Routine and Your Baby's Sleep with Bailey Georgiades

Routine and Your Baby’s Sleep with Bailey Georgiades | S2 Ep31

Routine and your baby’s sleep go hand in hand. Of course, you’ll have heard the importance of routine for your little one but did you know that routine is essential to ensure that your baby gets enough sleep. In this week’s podcast, Bailey Georgiades joins Meg Faure to talk all about routine.

How routine guides sleep

Meg discusses why routine is important, what really makes a routine meaningful & how to ensure your baby is in the right routine for them. As Meg reveals it’s not so much about routine, i.e. keeping your little one on the same schedule everyday, but that routine is really about ensuring your baby is well rested and fed. Sleep is the foundation for routine. And she talks from her own experience as a first time mum trying to stick to a very rigid routine right from the start with her first born. She delves into the consequences of this advice in the fact that it affected her milk supply and was the cause of a lot of anxiety.

Meg and Bailey go onto to discuss the importance of consistent bedtime routines and using awake times to guide a flexible routine during the day. Meg also talks about how routine changes over the first few months (and years) of a little one’s life. She shares tips on how to adapt your baby’s routine to their sensory personality. She also points listeners to the Baby Sense course in the Parent Sense app that includes how to read your baby’s signals (particularly in the early days) for overstimulation and/or tiredness.

Routines with Sense

Whether you are a routine mom or a more go-with-the-flow mom, we could all use a little help knowing when to settle our babies to sleep. Parent Sense makes sticking to a flexible routine, that’s right for your baby’s age, easy. The app takes the guesswork out of when your baby last slept, for how long, when it’s time for another feed/sleep and much more so you have a happier, healthier, more settled little one.

Listen for more great insights from OT, baby specialist & best selling author, Meg Faure.

Guests on this show

bailey georgiades

Bailey Georgiades

Episode References and Links:

Web: megfaure.com
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Parent Sense mobile app:
Web: https://parentsense.app/
Download via Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=tech.bitcube.parentsense Download via iOS: https://apps.apple.com/za/app/parent-sense-baby-tracker/id1502973851

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Routine & Your Baby’s Sleep


Welcome to Sense by Meg Faure, the podcast that’s brought to you by Parent Sense, the app that takes guesswork out of parenting. If you are a new parent, then you are a good company. Your host Meg Faure is a well known OT, infant specialist, and the author of eight parenting books. Each week, we are going to spend time with new moms and dads, just like you; to chat about the week’s wins, the challenges, and the questions of the moment. Subscribe to the podcast, download the Parent Sense App, and catch Meg here every week to make the most of that first year of your little one’s life. And now, meet your host…

Bailey: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Sense by Meg Faure. I’m Bailey Georgiades, Media personality, Podcaster, and mom of two little boys. And I’m here with my favourite and our very own parenting and baby expert, Meg Faure; it’s always amazing to be with you, how are you?

Meg: I’m very well Bailey, it’s always great to touch base with you too.

Bailey:  Now, today we’re talking about the subject of routine. And I think when you have a baby; you get inundated with instructions to get your baby into a routine. And everyone from your grandmother, to your auntie, to your mom, has all these different ideas about how to do it. Including the nurses at the hospital, everyone is talking about routine and for a lot of new parents; it’s something that we often worry about. Is it the norm, are they too little, when do you start to routine. And then on the other hand, you’ve got routine moms who are super organized and plan their day around their baby’s routine and kind of lose a little bit of themselves. So, we’ve touched on the subject in one of our previous podcasts about sensory personalities, that some babies really thrive in a predictable routine, and others can go with the flow a little more. So, I think, it’s really good that we’re going to talk about this today to really unpack it. The various approaches to routines, the pros and cons, how sleep impacts your little one’s routine, so Meg, if you’re ready to start, I think we should get into it.

