Baby Routines

From sleeping to eating to bath time, babies are just as busy as their parents. To keep your little one happy it is important to get them into a routine which gives rhythm and predictability to a baby's day. Jessica Hartshorn, Senior Lifestyle Editor for American Baby Magazine, gives tips on how to best get your baby on schedule.

The most crucial routine is the one that tells baby it's bedtime. Start to create a routine early even if your baby is sleeping 16 hours a day. Start by picking a reasonable bedtime such as 7pm. Choose three or four relaxing things you'd like to do every night at the same time. This gives the baby signals that he will learn to follow. Eventually the baby will get sleepy because of the signals.

Take the stress out of bath time with a step by step plan. A newborn's bath routine is all about preparation. The baby shouldn't be in the tub until the tub is ready for the baby. If you have everything ready for the baby, you'll be less concerned about handling a slippery baby.

Look for cues from your baby to create the child's nap schedule. When the baby's daytime sleep begins to assume a pattern at around three months, it's time to start a nap routine. Work with the baby's natural rhythm to develop a nap schedule. The nap routine should be a short version of the bedtime routine.

Last, start family meals during the high chair stage. Have the baby join the dinner routine when he begins eating solids at around 6 months by pulling the high chair right up to the table with you as you eat. Turn off the television and talk about your day. When you sit down together, your baby develops healthy eating habits as well as language and social skills.

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