Staying home with infants: get a routine going

If you usually work but now find yourself in self-isolation at home with your little one, it can be a difficult situation to get used to at first. But don’t despair. The best thing you can do is get into a set routine to keep baby happy – and mom sane.

This is what your routine for a baby aged six to nine months could look like:

7am – 8am: Wake up and feedtime
Always offer the bottle first and then, if your baby is on solid food, (most babies are ready at six months old) a more substantial meal like cereal. Let your baby take as long as they like with this, even if they take the spoon themselves and make a mess. Playing with food is a great way of learning.

8am – 9am: Baby-and-me time
Your baby is probably wide awake and alert at this time, and ready for some attention. It’s a great opportunity for some tummy time for them. See more about this here. You can also play with toys like rattles and shapes.

9am – 11am: Naptime
Put your baby down to sleep and then take this time to get the things that you need to get done. Bath, eat and do any household chores that need doing.

11am – 11:30am: Snacktime
Your baby will be hungry after wakening from their nap so offer some healthy snacks like apple slices or sandwiches cut into small pieces.

11:30am – 12:30pm: Playtime
Most babies sit from about four months, so place your baby on a mat and sit with them yourself. Play some games that will help to stimulate early childhood development, such as peek-a-boo, (hiding your face behind your hands and asking baby to find you) and games that involve handing items such as a toy, building blocks or bottle to your baby and getting them to hand it back to you.

Babies seven months and older might even be trying to crawl at this stage. It’s a great idea to lie with them on a mat and encourage this. Read more about it here. If you have other children, encourage them to get involved here as well.

12:30pm – 2:30pm: Naptime
Baby will be tired by now and ready to nap. This is a great opportunity for some me-time. If you didn’t have a good night’s sleep, maybe take a nap, or try to get in some exercise. There are lots of great online classes you can do that will get your body moving and the blood flowing. Here’s a fun hip-hop exercise class to try.  You could also read your book or catch up on that sneaky soapie.

2:30pm – 3:30pm: Feedtime
Offer milk again and then a solid meal of something like pureed vegetables (such as carrot and squash) along with some protein like pureed chicken or lentils.

3:30pm – 4:30pm: Walktime
Although you may be isolating, you and baby still need an ‘outing’. If you have a closed yard, take a walk around the house or in the garden. Alternatively walk from room to room and look at pictures, into mirrors and look through windows for some excitement.

4:30pm – 5:30pm: Time for another quick nap for baby
And time for you to prepare dinner for the rest of your family as well, and finish any other chores.

5:30pm – 6:00pm: Dinnertime
Let your baby take as long as they like over this meal, and encourage them to try different tastes and textures. Here are some examples of finger food to get them to try.

6:00pm – 7:00pm: Bathtime
This is a great bonding time for you and your baby. Here are some tips.

7:00pm – 7:30pm: Storytime and bedtime
Your baby is never too young to be read to, and the soothing sound of your voice will become a lovely habit to get baby to sleep.

7:30pm onwards: Your time
Time for you to have dinner with your family and spend some quality time with them as well.

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