When Emerson was little, I read a lot about how important a schedule is. I remember thinking "how can you possibly get a child on a schedule? Don't they just do what they want?) Oh, I couldn't have been more wrong.
Yes, her schedule can fluctuate by 30 minutes either direction, but truthfully, we have fallen into a routine, and it works great for us. She is on a 3 hour schedule throughout the day (awake for 2 hours and naps for 1), and we have some activities we do in the mean time.
We are incredibly fortunate that grandmas watch her two days a week. she is with B the other two, and I have her Friday-Sunday.
She will wake between 5:30-6am and will take a small bottle, then back to sleep for an hour or so, and we usually start our day with some happy smiles, and we practice standing in her crib around 7am.
She gets a diaper change and we head to the living room for breakfast. Her favorites of late include: pancakes, blueberry waffles, scrambled eggs, oatmeal or fruit.
Often times, she likes to "help" me eat my breakfast. No matter what we are eating, or what time it is, she always wants to try ours as well. She has also taken to "helping" feed herself. she loves to grab the fork/spook and help put food in her mouth. However, if she does it on her own, it ends up all over the floor, and Copper gets a good snack.
After breakfast, we sit and play for a bit. She has a few too many toys to choose from, and we play with them all on a daily basis. Her walker is getting more use each day, and she can scoot backwards great, and is able to scoot forward, although not as often.
She loves to be standing upright, even though we are no-where near walking! I got this toy for a steal of a deal and she LOVES it!
She gets a bottle and goes down for her first nap between 8:15-8:45 and sleeps for an hour.
She wakes up and we play for another 2 hours.
We then eat lunch. She has been a great eater from the start, and we haven't run into a food she doesn't like. She is getting much better at feeding herself, and will get frustrated if we are feeding her too slowly.
She gets another bottle and then goes down for her second nap of the day. This one can last a bit longer, sometimes up to an hour and a half.
When she wakes up, we sit and play in her room for a bit. There are different toys in there, and since our living room has laminate floors, we use her carpeted room to practice crawling.
After 2 hours-ish of playing, she will get another bottle and go down for her last nap of the day. I feel that when it comes time to condense her naps, she will naturally push this one and her earlier lunch time nap together, but for now, I enjoy the hour of free time around 3:30pm.
Once she wakes up, we prep for dinner, and get her fed. She is getting better at using her sippy cup, but often will make us hold it!
Sometimes she gets a smidge off schedule (read: her naps fall towards the earlier portion of our 'flexibility window') and she is a crab by dinnertime. On her rough days, she will sit in the ring sling and "help" me make dinner.
On nights where she has stayed on schedule, she loves to actually help make/taste things. A few nights ago, I made a pie crust for quiche and she "helped" make it. (she actually ate about 2 handfuls of flour, but hey, that's helping, right?)
She still gets a bath every other night, and it is certainly one of our favorite times of the day. At 6:30 she will go in and splash and kick and laugh for a solid 15 minutes.
At 6:45 we get her changed into PJ's and give her the last bottle of the day. She does a great job putting herself to sleep, and knows when she is ready for bed. She will often lay in her crib and talk to herself for 10/15 minutes and is asleep for the night by 7:15.
I use to think that having a routine would be such a chore, but I have found the exact opposite is true. I love having an idea of when she will be sleeping or eating, and can plan running errands around those times. It has helped her with her sleep patterns at night, and we love having a happy, well rested baby each day. :)