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Parenthood is one of the most amazing experiences for most men and women. The feeling of giving birth to a human being and taking care of it changes the perspective of life for many. Though having a baby is as significant for a father as for a mother, invariably, the mother occupies a slightly higher position, owing to the close emotional and physical bond. Nonetheless, it is easy and quite normal to get overwhelmed sometimes. Taking care of a baby can get very taxing. A month old baby just out of the protected environment of the mother's womb is finally exposed to the outside world and will need to adapt to the new schedules. Morning and night meant nothing to the baby earlier, so adjusting to the diurnal range of the day sometimes get difficult. 

Therefore, there will be no fixed time for your baby to sleep. Similarly, all the other activities like feeding, pooping etcetera will also not have a fixed routine. This will lead to your daily routine going for a toss. You will have to be constantly on the lookout and your sleep pattern will go for a toss. In fact, your interaction with other members of a family will also be affected. This is instrumental if you have another small kid at home. They will tend to feel ignored and deprived which might lead to future emotional implications. As you can clearly understand now, getting your baby into a proper routine becomes all the more important, to defy all the above-mentioned problems. If you are interested in knowing all why's, when's, how's and what's of baby schedule, this article is going to help you a lot. 

Why is baby scheduling important? 

Firstly, let's start with the basic question. Why do you need to set a schedule for your baby? The answer should be looked upon from both the perspective. 

  • Why is it important for parents? When a couple has their first child, it is completely uncharted territory for them. However many books they read or parents they consult, the personal experience is always a different one. The timings of the baby initially do not match the normal adult timings at all, in fact, they are completely haywire. Your personal life will also go for a toss as you will be exhausted most of the time. You will not be able to dedicate that much time to your other child which might lead to other problems. All of this can be avoided if you get acclimatized with the schedule of your baby. Life will become much easier. It is almost like having a manual which will answer all your questions and slowly bring your life back into a normal rhythm. Once you get an idea of the schedule of your baby’s functioning, you can plan your life according to it. You can even tweak the schedule a little, according to your convenience. The predictable pattern for the day will help you in expecting something when the time comes. This is extremely important for working parents because most countries do not allow a long leave post-pregnancy and you have to get back to work eventually. Knowing when your baby eats, naps, poops will give you a rough estimate on how you need to function. Sometimes when you have to leave your baby with a sitter, the transition will be much easier for him or her. Therefore, we can safely presume that baby scheduling is extremely important for parents. 
  • Why is it important for the child? Baby scheduling not only works for the parents but for the baby as well. Studies have found out that the routines give the infants a sense of stability as they know what they can expect after what activity. A sense of security also develops as they know that there is someone to take care of them. Having a baby carrier with you and carrying your child closely also plays an important role in increasing the sense of security. These baby carriers need to be comfortable and really safe for the baby. Mommy Cuddleis one of the most widely used baby carriers and the built of the product lets the mother have a very close physical connection with the baby and the skin to skin contact is very reassuring for the child. It also aids in supporting the back and shoulder of the parent, making it one of the best baby carrier The baby eventually becomes more trusting. This applies to the babysitter or caretaker as well. The child also becomes more and more independent as he or she grows up which leaves a lot of room for changes and transitions. Questionable behavior is also noticed less in children with a routine to follow, asserting the importance of scheduling for the emotional, social as well as the cognitive development of the child. These everyday routines are also an amazing way to teach the child new lessons like how to have good communication skills by sitting and talking to them at a particular time or teaching them good habits like washing and cleaning their hands before eating. Thus, baby scheduling leads to the development of a win-win situation for both child and parent. 

When should start with the baby schedule? 

Now that the reason and importance of scheduling your baby have become quite clear and evident, the next question is when is the ideal time to start the process? If you look at a one-month-old child, the baby is too small to respond to any kind of scheduling, mainly because they are incapable of following any such routine. Their cognitive sense is not adequately developed to be scheduled since they are still getting used to adjusting to the external environment, out of the protection of the mother's body. Specialists say anytime between 2-4 months is the ideal time to start scheduling because the feeding and the sleeping habits of the baby become fairly consistent and you can even start predicting it. It is not a set rule though, as some babies start showing signs of stabilization much earlier and can be encouraged to follow a routine accordingly. Initially, as a parent, you should invest some time in tracking when your baby sleeps, eats, poops and pees to develop an understanding of the rhythms of the body and it will also help you in understanding and be pinpointing the various developmental milestones. You can use a notebook and a pen to do so, though, multiple applications are also available like Trixie Tracker and Baby Bundle, to help you with the process. One ultimate point that has to be kept in mind is that the comfort of the baby is not breached while setting up the routine and it should be highly beneficial for them. Therefore, while scheduling, other than relying on your information collected and gut feeling, you could even take help from a specialist doctor for the same. One mistake that parents tend to make during this period is to follow the schedule of the tooth and skin. The scheduling can be altered a little, according to the needs. 

