The Value of a Flexible Routine

By Dana Rosenbloom, founder of Dana’s Kids

As you close in on your due date, most expecting parents will begin to think about “scheduling.” Will I feed on demand or every 3 hours? Will my child nap on a schedule or whenever they’re tired? Should napping always happen in the crib or can they nap in the swing, car seat, stroller, as well? I am a proponent of creating a flexible routine.

Parenting is a constantly evolving role. Reflecting on your child, yourself, and the things that make you each unique, is essential to creating a schedule and a relationship that will work for both of you. Responsive parents recognize that their children have different needs when it comes to sleeping, eating, playing, etc. In my opinion, parents should create routines that are responsive to the individual temperament, body rhythm and interaction style of their baby.

Why is a routine important? Predictability and consistency are essential for all children, whether babies, toddlers, or teens. But while children thrive on this predictability and feel safe and secure knowing the routine, it is also important to teach children to be flexible. Rigid routines do not take individual families differences into account. For example, in a family where there is a working parent, a child may not go to sleep at 8pm, because the working parent wants quality time when they come home. As long as the child ends up getting enough sleep for their body so that they wake up ready to take on the next day, who’s to say what bed time is appropriate.

A routine that considers your child and family allows you and your child some flexibility and greatly reduces stress. Young children learn to have faith in a bigger, stronger grown up who will always keep them safe. If a bottle is given 30 minutes earlier than the plan, or a preschooler naps after she’s really “given up” her nap, you are all going to be happier and feel that your needs are met. Another prime example is where a child naps. I encourage parents to try having their child nap in the crib, stroller, etc. Certainly you should acknowledge where they sleep best, but also recognize that schedules change. Helping children to be able to sleep in multiple places aids everyone’s flexibility.

Flexible routines take into account your child’s natural rhythm, but are also set within a structured framework. I want to be clear that this concept is not a free-for-all. Having a schedule is important, but it doesn’t have to be set in stone. It is not one size fits all. Responsive and reflective parenting makes having a flexible routine possible. All that being, said I recognize that some children need a stricter routine. For some children, if you wait longer than the scheduled 4 hrs to have them nap, all hell will break loose. Responsive parenting will help you notice and use that information. You can continue to work on helping your child become more flexible. The emphasis is on spending the time it takes to “know” your child.

Preschoolers and grade school children respond positively to a flexible routine as well. Parents are encouraged to be spontaneous at times. Acknowledging a change in routine and the feelings that may come up when doing something a little bit differently, teaches children to enjoy flexibility and feel safe enough to manage those changes. They learn to roll with the punches. For children who have a harder time with flexibility using a conspiratorial tone when telling your children about a change in their schedule adds excitement and can be used to help create teachable moments.

Responsive parenting allows you to understand your child and their individual needs. Within what they learn, parents create a flexible routine that is specific to their child. This helps children (and parents) feel safe and secure, less anxious and less stressed and more in control both emotionally and behaviorally. This routine should be flexible enough to allow for the changes that naturally pop up. The ability to manage these slight changes is a lifelong skill for children (and their parents)!

Dana Rosenbloom has a master’s degree in Infant and Parent Development and Early Intervention and has been working with children and families for over 10 years. Dana’s Kids provides parent education, play therapy, special education services, parent workshops and support groups, and professional development. To learn more about Dana and Dana’s Kids please visit You can also follow Dana on Facebook: and Twitter @DJRkids.

  • Share This:
  • 1
  • 5

Related Post Name

27 Responses to The Value of a Flexible Routine

  1. I pay a quick visit everyday a few web pages and sites to read
    content, except this website provides quality based

  2. Thanks a ton! It a good online site!.

  3. Maintain the excellent work and producing in the group!

  4. Sonya says:

    Deseo que en muchos años veáis vuestras fotos y recordéis las
    sensaciones de ese día.

  5. Muhammad says:

    Porque editamos cada foto que hacemos con mucho mimo y con un aspecto muy actual y pensando en el futuro, a fin de que el desenlace sea mostrar lo mejor de
    ti y no pase de moda nunca, usando los mejores programas
    de edición y más modernos para obtener los mejores resultados en tus
    fotos de bodas.

  6. Bess says:

    Hace poco tuve que retirar unos videotutoriales que grabé porque la
    gente se lanzó a hacer bodas y después se traumatizó, además de joderle el recuerdo
    a esas parejas.

  7. Pomiar mocy i momentu obrotowego to też doskonały sposób na sprawdzenie silnika po naprawie turbosprężarki
    czy wymianie elementów układu wtryskowego.

  8. Valentina says:

    Mas de esta forma fue como lo logró en ese país en el que, si hay negocio, las cosas marchan.

  9. Elliott says:

    Al principio de mi carrera trabajaba con Canon (5D y
    5D Mark II) y el tema del enfoque fue el que me hizo saltar
    de marca y pasarme a Nikon.

  10. game quickly says:

    If spme one wushes expert view regarding blogging and site-building afterward i propose him/her to go to see
    this weblog, Keep up the nice work.

  11. Very shortly this web site will be famous among all blogging and site-building people, due
    to it’s nice posts

  12. pre workout says:

    What a stuff of un-ambiguity annd preserveness of precious knowledge
    regarding unpredicted feelings.

  13. bodybuilding says:

    Good info. Lucky me I discovered your blog by accident (stumbleupon).
    I have bookmarked it ffor later!

  14. For most recent news you have to pay a visit internet and on the web
    I found this web page as a best website for most recent updates.

  15. Thank you for thhe auspicious writeup. It actually was once a enjoyment account it.
    Look complex to more brought agreeable from you!
    By tthe way, how could we keep up a correspondence?

  16. Hi there, all is going well here and ofcourse every one is sharing facts, that’s in fact fine, kedp up writing.

  17. Alpha Amino says:

    Hello, just wanted to say, I enjoyed this blolg post.
    It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

  18. Deanna says:

    En conclusión, mi uso principal de estas cámaras es para fotografías en angular y algún retrato con teleobjetivo en partes pausadas y
    no determinantes de las bodas.

  19. Thank you for tthe auspicious writeup. It if truth be told was once a
    entertainment account it. Glance complex to more introduced agreeable from you!
    By the way, how couild wwe bee in contact?

  20. amino acid says:

    Hi my family member! I want to sayy that this post is amazing,
    nice written and include almost all vital infos.
    I would like to see more posts like this .

  21. Deanna says:

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this site.
    I’m hoping to view the same high-grade content by you in the future as well.
    In truth, your creative writing abilities has
    inspired mme to get my own, personal website now 😉

  22. Cecil says:

    Hi, tthe whole thing is going fine here and ofcourse every one
    iss sharing data, that’s genuinely good, keep up writing.

  23. C4 Bottle says:

    Hello Dear, are you actually visiting tjis website
    on a regular basis, if so then you will without doubt get good know-how.

  24. energy drink says:

    What’s up to every body, it’s my first paay a visit of this blog; this weblog carries remarkable and actually fine data
    designed for readers.

  25. Pingback: 30 Blogs to help You Organize Your Home - Bellyitch Parent

  26. Pingback: 30 Blog posts to help Parents Organize the Home Routine

  27. Pingback: Maintaining Sanity through Routine | Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *