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Routine vs relaxed style

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#26 Starrydawn

Posted 18 January 2013 - 04:26 PM

Sometimes you have no choice. No matter how relaxed you may be the kid has different ideas. DD sets her own routine and when she wants a nap you need to take her home for it. She doesn't want to sleep anywhere now but her cot. She gets cranky and tired. So it's not about me I am relaxed and happy but most of the time she needs to go home for her sleep.

#27 Freddie'sMum

Posted 19 January 2013 - 07:54 AM

(Flexible) routine here.

It was the only way I kept my (minor) grip on sanity.

I also had babies that would only sleep in the cot - I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of times either girl would go to sleep in the pram - or they would always go to sleep in the car on the way home from X event - and then wake up once we got home.

Sleep times ruled in this house - and I didn't have the luxury of just "go with the flow" as my PND was awful - and a non-sleeping baby / toddler - made me feel about a million percent worse.

#28 CherrySunday

Posted 19 January 2013 - 08:09 AM

I have a 11 year old son

Good lord Pooks! he grew up quick! Tounge1.gif

With DD, I was too tired to stick to a routine, and fell into a 'go with it' style - I thought I was a huge failure as a parent, because I couldn't tell you for sure what time she would sleep, when she would be hungry etc. But it was just so easy for DD & I, and DH on weekends - we could go out almost at the drop of a hat, have a baby sleep in the pram/car, visit as long as we liked.
It was clear that this suited DD best, so I eventually learned to embrace it.

When DS came along, I was really glad I'd learned that 'no routine' wasn't evil - he just had to fit in with DDs activities, playgroup etc. Luckily he's another easy going baby original.gif

#29 Lifesgood

Posted 19 January 2013 - 08:33 AM

I agree with the PP who said routine vs relaxed is a false dichotomy. we all have routines, some are strictly adhered to and some are flexible, but they are all still routines.

Child 1 I had pnd and strict routines worked best for me. Fortunately DD was amenable to the routines.

Child 2 we had a flexible routine and this suits all of us.

As for what suits everyone else, that is entirely dependent on each person and their situation. And it is completely irrelevant what we all think about each others style.

#30 Justaduck

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:35 PM

My daughter has always been easy going. Never had to be home for nap or anything & still sleeps fine at night. The only time her night sleep was affected was when we had late nights for over a week with the lead up to Christmas

#31 Fourteenyears

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:48 PM

I'm not a 'routine' parent or a 'relaxed' parent.  I'm a responsive parent.

My first child was fairly easy going.  Most days had the sort of loose routine that you may fall into when things tend to happen at the same time each day but it was not strict or imposed.  There was a bedtime but it could be earlier or later depending on events on the day.  Naptime could be skipped, mealtimes were flexible.  It worked.

My second child desperately craves routine and loses the plot completely if she doesn't know what's going to happen and when.  If we mess with bedtime or mealtimes even slightly she is miserable and she likes to share her misery.  We'd be foolish to force her to our preferences when she's communicating so effectively that she really isn't able to cope with them yet, so for now there's a routine and we stick to it.  It's not about catering to her whims, it's about respecting her limits.

I wouldn't define my parenting style by the approach we took with either child.

#32 MarissaRoberts

Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:37 AM

I was really structured with my first and it worked so well, she was happy & content, slept well and rarely cried.
With my second I started off just as structured for the first year, it went well too. But now that she's getting closer to 2 years I find I'm a bit more relaxed about diet and nap times and our plans are now being made to suit the family and not just around the youngest. It's a bit more give and take and the are a few 'not perfect' moments, but there's also a lot of fun happy memories and more getting out and about as a family and I feel a bit more balanced.
Bed times though are still set in stone at our house! LOVE my kids but love 7pm just as much wink.gif

#33 Jess1308

Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:48 AM

Routine house here. Have copped a little bit of flack from relatives for being rigid, anxious for sticking to our routine, but it works for us.

