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Every family is different and parents have to decide what works best for them. Some of our friends are slaves to their routine. They will leave any and every function to make sure baby gets naps at regular time. My wife and I have professional and social obligations that prevent us from establishing a rigid routine, but we feel that young children adapt. What’s your opinion? -- Chris, StrongMoms Facilitator
I agree they will adapt. I am a stay at home mom and while i do have the ability to keep a rigid routine i don't. When hazel is tired i put her to bed, and when she is hungry i feed her and so on. I want to teach her to listen to what her body is telling her and not to do something just because it is time to do it.
We were a bit more rigid with our first - tried to stick to a nap schedule, etc. With our second, we are busy going everywhere for job obligations, church events, school for our firstborn, etc. Our second kiddo has learned to just nap on the go and we don't have set meal times. However, we try to keep bedtime fairly routine. By 8 pm they are pretty wiped and we head home. Everyone is different!
I think that structure is important but rigidity isn't. I think that when referring to structure it means that things get followed through upon, limits are set, there are reliable meal and family times. I think that it helps if kids have to learn to be flexible in small ways. -Jess
Jess.... great point regarding the semantics of rigid vs. structure... there is a clear difference. In my world with four kids under 6, we try to maintain structure, but it doesn't always work. I for one don't feel that a nap schedule should dictate our lives, but some moms and dads have very different views.