Meg: Yeah, it really is one of my most favourite topics, because it’s one of the ones that can be more controversial, and people sitting very specific camps on it, and then the other moms who’re desperate to get it right and are a little bit lost. So, it’s a great topic for us to chat about, and you know Bailey, when I’m thinking about routine and how different all moms are, it makes me think about you and I, because you and I are very different moms as well. So, out of interest, how did you respond to routine with your little ones, were you one of those moms who loved routines, or were you a little more go with the flow?

Bailey: I was kind of in between. So I definitely had routine, but I was quite flexible on the routine. So, especially when my boys were very, very little, we travelled quite a bit. And I had to then become flexible with their routine, but their routine was always the same. So, they couldn’t tell the time. Whether I was putting them down to bed at seven-thirty, or nine-thirty because it was just too hot and too light when we were in Greece, the routine was still the same. So it would be a nice lullaby, give them their sleep association; put them in their little blanket or their sleep suit, and that was it. So I was flexible in timing, but the routine was always the same.

Meg: Very interesting. Yeah, it brings up two very interesting parts of routine, which is the cues and the triggers and then the actual watching the clock, so, yeah, really interesting.

Bailey: Well, I’m excited to get into this and just really unpack it. Why is routine so important for little ones, and what is the physical and emotional benefit of a routine?

Meg: Yeah. So I think—you’ve got two perspectives here, you’ve got the parents, the mom and the dad, and then you’ve got the little ones. And I think for many parents, a little bit of routine is something they really do Like, although it can be quite subjective. So there’s a group of parents that really do like routine, they like to know what’s happening; particularly if you come from a background of corporate, or living your life according to your diary; to have this kind of little one who really doesn’t have any time parameters can be quite tricky. So, I think for parents’ having a little bit sense of routine is actually quite useful. And particularly as little ones get older, it becomes more, and more useful so that, you know what you can do each day, you know when you’re going to be able to fit in a shower, or when are you going to  be able to fit in some email or whatever it is. So routines for parents can be really useful.

But it actually really is important for little ones as well. And we know that little ones who are well rested, who are sleeping on, not necessarily on a routine, but are sleeping adequately during the day and having a good night’s rest as well, actually do a whole lot better emotionally. So, it’s not so much about, that routine is necessarily very important for children, it’s more that the by-products of routine, which is good sleep habits and good eating habits, that’s really good for children. And so, I would say it’s not the routine per se, that we need to really focus on, its what it leads to, which is good sleep and good feeding.

Bailey: I think we’ve all had those overtired babies that we try and get to sleep. So let’s talk about how sleep is the foundation for a good routine.

Meg: Yeah. So I definitely think sleep is the most important part of routine. We can chat about feeding routines later on. But in terms of a sleep routine, I think every single baby in the world needs some sort of sleep routine. And that doesn’t mean a rigid routine, of, kind of every baby in the whole world falls asleep at nine o’clock in the morning. Which, by the way…

I mean it’s quite funny. When I had my first baby, I’m quite an A-type mom, I like to know, I like predictability, I’m slow to warm up, so I don’t like unpredictability, I don’t like novelty. And so, I wanted to get James into routine as quickly as possible. And I picked up a book, called The Contented Little Baby Book, which people may have heard of, may still use, I’m not sure. And this book really was at the far end of the spectrum of rigid routines. In fact so much so, that even from like two weeks onwards, she would propose that you wake your baby at seven thirty in the morning and that they go to sleep at nine o’clock in the morning, and that… There was this kind of really, really rigid routine. And I got myself in a state, because she would say, for instance, baby must go to sleep at nine o’clock, and my baby wouldn’t fall asleep at nine o’clock, he’d fall asleep at half past nine. But now, she’s told me I have to wake him quarter to 10 or whatever it was; I can’t even sleep for 15 minutes. And it was kind of this rigidity that made me feel absolutely nauseous and anxious really.

