This year we have been working really hard on establishing rules and routine to create structure and boundaries for our adventurous toddler.
Baby wasn’t eating what we gave her at meal times and she found that she could just ask for something else and she’d get it, so there was no need to try anything new, or anything that wasn’t rice or cheese.
She was also getting snacks and ‘Mum Mums’ between meals when getting into the stroller or to avoid a meltdown.
Now we don’t give in to junky snacks and only give her 6 small meals a day (3 with us, 3 fruit/veg/yogurt/cheese). They are all to be had at the table.
It’s only been a month or so of this, but she’s trying new things and eating what’s on her plate. We all eat together and don’t make a fuss of what’s going in, or isn’t.
If she’s hungry, she’ll eat it.
Sleep training was hard but made a huge difference. The best part was that she learned to put herself back down to sleep when she wakes up in the night.
Every evening at the same time, we start the routine.
- Change for bed
- Brush teeth
Sometimes there are a few tears but she’s usually asleep in a minute or two.
Again, this is something that was something we didn’t have any rules about. We knew that 3-ish shows per day wasn’t too bad but it was a loose rule.
Now she gets one episode of Daniel Tiger or Bubble Guppies in the morning before breakfast, while I get ready for work, and one while we make dinner.
She’s encouraged to play with her toys or books instead, and no more eating in front of the TV.
Why we’ve stopped the routines (for a few days)
She has a cold. She’s sniffy, sneezy and not her normal happy self.
Now isn’t the time for strict routines and schedules. She can watch a few more shows, she’s allowed to come into Mummy and Daddy’s bed if she wakes up in the night after coughing or throwing up.
We know that these routines that we’ve worked on so hard are quick to undo and will take some serious resilience to put back into place, but when baby is sick, all that matters is her happiness and getting better.
What do you think? Do you keep the routines when your child is unwell? How do you get them quickly back to a sense of normality?