Baby Signing and Baby Routines go hand in hand!
Baby Routines are a parent’s saving grace! They give structure to a day which, at points, everyone needs but babies especially thrive on them.
Routines offer security and control in an ever changing world to a baby, and Baby sign will make these routines even easier as early communication is understanding of events that affect your baby and their cooperation.
What is "a routine"?
A routine is a sequence of events that are carried out each and every time an activity needs to take place. Examples of routines are: nappy changing, mealtimes, bath time, bedtime.
How does using Baby sign help a routine?
Baby Signing with your baby opens communication before a routine begins, explaining to them what is going to be happening. Take a nappy change for example, even before you pick your baby up to take them to the changing station, make eye contact with them and say something like “Do you need a nappy "change"? Let’s go and "change" your nappy shall we? And each time you
say the say the word change. Now pick you little one up and carry them to where you are going to change them.
When you set them down, and you have two hands free again, before you get everything ready, remind them “I’m going to change your nappy, that will be nice won’t it?” If you need to change their clothes at the same time, you can use the the sign change again “Oops, looks like we need to change these clothes too!!” Once you are done with he nappy/ clothing change this is a great time to sign “finished” to indicate that its all done and they can go back to doing what they were doing or another activity is about to begin.
Why does baby signing help ease routines?
Firstly, you are communicating with your baby and letting them know that activities are about to be interrupted or changed. No-one likes to be interrupted in the middle of an activity especially one they are enjoying, to abruptly have to go and do something else. Babies, in particular, HATE this and it often leads to crying or having to catch what feels like a squirming piece of wet spaghetti with poorly placed chopsticks on the changing station.
However, if you are pre-warned that things will be changing or interrupted and why, you are for more likely to be happy to go along with the new activity especially if you now it will be short lived or something you actually enjoy (like a bath!), Babies are too!
Routines that saved my sanity
Although I have ADHD and am generally super disorganised (or maybe because of this!!) routines
saved my sanity as a new mum! Our favourite routines were nappy changes and in the evenings dinner, bath, story, milk, bed. Each of these activities happened in the same order each time but had their own little routines within them. This allowed me to go onto autopilot in what I called the “sharp-end of the day” after a busy day at work. It also gave the little ones a knowledge of what was going to happen and when, especially when they were tired, and desperate to get to bed (even though they’d still fight it sometimes!). Uncertainty just made things SO much worse!
Routines also make it far more difficult to have arguments or fights about an activity because “this is the way it always works, after the bath is a story, milk and bed, we never watch more tv/ talk/ play/ run around” even if it’s on holiday or away from home for any other reason.
Let me know in the comments what routine worked best for you!
Yours in Signing
Amanda (loves a routine) Mellor
If you would like to know more about how make routines easier and to communicate with your baby before they can speak I'd love to chat to you! I run easy to access Whatsapp workshops to get you started and introduce the joys of early communication with your baby.
I'd love to start your baby signing adventure with you too
Visit our website www.babybabble.guru or email email@example.com