To routine, or not to routine, that is the question.

Look, I started at my NCT classes by claiming I would be totally baby-led and go with the flow.  Fast forward a few months, the first time I left my first baby overnight (at 8 months) with my Mother-In-Law to go to a wedding, I gave her the itinerary above....then I would get frustrated when both her and my Mum would fall behind schedule when I checked in (completely rationale, obvs).  I think probably an in-between is maybe a good compromise!! I would say, for me personally, the routine helped me have some structure around my day and when I didn't follow the nap routine, my nights and bedtime would be pretty awful! I know loads of friends who didn't have a routine and nights were fine though, so I guess it's finding what works best for you.

There are lots of routines you can find online and follow but I reached out to 5 mums, all at slightly different stages to find the best routines that work for them.


Jodie & Baby Xavier 

4 months.  Started a routine at 5 weeks.

7am - wake and double boob feed

9am-9.45am - nap, either out on a dog walk or cot

10.45am - double boob feed

12pm-2/2.30pm - nap, really try for this to be in the cot at home or office

2.30pm - double boob feed

4.30-5pm - nap (15 mins-30 mins)

5pm - single boob feed

6pm - bath and change

6.30pm - single boob feed, story and songs

7pm - sleep

10.30pm - sleepy double boob feed (dream feed). 

He has no night feeds, he now sleeps through.

Kimmy & Baby Reuben

23 weeks, corrected age 19 weeks.  Started routine at 12 weeks (corrected).

This is roughly how the day plans out, but we change it to fit in with demand and what we are doing out during the day.

6:30- 7:30: wake and 5oz milk
10:am: 5oz milk 
10:30 am: nap (30mins - 1 hour) 
1pm: 6oz milk 
2pm: nap (30mins- 1 hour) 
4pm: 6oz milk 
At some point a danger nap arrives in the 4pm-7pm range 
6:30pm: 6oz milk 
7:30 pm: bath or book 
8pm: small milk top up 
8:30pm: sleep 
1-2am: 5oz milk 
4-5am: 5oz milk 

We don't bath Reuben every day, so we either do a book or a bath. We always offer 5-6oz milk and he doesn't always take it all.


Maddie & Baby Grace

5 months, corrected age 3 and a half months.  Started trying a routine at 16 weeks (corrected age 10).

We work on wake windows for naps, which means we try to keep her awake for 1hr30-2hrs after she has woken from sleep or a nap.  That means, it loosely looks like the below.

6.30-7am: Wake up, downstairs and feed (occasionally wakes before for a feed around 5.30, in which case we will feed and then go back to sleep).

7am: feed downstairs if she hasn't been fed the last couple of hours

8.30am: nap (30-60 mins)

10am: sometimes a nap (quick 30 mins, currently trying to cut this out)

10.30am: feed

12-1am: nap (2 hours)

4pm: nap (15-30 mins)

4.30pm: quick feed

6.30 pm: bath.

7pm: bedtime , straight into the room for a big feed and then put her down.  Putting her down can take 10-40 mins to settle her.

2-5am: she wakes up at some point in this window for a big feed. 

Grace & Baby Connie

8.5 months.  Started a routine at around 16 weeks.

Connie is a big sleeper and requires a lot of sleep during the day!  I started a routine at 16 weeks.

7 am: Wake and morning breastfeed
8 am: Breakfast- porridge/ Weetabix/ toast
9:45(ish) am: 1st nap (1.5 hours)
11:15 am: milk bottle 5oz
11:45 am: lunch- finger food and mash
2:30 pm: 2nd nap (1.5-2 hours)
4 pm ish: milk breast feed
5 pm: dinner - finger food and mash
6:45 pm: bath
7:00 pm: 6oz bottle
7:15-30 pm: aim to be asleep
11 pm: dream 4oz bottle milk

Anna & Baby Milo

8 months old. Started a routine at around 3 months.

I breastfeed on demand (don’t follow a strict routine for this) so sometimes I feed him more than this in the day if he’s fussy etc.

6.30-7.30 am: wake and Breastfeed
8-8.30 am: breakfast
9 am: nap (45mins - 1 hour)
10 am: breastfeed
11.30 am: lunch or snack depending on how tired he is
12.30 pm: breastfeed
1ish pm: nap (2 hours 🤞🏻)
3 pm: snack
4 pm: breastfeed
5.15 pm: dinner
6 pm: bath
6.30 pm: breastfeed and bed!
22.30 pm: dream feed
3am: dream feed

Ellie, Jack & Arlo

Twins, 1 year old.  Started to try a routine at around 12 weeks.

The boys have just started nursery so this routine changes a bit for that!  

6-7 am:  Wake / Milk
7.30/8 am:  Get dressed /Breakfast
10.00am: Nap 1 / Milk/ Noise machine (nap 2 hours)
12/12.30 pm: Lunch
3 pm:  Cat nap (if needed)
5.00/5.30 pm: Dinner
6.00 pm: Bathtime / Wind down
6.30 pm: Pjs / Cuddles / Story
6.45 pm: Milk
7.00 pm: Bedtime / Noise machine


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