#34 ScarfaceClaw

Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:53 AM

Somewhere in between for us. He sleeps in the pram/car/ergo so if we are out and he seems tired he has the chance to nap. I try for the most part to have him home for his nap, but it's not set in stone.
for the most part we do our evening routine in a fairly consistent manner, but if we want to go out, we do it. I know we will likely have to adjust the next days activities to allow for a little more sleep to catch up, but he's generally pretty flexible.

I see it to be all about give and take for us. It's worked with this one... who knows about the next?

#35 Kistra9

Posted 08 November 2016 - 02:24 AM

View PostEBmel, on 18 January 2013 - 01:33 PM, said:

Posted on Amity's behalf:

A friend and I were having a play-date the other day, and when her almost one-year-old grew restless she started packing up to leave. I was disappointed she had to go – our bigger kids were playing so nicely and we were having a great catch up, but she was adamant.

“If he doesn’t sleep now I’ll pay for it later, and him sleeping is the key to my sanity,” she joked. Well, kind of joked. Because for my friend, like so many mums, routine is everything. Her play-dates and catch-ups revolve around her baby’s sleep times, and they’ll always be home in time for him to sleep in his own bed. As a result he’s a great sleeper and she gets lots of work done in the hours he naps, a feat she rightly cherishes (and I am very jealous of!).

I, on the other hand, am pretty go with the flow. Our baby years were spent on outings and coffee dates, where I would hope my babies slept in their prams or in my arms. If I was having fun I’d drag my time out as much as possible, hoping they’d sleep in the car on the way home and we all wouldn’t lose the plot too much.

They’ve come with us to restaurants and concerts, rehearsals and meetings. Consequently they are very social kids who are great at being out and interacting with adults. But neither has ever been a great sleeper, a coincidence that is not lost on me.

We all have our own parenting styles, relaxed or routine, busy or calm, and all have pros and cons.

When my first child was a preschooler we filled our days with activities. Kindergym and playgroup, baby sport and play-dates, it was rare we had more than a day at home in a week. Looking back now we probably did too much, but at the time I embraced the excitement of my new baby and all the fun things we could do together.

In a typical second child scenario, my daughter and I have done a lot less of the structured activities. Life is busy enough these days and I cherish my days at home more than anything. As a result, she’s much better at entertaining herself than her brother ever was, but I sometimes get the guilts that I’ve yet to enrol her in baby ballet!

But they both still mostly fit around our schedule, rather than the other way round. Dinners are decided at the last minute, activities are spontaneous, and the summer holidays have meant late nights while we’ve all enjoyed BBQs, beach outings and sleepovers at grandparents’ homes.

Both kids will sleep in after a late night and this works for us as a family, but the downside has meant that over the holidays any routine they had is so far out the window I fear I’ll never retrieve it. Late nights are fun when Mummy is on board, but when I’m tired or have to work and they’re both still refusing to sleep at 10pm they’re patience-testing.

So is that a sign that routine is king and my relaxed style has too many drawbacks? I would agree that, as a rule, kids thrive on routine. Particularly during school terms and toddler years, structure is really important. But I also think the needs of the parents should count for something, and you have to do what works for you.

If staying at home all day makes you feel depressed and lonely, then activities and baby sleeps in the pram will make you a happier parent. If structure and home time while your child sleeps in their bed is more your thing, you’ll both prefer a routine. As long as your child is getting enough sleep in a 24-hour period they’ll be okay either way.

I’ve loved the summer holidays but am looking forward to school going back, and our semblance of routine starting up again. Although, sadly, with the next few months I’m going to have, I don’t see too many home days on the horizon anytime soon. And I fear I’ll have a battle on my hands when Miss 2 realises the party’s over and 7pm bedtime returns, so stay tuned for a toddler tantrum post coming soon!

I'd love to hear what works best for other families. Are you a routine-based person, or is a flexible approach better for you and your kids?

Should everyone try to adjust with routine and focus the relaxed style. As time is limited for any busy person so they may try to be stylish within the routine work

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