And so, I think that type of rigidity around sleep routine is not what we are talking about. However there is a guideline around sleep routines that is important, and can be used to help to set up a really good sleep routine. So the principle with sleep routines is that, babies need a certain amount of sleep during the day and a certain amount at night, obviously. And from very early on, it should be increasingly more at night, and less during the day. So, sometimes babies have their day and night muddled up, and it’s important that we actually switch those around. So, there’re two key pieces to setting up a routine for sleep, and the one is the bedtime routine. Which actually you alluded to already, when you spoke about the fact that when you were in Greece, and that it was going down—the sun was going down late, you just did exactly the same routine, but at a different time of day. So that bedtime routine is critically important, and I’m going to talk about that.

And the other part is the setup of the daytime routine, which should be based on Awake times. So let’s start with the bedtime routine, because that’s quite an easy one. I actually do like babies to go to sleep at around about the same time every night, and that’s not just for babies, it’s actually for adults as well. There’s incredible amount of research that shows, that adults who have consistent bed times are healthier. In fact, there have even been indications that there’s less risk of heart attacks.

For instance, as you get older, if you’re going to sleep at the same time. And so that doesn’t have to be rigid, but within kind of half an hour, or two maximum hour of itself is the best. And for most of us, if we’ve got a healthy sleep routine, when we log—that we fall asleep at nine o’clock or whatever, our watch picks up that we fall asleep at nine, nine-thirty at night, and every night it’s consistent, we get this kind of little green signal on our… That say’s, yes, you’ve done really well in your sleep. And then of course we get to the weekend, and we fall asleep at one o’clock in the morning, cause we’ve gone out for a dinner and we kind get an orange or red mark saying no, no, noting consistent. And the reason of course is that actually bedtime should be consistent.

So, I hear what you said about being flexible, but for most babies bedtime routine should be flexible. The other part about that is that usually if you keep little ones awake past their bed time, which I think should be between six-thirty and seven-thirty at night, when you don’t do that, they’re usually fairly unplayable in the time post that bedtime. So between seven-thirty and nine, they will often be fairly unplayable and difficult to manage, particularly little babies, because they become overtired. So the first principle on a bedtime routine is to keep the actual timing consistent. And as I mentioned, anywhere between six and seven-thirty, six for really little babies, and then working towards seven-thirty for older toddlers, and pre-schoolers, and that’s the time for bed. And then you rewind one hour and you have your bedtime routine. Which is, should be absolutely consistent, a bath, a massage, a story, a cuddle, a little feed or milk or whatever it is, and then into bed. And that type of trigger actually triggers the brain to say, okay, right, we’re in the same wine down that we do every single night and therefore we’re going to fall asleep.

And I have a very funny story that I have told before in the podcast, so people may have heard it, but in the year, 1999 and now of course I’m really showing my age because I had a one year old in those days. So 1999 going into the year 2000, it was the Y2K year and you couldn’t get a babysitter for level money, and it was impossible. So a bunch of us went out to a big new year’s party on a farm in France hook. And we employed three nannies between about 15 babies. And what we did, was we kind of ramped up all the little camp cuts in a row in the lounge, in this cottage, outside because we were in the main house and in this cottage we had all the little camp cuts lined up and we were going to put the babies down in a row, so we could maximize these three babysitters between so many babies. And of course the moms and dads were in and out, but the bottom line was sure we had these babies all in one room.

And I looked at the situation, I thought, no, no, no; there’s no ways that my social butterfly; our first born was a social butterfly, is going to fall asleep. But I did what I’d done every single day for 18 months of his life, which was that I gave him a bath, read him a story, did his—did it all quietly, gave him his massage, popped him into his baby sleeping bag, popped him into his camp cut along with the other babies who were all kind of chatting and so on. And I went back in about 15 minutes later and he was fast asleep. And, of course I felt like the absolute win because, that was just, you feel like I was in the club, December 31st, 1999 and I was ready to party and I did. And he of course, then he was sleeping through, so he didn’t step for the night. So it was great.

