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Why I Put My Baby on a Strict Routine from Day One

Why I Put My Baby on a Strict Routine from Day One

We've all had it, haven't we: a bunch of unsolicited advice from family, friends, well wishers, and even people in the street. It seems when a new baby is around everyone is an expert! 

I returned home from the hospital overwhelmed, overjoyed and over-exhausted. After my little beautiful baby was just 48 hours old we were greeted by my Russian friend Olga. I refer to her nationality so you can hear her in your head as I describe what she says - really it works best in a Russian accent! I must point out however, that despite the voice and her stern nature she's a big-hearted lady.

She told me in no uncertain terms: "The child needs a four-hour routine!" Her advice sounded more like an order from a drill sergeant than advice from a friend.


"Uh, he's only two days old Olga, I'm just feeding him when he wants me to" I delicately replied.

"Do it, and do it from now and you will thank me forever," she stated.

Totally skeptical and unsure, I wondered if it would make me a bad mother. Would it be a good thing? I didn't have a great deal to go on, no real close friends or family with babie, so I wasn't about to argue.

Putting Olga's Advice Into Action

Olga stayed for the better part of seven hours. Sure enough, Raffa got hungry right away. He grumbled for me and and I cringed, but didn't feed him. Three and a half hours went by. He was just a little miserable. I, on the other hand, was ever so distressed, wanting to comfort him with my bosom.

"Ah, no-no-no, you'll thank me!" Olga insisted.


Four hours finally came and my tingling breasts and crying child finally met in mutual gratitude! He fed for much longer than he did normally. 

We did this two more times, the grumbles pulling at my heart strings, and I questioned why I would ever let that harsh lady influence my parenting decisions. But I did see it through, and by four days old Raffa was calm, contented, and on a four-hour feeding routine!

Now, while my Russian friend would probably disagree with me, I am not suggesting this is for everyone. My little boy was born late, heavy and healthy, and for us it was a great start to healthy routines. He slept through the night well, and to this day we eat together as a family at set times each day. 

I hope I am not slated for cruelty for saying so, but it worked for us and it really was a great way to organize sleep times, feed times, and the rest of the day. For our family, listening to my stern Russian friend was a very good thing and I will thank her forever!

Image Source: DepositPhotos

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

Join The Conversation
KatieGerg KatieGerg 4 years
I don't think this is a good approach at all. I've seen it fail miserably with other parents and the baby is just filled with anxiety. Why wouldn't you want to start building a trusting and nuturing environment for your helpless baby? I recommend dr sears approach for caring for your baby. You will have a happy well rested baby/children as a result. Check out his website and learn about the potential harm that can come to your baby developmentally when their needs aren't meet.
DorothyMorris1924 DorothyMorris1924 4 years
I agree with Miss Rebecca! This isn't a very "supportive" site at all. I have read a couple of articles now and all these mothers are doing is attacking other mothers. I didnt know to put my baby on a schedule because i dont have anyone to help me. That is why I signed up for this site. I wish I had a good friend to come and help me out and tell me about these kind of things!! Good for Charlotte to have a friend come and be SUPPORTIVE and help her put her baby on a schedule. Obviously it worked and she wouldn't have done it if her baby wasn't healthy. My goodness you mothers are the most judgemental and rude people I have come in contact with. If I pierce the baby ears or put her on a schedule I'm a horrible person. Rebecca is also right to say we do have more violence in this country. Maybe if we spent more time raising our children insted of letting them make the decisions and worring about what other people are doing this country would be a better place!! So i say good for you Charlotte. I'm really glad you and your baby are happy and healthy!!
RebeccaRosen RebeccaRosen 4 years
You know, the comments down here make sad. A friend recommended this site as a "supportive community of fellow moms." Indeed. The majority of you here sound judgmental, snarky, quick-to-anger and I would never in a million years confide in you for advice. I'm sure you would appreciate this kind of stone-throwing when fellow moms disagree with YOU. Truth be told, what this Russian woman recommended is common in France, where my mother is from and where I grew up. I was on a feeding schedule like this from birth, as were my siblings and cousins and most Europeans I know. So to the doula here who said that making babies wait to eat is like telling them that "their emotional needs don't matter" and that---ludicrously---this is "the primary cause of the incompassionate society we live in"......routine is exactly and precisely what helps babies to build trust in their caregiver, and I don't believe that America is any way shape or form more "compassionate" than my native country, for all the on-demand feeding you guys practice. You have more violence and, for the record, more obesity here than any other developed country in the world. But, you know, by all means, continue shrieking at this woman. What a "supportive community."
SamanthaUeno SamanthaUeno 4 years
The author of this article is very lucky that she has an abundant supply after doing this, because breastfeeding newborns on demand serves another purpose--it tells your body to make milk, and feeding often ensures a healthy supply. (which is why when doctors force you to supplement, it will decrease your supply even more and eventually lead to full formula-feeding, which is exactly what Similac and Nestle want.) Also, a newborn's stomach is barely the size of a grape at two days old, and don't forget that breastmilk provides both nutrition from food and liquids. How about you wait 8 hours between meals with absolutely no food or drink at all? Does that sound healthy?
HopeHamlin HopeHamlin 4 years
Obviously, I'd listen to my baby's pediatrician before I'd listen to a friend. Every baby is different with different needs. My son was a nicu baby, so I was on a every 3hrs feeding schedule 24/7 for 3 months after his nicu release. If he fell asleep during a feeding, I let him sleep and when he woke up from hunger a little later, I'd feed him until he was fed. When he was able and gained more weight, after the first 3months out, we fed him at 10pm latest and earliest at 4am. Few months after, when he was able to, he slept longer on his own, so we fed him latest at 10pm and earliest at 6am - you get the idea. The point, doesn't matter who orders you or suggests to you what you should do, talk to your pediatrician for best advice then follow that.
LeslieWeimer LeslieWeimer 4 years
my baby was six days late and I feed her when she needed food. she is fine. she is 2 years old, 36in and 29lbs. no baby should be on a schedule. my child was not even on a nap schedule. she take nap when she is tried. even being in preschool. she would take one after we get home.
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