This morning, I woke my daughter up at 7am. We always wake her up at 7am. It isn’t because we particularly enjoy getting up early and waking her up at that time. But it’s her schedule.
Schedules are Important
Schedules are important for babies. As soon as possible, it’s helpful to have babies get on a schedule where they go to bed at the same time each day, wake up at the same time each day, and take naps at the same time each day. The schedule helps them self-regulate, feel safe/secure, and it sets the foundation for a healthy and happy developing baby.
The opposite is also true. When our daughter gets off her schedule for some reason—usually we are trying to adjust it because of something we want to do—it usually doesn’t go very well. In most cases, a disrupted schedule leads to a crabby baby.
Schedules are Good For Us Too
Almost everyone agrees that sticking to a schedule is helpful for babies and kids. But the reality is that sticking to a schedule is helpful for adults as well. We tend to do better in life when we get up at the same time every day, go to bed at the same time every day, and have daily routines that we follow. Most of us are creatures of habit.
Paying the Price
When we disrupt our schedule for whatever reason, we almost always pay the price. We might feel tired or sluggish the next day, or have trouble falling asleep. We might get grumpy or short with the people we love. If you find yourself feeling irritable or short-tempered, think back to your schedule the last few days. Do you notice anything amiss?
Some of us resist the idea of putting ourselves on a schedule. It feels too constricting or limiting. But I would argue that putting certain limits on our lives actually enables us to be more free and more live more fully. Experiment with putting yourself on a schedule and see how it works for you.