Monday, 26 November 2012

A new routine ...

A few weeks back I wrote a post about littl'un becoming very unsettled at nursery.  She was getting very upset both about going and about coming home in the evening and it was becoming pretty miserable for both of us.  Lots of people sent their support and suggestions and shared their own experiences and yet again I was awestruck by the wisdom, goodwill and just simple kindness of the mummy-blogosphere!

I am a little wary of putting this to paper - as it were - but things are now really looking up and for almost 2 weeks littl'un has been her old happy self going into nursery and coming home. Nursery was a great help and arranged for her to have lots of extra one on one time with her key worker who was quite new so that they could really bond - they spent a lot of time writing stories together which has been a big hit.

But the real key seems to have been adapting a new routine that she is more comfortable with and which ensures she gets more sleep.  I had been trying to hurry her home so that there was some remote possibility that she would be bathed, storied and asleep by 7.30 - (as all good mummies must have their under-5s asleep by 7.30 musn't they?) - and then ready to get up between 7 and 7.30 so we could leave the house at 8.  As it was taking longer and longer to actually extract her from nursery and battle our way home - she wanted to walk, I said we didn't have time - through the streets of south London, bed time was getting later and later with the knock on effect she was exhausted in the morning.

Now I have just accepted that she likes - for the moment at least - to be the last or very near last to leave nursery in the evening.  I think this way she is sure that she isn't missing anything.  She walks to the nearest bus stop hurried along by the excitement of car number plate spotting - (I jest not!) - rather than by me and gets to walk from our bus stop to our house.

On nursery nights we've ditched baths - when did a bath every night for children became so sacred? - and we make do with a super quick wash in the basin after milk, oat cakes, (OK sometimes biscuits!) and cleaning teeth.  We're managing to get into the bedroom by 7.15 which means after 3 or 4 stories and a quick natter she's asleep just before 8.

In the morning I then let her sleep until she wakes up just before 8 so can be sure that she has had 12 hours sleep.  We have breakfast together at home and get to nursery a bit later.  I am lucky enough to be a WAHM at the moment so have been able to adapt my working day.  There are definitely days when I find it very hard not to be a screeching banshee bemoaning how long it is taking us to get out of the house but to be honest it's probably given me more time anyway as I can pick up later but much quicker and have a bit more time to do some quick blogging housework before she's up.

The whole saga has reminded me again of how frequently young children's needs change and how sensitive you have to be to the changes as they hit different developmental stages and - within reason - be prepared to find routines that meet their needs rather than force them into some idealised "one size fits all" standard, because it never does!

If you're looking for some great blog posts on children's behaviour try out the weekly Sunday Parenting Party blog hop:


  1. Joseph has a bath twice a week, usually in the afternoon. Bathing before bed doesn't work for him, its too stimulating and it doesn't settle him.

    One size fits all does not exist for children, you just have to find what works for your own and stick with it :)

    I am from Australia and we didn't have baths every night because of water restrictions, so I've never had that routine myself.

    1. And growing up in the seventies here - what with all the power cuts and everything - we certainly didn't have them every night.


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