Without babies, personal time and self-care for working moms is usually easy and manageable. When kids come, everything changes due to daily exhaustion and limited time in the evening. Working moms are always tired by the time they get home at the end of the day and the kids wear them out further.
As expected , this changes the evening routine. There is so much to do at home such as caring for the kids and doing house chores. Therefore without a proper routine it can be too overwhelming.
As such it is one of the reasons that working moms needs a routine for their babies even if they are as young as 3 months. All working moms needs an evening routine that keeps your child occupied and entertained, without it being too overwhelming for the moms or time consuming.
Benefits/Why You need a Evening Routine for Your 3-9 Months Baby
1. Getting Quality Time with Baby is a Benefit of Evening Routine
There are many benefits of following an evening routine for your baby. One of the importance of having an evening routine to a working mom is that an evening routine for your baby ensures you get a balanced quality time with your baby that is not tiring for both of you in order to have time for yourself.
2. An Evening Routine helps Maintain your Energy Level
One of the things you gain from having a evening routine as a working mom is you are able to maintain energy levels. The constant needs and demands for caring and entertaining the kids steals the time and energy that as a mom you need for yourself and for self-care.
3. An Evening Routine makes Evenings Fun
Another benefit of having an evening routine for babies as young as 3 months, 6 months, 9 months etc is that the evenings becomes fun. The evenings with your kids as a working mom don’t need to be boring and an evening routine should help with that.
What you need to maintain a balance this is creating an evening baby routine that fits both your needs by having some quality evening time without leaving you drained out.
What to Include in Your Baby Evening Routine (For Babies 3 Months, 6 Months, 9 Months , 1 Year etc.)
Here are a number of evening routines to enjoy the evenings with your baby that includes an early bedtime, independent play, mom-baby bonding time, and sleep training among others.
In this post
1. An Early Bedtime
One thing that you should include in your baby routine is move the bedtime up. It is not good for you nor the babies to keep them up till late. Neither of you will have adequate sleep and rest you need by the following morning.
To ensure you both get adequate sleep and rest, you need to limit the time the babies stay up in the evening. It will avail you more time for self care before your own bedtime. Ensure that this becomes part of your baby evening routine everyday.
However the time your baby should go to bed depends on their age. It tends to be ideal for younger babies to sleep earlier. 6-7 pm is ideal for toddlers under 6 months and 8 pm latest for older kids is okay.
Ensure the babies get their bath and supper in time. If your routine involves an entertainment activity, ensure it does not extend to their bedtime.
Bedtime isn’t just about getting kids enough sleep. It is about getting you enough childfree time for yourself. One quality hour with your kids is better than three cranky ones. Therefore an early bedtime is a major part of our baby evening routine.
2. Independent Play
One of the ways that you can make your baby’s evening routine fun is by introducing age-appropriate independent play for your baby. This part of the evening routine works for babies of all ages such as 3 months, 5 months, 7 months, 9 months, 1-2 years etc.
Independent playtime is the ability of your baby to play by themselves. This is important as it keeps the baby busy and entertained while you as the mom can work on something else.
Another benefit of incorporating independent play into your baby’s evening routine is that it develops your baby’s independence skills because they can keep themselves entertained on their own. It is best introduced early but is highly age dependent as different kinds of play are appropriate for different ages.
At times you may feel the need to entertain the kids during their evening routine and it’s okay. However don’t exhaust yourself as the downside of this is that it’s overwhelming to entertain the kid’s boundless energy. Instead, give the baby safe toys and a safe space to play and let them explore and learn as you do other things.
3. Bedtime Preparation
Create a routine or a tradition of something you do with your kids alone as a mom or together with your partner in the evening. A bedtime preparation or routine is important for a baby to prepare them for sleep as it relaxes them and helps them wind down.
Some toddlers and older babies get cranky in the evening and this is a great way of relaxing them. Start getting your baby into a bedtime preparation and routine as early as possible and create a baby bedtime routine chart if possible.
However, don’t make the bedtime routine too long. Also the activities depends on the age of your baby as some activities are more suited to certain ages than others.
Bedtime Routine Activities and Examples for Babies
1. Reading a Storybook/Comic
This is a great toddler and older babies bedtime routine
2. Watching a Cartoon Program
It’s one of the things you can do with your baby in the afternoon. However limit it to few times a week
3. Play/bond time
Physically engage the baby in some play activity. The play makes toddler and older babies bedtime easier by wearing them out first
4. Sleep Training
Sleep training means gives your baby the ability to self-soothe and go down to sleep independently, without your help. Not all moms are open to this but it is an option you can go for as a working mom to avoid having to soothe your baby to sleep as it can be tiring and exhausting.