But, what worked there was the fact that I was rigid on time and routine. And so when bedtime routines are spoken about, and you can get a bit irritated you want to go to that [BRI? 00:10:33] with your friends and you just want your baby to fall asleep wherever you are. And you want to go out to a restaurant, and they can sleep in their camp cut underneath, or their sleeping bag underneath the table on the pram. Those things, you actually don’t get that flexibility with bedtime, and you need to be fairly rigid on it because it will set you free, like it set me free. It allowed me to then, go and have my party.

So the first thing, when we’re talking about setting up a good routine is, focus on that bedtime. The second thing that we focus on when we talk about setting up a good routine is, of course the daytime routine. And as I alluded to, I don’t buy into, or like the idea that every baby worldwide falls asleep at nine o’clock in the morning. It just—we know that is not… It doesn’t work right, it doesn’t work like that. Not every baby in the world sleeps for seven-thirty. And what happens for a baby woke up at 5:00.A.M, and now they’ve got to stay awake till nine, it’s not possible. And so the right way to set up a day routine is to look at awake times, and babies have awake times that increase in length from birth, all the way through until two years old. And if you’re watching how long babies can be awake, or we can also call them the Awake Windows, you could actually set up a really nice routine.

So, for instance, your new-born baby can be awake for only 45 to 60 minutes at a stretch. That’s so short, that’s time for breastfeed really. And, so what you need to do is, watch what time your new-born work, watch for those 45 to 60 minutes, and then after 45 to 60 minutes, put them down for the next sleep. And if you do that, you’ll be working with their natural Circadian Rhythms, so their natural rhythms for needing to fall asleep. And as they get older, those stretch out, until about at the time they’re actually a year of age, it’s three, to three and a half hours, that’s a very much longer period of time. And so suddenly, you’re little one’s having few and fewer sleeps during the day, or few sleeps, and long sleeps as they get older.

So, that Awake Window is a very good thing to watch. And you can start to watch that from really, really early on, you don’t have to wait until your child is nine months old to get them into sleep routine. And remember, this is not going to give you a set time every single day that they’re going to fall asleep. It’ll give you a set window, so depending on when they woke up. And the Parent Sense App does it really nicely for you, because on the home screen, we’ve got the Awake Window, and then in the routine we base it on the amount of Awake Time that a little one has had for when they need to fall asleep.



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Bailey: I mean you said already that, it’s a bit of a controversial topic. So what are some of the cons and controversies of having a baby routine?

Meg: Yeah, so I think there shouldn’t be any cons and controversies around a sleep routine, except for, as I mentioned, that super rigid can sleep routine that was advocated in a book that I read so many years ago. And I don’t know if the book still exists, but if anyone’s listening, and you have got somebody in your life who’s telling you that your baby needs to fall asleep at nine o’clock in the morning, particularly if they’re young babies, at this rigid time, just rethink it, because it’s going to make you stressed, because babies are not going to—they haven’t read the book you know, they could do it their way, and you’re going to get stressed. So, that controversy around sleep times should really be done away with, because if we follow Awake Windows, there’s no controversy, because you are following your baby’s own lead and their own cues.

But the main controversy actually often sits around feeding, and that controversy actually can feed into being a con, and I’ll explain why. So, if you have a rigid feed routine, which in this book that I mentioned was also a rigid feed routine, it was a four hourly feed routine, which we know that babies can’t do; new babies, they just can’t. What ends up happening is you can’t establish a milk supply. And I know this from first-hand experience, because of course, I was reading the book with first born baby, and I thought Nope, we’re going to  get you into a four hour milk feeding routine, but I was intent on breastfeeding, I was obsessed with breastfeeding. And, of course, that for hour feeding routine from day one plus breastfeeding, it doesn’t work together, it almost can never work, it can work occasionally, but it’s very, very rare. And the reason for that is that our bodies are just miraculous, they produce breast milk based on demand. So, how much the baby demands increases, the amount that we supply, so it determines the amount we supply. And so if the demand is low, because it’s only every four hours, the supply will be low. It quite simply won’t establish your milk supply.

