Thursday, 30 October 2014

Day In The Life | Our Routine

I've always been a big believer in schedules, routine and planning, so naturally when the time was right I knew a routine would be put in place for Alexander. Over the course of his life thus far - all one year of it - our routine has changed depending on his needs, but today I thought I'd share our current routine with you all.

Things to bear in mind:
1. Alexander, my son, is close to turning one.
2. I am a stay at home mum.
3. Nathan, my partner, works a 9-5 job but is actually out of the house a lot longer than that. He leaves for work a little before 7am and arrives back home anywhere between 6.30 and 7.00pm.

7.00am | Typically I get up a little after 7. Heading downstairs I make my breakfast, consume, and prepare for Alexander to come down. If the house is looking a little messy I'll do a little picking up too.

7.30am | I'll get Alexander up, sometimes he is awake before this time but I let him have a roll around and babble until I get him up, the only time I will get him up earlier is if he is crying. So once he's up we pick his clothes together before heading downstairs for breakfast, which will be eaten straight away.

7.45am | After breakfast we just spend time together really. We don't like Alexander to watch things before his first nap time so our early mornings are usually quite musical. We'll listen to nursery rhymes, have a sing song - Alexander loves row, row, row your boat - and often times Alexander will want to play on daddy's guitar. Nathan doesn't mind and I always watch him carefully, strumming the strings makes him so happy.

8.30am | Time to get dressed - well, for Alexander. Dressing time usually turns in to tickle time too. What can I say? I just love that little boy's laugh.

9.00am | We get out Alexander's walker and he has a run around whilst I do any washing up or drying up that may need doing.

9.30am | Nap time! Although I do usually put Alexander upstairs 5 or 10 minutes before this time so he has time to calm down and prepare for sleeping - he has a habit of not falling asleep straight away despite being sleepy. Whilst Alexander is napping I get myself ready for the day, which takes about 15 minutes max. With the remaining time I try to do anything on my to do list that doesn't require a lot of noise - Alexander can be a light sleeper during the day. If there isn't anything I can do on my list then I just have a little me time. Me time is typically reading, blogging or catching up on shows. It's rare for me to get some personal time during the first nap, although I often get some during Alexander's second nap.

10.30am | Once Alexander gets up from his nap, which is an hour long, we both have snacks before getting prepared to go out. We take our daily walk at this time of day, weather permitting. If the weather is terrible of course we stay in. If staying in we just spend time playing on the floor etc. For our walk we usually have the same destination, a playing field that is about 20 minutes away. It's just a really nice place to sit and take in our surroundings - trees upon trees. We live in the valleys and so we are pretty much surrounded all round. Also a river runs alongside the field and Alexander loves the sound of water, as do I. There are a few routes we can take on this walk and I like to switch them up so the time we arrive back varies.

12.30pm | Alexander's lunchtime. He eats his plate of food, fed to him by me, before having his bottle of milk which he drinks himself. Whilst drinking his milk he sits in my lap and so once done with the bottle we have a little cuddle time before moving on to other activities.

1.00pm | Around this time I put a DVD on for Alexander to watch. When he likes something he will favour that over anything else and so currently that DVD is a Baby Einstein animal related one. He has enjoyed this DVD for months now, despite it being aimed at the 12months+ age range. In case you're wondering, I let Alexander watch a DVD as opposed to shows etc as we do not own a TV and so it obviously isn't a constant thing in our household or a thing at all clearly.

2.00pm | Alexander's DVD doesn't last an hour; after it has finished we just spend a little time walking around the house. By walking around the house I mean me supporting Alexander as he toddles around. Alexander loves walking! He isn't much of a crawler, despite spending a fair amount of time on the floor playing around and being mobile. Alexander loves watching the tumble dryer and washing machine spinning around so when walking around the kitchen is usually first port of call. Another thing he loves whilst toddling about is kicking a squidgy ball - you know the kind with a rattle in - around. Alexander takes his second, and last, nap at 2. Again, it's an hour long.

3.00pm | Waking from his nap, we have another snack. I sometimes skip this snack as I have a cup of tea and cereal bar whilst Alexander is napping. Once he has finished eating, we gather some books and do a little reading.

3.30pm | The time between now and dinner is very much random and varied depending on the day. I mostly like to make this time for playing. As I mentioned before, Alexander isn't a crawler but he does like a good shuffle around on the floor. He rolls around a lot with his toys and has mastered sitting himself up from a lying down position, all unaided.

5.00pm | Dinner time. Food is prepared by 5 in the evening. Whilst I get dinner ready Alexander does spend a little time in a playpen. I know playpens are a bit of a rant or rave item in the parenting world, but I do not see it as a 'prison' or that I'm 'trapping my son', it is a safety measure that without I honestly could not do this task. Alexander is surrounded by toys in his playpen and has nursery rhymes playing. Our living room and kitchen are connected directly and I always leave the door open so I'm well aware of what he is up to. The playpen is very helpful for when I'm unable to give Alexander my undivided attention.

5.15pm | Alexander will watch a cartoon; this is usually his favourite film - Zhu Zhu. As I mentioned before, we don't own a TV so again this is a DVD (if watching Zhu Zhu), if watching something else it will be on Netflix. We don't just limit Alexander to watching his favourite things, we do provide a variety of things to watch. Having said that, we do try to limit his watching intake of a day, preferring more interactive tasks.

6.15pm | Bath time. We don't actually bath Alexander every day, because he has sensitive skin and eczema we only bathe him three days a week. Now this may sound a little gross, but baby's skin doesn't require everyday washing. The days when Alexander isn't having a bath after his film, we just like to have fun really. If Daddy gets home early, we'll spend a little family time together.

7.00pm | End of day. Alexander will be in his pjs, had his last bottle, and tucked up in bed.

Two hours later I follow Alexander and am off to bed myself. Yes, I do go to bed at 9pm!

So there you have it, a typical weekday in our life - minus the nappy changing, tantrums and chitter chatter. This is what works for us now, I'm sure in a good few months that will differ - I'm already playing it by ear as to whether the nap times need to be changed. That's the important thing with having a routine... You have to remember it isn't set in stone, especially with a child, flexibility is key.

Note: All images are my own, please do not use for any purpose.

As always, thanks for stopping by Bits & Bobs :-)