If your child is crying because he/she is hungry but you decide to withhold the food because according to the schedule that has been set, then you are making a mistake. If it is not nap time yet but your baby is acting a little funnier and needs some comforting, do not deny that and comfort her to sleep. Whatever schedule you make is as good as the convenience it causes for your child. Anything that supersedes the comfort of your little one is not appropriate. Therefore, start scheduling at the right time but make the requirements of the baby the number one priority. 

How to start a baby schedule? 

Now that the reason for baby scheduling and the ideal time to start has been decided, the next most important point is taken up, how to start and what are the methods of scheduling. It is the actual implementation of the plan that you have made that matters. As they say, a plan can only be deemed successful if it achieves what it promises to. If you feel that your child has entered into the minimally cognitive phase and you have established a pattern for the baby to perform various actions, it is right time to start scheduling as well. There are many ways that have been developed by many specialists in the field to start the process, you can choose your own based on how you want to implement and how you perceive your child will take to the scheduling. The main 3 strategies of doing so are: 

  • Parent-led scheduling- these are the strictest of all the types of scheduling that can be done, in the way that the schedule is followed very prominently. As the name suggests, it puts the decision of the parents at the top, relying on the fact that they know their child best and have developed an understanding of what needs to be done and when. If you want to follow this strategy, you will have to specify the exact timings of your baby's eating pattern, sleeping time and duration, playing time etcetera. Based on all the information collection, with the help of a specialist, a routine is chalked up and once it is set, the pattern has to be followed very consistently. The accuracy of the application of the strategy is on point- almost minute by minute. The problem with this pattern is you cannot deviate much from the schedule, no matter what the situation or urgency and you tend to stick to the schedule even though it is causing inconvenience to the child. Therefore, it is not deemed as an ideal way of scheduling. Nonetheless, it has found support from a number of specialist and nurses who have written books about it stating the importance of little imposition in order to guide the child to the appropriate path. 
  • Baby-led scheduling- this makes the baby the center of attention and all the scheduling is done around him or her. This routine is the least defined and you will have to constantly look at the cues from your child to decide what needs to be done next. There is absolutely no imposition of any timetable for feeding, sleeping, eating etcetera. You may be thinking that this leaves a lot of room for unpredictability. That is not entirely true. If you notice closely for the first 2-3 weeks, you will see that your child has a pattern which it follows regularly. The only difference is, in order to follow this method of scheduling, you have to be a little flexible with your approach, as there might be slight variations from day to day. This schedule is according to the convenience of the baby, which has led to its acceptance. 
  • Combination of both- this is the amalgamation of both the parent and baby led method. In this type of approach, though you will have a timetable like the parent type but there is also flexibility and the timetable need not be followed so strictly. Even if it is the nap time and the child doesn't seem to be tired or sleepy, nap time can be postponed for a while. A trip to the supermarket might extend a little more than you anticipated but there won't be a problem with the feeding because even your child is not bound by a schedule and is a little flexible. Thus this method has the most number of takers. 

Whatever schedule you follow, one thing that is most important is it should deepen the bond between you and your child. Anything inconvenient needs to be avoided. Holding and cuddling your child also becomes as important. If holding in your hands becomes tiring for you, there are products that specifically assist you in it, called the baby carrier. Though many types are available in the market, if you are looking for the best baby carrierlook no further than the ones by Mommy Cuddle.Their carriers not only provide an intimate connection between you two but also are very comfortable and appropriate for the soft skin of the baby. It comes with a shoulder and back support, making the job of carrying the baby much easier. All said and done, whatever schedule you set, a separate time to hold and play with your child should be set apart. 

The importance and functioning of baby schedule have been explained here in detail. You can even look for help from other experienced parents and specialists for the various sample schedules that they may have implemented. At the end of the day, baby scheduling is going to make life for you and your baby much more comfortable and easier.

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