And so, that’s why there’s a controversy around rigid feeding routines in the early days. And I would agree with that, that it becomes a con, not just a controversy, it becomes a negative and something that we really shouldn’t be looking at. So, rigid four hour feeding routines, for babies under six weeks of age should be avoided. That is not to say that there aren’t babies who do four hour feeding routines, there are, there absolutely are. Those are the babies who only demanded it that time, those are moms who’ve potentially got, absolutely wonderful creamy milk with massive supply, and that’s all their baby needs. And that’s great, if your baby is on a four hour routine from very early on, and you’re feeding, you’ve got great milk supply, and your baby’s gaining weight, go for it. For many moms, and I would say for most moms, those early days with breastfeeding have to involve demand, and that when you’re treating on demand, it means you’re going according to your baby’s rhythms, not your clock, and that’s important.

So for the first six weeks, you’ll be going, according to your baby’s rhythms, they might demand to feed between every two and four hours, and that’s absolutely fine, that’s what you should be going with. And then, as they hit six weeks, you’ll start to see that your milk supply settles, so you will have stronger supply, you will wake in the middle of the night with weight patches around your breast, if your baby hasn’t woken up to feed, and your supply is now—your body’s now going; right, I know how much I need to supply, I know, what my rhythms are, and I’ll produce that. And at that point, you can start to guide your little one towards a feeding schedule that is also still flexible.

And so, from six weeks onwards, I do recommend moving the—breastfeed babies towards three hours, and then later on towards three and a half hours. And then eventually, from about four to six months onwards, you’re fitting in solid feeds as well. And you’ll actually end up feeding your baby almost two hourly, because you’ll have a feed, and then a solid, and then a feed, and then a solid, and a feed, and then a solid all the way through the day. And so, you move into, quite a bit more of a guided routine at that point. But in the early day, that’s where the controversy on feeding comes up, that really being rigid is not ideal.

Bailey: Okay. So just to clarify, with on-demand feeding, it’s not always so possible to get into a routine, but you can slowly start doing that as baby gets older?

Meg: Correct, absolutely. And look, it is easier with the bottle feed babies, because with bottle feeding, you know how much is going in, formula, if you bottle feeding formula is more filling. And so, you can start to move them onto a three to four hour routine from actually very early on. So, when I talk about the controversies around feeding routines, it actually has more to do with breast milk supply than anything.

Bailey: Right. I’ve always said, I wished that our breast actually had just a little measurement gauge on the side…

Meg: I know, oh my goodness. And that… come on. Even for me Bailey, it was so hard because I had this hangover of this kind of four hour routine out of this book that I wanted to put my boy into. And, actually I was seeing a nursing sister who was based in Cape Town, who was also a real stickler for routine, and she’d tried to put him into the same similar sort of rigid routine, and my milk supply just wasn’t coming in. I mean, everybody else complained about hard breasts on day three, I just never got it, obviously. I never had leaky breasts, and James was okay, he didn’t gain weight brilliantly, but he was never a fat baby. So, there were some concerns and then they said, look, maybe your milk supply is low, you need to go into Eglonyl, to increase your milk supply. And I didn’t want to go into Eglonyl, because yeah, I didn’t want to take the medication, and which, by the way, I think there’s nothing wrong with taking it at all. But at the time I was this, naive young, I mean I was 25 years old, I was young, and I was just trying to work out how I was going to establish milk supply, and get my baby into routine.

And it just was a real cycle of anxiety. II was an anxious at every feed, I didn’t know if I had enough supply, but I didn’t want to take Eglonyl, but I wanted to stay on my routine. And so, you can see that every little lever that I could have pulled to increase my supply, I was doing away with, and wasn’t going for. So, it was a very tricky time for me, that those early days of breastfeeding, and of course, baby number two, baby number three, whole lot easier, because by then I’d actually worked out how to do this properly.

