When you’ve got your baby into a successful routine, it can be difficult to cope when something disrupts it. As fun as school holidays are, they are a disruption to your baby’s routine. There are some things that you can do to keep your baby’s routine in place and allow your older children to enjoy their holidays. Here are our tips!
If your baby has a clear schedule for mealtimes, then you should stick to that as close as possible. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a surprise barbecue or go out for dinner. You can, but you should try to keep the mealtimes close to their regular schedule.
Your older kids will also flourish if they have a mealtime schedule, so get everyone eating at the same time. If your baby is eating foods, they might enjoy testing new flavours with their older siblings. You might find that your little one becomes a little more adventurous with food as they watch what everyone else is eating.
If your little one doesn’t get enough sleep, they can be quite miserable the following day. Sleep should be a priority. Keep their sleep schedule as close to their regular schedule as possible. There are two things to keep in mind.
Firstly, if you don’t make it home in time for baby’s bedtime, don’t worry about it. Occasional disruptions to their routine aren’t likely to have any negative long-term effect. You may find your baby out of sorts for a day or two, but you’ll be back into your routine in no time.
Secondly, it can be tempting to have your older children walk on eggshells as you get baby settled. Try not to do this. Instead, maybe they can have screen time when you’re settling your baby, or time to read alone. Perhaps they would like to read a bedtime story to your baby. Or maybe you could leave some soft music playing in your baby’s room.
Your baby, and you, probably had a little morning routine for when the other children left for school. You should try to keep some of it during the school holidays. Perhaps your older children would enjoy having a lie-in, giving you one on one time with baby. Or this might be a good opportunity to allow them some screen time so they can entertain themselves in the morning before the day’s activities start.
Maybe your older children could join a club or summer scheme. Try to make sure that you get alone time with each of your children, including your baby.
Research your local area and find out what activities are available. Make a list of indoor activities, and outdoor activities. You can use this list to plan days out for your children, no matter what the weather is like. Making a list like this means that you can be spontaneous and head out whenever you want, as you’ll know where would be suitable. If the activity is too advanced for your baby, bring their favourite comfort items. You baby may have a nap while your other children play.
If you’re planning on going away for a night, or even a week, you can still keep your baby’s routine in place. Stick to your meal and sleep schedules as much as you can, but also make sure to pack your little one’s bed linen, and favourite comfort items. Familiar items, smells and sensations can help your baby settle, and help you keep to their routine.