep everyday at the same time at night. First, it was 7.30 pm and now it has gone to 8.30 pm. I used to take her in the room at 7.30 pm everyday, no matter where I was, and then read a story book to her, and slowly wind her down for sleep. So by 8pm , she was fast asleep. No when she was a little baby, she used to wake up several times for feeding and sometimes, for potty too. But that wouldn't take much time, as she would be deep in her sleep. Fast Forward to Toddler years, she now goes in her room by 8.30pm and off to sleep by 9pm. In that half-an-hour, we read a book or two, and then I pat her to sleep. This is our daily sleep routine.
Once, she is off to bed, I like to work on things that help me in my self- growth and personal development, and also like to relax for the evening. I like to do many things like reading books and magazines, crafting , knitting, watching movies, listening to music and/or podcasts, writing , and many more such things. This simple routine helps me to relax and re-energize myself to tackle for the next day ahead. And during day time I feel less over-whelmed, because I know for sure, I have a dedicated time for my Self-Care, which I look forward to everyday.
Do you have any such routines, let me know in the comments below. Would love to discuss and share an insight on each other's routines.