Bailey: I mean that’s so true. With the first one, I always feel like you have no idea what you’re doing. But don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I feel that I suddenly gain so much more knowledge to know what to do with the second one, but it takes off the anxiety because you’ve been there, done that, and you’re like, wait a minute; okay, I don’t need to run for every little cue and niggle, because they’re actually just turning or… It’s kind of a little bit more relaxed, because even though you’re still winging it, and every baby is so different, you still have the sense of security of going, I’ve done this before, I can do this again.

Meg: That’s so true. So that first baby for me, was a real baptism of fire, because I wanted the routine more rigidly than I actually could expect from a little one, I didn’t really know how to set it up. So yeah, no, it’s a baptism of fire

Bailey: Yeah. Well, this is a really interesting question that I have for you, because I have a lot of friends who are; either very, very, not rigid, but very set in their routines, and then I have got friends who themselves, don’t have routine and suddenly they become parents, and now they have to establish a healthy routine. So, what advice would you give them about establishing a healthy routine, especially if they don’t have a very strict routine themselves?

Meg: Yeah, look. I think, the first thing is that all babies do need some semblance of routine. And I remember very clearly, many years ago, treating a baby who was a really, really, really fussy baby. I mean really, really irritable, poor sleeper, poor feeder. And, when we kind of did the chat with her and her mum and I started to move them towards having some sort of routine, so we could understand what was going on. Her mom said to me, gosh, we’ve never had a routine at all. So I said to her, well, give me a sense of when you feed her. And she said, well, I don’t know because I just eat when I get hungry, and then I guess I feed her about that time, she was two years old by then. And we started to realize that this little girl was having severe drops in blood sugar level, she was getting really ratty and irritable, she wasn’t getting enough sleep, but the mom was kind of really, really, an extreme go with the flow mom. She lived in Nordic; she was like one of those classic, kind of extreme laid back moms. And when we started to put a routine in place for this little girl, the world changed for them.

And so I think, even for people who don’t—aren’t sticklers for routine, and who are more laid back. Having some sort of routine, particularly a feeding routine as little ones get older, so that they know when they’ve got food coming, because otherwise they can get hangry and you can miss those signals, It really does help. And the signals piece of it is, another reason why it is a good idea is, because baby signals are hard to read in the early days. I mean, in Baby Sense, we go through what those signals are; and moms can actually do the Baby Sense course now online on the App. But, the bottom line is that, reading those signals is still really tricky, and so having a routine, does help you to be able to read your baby signals, that you know when they’re crying or niggling now; it’s not hangar, it’s not like you said every niggle is hangar, it’s not hanger, they’re just tired now, because we know that an hour and a half has passed since the last sleep for instance.

Bailey: And I think we have to remember that we are the adults and the grownups, and of course we’re going to have a very different schedule to our babies, or our little toddlers and we have to make room for both.

Meg: Correct, absolutely.

Bailey: Yeah. So as always, we really encourage you to ask your questions, and you can do that on Meg social media, via Facebook, via Instagram. There are some questions that have come in; it’s from a new mom, Genevieve, and she says, her little one is just over five months old, but since birth she’s really struggled to get her into a routine. She says that she’s tried, but every time they get into a rhythm, the baby gets sick or some change in her developmental stage emerges, and she just feels like she has to start again. So what advice do you have for Genevieve?

Meg: Yeah. So, there’s two things, that actually come out of this, the one is that babies have different sensory personalities. So, some little ones are much easier to get into a routine than other little ones. And Bailey, and I did a podcast, you and I did a podcast on sensory personalities, which people must go back and listen to.

Bailey: So good…

Meg: Really good. So, there’s some babies who really fall into routine really easily like your settled babies, and when their routine changes, they’re also quite flexible with it, and move into the next routine. And there are others that really battle. So, first of all, for Genevieve, potentially she does have a little one who’s maybe slow to warm up, and who isn’t really, loving changes in routine. And so she battles to kind of get her into a routine. But, the other piece of this is that, routines do change. And this is one of the things that all mums will tell you, is that just when you think you’ve got it sorted, and if any of you have been listening to my podcast, and you listen to Cassidy, we share it every week. Just when you think you’ve got it right, and you know what the routine is, the next week something changes.

