A couple of weeks ago, I returned to Mermaid Maternity Retreat for a workshop on routine. Now, routine isn’t something I personally ascribe to: I prefer there to be an element of surprise in my day.
But for a baby, a growing person, routine is a good thing. Routine establishes a rhythm to the baby’s day. It gives mummy a chance to plan. And for both, it establishes structure and the possibility that baby boy or girl will sleep through the night.
In other words, routine is the Holy Grail of being a new mummy. Hence the workshop …
True, there are books – numerous books on the subject. I’ve read the odd chapter in one of them. But for me, they read like an instructions manual. And I guess that works for a lot of people. The OH (formerly the bf) can be spotted regularly perusing a certain how-to-baby-manual, to calm his ‘what do I do next?’ concerns. And I followed suit, motivated by his enthusiasm for the book which I had rushed to buy one evening in Foyles on Charing Cross Road.
But the whole routine thing didn’t sit well with me. Baby boy wasn’t having any of it and I was struggling with the idea of nurture over nature.
So when I went along to Mermaid’s workshop, I went along excited at the idea of discovering the secret to a happy baby and also somewhat cautious that a baby cannot be programmed like a cyborg in the latest sci-fi.
Stepping into the the calm and reassuring environment of Mermaid, I made my way into the glass-ceilinged room where the workshop was being held. And for the time I sat in the room, it all started to make sense: the truth about the baby’s daily rhythm; what a routine actually means; and how to help your baby stay jolly during the day.
By the time I left the workshop, I felt somewhat wiser but I’m not sure if I actually felt confident.
*flash forward to the next day*
I followed the advice from the workshop and I promise you it felt like baby boy’s routine had fallen into place over night. Suddenly, he napped when he was ‘supposed to’ and he actually started sleeping through the night. There have been a couple of middle of the night hungry cries but let’s just put those down to growing pains or appetite.
The workshop gave me the confidence to listen to my mummy instincts. It also taught me about the cycles in a baby’s day. And most of all, it reassured me that I needed to listen to baby boy to keep him happy.
Please note Mermaid Retreat has now closed.