When Hayden was about 6 months old we decided to get him on a routine. His pedi recommended we do “Cry It Out”. I didn’t want to do hard core CIO, so we decided on a modified method. We put him in his crib, giving him lots of kisses and hugs and then walked away. We went in to reassure after 2 minutes, then another 2 minutes and another 2. That first night was hard and there were tears from all of us. I wanted to quit. But we stuck through it and after 3 nights Hayden was sleeping through the night and has continued to ever since. But I don’t want to get into a pro CIO/anti CIO debate (because I know it’s out there!).
The point is routine. We have Hayden on such a routine that everyone comments on it. He wakes up at the same time in the morning. He has snack time at 11am and knows it. He will go into the kitchen and get in his chair and wait for his snack. He knows when Phineas and Ferb is on and will try and turn on the TV.
He asks for nap time and will crawl into my lap for his downtime before nap. We sit in the dark and watch a little TV or chat. He then always takes a 3-4 hour nap.
When he goes to Grandma’s house for his weekly visit at 6pm he drags his booster seat to her kitchen table and tells her “Eat!”. He knows that he has a bath after and goes to the bathroom and waits. When it’s 9pm and time to go he grabs his backpack and brings Grandma her shoes.
So when people want to get together at a time that will take Hayden away from his routine, I’m very hesitant. But I know that I should. It’s partly because I don’t want to deal with a toddler that is screaming and throwing tantrums.
When on vacation last week I tried to stick to his routine as much as possible, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to as much as I wanted.
And you know what?
I’m glad we didn’t.
I think Hayden needs to go off routine once in awhile and I do too. If I had stuck to his routine during vacation I would have missed…
~The joy of watching Hayden run around the Disney store during what should have been nap time.
~Letting Hayden have a funnel cake for the first time during snack time.
~Staying up late and watching “Up”.
~Hayden skipping his nap but being so tired at 6pm that he crawled into Heath’s lap for a hug and then fell asleep.
and so much more. He didn’t take a nap one time while we were on vacation. We were exhausted, but it was so worth it! We definitely have to go off routine more!