So, there are these massive changes in routines that do happen, and so it’s watching out for those. Some quite—there are times in babies’ lives when that does happen. So, one of the times, for instance, later on the baby’s life at one year old, is that they go from having two day sleeps, down to one day sleep. And, if you don’t shift that, they start to battle their day sleeps, and they start to battle bedtime, and they start to wake up in the middle of the night. And so, you’ve got to be watching for those signals, that actually they need to drop from two sleeps down to one sleep. And it’s the same at around about five months; little ones do have shifts and routines. They have a shift in their feeding routine, because very often they have moved onto having solids as well, and so you need to make allowances for that. And, that’s one of the things that we do in the Parent Sense App, we do shift the routine according to the baby’s age, and according to what the baby should be doing at that age, and stage. So it’s really, really worthwhile, having a look at the app, and working out what your baby’s routine will be from there.

Interlude: If you enjoy my podcast, I would like to share one of my favourite podcasts with you. The Honest Hour, Christina Mazarik is mom to two boys, and a third little boy on the way. She’s an American expat living in Cape Town, South Africa, since 2008, and decided to start sharing her experiences in parenting since 2017. Having grown up in a dysfunctional family environment in her own childhood, which led to her adoption at the age of 10, Christina is passionate about finding purpose and presence in parenting, as well as exploring our own opportunity for healing and personal growth. As we navigate the world of parenting our own children, Christina believes in ending the trauma cycle, and that in parenting our own children, we can learn how to re-parent ourselves. So pop-on over to Christina’s podcast, the Honest Hour.

Bailey: This is a fascinating question, that’s coming from Shaley. She says that she is definitely a routine mom, her first born is a routine baby, but her second little one is more unpredictable and resists routine, any advice for her navigating two different routines and personalities? And I’m a Shaley right now…

Meg: Okay, exactly. So, definitely, I mean, we’ve alluded to the fact that you’ve got these different sensory personalities. So, her first one was a routine baby, so probably maybe a settled baby who fell into a routine quite easily, or could have been a slow to warm up who got into a routine and then stuck with a routine. And her second little one is really unpredictable and resists a routine, so maybe a social butterfly, they do not like routine, because they lack novelty, and they really battle. So, it’s worthwhile, mom’s understanding how their babies approach routine from that podcast that we did, or they can go into the App and actually have a look at our sensory personality course. And on that course, you actually get a booklet which tells you about how to settle babies into routines, according to their sensory personalities.

The other challenge that this mom is of course alluding to, is that there’s two different routines, because you’ve got a toddler here, who’s probably having one midday sleep, and then you’ve got a new baby who’s having, ad hoc sleeps all over the place, and how do you actually run your life when that’s happening. So, I always say to moms and dads, is that when your baby is under three months old, that baby’s Awake Windows take the most parity. And the reason for that is that if you don’t get those little ones under three months down to sleep within those Awake Windows, they start to fight their sleep, and they’re more likely to be colicky and really difficult. So, for month 1-3, or null to three, prioritize baby number two’s, day sleep Awake Times, so a day Awake Times. So, that’s your first principle.

Principle number two, is that your midday sleep for your toddler is king, it’s the most important sleep of the day, and so that sleep is the second most important priority. So, everything else can work around that, but a toddlers midday sleep is important, because if a toddler misses their midday sleep, and you end up with a midday sleep at four in the afternoon, and then you can’t get him to sleep until ten, and you’re just in a…

Bailey: Actually having anxiety, just listening to that.

Meg: Because it’s happening with the legacy I’m sure.

Bailey: There are absolutely.