Sleep training is important by making bedtime routine for the baby better, and easier.There are different kinds of sleep training and not all of them require “crying it out” so it is an option worth trying.
It also eases you towards fewer nighttime wakes, feeds, and soothing while giving the baby some quiet time before bed. Eventually, as they grow older, they will be able to sleep through the night and let you get adequate sleep and rest you desperately need.
How to Move up your Baby’s Bedtime Easily(Proven Tips for Implementing Early Bedtime)
1. Set up a Target Bedtime
One of things you can do to move up your child bedtime is establish or set a target bedtime for your baby. For instance, you can set your target to be 6:30 pm to 7 pm for your 6 months old baby.
Depending on the current time your baby is sleeping now,it can take a while before you can hit this target. You will find this step to be very crucial in helping establish an early bedtime.
2. Moderately Move Bedtime Up by 30 Minutes
Another thing you can do to move your baby’s bedtime up is make sure the move is moderate. Start moving the best time moderately by 30 minutes at a time. Once your baby has adjusted with the introduced change, move up another 30 minutes closer to the target time.
Keep moving until you have your baby’s sleep time around the time you want. You just need to ensure that other routines such as bathing and feeding are moved up as well to accommodate the new changes.
3. Set a Bedtime Tradition
One way of ensuring you and baby sticks to an early bedtime is by making it a routine. Therefore one major way of moving your baby bedtime up is by introducing a bedtime tradition.
Have a tradition or routine that happens for your baby right before bedtime. This will help your baby adjust easily to the new bedtime when the tradition/routine has been used.
Guaranteed Tips to Effectively Introduce Independent Play in Babies
A. Introduce Independent Play Early
Introduce independent play to your baby earlier than later. You will find that your baby adopts independent play better when they are introduced to it early. This is because it is easier for the babies to grow along with independent play when they start it as early as 4 months.
B. Create a Safe Play Area
Hence one of the things you can do to help your baby adopt independent play is set up a place where they can play with no safety hazards to worry about. Set up a safe play area as way of making sure your baby is okay taking up independent play as part of the evening routine.
Babies like to crawl around and explore so it is important to set up a gated area where they can safely play with minimal supervision.Secluded areas are best as the kids cannot crawl out of them.
C. Incorporate Age-Appropriate Toys to Encourage Independent Play
If you want to encourage your baby to adopt independent play , use age-appropriate toys . Not all types of toys are relevant and interesting to all ages of babies.
One of the ways of encouraging independent play on babies is to look for toys that are appropriate to your baby and just let them explore. Also some are more suited for independent play than others.
D. Set Play Time Limits
To make sure that your baby’s independent play is effective and not exhaustive is to keep time limit. The activities can only keep the babies occupied for so long before they get bored. This happens because the concentration and focus of kids is low than older kids and adults.
Therefore don’t keep the babies on independent play for too long as they will just get bored and become cranky.
Fun Independent Play Activities for All Babies(3 Months, 5 Months, 7 Months, 9 Months , 1-2 Year Etc)
A. Comic books are Good Independent Play Activity
Under the age of 1 year, the babies may not do much reading. Instead, they just like watching and flipping through books. Get some good comics and picture books that are visually appealing and this will keep them occupied for a while.
Children of all ages love comics and hence is a nice activity during their independent play and a part of their evening routine.
B. Incorporate Building Sets in Independent Play
There is a variety of building toy sets that are safe for toddlers and older babies. Look for sets that are not a safety hazards e.g tripping or swallowing.
The set should not have small pieces that the babies can put in the mouth and choke on them. It is one of the most fun independent play activities for babies.
C. Sorting is a Good Independent Play Activity
This activity is appropriate if your baby can grab and move items around. Babies love sorting and moving the toys around. It is one of the ways you can keep your baby occupied during independent play.
Put several toys on a play mart and let your baby explore them. Fill up a very small tub with items to explore – a tactile book, measuring spoon, measuring cup, tongs, etc., etc. anything safe and ordinary – and let them explore.
D. Encourage Self Play is an Important Independent Play Activity
Self-play means you let the baby chose what kind of play they want to engage in. Pull out several types of toys and lay them out in the play area. Let the babies go for whatever toy they want. They will explore for themselves which toy they love best.
Also, the variety of toys available to them will keep them engaged for longer. You will find that self play is an crucial activity for independent play for children of all ages. This includes 3 months, 6 months, 9 months babies etc.
Last word on Evening Sleep Rountine for Babies
Go easy on yourself in terms of “entertainment” because your presence is the best thing you can offer. Focus on integrating the above into your evening routine/tradition. Ensure you get a couple of hours of adult time that you need and deserve. Also, remember the definition of entertainment will change as your baby hits different milestones and grows.