I like order and I like routine. That doesn't necessarily mean my children want the same. When I had my son, I didn't really think about a routine. We used to bath him and read a story before bed, but other than that, there was no structure. When he turned four months, he suddenly became fussy and grumpy. I tried seeing going with the flow, but in the end decided I would try a routine with him. I read a lot about it and ended up with a routine for sleep times, food time, bath time. You name it, we had a routine. It settled him. He was happy and I was happy knowing what was happening. I knew I had free time in the day and we were generally far happier together.
When my daughter was born, she had little choice. I had to have her in a routine quickly because we had to be out of the house to drop her brother off. So, from two weeks old, she slipped very easily into a routine. She slept through the night from twelve weeks and I am fairly certain this was, in part, due to a great routine from birth.
As they have got older, I have found routines to be an integral part of our life. We now have reward charts and a sweet jar. The sweet jar is only for when they have achieved five stars each. At the moment, this seems to be taking a very long time! My children are very much free to choose what they want to do in the day, where we go and the activities we do. I like them to have independence and choice. But their bedtime very rarely changes, nor do their mealtimes. They know when bedtime is, and they have a Groclock which tells them when to get up in the morning.
Nick Jr. has launched a new campaign -Step-by-Step Explore with Dora, which will help parents navigate key developmental stages and teach their children key skills with help from Dora the Explorer. They have a fantastic range of downloadable PDFs and printouts to help you teach your children skills. We have been using the bedtime routine and the teeth brushing chart. They both love marking off the achievements, or stages we have completed.
I shall definitely be using the tips for potty training, which we are due to start with my daughter next week! We were also sent a Dora the Explorer magnetic height chart, which is fantastic and has magnetic pieces to attach to the chart.
If you want to see a discussion on the importance of reviews, watch the show below.
To access a whole range of Dora themed assets to encourage and reward children on their developmental journey visit http://www.nickjr.co.uk/shows/dora/stepbystep/
Disclosure: We were sent the magnetic height chart and step-by-step guides for the purpose of review. This in no way had any impact on my post, which is honest and accurate.