Meg: Yeah. So, that is exactly so. So your priority number one is, Awake Times for babies under three months, priority number two is, midday sleep for toddlers, and then of course, with your bedtime routine. It also depends on their age, so if your baby’s under three months, prioritize the new baby getting to sleep early, because otherwise they will have a colicky patch. But then, as soon as you’ve got a bed time, in other words, if your bed time is six, or six-fifteen, or seven o’clock for your toddler, you got to be pretty rigid with that, because if you give an inch, they’ll take a mile. So I mean, it does have to do with the baby’s personalities, it does have to do with ages, and what babies need, and then the last thing that I just want to mention is that, of course, personality also impacts that. So, if you have a really laid back little one, then you can be a little bit more flexible with that one’s routine, while you’re try and bed down the more tricky or unpredictable baby, and get them into a routine. So you can kind of tag team it, you can go, we’re going to prioritize this baby now, because they’re the one that’s a little bit more needy, and then go onto the other one at a later stage.

Bailey: Right, good advice. You’ve mentioned how Parents Sense makes keeping a routine so much easier for parents, talk us through how the App can actually help even the newest of new parents stick to a routine.

Meg: Yeah. So, there’s two parts to the routine on the App, on the homepage dashboard, you’ll actually see a little routine of the next three things that are coming up for the day. And that’s based on, what time your baby woke in the morning, and their age and whether or not they were premature. So, we’ll tell you; okay, the next three things that are coming up are; a sleep, catnap, or a feed or whatever it is. And so, that’s the one thing you can do. And then, if you’ve got the subscribed version, you can actually see the entire routine for the whole day, and that can adjust according to what you’ve tracked your Awake Time to be. And an actual fact, probably by the time this podcast comes out, it’ll actually be what we calling the responsive routine, which is as you track something, it changes the routine for you automatically for the day.

Now, that routine, is based number one on babies or age appropriate Awake Time. So we know that if a baby wakes at this time, their next sleep should be at that time. And that’s how the baby sleep routine works, because it’s got in the algorithm, we have built it in to know at what age babies Awake Times get longer and longer. So, we do the hard work for you, instead of you having to work it out.

And then, of course, what it also does is, it puts in place the age appropriate feeds, based on what you’ve told the App you feed. So if you’re a hundred percent breastfeeding mom, it gives you a breastfeeding routine, if you’re a hundred percent bottle feeding, gives your bottle feeding routine. And then obviously, when you start solids, you actually go into the feeding page of your App, if you are—and this is obviously if you’re a subscribe mom, you switch across to solids, and as you switch across to solids, it brings your solids in at the right stage and stage. So if you introduce solids early, it’s a slow introduction of solids, and so that you’ll see that you’ll have just one meal at eleven o’clock in the morning for a very long time, but if you’re introducing solids at six months, we need to ramp it up quite quickly, because we want to prevent allergies, and so you’ll have three meals within a day, within a week. And so, we do all of those hard yards for you, which is why, the Parent Sense App is so popular in terms of a baby routine, kind of guideline.

Bailey: And this is why we say, it really does take the guesswork out of parenting. You’ve worked it out for us, and it is truly the most phenomenal app, got me through so much with my second one. And I think, even as, I almost was like, Meg, why was this not around when George was born, but better late than never, and it really is so incredibly helpful, so make sure that you download it. Well, there you have it, everything that you need to know about your baby sleep, and routine straight from the baby expert. Meg, I always love our time together, and I always love learning from you, so thank you very, very much.

Thank you for taking the time to listen to this podcast, and don’t forget to join Sense by Meg Faure here again next week, for more parenting, with Sense.



Thanks to everyone who joined us. We will see you the same time next week, until then download Parent Sense App, and take the guesswork out of parenting.

Meg faure

Meg Faure

Hi, I’m Meg Faure. I am an Occupational Therapist and the founder of Parent Sense. My ‘why’ is to support parents like you and help you to make the most of your parenting journey. Over the last 25 years, I’ve worked with thousands of babies, and I’ve come to understand that what works for fussy babies works just as well for all babies, worldwide.